Tomorrow, All Saints Sunday, our churches will honor the cloud of witnesses -- the saints who have gone before us; the ones we love but see no longer. Today, on the fifth day after the storm, I want to honor and thank the cloud of witnesses that we ARE seeing across the diocese -- who are so freely sharing the grace of God. So many of our churches that have light and heat have become community centers -- sharing power outlets and food -- and levels of hospitality that is having enormous impact on frayed nerves and storm weary souls. Many churches without power have made plans to worship tomorrow with another church in their community -- deepening the ecumenical partnerships we have with Lutherans and Methodists.
People have been reaching out to one another in extraordinary ways. I keep hearing of new and creative ways to engage in ministry.
I give thanks for the fact that property damage has been minimal. The Jubilee Center at All Saints' in Hoboken has the most damage reported so far, and the water there did not rise to the first floor; and there have been no reported injuries from people in the diocese.
Damage to people and churches in the Diocese of New Jersey is not as daunting as Bishop Councell and his staff initially feared. But our prayers for everyone continue, as we assess and seek to discover untapped reservoirs of patience.
Peace to all the Saints,