In response to the destruction of Hurricane Katrina on August 29, 2005, the Gulf Coast Task Force continues to support our sisters and brothers in Biloxi, Mississippi and New Orleans, Louisiana as they rebuild their community. Our dioceses has been very responsive in sending people to assist in the clean up, recovery, and rebuilding of individual homes, community centers, and churches. Through the Task Force, the diocese continues to forward merchandise gift cards for people to redeem at their local stores. Some of our local parishes here have established committed partnerships with Gulf Coast church communities. These partnerships have pledged spiritual, physical, and emotional support for each other as each one looks to ushering in a new bond of Christian love and connection in building up the One Body. We look forward to establishing more of these partnerships.
With the continuation of the physical reconstruction of the area, the Task Force would like to widen the area of concern to include the joblessness, homelessness, and mental health issues that resident and refugees living in the area are dealing with. All the while continuing the discussion of how we can support the rebuilding of a Christian community in which all people are welcome. If a new Biloxi, a refreshed New Orleans, or other community is rebuilt without housing, job, or health opportunities for all people, then the One Body will be sorely disabled and will fall short of its potential.
On behalf of the Gulf Coast Task Force, I ask you to continue holding our Gulf brothers and sisters in your prayers, to forward your ideas on how we can better assist in the recovery, as well as your ongoing financial and physical support as we move forward.
The Rev. Michael Hamilton
Co-chair of the Gulf Coast Task Force