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Abstract: God sends the rain on the extraordinary and the unextraordinary.
Yes, Hurricane Ike was a big deal. For those of you in California, imagine a single storm stretching roughly from San Francisco to San Diego. The storm struck September 13, centered on the Galveston-Houston area. Hundreds of thousands of homes lost power. Houston officials warned that they could no longer guarantee the safety of the water supply and urged residents to boil water.
Churches improvised. Under severely reduced circumstances (see picture), St. Vincent de Paul Roman Catholic Church stuck to its regular schedule for mass on Sunday September 14.
The ELCA Gulf Coast Synod moved its office to a temporary facility at St. Paul Lutheran Church of Phillipsburg in Brenham seventy miles northwest of Houston and began the difficult job of assessing damage to churches throughout the synod. The results of the synod's efforts are published on its web site.
As of September 21, power had not yet been restored at Grace Lutheran in Houston where Pr. Lura Groen presides at worship services outdoors on the church's front porch.