Dear Rectors, Vicars, Associates, Deacons and Vestry Leaders,
As we draw ever closer to Ash Wednesday (Where does the time go?), it seems appropriate to remind of an opportunity to continue to support Episcopal Relief and Development. You may recall that at General Convention 2009, dioceses and congregations were encouraged “to remember and support with an offering during Lent the work of ERD as it seeks to help heal a hurting world. “ This year, Episcopal Relief and Development Sunday will be on Lent 1, February 18, 2018, which is just around the corner.
There are many resources available to you as you think about how to help your congregation think about the work of this organization, and they are listed on a separate page attached to this letter. I hope that you will take advantage of a bulletin insert or a dedicated offering envelope for this effort. If you decide to use inserts or envelopes, order now! These and other worship resources are available on the Episcopal Relief and Development website.
If you are too far along in your liturgical planning to accommodate an “ERD Sunday” on February 18, feel free to designate another Sunday during the year and please let me know about that.
As many of you know, we have been in the midst of building a new team of coordinators for the diocesan chapter of Episcopal Relief and Development. We have a new Disaster Relief Coordinator, Sheryl Gerety, of Coos Bay. Sheryl has courageously stepped forward into the big shoes of Dick Raub, who has held the position so competently until now. As part of Disaster Relief Coordination, we will be renewing our efforts to
- Assist congregations who have not established a disaster response plan to do so;
- Inquire with congregations about assets they may have which would be available to the larger community during a disaster (Asset Mapping);
- Provide resources for disaster response training to individuals and congregations.
Sheryl, Deacon Bonnie Steward and I will be contacting congregations throughout the year to learn about your disaster preparation and find out how we can assist you with that work. We hope to get to everyone within the next two years!
I am fully aware that there are many demands on your time and on your congregation’s generosity. I hope, though, that you will host an ERD Sunday on February 18 or on any other Sunday this year. Please let me know if I can help you in any way.
In peace and with hope,
The Rev. Dcn. Annette Rankin
Diocesan Coordinator for Episcopal Relief and Development