From the bishop’s desk: Water crisis response

Group 236

Dear friends*,

You have almost certainly heard that a chemical leak near Charleston, West Virginia, meant that hundreds of thousands of people were without their usual water supply for days. By the time you read this, water should be safe again in the area and life should be returning to normal there.

Riverside High School near Charleston, W.Va., Friday. A chemical spill left the water for 300,000 people in and around West Virginia’s capital city stained blue-green and smelling like licorice. Craig Cunningham/The Daily Mail/AP (Shared with permission from ELCA Central States Synod)

But I saw a note from Bishop Ralph Dunkin of the West Virginia-Western Maryland Synod of the ELCA reminding us that this water crisis will create long-term problems. Many small businesses and restaurants were completely closed during the water crisis. Tourism and government business in the area came to a halt, and many people simply left to stay somewhere else. People in minimum wage jobs and those who depend on tips for income likely will not recover the money they lost.

Bishop Dunkin suggests that people can help by contributing to a fund to buy diapers for young families in distress because of the water crisis. Information about the Diaper Drive follows this message.

Another possibility would be to contribute to our synod with funds specifically designated “WVA-WMD Synod.” We will forward this money to our neighboring synod with permission to spend it as they think will be most helpful in the situation.

Those of us who can mostly take our water for granted are blessed. We remember in our prayers the people all over the world for whom clean water is precious.

And we remember our neighbors whose lives are harmed by this chemical disaster. May God bring them all the kinds of healing that they need.

The Rev. Richard H. Graham
Metropolitan Washington, D.C. Synod
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

* The original version of this message was distributed to rostered leaders of the synod on 1/15/14.

Forwarded from the West Virginia – Western Maryland Synod, ELCA
COMMUNITY LUTHERAN PARTNERS (CLP) DIAPER DRIVE! People have been asking how they can help so here you go…There are a lot of people who make below a living wage being hit extremely hard by the chemical spill/water disaster in southern WV. For them, the disaster may go on for weeks/months after the water is flowing again. An example of people in this group would be the workers at restaurants. They usually don’t make minimum wage and depend on tips to make up the difference.  One of the items people are running out of and can’t afford to purchase are baby diapers. CLP will be holding a DIAPER DRIVE this week. Please log onto our website and click on “donate” or mail donations to PO Box 3054, Wheeling WV 26003 to make a financial donation. If the water is turned on this week, the diapers will be distributed to food pantries in the affected areas. These pantries will be serving those hit hardest by this disaster as well. THANK YOU!!