Like many in our Territory, I watch daily for news of the wildfire situation within our Territory. Last night, news of a new out-of-control fire near Monte Lake caught us all off guard, once again highlighting to us just how vulnerable we are during this hot and dry summer.
It is important for all of us to be on the lookout for those who are in need of assistance with physical needs, emotional needs and spiritual support. The ministry of presence and listening is a gift we give to those who are most effected by the challenges of these uncertain days. These needs are often identified in surprising way to us. At the Cathedral the other day, I offered food, drink, and other items to one of the evacuees who had dropped in to the Hospitality Centre. She declined all and said what she needed more than anything was a quiet, dark place to have an afternoon nap. A mat was found and she had a refreshing nap for most of the afternoon. Do not be afraid to ask what people really need from us.
I am aware of the number of our parishioners, some despite being displaced themselves, that are volunteering to help others and ensuring immediate needs are being met as best we can. Thank you for putting your best effort toward helping our neighbours.
I am pleased that Bishop Gordon Light has taken over managing the PWRDF response to the wildfires within the Territory. An initial donation has been made to us of $5000.00. We have disbursed those funds to clergy and parishioners to respond to immediate needs of those who are most affected. We have also received a number of individual and parish donations from across the country. We are putting together a plan to use these funds for a long term response as we are aware of those who have lost homes, property and livelihoods. If you see a need, please let us know so that we can help you respond in appropriate ways.
I invite you to keep a watchful eye on the Territory of the People website as each day new stories, news and information is being posted and encourage you send your stories to be posted. I am grateful for our Dean who came back off holidays early to ensure that we had a strong team overseeing the ministry of the Territory of the People.
In times of challenge like this, it is often the small things that bring us the assurance of God’s presence in the midst of troubled times. For me it is a picture of the little Anglican Church, St John of the Latin Gate, on the Ashcroft Reserve. When fire surrounded the church, destroying much around it, the little church was left standing alone. It serve as a symbol of God’s presence in the face of great challenge and our need to be aware that we are God’s hands in the world today and we are called into actions for our neighbour who have lost much and need our help.
Be at prayer, and respond with actions.
For the full bulletin which includes Announcements, Prayer Requests, and the Bishop's Schedule please see the attached PDF or go to the Bishop's Bulletin Page to download it in Word or PDF.