A word from our Bishop in response to widespread flooding

By Sandra Steiner Ball

Storms! Rain! Flooding!

Once again, people in our area and beyond are experiencing the power of water in our lives. It can be frightening when the earth shakes, moves, and slides! It can be frightening when the rivers roar and the mountains crumble. It can be frightening when flooding cuts off roads, restricts access, sweeps away cars or homes or personal belongings.

If you or a loved one is in the midst of these experiences there can be feelings of being lost, of being all alone, of losing everything, of not knowing where to turn for help. It can feel as if our world is falling apart! We live in an area that has and does experience the forces of nature in ways that bring beauty and life and we also are well away that the forces of nature that can also destroy. We can feel scared for ourselves or for those we love.

It is in these times that we can turn to scripture. Psalm 46 reminds us that God is always with us. Even when we are most afraid, we can read this Psalm and remember that God holds us very close.

1 God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.
4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
5 God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.
6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
7 The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
(Psalm 46: 1-7, NIV)

We also need not be afraid, because it is in these kinds of situations that the power of water becomes visible again through our baptisms as we reach out to help, to support, to give comfort and aid, to help rebuild, to give hope and life. Baptismal people, now is the time, each and every day is the time, to make your baptismal faith known to a person who needs to know that they are not alone – that you and God value and care for them.

Oh Lord, allow your gift of baptism to surge through us so that people in trouble may experience your presence, your care, your help, your support, and your love – a love that will not let us any of us go through frightening times alone! Amen.

If your local church or community is experiencing damage due to flooding and you need assistance please reach out to your district superintendent.