Sunday, September 04, 2005

Of Pods, Floods and the Bible in 90 Days

This portable storage pod stood on the parking lot of our church this morning. The senior high youth were taking turns unloading cars and trucks filled to the brim with donations for the Katrina evacuees in our area. This picture was taken about mid-morning. I expect the pod to be nearly full by the end of the day tomorrow. Then it will be moved to the East Fort Bend Human Needs Ministry which is an area-wide collection point for distribution to those who need it.

This scene is being repeated in every church I passed today as they are all collecting supplies for those at the Astrodome, Reliant Center, and the Brown Convention Center as well as the rapidly-multiplying Red Cross Centers and the full-to-bursting hotels and motels in the area.

Our services today were extended by announcements about relief efforts. In addition to St Paul's church, Bethel Ministries (non-denominational Hispanic church near us) has about 80 evacuees and needs volunteers to help with serving food and with transportation and medical assistance.

Our church's elementary school, along with all other private and public schools in the area, will open admission to children of evacuees on a space available basis. We are also exploring the idea of partnering with the YMCA across the road to become a shelter ourselves. There's still a lot of organizational work to be done.

Meanwhile Bible in 90 Days begins its second week. This week we read all of Genesis and Exodus. The passages about Noah and the flood and the drowning of Pharoah's army in the Red Sea stand out in my mind, no doubt because of all the images of flooding we have all been exposed to all week. One nagging question: what's an ephod? (See Exodus--it's something a priest wears). Note to self--look that up before leading the next group.

I see a lot of the blame-throwing and finger-pointing reported in the national press over this deplorable, tragic situation. We in Houston have no time for it. We've got a very big job to do for the forseeable future. Pray that we will have the fortitude to see it through until all the evacuees are satisfactorily settled.


Princess of Everything (and then some) said...

I like you more and more every day. I love that sentence *We in Houston have no time for that*. ~applaudes~ Another case of those who can will and those who cannot will whine and gripe.

reverendmother said...

Yes, QG is most likable, Mindy!

There is a lot of hot air being blown about right now, most of it political posturing. And the immediate needs of those suffering cannot be ignored. However, this hurricane season is young yet. If there are people who can get to the bottom of this, fast, to keep this kind of thing from happening again in a month or two, so much the better.

We're praying for you, Grace!

Quotidian Grace said...

Aw, shucks, y'all. And thanks.

CGAuntie said...

My church is one of the many that will undertake the task of feeding the evacuees in the coming months (Presbyterian week is later this month.) The best thing is that the outreach is an interfaith effort. I've been watching CNN - a lot of Larry King - and there have been reports of the many ways Houstonians are welcoming and supporting those affected by Hurricane Katrina. These reports are certainly bright spots in an otherwise-bleak news week. I hope the care shown to those who are suffering becomes the overriding memory from this horrendous event. After all of the analysis about why something so catastrophic could happen here, I hope people remember how strangers helped those in need, without regard to race, religion, and socio-economic status.

Quotidian Grace said...

Update on the pod--by the end of the day yesterday it was filled to overflowing! The contents were distributed among three area groups for the evacuees.

mibi52 said...

An ephod is a sacred vestment worn by the priest in the temple. At least that's what we were told in our owmen's Bible Study last year.

Good luck with the pod - how great of your youth to do this. Practial Christianity of the finest kind.

All of a sudden I got an image of the pod filled with ephods...ah, yes, a middle aged mind with not enough coffee is a dangerous thing.

Songbird said...

When you have a chance, I'd love to hear how the online/e-mail study group goes.

Becky Ardell Downs said...

Hey Grace, do I know any of these folks? I think an ephod is like a loincloth, btw. Don't those scholarly pastors you work with know this?

Quotidian Grace said...

As a matter of fact, you probably know all the people in the picture. The youth are Michael and Clara Goforth and the adult is Kevin Funderburk (now the proud father of FOUR!). Kevin's brother donated the use of the pod.

One of my leaders found info on the internet that the ephod is a vest. Our scholarly pastors are in the staff group which meets last so I haven't asked them yet. One of the leaders of an earlier group says an ephod is like a vest. Vest or loincloth? I'll let Jerry and Steve make the call.

Becky Ardell Downs said...

whoa, kids grow up fast, don't they? I think Clara was like 6 when I left. Kevin, otoh, hasn't aged a bit. I think he looks even younger. Is Doris doing all the work???? :)
Thanks for the update-- good folks, all of them. Thanks for all you do-- Dad and stepmom are working the shelters through 1st Pres-- went to 2nd Baptist for training I think yesterday. Hang in there-- I think everything else would just be put to the side right now.

Becky Ardell Downs said...

Here's a link to the ephod question.
I know that I preached one time that it was a loincloth, or basically underwear, that David danced in before the Lord. I should probably check my sources more carefully, though it's still sort of shocking to think of David dancing in a vest.