You read the news.  People dead.  Houses damaged.  Police or military respond.  It’s horrible.  But what can you do?

First, you can pray.  Prayer is not the preparation for the work, or the thing you do because the agenda to the meeting says this is when you pray.  Prayer is the work of the faithful invoking the King of the Universe to act against the forces of darkeness.

Next, you can make known the spiritual implications of the event.  During this week’s terrorist massacre in Mumbai, the Israel Project took steps to post accurate information about the events and the stories of the Jewish people involved in the events.

You can also use your own congregation’s website as a call to prayer and action.  B’nai Avraham Messianic Fellowship put the notice at the top of their site.

We at B’nai Avraham Messianic Fellowship express our sincere condolences to the families and friends of those who lost their lives during the recent terrorist attacks in India. Especially on our hearts are the families and friends of Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg, his wife Rivka, Rabbi Leibish Teitlebaum, Bentzion Chroman, as well as Alan Scherr and daughter Naomi. May the peace of G-d be with them.

BAMF then followed with a call for contributions, not to themselves, but to a recognized aid agency.  There is often a desire by people to “do something” tangible, and that includes giving a monetary contribution. 

If your congregation already has an established path to aggregate small contributions into a shared donation, you can mention it.  Be careful, however, that your appeal doesn’t look like an attempt to enrich your own coffers at the expense of the disaster. 

The better way is what BAMF did, in directing aid to an honorable charity.  It will help your people do good and build your congregation’s standing as a spiritual leader by helping them know how to contribute intelligently.