As we at Grace continue to consider how we can support relief efforts in the Merrimack Valley, we share this information from our Bishops. We will be collecting donations during the week and at the time of the offering this coming Sunday.
"The prayers and concern of our entire diocesan family are with those in the Merrimack Valley communities affected by this disaster," Bishop Alan M. Gates said on Friday morning. "Bishop Gayle Harris and I, together with regional canon Martha Hubbard, have been directly in contact with the clergy of our parishes in those communities and our colleagues at Esperanza Academy. A number of their families have been directly affected, together with countless others who will need our support in the weeks ahead. I invite from all corners of the diocese your continuing prayers and contributions toward relief efforts.
To that end, the bishops ask all congregations in the diocese to consider designating or collecting an offering in support of a diocesean relief response. These offerings should be made payable to the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts and marked "Merrimack Valley Disaster Relief." Contributions may be sent to the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts, Attn: Lauren Zook, 138 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02111." We can also forward your contributions.
Additionally, a number of diocesan leaders and leaders from all three Episcopal churches and one Episcopal school in the affected communities--Christ Church in Andover, St. Paul's Church in North Andover and Grace Church and Esperanza Academy in Lawrence – continue to be in communication to discuss the needs of the affected communities, and identify ways that individuals can be of assistance.
Another way that people can help the community recover is by patronizing local businesses and restaurants that are now open but may have suffered a significant loss of revenue due to outages.
Prayer and liturgy resources for use in times of disaster are available from Episcopal Relief & Development here.
Community websites offering updates on local needs include: