As a researcher, I felt compelled to empirically test my observations about faith and disaster resilience. I began collecting data for my first Katrina study 2 months after the storm. Even now, on the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, I’m still studying faith and disaster resilience among Katrina survivors. Following are some of the empirical lessons I’ve learned along the way with my colleagues and students…
Category : Hurricane Katrina
The floodwaters retreated. Homes were rebuilt. New Orleans rebounded with Mardi Gras, jazz festivals and even a Super Bowl in 2013.
In the 10 years since Hurricane Katrina smashed the shoreline of the Gulf Coast, the images of despair grew distant.
But for the people who lost everything, they never went away.
In the immediate aftermath of the destruction, survivors opened up to NBC News about their loss, grief and rage.
We reconnected with those same survivors recently ”” and learned how the storm, even a decade later, still shapes their lives.
The Rev. Jim Lewis, canon to the ordinary, applauded the ruling saying it “protects South Carolina churches from being added to the long list of properties that TEC seized, then either abandoned or sold off. The decision protects our freedom to embrace the faith Anglicans have practiced for hundreds of years ”” and not the new theology being imposed on TEC’s dwindling membership.”
A spokeswoman for local parishes that remain a part of The Episcopal Church declined to comment late Tuesday saying church leaders first needed time to analyze the lengthy ruling.
Through the MPA, the Church of England contributed to this consultation process, affirming the aim of using mitochondrial replacement (or donation as it is also termed) while also differentiating between the two methodologies being proposed; one of which (pronuclear transfer ”“ PNT) required embryos to be created as mitochondrial donors and recipients, the other (maternal spindle transfer) did not. Although the creation of embryos may be licensed by the HFEA, the MPA pointed out that PNT carried greater ethical concerns for many Christians and, indeed, those of other faiths or none.
More significantly, mitochondrial replacement involves modification of the human germ-line, with donor mitochondria being transmitted to future generations through the maternal line. As well as ensuring the techniques were as safe as possible, concerns were expressed that this would not be taken as approval for modifying defective mitochondrial genes that resided in the nucleus. Other concerns had to do with as yet unknown interactions between the DNA in the mitochondria and the DNA in the nucleus; these might potentially cause abnormality or be found to influence significant personal qualities or characteristics.
Such concerns were recognised by the HFEA in its work and recommendations to the secretaries of state.
When Hurricane Katrina destroyed Nikki Moon’s Bay Town Inn bed and breakfast resort in Bay St. Louis, she knew she’d return to Old Town some day.
Eight years later, the resort is back with more amenities and a unique space.
“I knew in my heart that I wanted to do it again,” Moon said. “I just had to wait for the timing to be right.”
Grace Episcopal Church, a fixture on Canal Street in Mid-City for nearly 60 years, will close next month, Episcopal Bishop Morris Thompson said Monday.
The Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana hopes the closure is not permanent. It may be able to reopen the church in a year or so after rethinking its mission and gathering new resources, Thompson said.
Thompson said he informed Grace’s small congregation of his decision Dec. 4. He said there were fewer 15 people in the pews at one of the two services that morning.
The Rev. Jerry Kramer, the Episcopal priest who threw his church into the recovery of Broadmoor after Hurricane Katrina, has left the church for a more conservative Anglican community.
Kramer, the former rector of the Free Church of the Annunciation, said by e-mail he now is affiliated with the Anglican Church in North America.
That community is composed of former Episcopalians who split with the U.S. church in 2008 over deep theological differences.
Five years after Hurricanes Katrina devastated New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, survivors and those working on their behalf say work is far from finished.
Church World Service says that what progress has been made is in great part due to the support, funding and labour of the US faith community and of humanitarian agencies.
“If it weren’t for the volunteers and agencies who assisted me, I don’t know where I would be,” said Gloria Mouton, 62, whose home in New Orleans East was among those repaired by volunteers from across the US during the 2009 CWS Neighborhood New Orleans ecumenical project.
It was a celebration of how people of different faiths can work together for the common good. An interfaith sunrise worship service at Trinity Episcopal Church in Pass Christian recognized the impact that many religious groups have had in hurricane recovery.
Jews, Christians. Muslims and Hare Krishnas were at the sunrise worship service. All believers were welcome.
“That we all serve an awesome God,” said Alice Graham, Mississippi Coast Interfaith Disaster Task Force. “We come to that service of God from different faith traditions. We’re unified in that we serve a God that calls us all into community.”
KIM LAWTON, correspondent: About 20 minutes outside New Orleans, worshippers gather at First Baptist Church in Chalmette, the largest city in St. Bernard Parish. It’s a pretty typical Southern Baptist Sunday morning service.
