Perhaps you've noticed these "Before and After" pictures from the Lexington Herald-Leader showing First Christian Church and First Presbyterian Church in Mayfield, Kentucky. It’s impossible to imagine any greater damage occurring to these beloved sacred places after they experienced one of the greatest tornado tragedies to ever befall a small town. Often churches are central locations to mobilize help when trouble hits a tight-knit community. But what do you do when houses of faith are as severely damaged as a whole area sits in shambles?
These are the questions being asked by our caring State as we all seek ways to offer our help. Several projects have been initiated by multiple faith communities and social groups. I hope you are finding and utilizing the many avenues help is being organized. At Central, we will be devoting our Christmas Offering to this relief. Just designate any offering as “Christmas Offering” and we will channel it appropriately by the end of the month to the needs in Western Kentucky. You can also give through the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Kentucky. If you would like to offer direct volunteer support, a list is being assembled by contacting <firstname.lastname@example.org> and providing your contact information. Calvary Baptist Church is also running supplies and has sent out word that diapers of all sizes are being needed. You can drop off these supplies at the church (150 East High St.) during regular business hours.
In the middle of trying to learn and organize these responses earlier in the week, I was in contact with my long-term friend and minister colleague Rev. Ken Golphin who served the AME church in Mayfield 1988-1992. You will remember Ken has preached here and how much we enjoyed our Sunday breakfast and Summer outdoor worship service a few years ago when he was serving downtown as Pastor of Quinn Chapel. Ken was on his way to Mayfield to offer direct support on Tuesday morning and was almost out the door when tragedy struck his house. His wife, Dianna, one month shy of 40 years of marriage suffered a fatal heart event and by afternoon was taken from him.
We surround Ken and his family with our love, prayers, and support as he bears this incredible shock and grief. We have also set up a financial means to help the family. You can contribute by giving to the Dianna Golphin Memorial Fund.
Overnight, and into the day, all within the span of a few short hours our lives can be uprooted and turned upside down as we are left trying to pick up the pieces. Little wonder we are admonished to do the good we can while we have the opportunity and means to do so. It is never too early to do the good and helpful thing. The darkness comes and in our fear and sadness, we have at least two choices. We can shout at the darkness or we can light our one small candle. I understand when we do the first. I hope we will never forget to do the second.
Please don’t delay in your work toward helping relieve the suffering of others. Like never before, the needs are right here on our doorsteps and around our block. May we never underestimate the impact we can make when we allow our small little light to shine.
With Advent Blessings and Christmas Hope,
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