Beloved, pray for us. – 1 Thessalonians 5:25 (NRSV)
Right now, it is -6F. With the wind, it feels like -23. Here’s the forecast for next week (without accounting for wind chill):
This type of weather is not only not convenient, it’s dangerous. Today, exposed skin gets frostbite in 30 minutes. Next week, wind chills will be in the -30 and -40’s. Frostbite in 10 minutes or less.
Milwaukee Public Schools are closed today – the third day this week after Martin Luther King, Jr. observation on Monday and a snow storm on Wednesday. It looks like next week, they’ll likely be closed for at least three more days. Three days of parents looking for additional childcare, taking off work (many without pay), or leaving their kids at home alone. In addition, this means extra meals at home for those who receive 1-3 meals at school, and astronomical heating bills.
And that’s for those with homes.
The guests at Divine Intervention are among the lucky ones. I awoke this morning to a flurry of texts for additional help to stay open all day today (we were already staying open until 10:30 when the children arrive). Since MPS closed, so is the pre-school; therefore, if we have the volunteers, we can stay open for our Divine Intervention guests all day. Even if it’s not convenient, we have folks willing to come in so that we don’t need to send the guests out.
But other shelters do not have that flexibility, and they will send their guests out until they reopen in the evening. Emergency shelters open when it is this cold, but there aren’t enough beds if everyone wants to come in.
Beloved, let us pray.
God of all seasons, winter has come upon us with a vengeance. The snow is beautiful but the air burns the lungs and freezes the body with frightening speed. We pray for your protection over those most vulnerable to the cold.
May caregivers be found for children when schools close.
May meals abound and food pantries be full.
May employers be lenient for parents and guardians who need to stay home with children.
May cars start for those who need to get to work.
May additional funds be made available to help subsidize high heating bills.
May beds multiply in emergency shelters so that all may come in out of the cold and be safe for the night.
May those with flexibility of time and resources give to those who need them in this dangerous weather.
May there be peace to replace anxiety; hope to supplant fear.
God, in your mercy: Lord, hear our prayer. Amen.Beloved, pray for us. - 1 Thessalonians 5:25 (NRSV) Click To Tweet
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