West Texas bishop reports on diocesan response to flooding, tornado

Posted May 28, 2015

[Episcopal Diocese of West Texas] Diocese of West Texas Bishop Gary Lillibridge has written to the members of the diocese with an update about recent flooding.

His letter is here. The text of the letter follows as well.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015
TO:        All Clergy and Congregations in West Texas
FROM: Bishop Lillibridge

I am writing in regard to two tragedies over the weekend, one due to flooding in Central Texas; and one due to a tornado striking Acuna, Mexico, which is directly across from Del Rio on our diocesan border.  Both areas are in great need, and this letter begins to explain how we might respond in concrete ways in these communities. Your assistance, in whatever way is possible for you and your congregation, will be deeply appreciated.  Please also accept my personal thanks, and that of Bishop Reed, who is on his way to Wimberley this afternoon, for your compassion, care, and generosity to all those who are in need from these events. We are also blessed by the great efforts of our Diocesan Disaster Response Task Force, under the leadership of Bob Thompson of St. Thomas, San Antonio.

Flooding in Central Texas, particularly the Wimberley area
The recent heavy rains and flooding in Central and South Texas have left many communities in disarray, most notably Wimberley and the surrounding areas after the Blanco River rose 40 feet over the Memorial Day weekend. The devastation in Wimberley is widespread.

Among the people missing, eight are from Corpus Christi who were vacationing in a home on the river over the Memorial Day weekend.  Five of the missing are members of the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, Corpus Christi.  One of the missing Good Shepherd family members was found on May 27, and did not survive. Search efforts continue, and avenues to donate supplies and money have been set up to help the entire community.

St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church and School in Wimberley is accepting monetary donations.  Checks can be made to the church and in the memo line, please write “flood relief.”  Checks can be mailed or delivered to:
Saint Stephen’s Episcopal Church
6000 FM 3237
Wimberley, Texas 78676

The Diocese of West Texas is also offering monetary assistance and can accept donations on behalf of the community of Wimberley.  If you would like to make a donation to the diocese for flood relief, checks should be made out to the Diocese of West Texas with “flood relief” in the memo line. Checks can be mailed to:
The Diocese of West Texas
Attention: Kaitlin Reed
PO Box 6885
San Antonio, TX 78209

Online donations are also being accepted for these relief efforts.  Go to www.dwtx.org/departments/world-mission and click “DONATE.” Apply your gift to “Commission on Emergency Response.” Please contact Kaitlin Reed at 888/210-824-5387 or kaitlin.reed@dwtx.org with any further questions.

To find out immediate needs and how to help, you can call the Hays County hotline at 512-754-2275, or contact Traci Maxwell, member of St. Stephen’s, at Wimberleybroker@yahoo.com.

Tornado damage in Acuna, Mexico
Here is an update from the Rev. John Fritts, rector of St. James Episcopal Church and School in Del Rio, on the Acuna situation, across the border from Del Rio:

There were 17 souls who lost their lives in Acuna—none of the St James Episcopal School students or their families from Acuna have lost their lives or have been immediately impacted by the tornado that swept through a small area of the city on Memorial Day.  The people who are St. James Church and School are lifting all those involved in this tragedy up in our thoughts and prayers very intentionally in school during our chapel time together and also in our congregational life together.

St. James in Del Rio is coordinating with the local Emergency Operation Center for items needed to aid those affected in our sister city of Acuna.  Right now these are the items needed:  canned goods, bottled water, dry goods, hygiene products, baby formula and diapers, cleaning supplies, and monetary donations are accepted at all Del Rio Bank and Trust locations.

As we continue to coordinate support for our sister city in Acuna, monetary donations, as well as items, will be accepted at St. James Episcopal Church, Del Rio, 206 West Greenwood (PO Box  1129, 78841), Phone 830-775-7292.  Disaster Preparedness contacts at St. James are Ann Beitel and the Rev. John C. Fritts.