Dear Friends in Christ,
I am sending this heads-up to you, the rostered workers of our church body, to let you know that your national Synod office, working hand-in-glove with officials in the Texas District, is going all out to help in any and every way possible those affected by Hurricane Harvey and the unprecedented flooding in southeastern Texas.
Owing to the nature of massive disasters — in this case, the worst flooding of Harvey is yet to come — no one yet knows the full picture of the situation or the exact plan for effective Lutheran responses.
We do know it will require a lot of physical support and aid over the long haul, along with prayers, Word and Sacrament ministry and pastoral counseling. A truly effective response demands that the people of the Church walk and work in a coordinated way, because no one entity can handle something like this apart from the capacity others can bring to bear.
LCMS World Relief and Human Care, and its LCMS Disaster Response, already is hard at work.
In close collaboration with the Texas District, which also is hard at work, we want to learn from our pastors and other leaders from the more than 160 LCMS congregations in the affected areas about their greatest, immediate needs.
In time, after we stabilize and restore our congregations, we want them to serve as hubs of outreach in their communities.
Please stay tuned for news and updates across an array of LCMS communications channels, including lcms.org/harvey and facebook.com/thelcms.
Know that appeals to our generous donors will be going out soon. Please consider a plate offering — or even a series of such offerings — from your congregation, school or group.
An army of LCMS people — national and district, professional and lay, staff and volunteer — will be coming alongside our afflicted brothers and sisters in Christ in southeastern Texas.
Your help and encouragement are vital to these efforts. How robust our LCMS response will be depends on the people of the LCMS responding.
President Matthew C. Harrison
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod