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WCC US Conference letter to the Gulf Coast

As hundreds of thousands of people from the US Gulf Coast have evacuated their homes, fleeing from Hurricane Gustav as they did from Katrina three years earlier, US churches keep praying and providing relief. They also denounce underlying social and economic conditions that make for the vulnerability of the region.

02 September 2008

2 September 2008 

To our brothers and sisters of the U.S. Gulf Coast,

The US Conference of the World Council of Churches sends you the love and prayers of your brothers and sister in Christ across the country and around the world.  We join the many who have expressed concern for your well-being and who are holding you constantly in prayer.  Know that we will continue to walk with you in your time of trouble, to help wipe away your tears and help you re-build your communities.   We know that we can do all things in Christ, who strengthens us.

This is our prayer:
Great and Awesome God, we thank you for your presence with the people of
the Gulf Coast during this difficult moment.  We thank you for the safe
evacuation of millions of your people.  We ask now that you surround them
with your comfort, with your strength and most of all,  with your love.
Place your hand of protection over all the rescue workers, over every
national guardsperson, police officer and sheriff.  Bless those who
continue to work, to care for the sick and vulnerable.  Bless those who are
providing shelter, who are are feeding and housing the evacuees.  We pray
for every city and town and every home in the path of the storm. Loving
God, we ask that you touch all those who are not only living through
another evacuation, but who are struggling with the memories of the last
three years. Bless them in a very special way.  We pray for the continued
re-building of the churches, the communities and the people of the entire
Gulf Coast. This is our prayer, which we pray in the name of Jesus Christ. 

Prayer composed by Rev. Dr Bernice Powell Jackson, WCC president from North America and moderator of the US Conference for the WCC. 

Powell Jackson also serves as pastor of the historic Beecher Memorial United Church of Christ in the 7th Ward of New Orleans.