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Dear Diocese of Easton,

I have been watching the weather events of Hurricane Harvey unfold in Texas with great concern for our brothers and sisters.  It is in times of suffering and loss when we can most clearly become aware of God’s presence.

We here on the Eastern Shore of Maryland understand what it means to live in an area that is close to the waters and susceptible to floods.  Because of this we understand the fear that happens when large hurricanes come up the Atlantic Ocean.  We can also remember times, not that long ago, when other hurricanes and tropical storms devastated our part of the world.  We understand this disaster because we have lived this disaster before.

In living through previous disasters, we can attest to God’s presence.  We have experienced the love that comes through the touch of another person’s hand, or through the smile on another human’s face, or the love expressed in another soul’s eyes.  We know these things because we have lived these things, in both the giving and the receiving.  And through it all, we know that God is with us.  We give thanks for God’s loving presence.

We can also give thanks for the work of the Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD), who worked so tirelessly on behalf of the town of Crisfield, in our own diocese, after SuperStorm Sandy in 2012.  We should not forget that when we needed help, the Episcopal Church was there for us.  Now it is our turn to offer that help to others who also need it.  Now we can be that beacon of God’s love to a broken community that is truly under the dark clouds of a massive storm.

I invite you to help by making donations to the ERD in one of three ways.  The first is by visiting the ERD website: and clicking on the ‘donate now’ button that pops up.  The second way would be to write a check for the Bishop’s Discretionary Fund, with a note in the memo line stating ‘Hurricane Relief’ and send it to me here at Bray House, 314 North Street, Easton, MD 21601.  I will forward monies that I receive to the bishops in the impacted area so that they can reach out to specific needs that they are aware of.  And lastly, please take a special collection on Sunday at your parish and forward the money to ERD.

Above all, I ask for your prayers for the people who have been impacted by Hurricane Harvey.  Remember them and pray for them for they will be cleaning up from this storm for many years to come.