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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Hurricane Katrina: In Houston, family connections and quilts

“Water,” said Steve Quill, pastor of New Hope Lutheran Church, Missouri City, Texas, as he cupped his hand in the baptismal font and let the water trickle through his fingers Sunday morning. “Water has the power to destroy and the power to give life. And we have seen both this week.”

Quill asked parishioners how many had family members in the storm-ravaged areas—hands went up all over the sanctuary. Several worshipers had relatives with them who fled here and whose homes were destroyed or damaged.

It’s a scenario that was repeated at Lutheran congregations throughout the Houston area.

At Peace Lutheran, Rosenberg, which like New Hope is in Fort Bend County southwest of Houston, Norman Albertson, pastor, said two families in the congregation had relatives in Biloxi, Miss. Like other Lutheran congregations here, Peace is collecting food, clothing and money for the evacuees and its members are volunteering at shelters and other relief agencies.

But Peace also offered its own unique contribution. The congregation’s quilters, who last year made 300 blankets for Lutheran World Relief, last week gave 65 quilts to the refugees in their county.


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