OEC Flood

June 30, 2018

In the midst of so much loss, there is joy. Joy is not the same as happiness. Happiness is dependent upon external conditions and is situational. Happiness comes and goes. Joy is a spiritual gift. It is the gift of knowing Christ's presence regardless of outward circumstances. It is a gift of knowing you are held closely by God and will be cared for just as the lilies of the field and the birds of the air.

St. Peter's has shifted operations this week to two areas of concern. First, we are making sure all three of the county supplied water stations are stocked and, at the end of the day, properly sanitized to protect our community's collective health. Second, we are hosting the Family Meal - a hot meal every evening from 5-8 pm for the residents, business owners and workers who have spent all day cleaning and working on their buildings.

St. Peter's will monitor the need to keep these ministries going. If you can help with the Family Meal by supplying food, contact our Senior Warden Judi Mahaffey or Junior Warden Katherine Schnorrenberg. If you want to help with serving the meal or tending the water stations, you can sign up by clicking here.

Thanks to Kat Forder of Kat Forder Photography for the dance party video.

"Jesus said, 'Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you-- you of little faith? Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What will we eat?' or 'What will we drink?' or 'What will we wear?' For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today's trouble is enough for today.'" (Matt. 6:25-34 NRS)

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Operations begin to kick into gear. Staying ahead of the avalanche of phone calls, tweets, and text messages of offers for help was overwhelming! In times of crisis, many people want to do something (anything) and they don't realize folks on the ground have not even assessed what is necessary or even helpful yet. Please understand if we don't get right back with you as it is you and hundreds (yes, hundreds) of others who rush in immediately. We will contact you or, even better, give us about a week or two and contact us. By then, we will be out of the media eye and we will need volunteers to do the medium and long term work. Please don't forget this will be a long-term recovery effort.

Thanks to Christina Page, the beginnings of THE LIST of needed items takes shape. You can access this list on our Facebook page by clicking here. Yes, we take Amazon Prime shipments to the church!

Clark's Hardware in Ellicott City stepped up in an amazing way. Margaret Clark was there from the beginning sending us shovels, wheelbarrows, and work gloves. Today, she brought us 30 high speed fans!

Margaret Clark and her daughter with Mother Anjel.

Margaret Clark and her daughter with Mother Anjel.

Mtr. Anjel had a chance to walk the West End to assess the damage and talk to the neighbors whose homes were affected. Consensus is this is worse than the 2016 flood. Our sexton, Barrington Sweeney, has lived on the West End all his life and his family has been here for over 100 years. He made significant improvements to his home after the 2016 flood so he sustained minimal damage this time. He reported that the water line this time was 5" higher than the 2016 flood.

Howard County officially moved their credentialing (badge issuing) operations to the parking lot at St. Peter's today. Gator transports took residents and business owners down to get an initial assessment and 15 minutes to grab essentials. Mother Anjel and Deb Lewin went down to check on our friend Dave Carney at the Wine Bin later in the day.

Deb Lewin gives free hugs and works hard for the people in Ellicott City!

Deb Lewin gives free hugs and works hard for the people in Ellicott City!

MONDAY, MAY 28, 2018 MEMORIAL DAY

St. Peter's began mobilizing for action just as we did in 2016 gathering food, cleaning supplies, tools, water and getting it down to as many people as we could. Thanks to our neighbor Tony McGuffin and with help from Bishop Eugene Sutton, we were able to bring a grill up to the church to cook hamburgers and hot dogs. Sara Beth Dukes, a local acupuncturist, offered trauma release therapy in St. Luke's Chapel. By the end of the day, West End neighbors gathered to eat together at St. Peter's.

Tony McGuffin (holding the water) and other volunteers unload supplies on Memorial Day

Tony McGuffin (holding the water) and other volunteers unload supplies on Memorial Day

Key Links for Flood Relief

Monetary donations

At this point in recovery, we are only in need of monetary assistance as we have plenty of supplies and equipment for our OEC community. Cash donations can be made through our Tithe.ly page at http://bit.ly/DonateSPEC. Select the OEC Flood Relief fund.

Volunteering to assist with donation distribution & food

At St. Peter's, sign up at http://bit.ly/VolunteerECFlood.

Volunteering to clean up businesses and residences on Main Street

Howard County is changing the requirements for credentialing as Main Street begins to reopen. Check the Howard County Government web site to see the latest information on hours, credential requirements and needs.