Photo: Paul Jeffrey/ACT Alliance
An historic tornado outbreak caused damage in multiple states, with the greatest impact in Western Kentucky. Several Disciples congregations have been directly affected. Week of Compassion is coordinating with the Region, congregations, and ecumenical partners to provide relief.
In a severe tornado outbreak Friday night, more than 30 tornadoes were reported across 6 states. With damage assessments underway, Week of Compassion is still receiving reports in the aftermath. So far we know that at least 70 lives were lost in Western Kentucky alone, and that number is expected to grow. Governor Andy Beshear has declared a state of emergency and deployed the National Guard to respond.
First Christian Church of Mayfield (pictured) suffered significant damage. Many families connected with Disciples churches are among the thousands who sustained damage to their homes. Week of Compassion is in touch with leaders in Mayfield, Bowling Green, and other communities across the affected area. As needs emerge, we are prepared to provide assistance and support the responses of our congregations and partners, and will share more info as we receive it.
If you know of Disciples affected by these storms, or Disciples churches responding in their local community, please let us know. In the meantime, many are asking how to offer support. Remember that the best way to help immediately following a disaster is to "Stay, Pray, and Give."
Stay home (rather than trying to go help in person) so as to keep the roads clear for first responders and keep other amenities available for locals who have been displaced. There may be need for volunteers at a later date once communities have had a chance to assess needs and organize.
Pray for all whose lives have been affected irrevocably by this disaster; and pray for those who are working around the clock to respond to immediate needs, restore power, and care for survivors.
Give - Week of Compassion will work with local partners and church leaders to meet immediate needs and also support long-term recovery. Give online; text WoC to 41444; or mail a check to:
Week of Compassion
P.O. Box 1986
Indianapolis, IN 46206
Designate gifts for "U.S. Storms and Fires," and 100% of your donation will go to local responses.
Thank you for sharing your compassion with those who need it most following the storm.
Pastoral Prayer: After the Storm
We know that you are with us in every time and place. In all things, you are faithful. But when winds are raging, we may find it hard to hear your voice. When skies are dark, we may struggle to see your face. When all around is chaos, fear and destruction, the peace that you promise seems worlds away.
And yet, we continue to seek you in the morning. In these Advent days, surround us with the certainty of your loving presence; and remind us that there is hope to be found even in the midst of so much death and destruction.
To those in raging winds, speak words of calm and comfort. For those in great darkness, send light. For those surrounded by the remains of what was; answer the silence with promises of all that might be. We lift prayers especially for those in the community of Mayfield; for those in Bowling Green; and for others across several regions who are facing unthinkable loss and heartbreak.
Hear our prayer, O Lord. Renew our strength for service and compassion in the days ahead. May we hear again your call to be the Church; to speak comfort to those who weep, and to be present with those who suffer. We trust that you have given us every gift required to meet the needs of this time. Teach us to walk in the way of Christ, the one whose coming we await; the one who will lead us through even the most difficult days in the spirit hope, peace, joy, and love. We believe in your goodness and love in all things. Send us in your peace, Holy One, as we wait in hope. And may there be joy in the morning. Amen.
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