Operation 504 Rebuild

by Andrew Stephens-Rennie

I got off the phone yesterday with Tommy, and my heart sunk. Tommy and I first met two years ago when I travelled with a group of young adults from Ottawa, Ontario to New Orleans, Louisiana. Throughout that first trip, Tommy inspired us with his dedication to seeing lives and homes put back together. A young guy from Massachusetts, he had dropped everything to come work as a crew chief, and now serves as the liaison between homeowners and the rebuild project.

But here’s the think. The funding that had been promised to Episcopal Community Services of Louisiana has not yet arrived. This is the church-in-action, embracing its call and mission for others, as it helps to rebuild communities, still five years after they were devastated by Katrina.

They’re in the position of closing up shop, sending all of the volunteer crew chiefs home, and laying off all staff. What’s more is that they may not be able to complete the 8 homes they have under construction, including that of Mr. Hammond whose place we worked on in February of this year.

There are many more recent disasters in our collective memory, and I think that the story of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast has faded for many of us. But it’s still in need of help. Episcopal Community Services is trying to raise $60,000 in the next two weeks so that they can at very least complete what they’ve started.

If you can help by spreading the word, by donating a couple of dollars towards this goal, it will go a long way, and will greatly affect many lives in that community. Please help if you can, by clicking here to find out more, or to donate.

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Andrew Stephens-Rennie
Andrew is a writer, dreamer and organizer with a keen interest in developing leaders in faith, compassion and justice.

He currently serves as the Director of Missional Renewal for the Anglican Diocese of Kootenay on the unceded territories of the Sinixt, Syilx, and Ktunaxa nations. He previously served as the Director of Ministry Innovation at Christ Church Cathedral in Vancouver, BC.

Andrew is cofounder and contributing editor at www.empireremixed.com, and co-editor of "A Sort of Homecoming: Essays Honoring the Academic and Community Work of Brian Walsh" with Marcia Boniferro and Amanda Jagt.

2 Responses to “Operation 504 Rebuild”

  1. Operation 504 Rebuild. « Love's the only engine of survival.

    […] Operation 504 Rebuild. Published April 18, 2010 Uncategorized Leave a Comment As many of you will know in February I headed down to New Orleans to work with the Episcopal Community Services of Louisiana. In the words of my friend and brother Andrew, “This is the church-in-action, embracing its call and mission for others, as it helps to rebui… […]

  2. Marc

    “give me back the berlin wall, give me stalin and st. paul”…

    As a former New Orleanian, the incredible disappearing money sadly comes as no surprise. I visited last year: I don’t have words for the feeling – to see somewhere you used to live still looking like aftermath of a war or something. I lived in Lakeview when we left, which is mostly upscale, but the school was still gone, grocery store still closed, and FEMA trailers in front yards. The trees look sick. It’s very tragic.


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