Christian Response to Tragedy

 This past weekend, the majority of us in Hammonton were trapped in our houses due to first big snow storm of this winter. For some, this was a welcome time of rest but for others, it was a painful time of forced confinement. The snow fall served as a humbling reminder that we can not control the weather or so many other circumstances in our world. We have been reminded of this in the last thirty days, as we have watched the news of the Tsunami in South Asia, the mudslides in California, and even our past weekends snow fall.

As we witness tragic events like natural disasters, illnesses or accidents, we are humbly reminded of our human frailty and our lack of control. But we must remember that we are in control of our responses to the events. As caring people of faith, we have options. We can sit around and add up the events and predict more tragedy or we can respond with love, care and generosity. We can pray and ask for God’s wisdom to guide our response. We can help a neighbor who might be struggling with the snow or we can support a disaster response program.

On February 11th, the Hammonton Ministerium is providing an opportunity for you to respond to tragedy in a positive way. Once again, we are sponsoring the American Red Cross Blood Drive at St. Anthony’s Roman Catholic Church (286 Route 206). From 2:30 to 8:00 PM, we can role up our sleeves and offer one of our most valuable but renewable resources – our blood. This year, in addition to the Blood Drive, we will also be sponsoring an Aphoresis Drive from 2-8 PM. Aphoresis is the donation process that collects platelets. This collection is more time consuming (about two hours when you will enjoy a movie or read a book) but just as safe and painless as whole blood collection. We are especially in need of those willing to take part in the Aphoresis Drive.

Many of us were forced to cancel important activities and stay at home. The American Red Cross was also forced to cancel recent blood donation events due to the weather. They are facing potentially dangerous blood levels. We may not be able to predict events but we can prepare for them. So please, consider giving blood or participating in the aphoresis drive. If you would like to schedule an appointment or would like more information, please call: 609/561-0168 and ask to speak to the Rev. Jen Fox. Remember, our response can make a difference in the face of tragedy. See you at the blood drive!