Here is a shot of the tornado that hit Cullman.

Dear brothers and sisters,

This week, I’ve been praying about how we as a church community can respond to those who have experienced the devastation of the tornadoes that ripped through the South. I learned yesterday that our friends Sam and LuAnn Albert, who live in Brooks, Georgia, suffered some damage on their farm. Thanks be to God, they are safe, but they have neighbors who did not fare as well. They have said that they are OK and are not in need of anything at this time, but please keep them in your prayers.
I have been thinking about what we can do for these victims of the storms. There is certainly so much to be done and sometimes it’s good to just pick one place to support. One such place is Cullman, Alabama. I lived in Cullman for a short time when I was in high school when my father briefly managed a funeral home there. Bill & Suzy Eidson also lived there and were very active at Grace Church in Cullman. While Grace Church was spared, there were many people in that congregation and community who lost their lives and their homes. Grace has become a collection point for aid in the area. According to the rector, Bob Blackwell, with whom I spoke this morning, they are in need of many personal items at this time:
Toilet paper
Paper towels
Diapers
Personal toiletries such as deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo, soap, etc.
Batteries
Trash bags
Feminine hygiene items
Cleaning supplies
This Sunday, at our Bluegrass Mass, we will collect these items and get them to Cullman. If you can bring just one thing, it will help. If you would like to contribute money, I ask that you donate directly to Episcopal Relief and Development (www.er-d.org), who is on the ground there helping. If anyone feels God’s call to go and help out with the relief work, please let me know. They do not need clothes at this time.
Of course, continue to keep all the communities who are affected by these storms in your prayers. Cullman is starting to get power back on in certain areas, but it may take weeks for the entire area to be back to full power. Certainly, other areas like Tuscaloosa have been devastated as well. Please continue to pray for all of our brothers and sisters in those areas and in Georgia as well.
If you have any questions, please let me know.
Peace,
Jeff+