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An Update on Fort McMurray

May 13, 2016 One Comment
Bumper to bumper traffic as Fort McMurray residents flee wildfire.

Bumper to bumper traffic as Fort McMurray residents fled wildfire May 3, 2016. (Image used under CC BY-SA 4.0).

FORT MCMURRAY, Alberta – Reports indicate that it will be several weeks before residents of Fort McMurray are allowed to return to the city, following devastating wildfires in the area. In the meantime, Lutheran Church–Canada (LCC) members are encouraged to continue naming the people of Fort McMurray in prayer.

ABC District President Glenn Schaeffer reported today that Trinity Lutheran Church’s building and parsonage were not damaged in the fire, but that the condition of the church building’s interior is still not yet clear. He further reported the news that some members of the congregation had their homes damaged or destroyed by fire.

LCC has partnered with Canadian Lutheran World Relief (CLWR) to raise funds for those suffering loss due to the wildfires striking northern Alberta, especially residents of Fort McMurray. “We are hopeful that Canadian Lutherans will continue their generous support while long and short-term needs are being carefully assessed,” CLWR writes in a recent update on the situation.

You can support CLWR’s work:

  1. By making a designated offering donation through any LCC congregation.
  2. By giving online at “Fort McMurray Wildfire Relief.”
  3. By calling CLWR at 1.800.661.2597 (locally at 204.694.5602) to donate by credit card.
  4. 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.”

When residents of Fort McMurray are finally allowed to return to the city, they will find spiritual support waiting for them: at least eight LCC pastors have volunteered to serve the people of Trinity Lutheran and wider Fort McMurray. These pastors will lead services on Sundays and provide pastoral care and counseling throughout the week. Those who are interested in assisting can contact the Elk Island circuit counselor, Rev. Vince Moore at (780) 998-2539.

President Schaeffer also reports that a number of proposals for lay-led support are also being considered. These include sending Vacation Bible School teams to run week-long children’s programs in the city; sending ‘window washing teams’; and training laity to share Gospel comfort with people in need of God’s Word and prayer. Congregations and individual laypeople interested in participating in these efforts are invited to contact the District Office at 1-780-474-0063.

With pastors and laypeople poised to travel to Fort McMurray to provide spiritual and practical support, the ABC District is seeking accommodations for these volunteers. If you have a trailer that you might make available for such use, they encourage you to contact the District at 1-780-474-0063.

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