REV JOHN DEE JEFFRIES (Preaching at First Baptist Church, Chalmette, Louisiana): Lord, what’s going on? Lord, why?
LAWTON: But that belies the incredible journey this congregation has made since Hurricane Katrina. More than half of the churches in St. Bernard Parish still haven’t come back, and most of them probably never will. First Baptist is not only back, but reinventing itself to help a community still struggling to recover.
As far as I am concerned, Tulane University President Scott Cowen is a national hero–someone needs to give the man a medal–KSH.
Locally and nationally, [Bishop Charles] Jenkins has described how the post-Katrina suffering of poor New Orleanians transformed his ministry and awakened him to the broad social and economic inequalities of life in New Orleans. But he has said the aftermath also left him medicated, prone to depression and frequently unable to focus on administration.
In the short term, Jenkins said in an interview this week, retirement will mean rest and diversion – building a new life with his wife, Louise, in rural St. Francisville, 100 miles north of New Orleans. Still a product of small-town north Louisiana, Jenkins has a new truck to enjoy. A new tractor is on order. He hopes to plant some trees and a garden.
And having rebuilt the Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana after Katrina to reflect his own radical conversion to social justice and racial reconciliation, illness or not, he said he hopes to stay involved in the work of Episcopal Community Services, the new social-justice arm of the diocese, “as much as is appropriate.”
But having said that, he also expressed a temporary desire to “recede into the mist; deep into the mist.”
If that sounds contradictory, so be it, Jenkins said. If Episcopalians traditionally value the “middle way,” Jenkins has raised it to an art. “I’m good at living in tension,” he said.
The Rev. Jerry Kramer, a hyper-energetic Episcopal priest who transformed a small neighborhood church into a powerhouse that helped drive the post-Katrina recovery of the entire Broadmoor neighborhood, stunned his parishioners last week with news that, sick and exhausted, he has resigned.
In an accompanying e-mail message, Kramer said that if he recovers after several months on a temporary medical disability, he hopes next year to return to missionary work in Tanzania with his wife and two children.
“But I have to get well to do that, ” he said last week. “I need some rest. I absolutely need some rest.
“I haven’t been able to put in a full day (of work) in over a year.”
In the four years since Katrina, Kramer developed a reputation as a innovative priest who, from the moment he paddled up to his flooded church on South Claiborne Avenue, merged its recovery with the recovery of the surrounding neighborhood.
2) Several of you have begun to hear whispers of the financial challenge that the diocesan ministries will be facing in the year ahead. The impact of our nation’s economy has impacted all of us and will contribute to a significant tightening of all of our budgets.
The unique challenge facing our diocesan ministries are twofold:
First, 30% of the diocesan budget is funded by investment income. We have been able to develop new and innovative ministries during the times of growth in our investment portfolio. These, as we all know, are difficult times for such income resources. Our income will be greatly reduced.
Secondly, the diocese took out a sizeable loan to buy properties on the gulf coast for the rebuilding of the congregations following Hurricane Katrina. When the original beach front properties are sold the loan will be repaid. Until such sale we are liable for a substantial interest payment. Until now, we have been able to pay the interest from contributions for post-Katrina recovery. Those funds are now depleted.
I have made the decision, and will ask the Executive Committee to concur, that to be “one church” means that we are willing to bear one another’s burdens. To ask any of these three churches to assume their share of the indirect payment would be to crush them as they seek to recover and rebuild. Thus, I am prepared to make the necessary sacrifices within our common life and ministries to give these congregations relief from the unsustainable debt burden until their properties are sold.
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The full details of what [Dr. Anna] Pou did, and why, may never be known. But the arguments she is making about disaster preparedness ”” that medical workers should be virtually immune from prosecution for good-faith work during devastating events and that lifesaving interventions, including evacuation, shouldn’t necessarily go to the sickest first ”” deserve closer attention. This is particularly important as health officials are now weighing, with little public discussion and insufficient scientific evidence, protocols for making the kind of agonizing decisions that will, no doubt, arise again.
At a recent national conference for hospital disaster planners, Pou asked a question: “How long should health care workers have to be with patients who may not survive?” The story of Memorial Medical Center raises other questions: Which patients should get a share of limited resources, and who decides? What does it mean to do the greatest good for the greatest number, and does that end justify all means? Where is the line between appropriate comfort care and mercy killing? How, if at all, should doctors and nurses be held accountable for their actions in the most desperate of circumstances, especially when their government fails them?