Friday, July 21, 2006

A Post-Katrina Post

I received a nice e-mail from "Father Hollywood" reader Rev. Rob Franck of Mt. Olive Lutheran Church in Duluth, Minn. In this note, he called to mind that I hadn't posted anything in my blog regarding the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. This reminded me that I did write an article for Lutheran Church Charities that was published on their online newsletter. So, I posted it to Father Hollywood and backdated it to October, 2005. You can get to it here, just scroll down to October 10, and look for the post entitled "Kyrie After Katrina."

Pastor Franck's son and daughter are coming to NOLA in a couple weeks to help with relief work, which incidently, is ongoing. There is still a lot of work to be done, and churches are still sending volunteer crews to help. They have been wonderful, and we are so very grateful beyond anything you can imagine for all of the help you have provided, and continue to provide!

By the way, if you don't read my Lutheran Church Charities article, let me take a moment to tell you what a blessing they have been, and continue to be. They are the real deal. If you or your church are looking for a genuine charity to support, I can recommend LCC without reservation. They cut through red tape like you wouldn't believe, and soared above all the usual synodical politics to make sure that people who needed help in the immediate aftermath of Katrina got it - without regard to the political leanings of the parish or pastor. They simply help people in need, Lutherans and non-Lutherans alike, all over the country. They get the job done. While FEMA was floundering, while the Post Office and FedEx were crippled, and while even the Red Cross seemed to be in a state of confusion, LCC was in full communication with those of us in NOLA and getting supplies to us in an almost miraculous fashion. I can't tell you how many refugees who had nothing but the clothing on their backs were helped by LCC and its generous supporters.

LCC's president, Tim Hetzner, was helpful beyond measure to our post-Katrina work.

I know a lot of you are probably weary of hearing about Hurricane Katrina, but it still dominates our lives here in the Big Easy. This was the worst natural disaster to hit the U.S. in modern times, and I'm humbled by the dedication and hard work of so many Lutheran pastors and laymen in the aftermath of the storm.

But anyway, in case any of you would like to read my scribblings of our work after the storm, there they are - along with links to articles in the New York Times and the Times of London who covered some of the work made possible by Lutheran Church Charities.

Please keep New Orleans and her brave and determined people in your prayers. Come visit us! We love tourists, and if your church is looking for some volunteer work to do, there is plenty here. If you've never been to New Orleans, you are in for a treat! It's like no other city in America.

Though I've only lived here a couple years, I could not imagine myself anywhere else. Laissez les bons temps rouler! (Let the good times roll!)

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