+Charles Jenkins, Bishop of Louisiana offered these reflections on his blog on the 3rd anniversary of Katrina as he was packing to leave the looming destruction of Gustav:
On Friday night the Muslim call to prayer rang out in Temple Sinai in New Orleans. It was the third anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. People of faith from the Jewish, Sikh, Bahia, Muslim, and Christian communities came together to pray in thanksgiving and to remember what happened to us. We prayed for the living and the dead, some eighty of whom were buried with no name on this very day. We came together as people brought low, many of us still living with injury and loss, but as one people of hope. We know that we are not disposable people because God’s mark is upon us.
The Archbishop of New Orleans, the Most Revered Alfred Hughes, gave a wonderful homily noting how we are building a better place in the midst of ruin. We lit the Sabbath candle, sang the blessing of the wine, and then our host, Rabbi Cohn lit a candle for the departed of our city and by name those of Temple Sinai.
Like most of us, Louise and I are packing to leave. We have offers of hospitality from around the country but will likely go to Baton Rouge so that we can be poised to minister to God’s people here in the place we call home. The threat of Gustav has stirred up in me feelings and emotions too complicated to explain now. I am in touch with my brokenness and I am aware that it is by God’s grace alone that I can put one tired foot in front of another.
I share this because I know that I am not alone in getting in touch with the hurt from Katrina and the fear that is ours this night. It is a strange and painful time and many of us are struggling. We struggle together, friends, we are one. The pain is not only emotional but physical. Many triggers are pulled in my mind. I cannot believe this is happening on the very day New Orleans flooded. I pray God to give me patience, strength, and humility to accept with gratitude the many blessing of life.
I likely will not receive the Sacrament of Christ’s Body and Blood tomorrow (Sunday) in the outward and visible forms. I pray Christ will come to me inwardly and spiritually as I do so desire Him. Please remember me and all of us when you make your Communion.
Bishop Charles Jenkins