Skip to comments.Jerry and Stacy Kramer: Christmas in New Orleans
Posted on 12/26/2005 10:29:49 AM PST by sionnsar
[In late December] the Kramers move[d] back to the New Orleans area. Heading for our tiny apartment in Kenner. This will be our first night together in the area since August 26th (Stacy and the children evacuated on the evening of the 27th). It seems like an eternity; a lifetime has happened over these past 114 days.
We are desperately swamped and I apologise for phone calls and emails unreturned and lots of tardy thank you letters. Trying to get our family settled, care for the flock, and run relief operations, plus working on getting up a temporary building for Christmas Eve Service. We need to start early and finish before the sun goes down as there are no street lights or working power in the neighbourhood. Please know you will be remembered and pictures should be up on the website shortly afterward: www.annunciationinexile.homestead.com.
Its a sad City right now. Mission teams coming in cannot believe their eyes; the images on t.v. etc., dont even scratch the surface. Depression and despair abound, suicides are up. Ive done more counseling in the past three weeks than at any point since Katrina hit; in comparing notes with other clergy and care providers this sense of depression is widespread. People are beginning to comprehend what has happened to them and our communities. Folks are being urged by our politicians to return . . . but theres simply no place for them to live. Presently were begging and borrowing to put trailers up for homeless parishioners on our church property. Im now running Annunciation Acres Trailer Park.
Despite the bleakness, we are called to be an Easter People. We cannot begin to thank you enough for your love, prayers and support throughout this ordeal. All of us at Annunciation and beyond have more than a lifetime of gratitude to express. You have been our lifeline. 2006 will find us hard at work rebuilding our parish community and sharing the love of Christ in the heart of New Orleans. We are entirely committed to the Kingdom building work that lies ahead. The future is daunting (Ill have to raise my own salary among other items), but we feel the Spirit working among us. God will bless what honours Him.
There was a great interview in the Saturday Times Picayune with the University of New Orleans President. UNO has done an amazing job working toward recovery. When asked what the secret of their success is, he said (close paraphrase), Weve set impossible goals and then pushed like hell to achieve them.
We continue to witness and experience outbursts of grace. Never before have so many far and wide done so much to help people in dire need. The Mayor of Slidell, LA was on the radio the other night, echoing what weve been saying from day one: if it werent for the churches around the country, many of us would not have made it. Thank you especially for your prayers. As of this weekend we have located our last missing member, alive and surviving. Amen.
Our Internet service in N.O. will be iffy at best so this might be my last Epistle before Christmas. Also, folks have asked about Annunciations mailing address. The mail is still not working well in N.O.; best to stick with Church of the Annunciation, c/o St. Lukes Church, 8833 Goodwood Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70806. Again, we will be praying for you mightily at Annunciation as worship resumes on-site Christmas Eve. May we all embrace the light that has come into the world, our God who dwells among His People.
Many blessings and much love from South Louisiana,
jerry+ op et al.
The Revd Jerry and Stacy Kramer
Church of the Annunciation in Exile
New Orleans, LA USA
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