Continuing ECCT response
to Hurricane Harvey
September 1, 2017

How can I help?


By Mike Corey, co-convener with the Rev. Molly James of ECCT's Disaster Response Ministry Network

  • Continue to help financially - you can make a donation through Episcopal Relief and Development. Do not donate items unless they have been specifically requested by a relief organization, and then only after direct contact with the organization. Unsolicited items add to the burden of providing direct relief and recovery efforts. 
  • If you are thinking about volunteering to go to Texas, register with Episcopal Relief & Development through their Ready to Serve page. Then let the ECCT Diocesan Disaster Coordinator Mike Corey know, at Disaster skills that may be needed:  disaster chaplains, mucking out, shelter operations, debris removal, and referral services.
  • Pray - Please continue to hold up in your prayers the disaster survivors, those lost, those responding, and the families near and far waiting to hear from their loved ones.
Mike is also Episcopal Relief & Development's designated Diocesan Disaster Coordinator for Connecticut. He works professionally as a disaster preparedness manager for American Radio Relay League and is president of CT VOAD (Connecticut Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster).  

From Coastal Bend of Texas to Florida, flooding rains wreak havoc  
[ENS] There's debris in the yard but it's getting cleaned up, and Episcopalians at Trinity by the Sea in Port Aransas, Texas, are mobilizing to clean up their community as well.
Photo: James Derkits and Trinity by the Sea via Facebook
With Harvey still drenching the South, Episcopalians minister to neighbors 
Episcopal News Service story by Mary Frances Schjonberg and Amy Sowder
Robert Jordan, senior warden of Trinity Episcopal Church in Baywater, Texas, says it was just something that had to be done: going out onto the Houston floodwaters in his 18-foot aluminum boat to discover people who needed rescuing. So far, he has found about 30 folks.
Some he rescued from their garages; some he plucked from second-story windows. A few times he waded into homes to find people he heard calling out.  

"It's a really eerie, spooky kind of feeling because you go in and I wouldn't say you're scared but you are just very, very aware of the seriousness of the situation," Jordan told Episcopal News Service by phone Aug. 30. "Then, when you have to go into the house to get them out, it really puts everything in perspective for you."
A few suddenly homeless Trinity members - and some of their animals - are staying in Jordan's house in Baywater, which is west of Houston proper and just northwest of Trinity Bay.
Jordan worked with two rescuers. Those men waited in pickup trucks for him to bring people out so they could ferry them to safer places.
Continue to read full story here.  
Prayer by Bishop Andy Doyle, IX Bishop of Texas, 8/27/17

Heavenly Father, in your Word you have given us a vision of that holy City where the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as the waters cover the sea: Behold and visit, we pray, the cities of the earth devastated by Hurricane Harvey. Sustain those displaced by the storm with food, drink, and all other bodily necessities of life. We especially remember before you all poor and neglected persons it would be easy for us to forget: the homeless and the destitute, the old and the sick, and all who have none to care for them; that, among all the changes and chances of this mortal life, we may ever be defended by your gracious and ready help; through Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN. 
Links to resources
  • Donate to the Hurricane Harvey Response Fund here.
  • Sign-up on the Ready to Serve database here to register as a possible volunteer in the future. Episcopal Relief & Development staff share these lists with dioceses when they are ready to recruit external volunteers. 
  • Download bulletin inserts, English and Spanish, here.
  • Read the latest Episcopal Relief & Development program updates on Facebook and Twitter @EpiscopalRelief.
  • Check out articles and posts on the Diocese of Texas' Harvey-related website pages here and those on the Diocese of West Texas's website here.
  • Visit the ECCT webpage, where we have collected Harvey-related resources, here.
CT Connections

  • Bishops Ian T. Douglas and Laura J. Ahrens have been in contact with the bishops of Texas,  West Texas, and Western Louisiana. Bishops in the affected dioceses urge us to give through Episcopal Relief & Development, and work with them for any volunteer service.
  • Mike Corey, ECCT's Disaster Coordinator and Disaster Ministry Network co-convener, has had conversations with Episcopal Relief & Development. On August 31 he was on a coordination call for the faith-based community held by the FEMA administrator, Brock Long. Mike reports that Brock Long's message was clear: "We must win the battle of mass care!"
  • The Rev. Peter Stebinger, part time Missional Priest at St. Paul's in Bantam, CT, and a per diem chaplain at Hartford Hospital, is an intermittent federal employee with the National Disaster Medical Assistance team (DMAT) CT-1. He has been deployed in Texas. (see interview, below)
  • If you are deployed to Texas or the surrounding area to respond to Hurricane Harvey, and if that information can be made public, the communication office would like to know so that we can include you and your ministry in a list of CT connections on this page, for information and for our prayers. (
Chaplain to CT DMAT, on the ground in Texas  
Phone interview with the Rev. Peter Stebinger
by Pam Dawkins, ECCT Temporary Digital Associate and eNews editor

The Rev. Peter Stebinger, part-time missional priest at St. Paul's Church, Bantam, and formerly of Christ Church, Bethany, is one of about 30 members of the Connecticut Disaster Medical Assistance Team (CT DMAT) helping Hurricane Harvey victims in Rosenberg, Texas.

Stebinger, the team's chaplain, said yesterday they arrived in Dallas on August 25 and moved to the Fort Bend Fairgrounds in Rosenberg on Tuesday.

"We became the emergency room for Fort Bend County, because the hospital emergency rooms have not been able to function because of the flooding," he said. "We're seeing what you would see in a classic emergency room situation ... many, many of our people have lost their homes."

As chaplain, he usually leads some form of morning prayer, at the request of his team members. He also provides spiritual care for the team and the people they serve. "It's very humbling," he said of his experiences in Texas, including the support the DMAT team gets from local sheriffs, paramedics, and other volunteers.

Stebinger said he appreciates the urge to help that has people sending items to Texas.

"People are generous, they really want to help, which is wonderful," he said. But, "the shelters are overwhelmed with donations."

Instead, he asks that donors send money through Episcopal Relief & Development (donate here). ERD, he added, will stay in Texas doing long-term recovery.

As for the Connecticut team, "We will be here until we get sent home," Stebinger said. "The federal government will be providing disaster medical assistance until the state of Texas no longer wishes it."

For information about the federal response, click here for the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services' Public Health Emergency page, and here for information about the National Disaster Medical System.

Above: Tuesday night, the Disaster Medical Assistance Team from Connecticut set up a mobile medical station at the fairgrounds to provide urgent care for residents impacted by #HurricaneHarvey.
Photo credit: Facebook page

Above, Wednesday, teams from Connecticut and New Hampshire successfully resuscitated a resident who arrived in cardiac arrest at the Fort Bend Fairgrounds medical tent in Rosenberg, Texas. The Rev. Peter Stebinger of St. Paul' s Church in Bantam, in the blue shirt, held the oxygen bottle as they lifted the patient into a helicopter for transport to an area hospital. Photo credit: Facebook page.


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