Disasters have been a major theme of this House of Bishops. We heard from the bishops of Vermont and Albany about the flood, from the bishop of Western Missouri about the tornado, from the bishop of Texas about the drought and wildfires. It has been one hard year! They expressed their appreciation for the prayers and support of the rest of the church in helping them through these catastrophes.
The Archbishop of Japan showed a DVD and gave a heartbreaking report of their triple disaster -- earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear radiation. The bishop of Haiti updated us on the slow process of rebuilding their broken nation after that earthquake. He was deeply grateful for our support and to Bishop Katharine for her repeated visits to encourage and console the Haitian people.
The bishops have been very solicitous for the people of Reno involved in the air crash. They assure us of their prayers.
All of this is probably why I found tears in my eyes at today's Eucharist when we sang Thomas Dorsey's hymn written late one night in 1932 in an Atlanta hotel after he learned that his wife had died in childbirth and the child had died too while he was away.
"When the darkness appears and the night draws near
When the day is past and gone
At the river I stand
Guide my feet, hold my hand
Precious Lord take my hand, lead me home."