Posted by: lolpres | May 7, 2016

Special Bulletin – ABC Connect May 6, 2016

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SPECIAL

ABC Connect

Keeping the District Connected

MAY 6, 2016

Please feel free to use any of this information in bulletins, newsletters, calendars, or announcements.
Special Update on Fort McMurray Wildfires
Dear Brothers and sisters in Christ,

This news bulletin is being sent to all the congregations/church workers of the ABC District. It is also being sent to subscribers of the ABC Connect. Some of this information is more pertinent to those who live in Edmonton and the surrounding area, but I trust others will find this information helpful in terms of knowing what is being done, planned, and for which you might pray.  Please share this information with other people in your congregation and community as you deem appropriate.

  • The members of Trinity Lutheran Church:
    • The members of Trinity Lutheran Church have been evacuated safely.  Many of them are staying with family and friends but are scattered throughout Alberta, and in some cases, neighbouring provinces.  I have encouraged the members of Trinity to reach out to local Lutheran congregations so that they can receive pastoral care and the love and support of a local congregation.  They are thankful for your prayers.
  • A Special Prayer of Intercession for the People of Fort McMurray (You are encouraged to use some, or all, of these petitions during the Sunday Divine Service and during your own personal devotions.
    • That the God of all comfort would bring the gift of His healing peace to all who have suffered through the devastations wrought by the wildfire in Fort McMurray, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.
    • That our loving Father would open the hearts of His people to fervent intercession and generous giving to help alleviate the afflictions of those affected by the fire, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.
    • That God would continue to bless the work of God’s people and relief workers and agencies as they bring to the sufferers and the grieving the caring touch of the Savior’s love, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.
    • That Almighty God would grant His protection for the first responders, especially the firefighters as they attempt to bring the fire under control, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.
  • Fort McMurray Wildfire Appeal:
    • Canadian Lutheran World Relief has established a Fort McMurray Wildfire Appeal. The Executive Director of CLWR, Mr. Robert Granke observes, “Fort McMurray will require a great deal of aid to assist individuals to rebuild their lives. Canadian Lutheran World Relief is appealing for funds to assist in the rebuilding efforts. Emergency funds received will be channeled through the city’s Lutheran churches.”

Donations to the “Fort McMurray Wildfire Relief” appeal may be made in the following ways:
A. By making a designated offering donation through any ELCIC or LCC congregation.

B. By giving online at “Fort McMurray Wildfire Relief.”

C. By calling CLWR at 1.800.661.2597 (locally at 204.694.5602) to donate by credit card.

D. By sending a cheque made payable to “CLWR” and mailed to CLWR, 600-177 Lombard Avenue, Winnipeg, MB R3B 0W5. Please indicate that you wish to contribute to “Fort McMurray Wildfire Relief.”

  • FaithLife Financial is Providing a Special Grant and Matching Grants:
    • FaithLife Financial is responding to the Fort McMurray/Alberta wildfires with a $10,000 commitment in Special Matching Grants to support fundraising efforts through FaithLife Financial’s Chapters across the country.
    • FaithLife Financial is making $250 Special Matching Grants available to 40 Chapters. Funds raised through the Special Matching Grant will be distributed through Canadian Lutheran World Relief (CLWR) who are among those delivering aid.  If you have a local Faithlife chapter in your congregation, you are encouraged to host a fundraising event that will be matched by FaithLife, up to $250.00 per chapter.
    • Karen Bjerland, FaithLife Financial President and CEO says, “The Members of FaithLife Financial are exemplifying our core values of serving, giving, and showing kindness to fellow Canadians in Alberta. Our Members will be actively involved in fundraising to help with the wildfire disaster relief through their Chapters – expecting to turn the $10,000 aid commitment to $20,000 or more. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Fort McMurray/Alberta. We pray that our contribution will help with the much-needed relief efforts to rebuild in the coming days and months.”
  • A Call for Pastoral Care and Christian Counseling
    • When the residents return to Fort McMurray, they will be seeking help in terms of counseling, prayer, and receiving strength and comfort from God’s Word.  Trinity Lutheran Church is without a pastor at this time. If you are able and available to serve, we are looking for pastors and Christian counselors who are willing to volunteer their time and go to Fort McMurray.  We need pastors to lead services on Sunday mornings and to provide pastoral care and counseling to the members and the other residents of Fort McMurray throughout the week.  At this point we are not sure of the logistics like lodging, food, and transportation, but if you are interested, please contact: Pastor Vince Moore, the circuit counselor for the Elk Island circuit. His phone number is: 780-998-2539(office).
    • An Edmonton-area Prayer and Planning Meeting is scheduled forTuesday, May 10 at 7:00 p.m. at Grace Lutheran Church (9907 114 Street NW Edmonton, Alberta).    Laity, pastors, and other church workers are encouraged to attend this meeting which will be facilitated by President Schaeffer. We will spend in prayer. We will share how our congregations are responding to the needs of evacuees and we will begin to discuss a plan of how we might respond to the needs of the people of Fort McMurray when they are allowed to return home.
    • Disaster Response Resources Available from the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod
      • The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod has a department dedicated to responding to disasters. Although some of the information is focused on the USA context, some of the resources are pertinent to disaster situations in Canada. You can access these resources by visiting:  Disaster Response Resources

        .

  • Ways you can help:
    • Provide lodging – a website has been set up to help connect people who need lodging with those offering lodging. Visit:

      http://ymmfire.ca/

      .

    • Collect/donate food and take it to the local food bank, fire hall, or grocery store
    • Pastors can serve as chaplains at the Northlands Center and at the other evacuee centers.  For a list of these centers, visit the Edmonton Journal

      .

    • Host a prayer service
    • ELCIC congregations in Cold Lake and Lac La Biche are serving the evacuees and working in partnership with other relief agencies.  Here is the contact information for these congregations if you want to see how you can help them:

LORD OF GLORY LUTHERAN CHURCH
PO BOX 1617
10112 103 AVENUE
LAC LA BICHE AB T0A 2C0
(780) 623-8467

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