Compassion Across Tennessee:
A Statement from the Bishops of
The Dioceses of East Tennessee and
West Tennessee Regarding the
Tornadoes in Central Tennessee
Dear Clergy and People of the Dioceses of East Tennessee and West Tennessee,
We are watching with heavy hearts the destruction, injury and loss of life left behind by the tornadoes that swept through central Tennessee last night. We have been in contact with Bishop Bauerschmidt in the Diocese of Tennessee to let him know that all affected by the storms are in our prayers. After he and the churches in the Diocese of Tennessee have had the opportunity to assess both damage and needs in Nashville, Cookeville and all affected areas, we will turn our attention to the appropriate ways to send help. We plan to be faithful companions to our neighbors for the long haul as they proceed through the stages of immediate rescue, mid-term relief, and ultimately long-term recovery.
Please keep all affected by these deadly storms in your prayers. We especially offer prayers and support for Bishop Bauerschmidt, his diocesan staff, and the clergy and people of the Diocese of Tennessee.
God of healing and mercy, we come before you with our hearts filled with grief as we see the destruction and loss of life from the tornadoes. We pray that your presence will be felt by those who are grieving, who are injured, all who have lost family members, homes or livelihoods. We pray for wisdom and safety for our first responders and all who are helping the people in need and all who are facing the many challenges in front of them. We pray for our church, that it may be a witness to your compassion and care for all who suffer. God, you are our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in times of trouble. For this we give you thanks and ask that you hear our prayers for the people who have been affected by recent natural disasters and violence.
– Adopted from a prayer of the Mennonite World Conference for the people of Japan following the earthquake and tsunami of March 11, 2011.
The Rt. Rev’d Phoebe A. Roaf
Bishop of West Tennessee
The Rt. Rev’d Brian L. Cole,
Bishop of East Tennessee
How You can Help
Currently, the areas affected by the tornadoes are saturated with donations. Thank you to all who have donated items for those affected. We currently suggest the following donation avenues to assist Central TN.
The Episcopal Church of St. Michael’s in Cookeville is accepting donations. Gift cards to major retailers (Wal-Mart, Target, and area grocery stores) are also accepted as well as monetary donations. The address for St. Micheal’s is: 640 Washington Ave, Cookeville, TN 38501.