Pastoral Letter regarding fires and floods

From: Derek Hoskin <DHoskin@calgary.anglican.ca>
Date: 20 May, 2011 4:52:56 PM MDT
Subject: Pastoral Letter regarding fires and floods

May 20, 2011

Greetings,

Attached and below is a letter regarding the fire in Slave Lake and the flood in Manitoba. Your prayers are requested.

The Lord be with you,

+Derek

dhoskin@calgary.anglican.ca

The Bishop’s Office

The Anglican Diocese of Calgary

180, 1209 59 Avenue SE

Calgary, Alberta T2H 2P6

May 20, 2011

To the Parishes of the Diocese of Calgary

Dear Friends in Christ,

I have been in communication with the Bishop of Athabasca, the Rt. Rev. Fraser Lawton, asking how we might express our concern and support for the people the Parish of St. Peter’s and the Town of Slave Lake. There is extensive information on the Diocese of Athabasca website http://www.dioath.ca/  and I am including Bishop Lawton’s message in this letter.

The First Way in which we can express our concern is in our daily and Sunday prayers.

A Second Way to express our desire to be supportive is by making a financial donation through the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund.

A Third Way is for your parish to ask for financial donations to support the work of the Church in Slave Lake, and forward the donations by cheque to the:

Anglican Diocese of Athabasca, Box 6868, Peace River, Alberta T8S 1S6,  

with a memo saying that the donation is to support the relief work being done by the Parish of St. Peter’s. The Bishop will see that this happens.

Even though St. Peter’s Church and rectory were spared, there is no power available and the situation is still in flux. Therefore the Diocese of Athbasca is a better route for forwarding funds than by mail to Slave Lake. I know that some people have thought of collecting material items (clothes, furniture, etc) but due to a complete lack of reception and storage facilities in the Town, this would not be helpful.

Here is Bishop Lawton’s Message with specific prayer requests which could be incorporated into the Sunday Prayers of the People.

For distribution to parishes – May-18-11 1:02 PM

I have spoken early this afternoon with Pastor Leigh Sinclair from St Peter’s, Slave Lake. She continues to minister to the people of her congregation who are in Edmonton, and to make sure the others are cared for in the communities where they are staying. The parishes in Boyle, Athabasca and High Prairie are particularly involved in caring for evacuees, including many from Slave Lake. To the best of our knowledge, St Peter’s buildings are intact, though we won’t know their state until we are able to see them in person. At this point we know of 5 families from St Peter’s who have lost everything. Plans are already being made for returning to Slave Lake, and the leadership of the congregation is giving consideration to how they will care for one another and minister to the wider community.
Please continue to pray for the other communities and evacuees. Ellscott, part of Boyle parish, has lost some houses and the church building was in danger yesterday (I believe that danger has passed). Several other communities near High Prairie were evacuated last night. Please pray for calm winds, rain (without thunderstorms), protection for the fire crews and God’s grace and peace for the residents of these many communities.

+Fraser

I have also been asked to request your prayers for the people of Manitoba who are in danger of, and some of whom are experiencing, flooding. The Bishop of Brandon, the Rev. Jim Njegovan, has noted that there is great doubt in the minds of some farmers that they will be able to seed a crop this season. Please pray for seasonable weather as well as for the disaster workers, and for the families whose lives have been affected.

May God bless you on this Victoria Day Weekend as you give thanks for the blessings of living in a peaceful Constitutional Monarchy, and as you bring before God our fellow citizens who have experienced the natural disasters caused by fire and flood,

+Derek

Bishop of Calgary

<Pastoral Letter re disasters of fire and flood May 20.doc>
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