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Chapter 1 

Betsy Davenport

Our Emergency Communion Kits can provide a blessing during a difficult time. For more information on how to assemble a communion kit, watch our video.

On December 10, 2021, I received several emails from my NAGA board colleagues inquiring about my safety. These notes promoted me to turn on the television to see the tornados racing through western Kentucky. Within a few minutes I remembered my Sacristy Shop hat and our Emergency Communion Kits. Realizing no phone towers or land lines in the damaged areas were operating and no mail boxes standing I started trying to make contact through my church — not the way to begin!

Kentucky has two dioceses. The day before I had received a courtesy email from my Christ Church Cathedral vestry “buddy,” so I quickly emailed him giving a brief sentence about my purpose and asking for a contact to the western Kentucky Diocesan Bishop — later he responded the Dean had said in church she was contacting the emergency organizations in Lexington and the church was in full support of all emergency assistance. Thank you for inquiry.

Next I emailed our church administrator with the same inquiry — she responded that is a question for our bishop. Another email asked for a contact to our bishop as the offices were closed and she sent a link — my email to that link and phone call brought an email from our bishop administrator who said she had no idea what I was talking about, please call; that phone conversation did result in a number for the western Kentucky bishop — yet COVID protocols had that office also closed and the at home numbers provided did not answer. This was one day — next I looked for Episcopal churches in the western district beginning in Louisville and the next day I did receive an email saying what a great service, please send a kit, so I responded. My goal was to reach the damaged area — and more correspondence from that church administrator said one church in Mayfield and one in Bowling Green needed help. My request to our NAGA President asking for help from the top resulted in her email saying the Washington office did not respond.

I passed this information along to Joan Konecny who was at the ready to send the kits; her suggestion was to send them to the Louisville bishop and they could drive them to the churches — she didn’t know the roads were closed — I reminded Joan that was two hundred miles and her silence reminded me that in Texas that’s a regular commute. 

My daughter is a physician at the University of Kentucky medical school in Bowling Green — I considered asking Joan to send them to her to have clergy or volunteers pick them up if they had proper identification and the state police would let them through. My other daughter is a Deacon in Raleigh and she reminded me her sister was on the front with COVID cases — leave her out of this — call the hospital chaplain — call resulted in learning they only call in clergy as requested!

Day two brought another email from the Louisville church who had learned one church had a mail box and there was delivery beginning — and among all these words and winding my emails to Joan were ongoing and her side of this saga is the best chapter!

Chapter 2

Joan Konecny

Mother nature dealt a heavy blow of tornadoes to Western Kentucky in early December. The destruction left in the wake was indescribable, even with pictures from the news channels.

Betsy Davenport went to work immediately trying to reach out to the Diocese of Western Kentucky, the Diocese of Kentucky and the national church. With COVID still high, offices were not open but emails to individuals at each location proved helpful and she was able to send me names and addresses of where to send Emergency Communion Kits. Four kits went out. One to St. John’s, Murray, Kentucky, one to The Rev. Steve Pankey, Bowling Green, Kentucky and two to Rev. Canon Amy Coultas, Louisville, Kentucky (the Cathedral).

These folks remain in our prayers today as the rebuilding of lives, homes and businesses will continue for an indefinite time. [Betsy added a note: Additional kudos to Joan. She took all the packages to the post office and was told they don’t ship wine — her honesty to that question they always ask — so she took the packages to an alternative mailing facility.]

Final Chapter

We need to ensure churches all over the country know how to order these Emergency Communion Kits. Contact information for Betsy Davenport (Sacristy Shop) and Joan Konecny can be found here

“Direct us, O Lord, in all our doings…” 

~ BCP p. 832 >

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