Our Dear Brothers and Sisters,
We have all heard the news of the flooding in the South Indian state of Kerala, caused by the extraordinary rains that came in this year’s monsoon season. Each day the news becomes more troubling. As of this writing there are at least 350 people who have lost their lives in this catastrophe, and over 800,000 people have been displaced from their homes. This is the most serious flood India has experienced in a century, and is a disaster of historic proportions.
The Diocese of New York has long-standing and strong ties to the Church of South India, and to the Christian community in India. At our Convention last November it was my privilege to award the Bishop’s Cross to the Reverend Gideon Jebamani for his work on behalf of the poorest people in India, and we passed resolutions from New York to take to the General Convention on behalf of the struggling, suffering people of India. This is a part of the world in which our mission partnerships are strong and our ministry has deep roots. We also have two parishes in this diocese which worship in the Malayalam language, whose pews are filled with people from South India, and particularly Kerala where the Christian religion is strong. In these last days we have been learning of the dangers which have fallen on the families of clergy of this diocese and members of these parishes. They are our own brothers and sisters.
This letter comes to you as an appeal for help. As we have done for Puerto Rico, Haiti, Mexico, and other areas of natural disaster across our church and world, and as we have done during Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, we now ask the good people of this diocese to give again to support the relief efforts this diocese may make to help those in need, and those who have lost everything with little or no capacity to rebuild. After 9/11 and Hurricane Sandy, the world turned its eyes toward our state, city and diocese with compassion and outstretched hands. May we show that same spirit for the victims of this terrible flood.
As we become more aware of relief agencies inside and outside our church whose work on behalf of the victims of this flood we may commend, we will include them in a link on the front page of our diocesan website. But we also invite you to make donations directly through our own diocese.
You may make an online payment by clicking here. Checks may be made out to the Episcopal Diocese of New York and sent to the diocesan offices at 1047 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10025, with the words “India Relief” in the memo line. And please hold the suffering people of Kerala in your prayers, remember them at your altars, and hold them in Christian love. With every good wish, we remain
The Right Reverend Andrew ML Dietsche
Bishop of New York
The Right Reverend Allen K Shin
Bishop Suffragan of New York