By Revs. Don Dewey and Susan Gonzales Dewey, Co-Regional Ministers
"God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give wayand the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foamand the mountains quake with their surging...The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress." (Psalm 46)
Dear Disciple Brothers and Sisters,
As most of you know, a few nights ago in Las Vegas, we experienced the largest mass shooting in the history of the United States. We offer our deepest prayers and condolences to the families of those who lost their lives in this senseless attack. Our hearts go out to everyone affected by this tragedy and we reaffirm, as people of faith, our commitment to a peaceful and compassionate world and to our God who is our refuge and strength.
We have been in contact with Rev. Steve Willis, pastor of FCC Las Vegas, and no one from their congregation was directly affected. However, friends and others were, as well as the whole of the Las Vegas community. We pray for our Pastors and churches as they offer care and compassion to their community. The long-term effects of this terrible tragedy are yet to be fully known, but our continued prayers are desperately needed.
We also know, that our wider world has been rocked by recent hurricanes that have devastated Puerto Rico, as well as damage done in Texas, Louisiana and Florida, a 7.1 earthquake that hit Mexico causing massive destruction, deaths and injury and serious flooding in Southeast Asia. These and other crises challenge us as faithful people in the midst of climate changes, to offer prayers and support for our sisters and brothers who are reeling from the affects of these natural disasters.
Already our Regional Board made the unanimous decision to designate $50,000 to our General Church's disaster relief arm, Week of Compassion, to go toward hurricane relief efforts. However, our concern and support does not end there. On a personal note, our Disciples of Christ denomination has a seminary, 160 churches, and 21,000 Disciple members in Puerto Rico who are deeply affected as well. The effects of the natural disasters will be a long time in recovery and our continued prayers and support are requested.
What can you do to help bring Christ's comfort, compassion and love to those suffering in these situations? You can make a donation to Week of Compassion, which is our hands and feet on the ground in addressing these natural disasters, by going to: https://docgeneralassembly.webconnex.com/weekofcompassion.
Don and Susan