June 2020

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

The impact was almost immediate. New York – and our Diocese – had become the epicenter of the pandemic, and suddenly, we felt the profound pain and fear that this virus can inflict. And it seemed almost too much to bear.

But, as always, God’s grace and love found expression amid the despair, as faithful individuals responded to care for others most affected by this crisis. Their remarkable efforts have helped sustain our neighbors who are struggling.

And now we need your help to continue these ministries. With millions of people out of work, soaring food insecurity and vulnerable people pushed further to the margins, each of us must do our part. With your support of the EMLI Covid-19 Frontline Fund, these parish ministries will continue to be a lifeline for the many people who depend on them.

For Audrey, a frail, elderly woman living alone in her 19th floor apartment, Sandra is her lifeline. As a member of the Seniors Ministry team at St. Thomas’ Church in Brooklyn, Sandra visits Audrey every week with groceries and fresh vegetables from the Phoenix Community Garden.

“It’s a scary time to be alone. I don’t know what I’d do without Sandra. I’m so grateful for her. It’s a such a comfort to see her friendly face every week,” said Audrey.

Many people responded to an early appeal for the EMLI Covid-19 Frontline Fund so we were able to quickly provide financial support to St Thomas’ and other parishes who immediately began delivering thousands of nutritious meals to healthcare workers, expanding food pantries and meal programs, and providing other forms of direct assistance.

If you have not yet seen them, take a moment to view the Profiles from the Frontline on the Episcopal Ministries website (www.episcopalministries.org) to hear directly from individuals serving in frontline ministries.

This crisis has illuminated our interdependence on one another. Long-term isolation and social distancing have taught us to appreciate the gift and genuine need of one another, and the sacred nature of our relationships.

As businesses begin to open, let us not lose sight of this. Recovery will be slow for communities where rates of poverty and unemployment were high before the pandemic and our need for one another continues.

The commitment of parishes to remain on the frontlines of ministry to God’s people can be sustained with your help.

The Holy Spirit received by the Church at Pentecost calls us beyond our walls and ourselves to share Jesus’ love and offer compassion to a world in pain and turmoil. As our Presiding Bishop Michael Curry reminds us in his Pentecost sermon, “now is our moment to walk in the way of love”.

Please make a gift to the EMLI Covid-19 Frontline Fund today. Your support is urgently needed to provide a hand up to our most vulnerable sisters and brothers from the Brooklyn Bridge to Montauk Point.

We are in this together and by your generosity God’s church in Diocese of Long Island will continue to comfort, heal, and transform lives.

With blessings and gratitude,

The Right Reverend Lawrence C. Provenzano
Bishop of Long Island

P.S. Remember that 100% of your donation goes directly to ministry. EMLI administrative and fundraising costs are underwritten from endowments.