The Rev. Edward R. Benoway, bishop of the Evangelical Lutharn Church of America (ELCA)’s Florida synod, expressed his thankfulness for the spiritual and financial support provided by the church and his colleagues, on Oct. 4, 2004.
Benoway, who spoke before fellow bishops during the ELCA’s Conference of Bishops meeting, recalled that ELCA members, congregations and synods had sent more than $300,000 for the hurricane and storm relief efforts since mid-summer.
However, he added that since "hardly a congregation that escaped damage from at least one of these storms," funds were still needed.
The four storms, Hurricane Charley, Hurricane Frances, Hurricane Ivan and Hurricane Jeanne struck the Caribbean nations with more force than it did Florida.
Therefore, despite their own needs, Florida Lutherans partnered with the needy across the shores to experience a sort of "interrelatedness” under God.
"We have experienced our 'interrelatedness' in response to the hurricanes," the Rev. Mark S. Hanson, ELCA presiding bishop, told the Conference of Bishops. "Beneath their weariness, I have heard their profound gratitude for our interrelatedness."
Following Benoway’s address, members of the Conference of Bishops contributed $3,050 in offerings for disaster response.
Information about ELCA and Lutheran Disaster Response is at http://www.elca.org/disaster on the ELCA Web site. Information about the storms' impact on the Florida-Bahamas Synod is at http://www.fbsynod.org on the Web.