I have noticed, however, among those of us whose lives appear already back to normal that there is a “weariness “or perhaps a lingering emotional strain from the events of the last week””an accumulating toll I suppose. We cancelled several diocesan meetings in order to allow people to attend to their personal cares or the needs of their neighbors. I’ve noticed many of our congregations have done the same””some of necessity and some from a sensitive wisdom regarding capacity. There are seasons not to be driven to do but to be, to pray, to intercede””and along with a helping hand””to give thanks. Put simply, from all the reports we’ve received from our congregations, we in the diocese have sustained very minimal damage to our church and parish properties, and with the exception of fallen trees and a drastically changed beach and Privateer Point we were relatively unscathed at St. Christopher which, given it’s barrier island location, is quite remarkable. Indeed from Grand Strand to Hilton Head, from Cheraw and Marion to Blackville and Walterboro the report is that we are fortunate beyond anything we could have expected.
There are also many examples of parishioners and congregations reaching out to those in need around the diocese””St. Bart’s, Hartsville, hosting a spaghetti dinner for those without electricity and for students at Coker College; Trinity, Myrtle Beach, opening their doors for folk to recharge cell phones; the congregations on Edisto Island assisting those on the island with food and safe water; St. James,’ Blackville, helping parishioners when a tree fell on their home; St. Helena’s, Beaufort, collecting food to help 50 families in their local community ””and far too many other examples to list. Along with such actions may I urge our parishes and missions to have a sustained time of thanksgiving for God’s protection and provision this Sunday perhaps using one of the General Thanksgivings (BCP p. 836) or an adaptation thereof as well as intercessions for those still in need.