Episcopal Bishop in NJ: Support Hurricane Sandy Victims with Prayers, Donations

(Photo Credit: U.S. Air Force/ Master Sgt. Mark C. Olsen)An aerial view during an Army search and rescue mission shows damage from Hurricane Sandy to the New Jersey coast on Oct. 30, 2012. The soldiers are assigned to the 1-150 Assault Helicopter Battalion, New Jersey Army National Guard.

In New Jersey, The Episcopal Bishop of the Diocese of Newark, the Rev. Mark Beckwith, urged parishioners to pray for those affected by the devastation wrought by Hurricane Sandy and urged donations to the denomination's relief arm.

The Rev. Beckwith said in a message to the diocese on Wednesday he had heard of no injuries to any of its members in the diocese and that although many churches and homes are without power, no churches have experienced significant damage.

However he noted more serious damage in other parts of the region.

"We can give thanks that the devastation has not been worse. At lease here," he said. "But as we have seen and heard, the southern part of the state – and across the tri-state area, have been hit with a crippling blow. We can offer our support – and our prayers. And our resources.

He said contributions could be made to Episcopal Relief and Development, PO Box 7058, Merrifield, Va. 22116, memo Hurricane Sandy.

He also alluded to some of the problems facing those living in his diocese.

"Many of us may be without power for awhile," Bishop Beckwith said. "We can pray for patience as we await its return, and also be reminded that the electrical power that we lack – while inconvenient, frustrating and challenging, is but a candle compared to the enormous light of power that comes through the hope and peace of the living Christ.

Bishop Beckwith said there were reports of fallen limbs, shingles blown off the roof – and several broken windows.

He noted that a tree in the center of the memorial garden at St. mary's Sparta was uprooted.

In addition, All Saints Hoboken had experienced no damage, but its Jubilee Center, a three story building located in the west side of the city, was at one point under five feet of water.

The Jersey City and Bayonne churches all seem to have weathered the storm, he said.

He said that the diocese, in conversation with Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD), was prepared to provide resources to places that need it.

He said the diocese was coordinating with ERD to provide extra food resources to food pantries that will experience and increased demand.

Several churches that have electrical power have opened their doors to the community "for coffee and conversation" and have provided outlets for recharging electronic devices. Other congregations with power are hosting pot luck suppers.

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