Rev. Nathan King
Interim Disaster Representative, UCC WNCA
O Holy One, you who have given us life, and breath, and being, and you who have sustained our lives with the the gift of your comforting and mighty presence, we give thanks that this storm called Florence has now passed.
We now find ourselves in the beginning of recovery and in the middle of a mess of destruction, devastation, and distress. We grieve with the families of 32 people who have lost life to this storm. We pray for your abiding comfort and light of hope in this murky darkness of traumatic grief.
We pray for those who have had to evacuate, leaving house and home, who are returning to access the damage. We pray for those who return with the assurance of insurance for both property and health, and we pray especially for those who return with no guarantees of their previous life including property and health. We recognize that our system is set up to help most those who need least, and set down to help least those who need most. Give us power and will to change the system we have helped create into a system that more closely resembles one You might create.
We pray for those who have lost power and have thus lost food. And we pray especially for those who, even before Florence was a tropical wave in the Atlantic, lived in the lowlands and never had any power. We pray that those on the hills who have power will give up some power so others may have enough. In as much as that power is life, make us mindful that whoever saves their power will lose it, and whoever gives up their power, for Jesus’s sake and for the gospel, will save it.
We pray for efficient and effective management of volunteer organizations and first responders ready to help and for the countless volunteers and employees who give themselves, their time, their life, and their heart to this recovery. May we give ourselves not only to recovery from hurricanes and other storms, but to recovery from the relentless storm that never stops for those living in poverty.
Finally, O Holy One, we pray for the courage to amend our ways that lead to unnecessary destruction, devastation, and distress due to our impact on this earth by our dragging response to the climate we ourselves are changing.