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We Respond: Tornadoes & Refugees

Updated: Feb 1, 2022

If you have been at our church or read any of our recent newsletters or participated in any of the last three weeks of worship, there are two things you should have noticed:

1) Advent is a season of Hope.

2) Advent is also a season of providing many opportunities to respond to those in need.

The two communicate well together, advancing one another as they are shared. It is possible, though, that the two exacerbate each other, wearing down the hearer. So I invite you to read these updates and respond as you feel led, but know that your prayers of intercession and hope is a wholly adequate response as well.

In and after our December 12th worship service, two opportunities for the Church to respond were mentioned: tornado and storm relief in the midwest, and supporting Afghan refugees resettling in mid-Missouri. Below are updates and information on both:

KY Tornado Relief

Last week, one of the largest and most destructive tornado-producing storms in American history ripped through six states and damaged hundreds of towns, thousands of homes, and impacting tens of thousands of lives. Kathy Luekert, sister of Betsy Rall and president of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Corporation (based in Louisville, Kentucky), shared that in Mayfield, Kentucky—where the largest tornado did some of the worst damage—the three historic churches downtown were all destroyed, including First Presbyterian Church whose building was effectively leveled:

(Photos: December 5, 2021 from Facebook; August 2019 from Google Maps; and December 11, 2021 from Facebook, respectively.)

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance is already working with Presbyterians throughout the regions in the six states that were severely impacted by these storms, including the Presbytery of Western Kentucky.

You are invited to join this ministry through your prayers, your continued seeking out and sharing of information received from credible sources, and by giving. Your gifts can be directed in any of the following ways:

  • Gifts may be sent to our church and earmarked: "OGHS-PDA Midwest Storms"-

  • You may give directly to Presbyterian Mission Agency (OG100000-PDA Midwest Storms) PO Box 643700 Pittsburgh, PA 15264-3700

  • You may give online ( and add the comment at the end: "Midwest Storms"

We give through One Great Hour of Sharing to PDA so that Presbyterians can respond immediately and effectively to situations around the corner and around the world. And we will continue to pray for all those impacted by this terrible tragedy. 

Afghan Refugee Resettlement

After worship today, we held a short FAQ and Initial Interest meeting. If you would like to know more about how our congregation is able to participate in the resettlement of Afghan Refugees in the mid-Missouri area, we invite you to watch or listen to the meeting which you can find here, or on our YouTube Channel.

If you have insights, ideas, thoughts, or prayers to share with the Session of Elders as they discern to what degree we feel called to participate in this ministry (if at all), please contact Dr. Lindsay, Dr. Reinink, and/or your favorite elder(s). Session will be discussing this at their meeting on Thursday, December 16, 2021. Your support and comments are appreciated; your prayers for their discernment are coveted.


Session voted in favor of supporting a family of Afghan refugees as they begin an entirely new life in Mid-Missouri. Watch for updates in upcoming newsletters, blog posts, etc. for how you can participate as we try to show hospitality and welcome them warmly (despite the weather!) to America!

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