When God lays the needs of people facing natural disaster and dislocation on the hearts of Canadian Lutherans, the response is immediate and full of compassion and generosity. The moment word of the destructive potential of the Fort McMurray Wildfire hit the news, Canadian Lutheran World Relief was flooded with support to provide relief.
That was expected. That’s what we do in Canada.
What was not expected was the overwhelming response from American Lutherans. Individuals, congregations and governing bodies were quick to join in on the response. Twenty-five states from coast to coast were represented in the donations. They came from Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and North American Lutheran Church sources.
Some were extraordinary.
A contribution arrived from the Synod of Texas Gulf Coast – Louisiana which is no stranger to natural calamities like floods, hurricanes and tornados. They have just suffered a flood of the century.
And, this is what Bishop Jessica Crist, Bishop of Montana wrote in a letter accompanying a donation from the six synods that form Zone 1, ELCA:
“Our synods know all too well about wild fires. We experience forest fires and prairie fires with all too much frequency.
We ache for our neighbors in Alberta and want to support people in the rebuilding of their lives.
Last summer, when fires raged across our territory, we started a fund to help congregations affected by fire. We think that it is most fitting that we should share that with you, our closest neighbors.
Please know that congregations across the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America are praying for you. And know that the prayers and hopes of the six synods that make up ELCA Region 1 are with you.”
Tom Brook – Community Relations Director