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Letters from Our Bishop and Primate Remind Us That We are Not Alone

June 22, 2013

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Embedded below are letters from our Bishop and Primate, reminding us that as we walk side by side with one another in response to the flooding in our city and other parts of Southern Alberta, we are not alone. We have with us as our travelling companions our brothers and sisters throughout this country, and indeed the whole world. And we have our God, who has promised never to leave us nor forsake us.

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Bishop GregA Pastoral Letter from the Bishop:

To the people of the Diocese of Calgary

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I write to you in the midst of severe flooding in many parts of our dioceses. The flood waters have required the evacuation of tens of thousands of people in our communities, and of course, among them are many members of our own parishes. As you will likely know from news reports High River, Canmore, parts of Calgary and surrounding areas have been particularly affected, but others in various centres downriver are also affected and under threat. I know that many of our folk have also been doing what they can to help; offering shelter for evacuees, providing food where needed, and volunteering time and energy to alleviate the impact of this crisis.

I am certain you already have been praying, but I would encourage you to persevere in that prayer for all who have been affected; remembering particularly those who have lost loved ones and those who have died, and for strength for those who are working to manage this crisis, particularly our emergency workers and civic leaders.

While it is likely that the main crisis will mostly be passed by the beginning of this next week, the recovery and clean-up will take weeks. Many of our neighbours will be struggling to get their homes and lives back in order. It will be a time of hardship, anxiety and frustration for many. It will be a time when many will need help, encouragement and support. Together as a diocese we will need to determine what it is that we can be doing to take our part in giving flesh to our Christian call to love our neighbour. I would ask that all of our members, with prayer and wisdom, seek ways to reach out as individuals and congregations to meet the needs that will be around us.

Please be assured of my prayers and those of the Synod Office staff at this difficult time.

The peace and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

+Greg

The Rt. Rev’d Gregory Kerr-Wilson
Bishop of Calgary

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Archbishop FredA Pastoral Letter from the Primate:

Dear Friends:

With countless other Canadians I have been following the news of the record-breaking floods in communities across Southern Alberta. It is frightening to see waters rising at such rapid rates and to see rivers overflowing their banks at such a pace. Many people are traumatized by these events. As others have said it is unbelievable to see the downtown core of a city like Calgary silenced by a lack of power, and the need for people to evacuate.

It is good to read that many who have been forced to leave their homes are able to stay with family and friends. It is also good to know that in true Albertan spirit, those who have nowhere to go are being housed in temporary shelters and that entire communities are coming forward to help with food, bedding, medical care and friendship.

In this difficult time I assure you of the prayers of our Church across Canada. With you, I thank God for emergency personnel engaged in search and rescue, the Red Cross and the Canadian Forces who are assisting them and I pray for their safety. I have no doubt that some people are living in fear for those seen to be carried away by the floods and who remain missing. Already we know that a few families will be grieving the loss of loved ones.  As we hold them in prayer, let us also remember those who seek to provide support and counsel. I think as well of clergy who will be drawing communities together, praying for the waters to recede and for the success of recovery operations and the labours of city officials, public servants and town managers to restore the flooded areas.

Please know my heart pours out to one and all. May God give you strength to meet the days ahead and hope to see beyond them.

I am,

Sincerely yours,

+Fred

Fred J. Hiltz
Archbishop and Primate

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The photos in this posting were taken by Andrea Haynes yesterday from Cyril and Irma’s home.

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From → All Posts, Music, Quotes

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