Today, I am full of gratitude for your generosity and for your vision. When our diocese joined the effort to help rebuild Holy Trinity Cathedral in Haiti, I knew to expect great things. Our diocese has a long history of responding to the needs of others, both abroad and at home. Our dedicated parish lay leaders and clergy “walked the walk” in supporting recovery in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, fighting malaria in Africa through NetsforLife, and providing clean water through the Wine Into Water campaign. I knew that despite the daily demands of your lives and the economic challenges of our time, you would share generously of all your gifts in answering the call of our brothers and sisters in Haiti.
Today, I am pleased to say that the people of the Diocese of Olympia have exceeded all our hopes and expectations! Working together, the members of more than 65 churches have contributed over $118,700 toward rebuilding the center of spiritual life and community in the largest and poorest diocese of the Episcopal Church. As is typical for our diverse diocese, each church “did it their own way” — tailoring the campaign to fit their talents, capabilities and priorities. We know that some gave directly, individually, and that was just as crucial and appreciated in our reaching this goal. As a result, our diocese is one of the most generous in “grass-roots giving” in the Episcopal Church. Thank you! I give special thanks to all of the local organizers, and most especially to the person I entrusted with this campaign, and who “knocked it out of the park” Jennifer Daugherty. She has proven herself a most amazing leader.
As the Bishop of Haiti has said, your generosity will do more than raise up bricks and cement. It will raise the hopes of a people who have lost so much of their earthly habitation. It will raise the spirit of a community made weary, and it will inspire the minds and hearts of the young men and women who knew Trinity as their intellectual and artistic home. On behalf of them all, I am deeply grateful and I bless you.
The Rt. Rev. Greg Rickel
Bishop of Olympia