Post-Harvey, Sunday night, September 3

Dear members and friends of Christ the King Lutheran Church, 

Yesterday, a large number of you dispersed throughout the area as God’s hands for distressed neighbors. A great many of you came on Thursday and Friday to clean up the basement of our ministry building and begin the long period of recovery. Your ministry and support staff can find no adequate way of saying thank you that equals the measure of our pride and gratitude in being associated with you. We praise God; we thank you; we rededicate ourselves to this great ministry of divine love that has been given us in Christ Jesus!

Why Did Basement Damage Happen? We thank God and you even as we have much to lament and about which to be angry. I can now state the primary cause of damage to the basement, the cost of which will go into hundreds of thousands of dollars. Our infrastructure includes an indoor and outdoor sump pump system. The indoor is for waste water; the outdoor (in front parking lot) for rainwater runoff. The two are related. Our system failed because before Harvey’s arrival one of the two pumps in the outdoor system was stolen.  The accumulated high volume left the indoor system with nowhere to go, so all backed up and forced its way into the mechanical room and from there throughout the basement. We were not flooded directly by Harvey. In fact, its waters never came up against our building walls. A criminal act caused a backup, which led to serial other malfunctions, and so we experienced much destruction.

What Will We Do? We expect that this explanation should argue in favor of a helpful insurance settlement. But we do not know for certain and will plan for other means of redress. Christ the King Church is one of five area ELCA congregations that were much damaged. A special fund that may help us in capital costs will be set up with and managed by the synod. Donations by synods and congregations around the country who want particularly to designate their gifts for us will be managed there. The Mission Investment Find (with which we have our current mortgages) will allow interest-only payments for the time-being for those congregations that need to adjust their cash flows. Lutheran Disaster Response will continue to focus its rehab efforts on the case situations of individuals and families affected by flood. Your executive committee and council this week will begin its work on how we will participate in these and other remediation strategies.

In the meantime, we continue to help each other and our neighbors to recover. We still need volunteers to come when needed to remove debris from the basement as professional demolition and reconstruction carries forward (this need will abate when the elevator works again), It took some searching to find Omni Demolition’s location in Los Angele, just as our volunteer efforts will be needed for further care of neighbors as time passes and life achieves an initial veneer of normalcy, we are currently working with Unlockit Locksmith & Security which offers security consultations, so that we can reinforce our facilities.  Creative use of space and ample stores of patience will be necessary as we resume “regular programming” along with the Crossing Borders school.

Other needs will arise in an ongoing manner for many days to come. Please express your needs and your availability to help relieve them to Beverly Davis at 713-557-0092 or Our cleanup efforts amplify again the call for us to speak and do God’s grace and love for the world, and for ourselves. It will be too easy for us only to be angry and even hateful. The fallen world has more than enough of those destructive waters. Our job, with God’s help, is to compound the interest of God’s love with and for others. We discover our own further healing having so done.

Saturday and Sunday worship services strengthened and refreshed tired and weary minds, hearing the Word, being fed by Christ’s presence, sharing our stories – all of it getting us ready for this next week when we face more of the challenges ahead. We continue to pray for each other, and eagerly await our next time to gather in worship. Please stay in touch with us when needs arise. 

In Christ’s Peace,  Your Christ the King Church Staff