The 7.8-magnitude earthquake in Turkey and Syria this week has killed more than 23,000 people and left millions in need of shelter. Our hearts ache at the scenes of destruction and the lives lost, and the knowledge that time is running out to find any more survivors.
How can we help?
As our bishop wrote to the clergy of this diocese, “While gathering goods to send to the area feels satisfying, with disasters of this magnitude financial support is critical and more helpful.”
One very effective place to donate funds is Episcopal Relief & Development. This agency of our church works with local partners on the ground to get immediate relief where it is needed after a disaster, and then to help with the short- and long-term recovery efforts afterward. You can donate to help the earthquake victims here:
We also can pray for all those affected by the earthquake. The bishop has asked our whole diocese to intentionally hold the victims, survivors, and recovery effort in prayer for the next six weeks.
Here is one prayer from the Episcopal Relief & Development website for times of disaster:
God, you are in the midst of those who suffer
May all affected by disasters feel your healing presence.
God, you are in the hands of those who reach out
Help responders in their courageous work.
God, you are in the hearts of those compassionate ones
Whose prayers cry out for their families
Whose prayers cry out for their neighbors
Whose prayers cry out even for strangers
Bless and comfort those who mourn.
God, you are in the still small voice,
The gentle whisper that follows
May our ears always hear
May our hearts always cry out for one another
May our hands always reach out to one another
And may we always walk like you walk
In solidarity with those who suffer
And so reflect your presence and comfort.
– Prayer adapted from Catholic Relief Services
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