CBS to Air Special on Interfaith Storm Response

While Smithsonian Institution curator David Shayt collects pieces from the storm damage in New Orleans to preserve the history of the tragedy for future generations to see, CBS this weekend will be showing the nation glimpses of the unprecedented response coming from the interfaith community.

On Dec. 11, CBS Television Network will air an interfaith religion special titled After the Storm: Religions Respond to Nature's Fury, featuring the disaster relief work of such agencies as Church World Service.

Broadcasting on 83 CBS network stations, the special focuses on the interfaith response dating back to major natural disasters in the past year to the recent Gulf Coast hurricanes in the U.S.

Storm victims tell their stories of pain and sacrifice in their loss of family, friends, homes, churches and businesses. Scenes of cooperative relief and recovery works also tell the compassion and commitment of the faith communities.

A special interview with the Rev. Lura Cayton, a liaison of CWS disaster response and recovery coordination, will be featured as the global humanitarian relief agency was one of the first to respond to the Gulf Coast disaster.

Rather than long-term recovery, CWS mainly serves needs that have not been fully met as it works with local churches and community organizations for an effective response. It is helping to establish new, independent non-profit community organizations which will solely serve to fill the serious disaster-related needs of the affected people during this crisis and beyond.

Also featured in the special are church leaders – the Rev. Darryl Tate and the Rev. Connie Thomas – whose churches were ravaged by the storms. Although churchless, they have contributed to recovery efforts with the Methodist Disaster Recovery Center in Baton Rouge.

Additionally, Sunday's broadcast will highlight the work of Muslims at the New Orleans suburb of Kenner and also follow the efforts of Father Ernest Saik who opened St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Baton Rouge to house mothers whose babies were being cared for at the Women's Hospital next door.

The special is being produced with the cooperation of the National Council of Churches, The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, The Jewish Theological Seminary, and the Southern Baptist Broadcast Communication Group.