Dear Friends in Christ,
 
Many of us are grieving for the people killed and wounded in the recent terrorist strike at the airport in Kabul, including 13 members of the US military, 10 of whom were based at Camp Pendleton on the northern end of our diocese. As families mourn their loved ones, and as many people in Afghanistan continue to try to leave the country, our hearts are torn by the plight of all who suffer.
 
At the same time, Hurricane Ida has made landfall in Louisiana on the sixteenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, which caused suffering that is etched in many of our hearts.
 
This is a time that calls for prayer and action. I ask you to join me in prayer for the families of those killed, for members of the military who are still serving in Afghanistan, for Afghan refugees and those who are desperate to leave, for those who are threatened by the hurricane on the Gulf Coast, and for all who work to make decisions and to ease the suffering of so many. At the end of this message, you will find ways to help.
 
First, I ask you once again to join me in prayer, in an expanded version of the prayers I sent last week:
 
I ask your prayers for those who were killed in the terrorist bombing in Kabul, including members of the US military: Johanny Rosario Pichardo; Nicole L. Gee; Darin T. Hoover; Hunter Lopez; Daegan W. Page; Humberto A. Sanchez; David L. Espinoza; Jared M. Schmitz; Rylee J. McCollum; Dylan R. Merola; Kareem M. Nakoui; Maxton W. Soviak; and Ryan C. Knauss. May God receive them into the arms of God’s mercy, and grant grace, strength, and comfort to those who loved them and mourn for them.
 
Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.
 
I ask your prayers for members of the military and other Americans who are still in harm’s way in Afghanistan, heroically laboring to maintain peace and evacuate people to safety, that God will grant them safety and enable them to give security to others.
 
Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.
 
I ask your prayers for people in Afghanistan who are desperate to escape the danger to their lives, including those who helped the government and the American military, and women and girls whose lives and safety are at risk. Pray for safety and swift, merciful evacuation of all refugees who want to leave.
 
Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.
 
I ask your prayers for all who are threatened by natural disasters, especially the people of the Gulf Coast as they are threatened by Hurricane Ida, and the people of Haiti who are suffering from earthquake and storm. Pray for the restoration of the necessities of daily life and for safety and comfort for all who are afflicted.
 
Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.
 
I ask your prayers for those who continue to suffer from the COVID crisis, for those who are ill, and for those who care for them. Pray for the safety of school children and teachers starting a new school year, and pray for expanded vaccinations and an end to this pandemic.
 
Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.
 
I ask your prayers for veterans of the military who have served in Afghanistan, whose hearts are torn by the situation there. Pray for comfort, strength, and blessing to those who have served.
 
Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.
 
I ask your prayers for our church, that we may provide light in the darkness of a suffering world, and that we may continue to proclaim the good news of Christ to a world overwhelmed by bad news. Christ, be with us and help us be your hands and feet in this world.
 
Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.
O God, our refuge and strength, our help in times of trouble:
Have mercy on those who have died protecting others in Afghanistan
and bring comfort to their families.
Have mercy on the people of Afghanistan.
Have mercy on those who served
Who want to build a world of peace and justice.
May their sacrifices and pain be forever honored
as courageous and faithful work.
O God, give safety and comfort to those threatened by natural disaster.
Protect those who have lost everything,
Give hope to those who rebuild,
strengthen their communities
so they may face the future without fear.
O God, have mercy on all those who suffer from Covid,
and give strength to those who care for them. 
Help our church to be a beacon of your love
and an agent of the healing that you bring. 
Have mercy on us, Lord, and show us your way of love. 
Amen.

How You Can Help Refugees

As we discern Christ's call about how to meet this moment, I'd invite you to start by considering supporting The Episcopal Church's refugee resettlement agency, Episcopal Migration Ministries (EMM). EMM, the refugee and migration ministry of The Episcopal Church, needs your support to welcome our Afghan allies to communities across the country. EMM is one of nine national refugee resettlement agencies tasked with the challenging and life-saving work of supporting Afghans who arrive with parolee status. The Afghan Parolee Services program provides very limited support only for parolees for the first 30-90 days; your donations can ensure they have a safe place to live and access to basic needs during and beyond that period. EMM will need to provide at least $3,000 worth of housing and cash assistance for each person arriving on parolee status.  

  • Donate to Neighbors Welcome: Afghan Allies Fund
  • Financial support is critical at this time. Donations to the Neighbors Welcome: Afghan Allies Fund will provide the housing assistance, medical services, and financial support for basic necessities.


  • Map of EMM Affiliate Partners
  • Connect with an EMM local affiliate. Visit affiliate websites, sign up for their emails, and stay tuned for ways you can volunteer to support their work. If you are not near an EMM affiliate, please visit www.rcusa.org to find opportunities closer to you.


To find out more information or to join our diocese’s interest group on border and migration ministries, please contact our Border and Migration Missioner, Troy Elder, at TElder@edsd.org.

How to Help: Members of the Military

Resources for veterans dealing with grief and anger over the situation in Afghanistan are available here through the VA website. Our diocese’s Missioner for Military Ministries, The Rev. Frank Munoz, is also available to talk with any veteran who would like a listening ear. He deployed to Afghanistan in 2010 and shares in the sorrow many veterans are feeling. He will share with our diocese anything he finds about helping with tangible needs of the families of those killed this week. He can be reached at FMunoz@edsd.org.
 
In all the emergencies that confront us, our faith assures us that Jesus Christ is present with those who suffer. His suffering in his life on earth demonstrates his compassion for our world and the people who are in danger, fear, and pain. May God be with all who suffer in this perilous and conflicted time, and may Christ bring peace and comfort in this stricken world.
In Christ,

Bishop Susan Brown Snook
The Episcopal Diocese of San Diego
2083 Sunset Cliffs Blvd., San Diego, CA 92107