While many of us have enjoyed the gift of a summer vacation some of our Anglican brothers and sisters have been immersed in the chaos of forest fires and evacuations.
The parishes of the Central Interior (now the Territory of the People) has been at the heart of the wildfires raging across central British Columbia. Emergency evacuations of whole communities are devastating for everyone – those leaving and those trying to help them find safety and a temporary home.
I have been in touch with Bishop Barbara Andrews about the situation asking how we might help. Her parishes have either been among those evacuated or those trying to offer safe places for shelter, food and support. When parishes are closed, with no income, there are stresses on all aspects of parish and diocesan life. In addition, many parishes are trying to provide food, clothing and safe lodging for those evacuated in the short term. Once the fires have moved on or burnt out then the assessment of long term needs will begin to assist those who have lost everything in the fires.
We sent a donation from the Bishop’s Discretionary Fund to Bishop Barbara to help the diocese respond. I know many have contributed through the Huron Hunger Fund as well. +Barbara replied: “Thank you for helping us respond to God’s people of the Central Interior; I am so grateful for the empathy expressed by you and the wider church through your prayers and donation.”
We do not live with the imminent threat of forest fires around us and can hardly imagine the impact they have on communities. Please remember the people of B.C. in your prayers – not just now in the midst of the fires – but in the long months ahead as they try to rebuild and restore their lives and communities.
I will stay in touch with Bishop Barbara for any further updates – or needs!
Thank you for helping us share the load with our fellow Anglicans so they can continue to reach out with God’s love in their communities.