COUNCIL OF BISHOPS OF THE UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OF THE USA
CONSISTORY OFFICE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
Prayers Urged, Metropolia Reaches Out, as Deadly Tornadoes Hit Oklahoma
Beloved brothers and sisters in Christ!
Just yesterday, our entire country witnessed the horrors of another natural disaster: this time striking in the form of a mammoth tornado at our fellow citizens living in Oklahoma.
Even after the initial death toll was cut by more than half, the human and material devastation of a string of tornadoes that buffeted areas of Oklahoma City on May 19-20, 2013 was incalculable. As we type the words of this note, we think of the loss of human life – some 24 people to this moment, as well as numerous reports of dislocation and misery. Even as we observe the images of destruction from the safety of our homes, it is painful to know that we are witnessing the sorrow and loss of our fellow Americans.
Our hearts go out to the victims, and to all the people of that entire region.
Please join us in offering prayers for their relief, safety, and consolation. We have been in touch with Archimandrite Raphael, pastor of our Dormition of the Birth-Giver of God Ukrainian Orthodox parish community in Jones, OK, who reports that the roof on the church building and the parish hall have been heavily damaged and will need to be replaced. In addition, a number of parishioners of our community and other Orthodox parishes in that region have lost electricity and witnessed major destruction to their property.
While Insurance companies will be involved to assist the parish community with the relief efforts, we ask you to pray for the pastor and the parish community of Dormition of the Birth-Giver of God Ukrainian Orthodox parish in Jones, OK as well as our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ of that region.
We ask you to consider sponsoring a special collection on their behalf in your parish communities. In the meantime, may God bless the victims in Oklahoma, and may He answer the prayers of all people who call out to Him from the depths of their suffering.
Metropolitan of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA
Bishop and President of the Consistory of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA