Our television screens have been filled with the fury of earthquakes, hurricanes, storm surges and flooding over these past two weeks. The results of the earthquake in Mexico are staggering. The damage, especially in the islands of the Caribbean, some of which have been hit twice by major storms, has been catastrophic. People have been killed, homes have been blown away, city blocks have been flattened, and in some cases entire countries have been laid waste. Power outages, food and water shortages and, sadly, looting have exacerbated an already horrendous situation. Shelters are overwhelmed as people seek safety wherever safety can be found. It is simply unimaginable what our brothers and sisters have been forced to endure.
The College of Bishops is deeply aware that many parishioners in our diverse diocese have their roots in these countries. We know people are desperate to hear news of loved ones and are overwhelmed to see televised images of what they once knew as home so radically altered. Of course, as is so often the case in times of crisis, heartwarming stories of neighbour helping neighbour and courageous first responders emerge, speaking to the very best of the human spirit.
We ask that the diocese uphold these situations in prayer. Please include prayers for those who have been placed in harm’s way in your Sunday liturgies. Offer thanks for first responders, guidance for those in governmental oversight, condolence for those who have died and generous help from the world community. Consider making a financial gift to help, perhaps through our Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund (email@example.com) who are working with churches “on the ground” to provide swift assistance. If we each do a little, we will all do a lot!
The College of Bishops of the Diocese of Toronto