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Written by Gradye Parsons

Each month the Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and the Moderator or Vice Moderator of the 220th General Assembly write a column of general interest for the church-at-large.

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August 4, 2011

August 2011-Monthly column featuring Stated Clerk Gradye Parsons

Life after disasters is full of stories of tragedy and miraculous survival.

Recently, I visited Joplin, Missouri, which was devastated by a class E-5 tornado in May. It was the deadliest tornado since 1950, killing over 155 people and destroying around 7,000 homes. The tornado tore a path three-fourths of a mile wide and ten miles long through town.

It is difficult to see what force the church has against the magnitude of such destruction. Yet, what impressed me in Joplin is the extraordinary power of the ordinary life of the church.