On April 12, at my home church, Trinity Presbyterian Church in Starkville, MS, we dedicated Katrina’s Grace. The whole worship service was built around Grace and hope following disaster. The biblical story was about the disciples gathered in a room, afraid, dismayed, confused, after Jesus’ body had disappeared. They had suffered the greatest disaster imaginable. Then Christ appeared. After Katrina, we were tired, confused, not sure where to start, and Christ appeared in the hands and feet, eyes and voices, of all who came to help us. Charles Lowrey and Shay McDonnall spoke eloquently about what it was like to bear Grace to us survivors. The choir magnificently sang, “If You Search with All Your Heart,” and “On Eagles’ Wings,” the anthems from our church choir in Livingston that had played over and over in my mind after the storm. Then the congregation joined my family and me in dedicating Katrina’s Grace with the following liturgy, led by Joe Ray Underwood.
Leader: Thank you, God, for your amazing Grace.
People: even during personal and community disasters.
Leader: Thank you for the resilience of survivors.
People: Thank you for all who care for survivors of loss.
Sandra & Family: Thank you for Trinity, who does so much for disaster survivors, including our Sassy.
All: We come now to dedicate Katrina’s Grace: Wind, Water & Wisdom
To serve healing for those who suffer loss,
To honor and heal those who care for them,
To foster awareness of Grace in all situations.
To promote fullness of life.
Leader: Give Sandra the wisdom and energy to help this child she has birthed serve Spirit.
Sandra: I pray for my readers.
Help them see beyond my words to the sacred message.
Help them know themselves anew as my stories stir something in them.
Help them find their dreams and live them.
Help them go beyond pain to new life.
Help them find a word that touches their souls.
All: May it be so.
All: Bless Katrina’s Grace and Sandra to serve Spirit in all ways possible.