I just returned this evening from Florida and a week at the beach with longtime friends. It was relaxing, healing, and fun. It was also a vacation from the news — except for the distressing news from Hawaii. The vestry has voted to send $15,000 to the Episcopal Diocese of Hawaii to aid in the recovery. There are four Episcopal churches on Maui and four on Hawai’i Island. That includes Holy Innocents in Lahaina, which is completely gone. I’m including here a letter from the bishop of Hawaii with ways that you can help.
You may have heard the news about horrific storms in the Southeast on Monday. Atlanta was spared, but many areas around us were not. Two people were killed in the storms. One of them was the oldest grandson of my cousin Susan. Evan Kinley, 15, was on his way home from school in Anderson, SC when the storm struck. His grandparents’ house was the closest place to seek shelter, so he went there. As he was getting out of the car a large poplar tree fell, hitting him and crushing his car and the garage. I can barely imagine the pain and grief his family is going through. Please keep them in your prayers. I am going to Anderson for the funeral tomorrow.
Then I am leaving Tuesday for a week in Alaska, taking photos between Anchorage and Denali. The cool temperatures there will be a welcome relief from the heat here. I hope to have (good) stories to tell on my return.
Message Regarding the Fires on Maui & Hawai’i Island
My dear Siblings in Christ Jesus,
With the news of the fires on the islands of Maui and Hawaiʻi (“the Big Island”), I ask your prayers.
Lahaina was devastated. Historic Holy Innocents Church is on Front Street where the fire very quickly swept into old Lahaina town. Those old buildings made out of wood, went up in flames quickly. Some of the buildings destroyed date back to the days of whaling and when the town was the seat of the monarchy (early 1800s). Likely, this includes our church, Holy Innocents, based on an aerial photo sent to the office. The Sanctuary, vicarage, preschool and office appear to be completely gone (as does the public elementary school next door). Whole Lahaina neighborhoods are gone. Because of evacuations, downed landlines and cell towers, and the chaos of the situation, no one other than first responders are allowed into Lahaina, and we have had no first hand confirmation of the losses.
The clergy have reported in as safe.
What can you do? Many have asked how you can help through the Diocese with immediate response for relief efforts on Maui. The Episcopal Diocese of Hawaiʻi is coordinating immediate diocesan relief efforts to the Lahaina fire disaster through the Diocese’s A CUP OF COLD WATER (ACCW) (a separately incorporated subsidiary of the Diocese that serves the houseless on Maui).
You may also mail checks directly to: A Cup of Cold Water, 2140 Main St., Wailuku, HI 96793
This is to help with immediate needs. The recovery efforts will take a very long time.
We have been in touch with Episcopal Relief and Development and with the Church Insurance Company.
I urge you to pray: A PRAYER FOR THOSE FACING WILDFIRES..
We will share more as information becomes available.