September 6, 2019
On Sunday, September 1, 2019, Hurricane Dorian came ashore on Grand Bahama Island, Bahamas. The Category 5 storm packed winds of 185 mph. Dorian was the slowest and strongest hurricane ever to hit the Bahamas. On the Grand Bahama Island and the twice-hit Abaco Islands, the storm caused millions of dollars of damage. At least 30 people have died with the death toll continuing to rise.
While the Bahamas received the most damage from the hurricane, Hurricane Dorain’s wrath also impacted the United States. High winds and storm surges stretched from Florida to the shores of Maine. The hurricane battered North Carolina’s Outer Banks. As a whole, Hurricane Dorian affected the 11th, 7th, 2nd, and 1st Episcopal Districts of our Zion. Praise God for sparing the 6th Episcopal District.
As the Church of Allen, we minister to the social, spiritual, and physical development of all people. Hurricane Dorian’s horrendous legacy--especially in the Bahamas--calls AMEs to action. Although this storm destroyed no AME churches, our members and their communities were impacted. God still calls us to act and show the people of the Bahamas how much the Connectional Church cares.
Yes, we should pray for the hurricane victims, but God also calls us to do more than pray. In The Message Bible 1 John 3:17 clearly states: “This is how we’ve come to understand and experience love: Christ sacrificed his life for us. This is why we ought to live sacrificially for our fellow believers, and not just be out for ourselves. If you see some brother or sister in need and have the means to do something about it but turn a cold shoulder and do nothing, what happens to God’s love? It disappears. And you made it disappear.” The words might sound harsh, but showing love is the basis of Christianity.
Senior Bishop Adam Jefferson Richardson, Jr. and Supervisor Connie Speights Richardson are leading our hurricane assistance efforts. For those who have family, business, or other ties in the Bahamas that could assist the relief efforts, please share the information with your Bishop. For Episcopal Districts that previously experienced natural disasters, we welcome your ideas. We need all AME components to mobilize.
Remember that, by showing love to persons impacted by Hurricane Dorian, we make God’s kingdom come on Earth as it is in Heaven. Let’s do our best to demonstrate God’s love.
Because of Christ, I am,
Harry Lee Seawright
President, Council of Bishops
African Methodist Episcopal Church