Special Collection to Assist the Victims Of Hurricane Charley In Florida


August 16, 2004

TO BE READ FROM THE PULPIT

“But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?” (1 John 3:17)

Beloved Clergy and Faithful of our Archdiocese:

Greetings and blessings in the Name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. We pray that your summer has been peaceful and prosperous.

As you all know, several areas of Florida have been devastated by Hurricane Charley which slammed into Florida with winds reaching 145 mph and a surge of sea water of 13 to 15 feet. The latest reports tell us that at least 16 people were killed, and the property damage is estimated to be as much as $15 billion. Officials have said that hundreds of people are unaccounted for, and that the search for missing people was slow in some areas because of the danger from downed power lines and debris. There are thousands of people without homes, and nearly 1 million people are still without power.

Our God-protected Archdiocese has always taken to heart the needs of our brothers and sisters around the world who have suffered from natural disasters. We have assisted victims across every continent of the world. It has been said that “charity begins at home”, and with this in mind, we make an appeal to you for assistance for the Florida hurricane victims. We ask you to take a special collection as soon as possible and forward it to the Archdiocese headquarters immediately (but not later than Sept. 30th), marked “Florida Hurricane Relief”, so that we can do our share to try and ease a small portion of the suffering.

Please be generous, keeping in mind the words of St. John quoted above, and our accountability to our Lord for how we respond in times of need.

May the Almighty God continue to surround all of you with His love and heavenly protection.

Your father in Christ,
Metropolitan PHILIP
Primate
Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America