The Commemoration of Prudence Crandall
3 September 2019

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

Save me, O God, *
      for the waters have risen up to my neck.
I am sinking in deep mire, *
      and there is no firm ground for my feet.
I have come into deep waters, *
      and the torrent washes over me.
I have grown weary with my crying; my throat is inflamed; *
      my eyes have failed from looking for my God.


These verses from Psalm 69 have been at the heart of my prayers for the Bahamas for several days. Hurricane Dorian was still pounding Grand Bahama this morning – stalled there for an incredible second day. It is impossible to imagine the terror and exhaustion of those who are living through this, and impossible to imagine the helplessness of those who are waiting for the storm to pass so that help can be brought to the island. I have news of people who are in places of danger and are waiting to be rescued, and we still do not know the full extent of the damage.

I have launched the Bishop’s Hurricane Appeal. I have been so moved by the immediate response of so many congregations, even prior to the launch of the appeal. Already so many are expressing our solidarity and support for our sisters and brothers in the Bahamas, and we are living the words of the prayer that says “may your love for us unite us and support us, and enable us to support those for whom danger breaches their hope.” I am hoping that each community will contribute to this phase of the appeal, so that we can send a clear message of solidarity to our companion Diocese of the Bahamas where we have so many family members, friends, and colleagues.

Today, I have sent the assurance of our prayers and solidarity to the bishops of those dioceses in the projected track of Hurricane Dorian. Even as we seek to bring immediate need to the Bahamas, let us not forget our sisters and brothers further north.

Our communities in the northern part of our own diocese are not yet out of some danger from wind and flooding. We are watching this situation closely, and they are taking appropriate precautions. We are of course ready to bring immediate assistance to our own communities should they need it.

I am working in close collaboration with Rhonda Clinton of Episcopal Charities on plans for the organization of relief and recovery efforts. There will be more news about the ongoing appeal as soon as we can determine more clearly what is needed.

For now, we continue to watch and pray, and give all the encouragement to those among us who are waiting for news of loved ones in the Abacos and Grand Bahama.

With love and prayers,

+Peter 


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