Rebuilding The Church after the storm

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Rev. Lekisha Reed  spoke at Lockerbie Central UMC’s worship service last night.  (We held our worship service in in our basement because the sanctuary was hosting the last night of the Indianapolis Fringe Festival.)  Rev Reed is new to the Indiana United Methodist conference as she just started as the associate director for missions and advocacy.

She comes to Indianapolis after working in Louisiana as a UMC pastor. Last night was the first time since Hurricane Katrina that Lekisha had preached inside a church that was not directly effected by Hurricane Katrina. To say the least, Indiana and the United Methodist Church are lucky to have her!

It was four years ago last week when Hurricane Katrina blew apart any notion that George W. Bush’s America had a moral sense or purpose. Rev. Reed’s message was powerful last night.   Not only did she experience the storm; she witnessed the best and worst of the church as New Orleans started and continues the rebuilding process.

There were plenty of rich United Methodist churches that gave thousands of dollars in flood buckets away but who refused to get to know the first hand stories of other Methodists who lived through the storm and were directly impacted by Katrina. Meanwhile, there were nondenominational churches that took up offerings for Rev. Reed’s church and ministries–no questions asked!

Most impactful, it was a group of  kids who came up to Rev. Reed and offered her all the money they had–$1–to help out.  The dollar was enough to buy a two liter for family members riding out the storm in Atlanta.

Ill let Rev. Reed personally share her story, but I saw a quote this week that might sum up what she might be trying to do here in Indianapolis and back home in New Orleans: “Private charity can never be a substitute for organized justice.”

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