This is the latest news from Sheppards and Lapsley. Both Tuscaloosa and Birmingham are in the bounds of this presbytery.
Several items to update you on the tornado response:
1. For Birmingham-area pastors and churches there is a meeting with representatives from Presbyterian Disaster Assistance today, Friday April 29th at 3:00 p.m. at Independent Presbyterian Church, Room 218. Please plan to send a representative from your church.
2. A PDA team is on the ground in Tuscaloosa, or will be very shortly. They have provided a number of very helpful resources and a great team to help us.
3. “How can we help?” The most comprehensive list of immediate opportunities is available and updated regularly here: http://alabamapossible.org/2011/04/tornado-relief-how-you-can-help/ It is critical for all of our churches to identify leaders who will organize each church’s response. The needs will continue to evolve over time.
4. “Where can we send money?” If your church wants to send donations, you can send them to the Presbytery Office, and mark them for “PSL Tornado Response”.
5. “How are our churches and members?” So far, we are very thankful that we have not heard of any deaths among our members, although we grieve along with all those in our communities who have lost loved ones. We have heard of many members whose homes were damaged, and we have heard of at least one church, Covenant in Tuscaloosa, that was heavily damaged. You can see pictures of that church here: http://www.covenanttuscaloosa.com/2011/04/29/covenant-hit-a-glancing-blow-by-tornado/ PDA is working with Covenant and the pastor, Rick Olson, to help that church meet immediate needs and move forward. PDA is also making contact with a number of our churches to get a better picture of the effects on our members and communities.
Thank you for your continued prayers, and know that all of you are in our prayers.