We are heartbroken by the recent events surrounding the earthquake in Haiti.

This tragedy happened just over 36 hours ago and the devastation and loss of life in this impoverished neighbor are yet to be tallied.

We know the suffering will be enormous. The quality of life was already lacking and now it will be even worse.

Our Presiding Bishop, Katharine Jefferts Schori, issued the following statement concerning the tragedy that I believe best summarizes what members of the Diocese of Pittsburgh can do immediately:

The people of Haiti have suffered a devastating earthquake, and it is already clear that many have died and many more are injured.

Even under "normal" circumstances, Haiti struggles to care for her 9 million people. The nation is the poorest in the western hemisphere, and this latest disaster will set back many recent efforts at development. I urge your prayers for those who have died, been injured, and are searching for loved ones — and I urge your concrete and immediate prayers in the form of contributions to Episcopal Relief and Development, who are already working with the Diocese of Haiti to send aid where it is most needed.

For now, I am asking that every congregation and every member of the diocese do the following:

Pray: Please hold the people of Haiti in your prayers.

Give: Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD) is providing critical emergency funds to Haiti. They are currently accepting donations to the Haiti Relief Fund to support this assistance and will continue updating its site as it receives information.

Share: ERD has special bulletin inserts (half page, full page) to encourage members of your congregation to help with prayers and gifts.

Other needs may be identified in the days and weeks ahead to which we can be more directly involved. For now, however, there is no doubt that the immediate need is for relief fueled by our prayer and our financial gifts.

In God’s grace,

Bishop Ken Price

Note: The links to the bulletin inserts were updated on 1/15/10 with revised inserts from ERD

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