Admiral of Morality: Episcopal Meeting Brings Helping Hands to New Orleans

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Episcopal Meeting Brings Helping Hands to New Orleans

The six-day gathering of Episcopal Church bishops that begins Sept. 20 in New Orleans will bring a relatively small number of people – about 350 – to the city, but Bishop Charles Jenkins of Louisiana says the impact is huge for the hurricane-ravaged area.

“First of all, it’s a boost to our economy to have anyone here. Even this number will be a help. The city is excited about this,” he said in an interview from his office in Baton Rouge, La.

Two years after Hurricane Katrina flooded 80 per cent of the Crescent City, the business district and tourist magnet French Quarter are generally back to normal. Still, officials say they are battling the image of a devastated city and expect convention business this year will be 70 per cent of pre-Katrina levels. Outside the central city and the areas on higher ground that did not flood, many neighborhoods are still struggling to recover and Episcopal churches and clergy who lost their homes are trying to rebuild.

Bishop Jenkins also said that it was welcome news that Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams will meet with the American bishops for two days and preach at a large ecumenical service on Sept. 20 at the Morial Convention Center. “The city needs and welcomes an international religious leader,” Bishop Jenkins said, noting that the city also marked the visit last year of the Ecumenical Orthodox patriarch, Bartholomew I of Constantinople.

After the bishops meet with Archbishop Williams on Sept. 20 and 21, they and their spouses will on the weekend fan out in Louisiana and parts of neighboring Mississippi, helping with rebuilding projects and leading prayer and pastoral visits with congregations and individuals. Their meeting then continues Sept. 24 and 25.

Many churches and other religious organizations have planned special events during the meetings.

The Anglican Journal has the full story.

For more coverage, visit the overview of coverage at The Episcopal Cafe, with links to specific reports.


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