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Events Raise Hope for Haiti

February 26, 2010

By Christine Hills

It has been almost seven weeks since Haiti was devastated by the 7.0 earthquake that hit on January 12. As Haitians struggle to recover and restore even the most basis of life’s necessities, Anglicans continue to send their prayers, their support and their donations.
As of February 25, $2,003,707.54 has been collected and $1,989,472.21 is eligible for the federal government’s dollar-for-dollar match. And still the donations come in.
People have gathered all across Canada to sing, pray, hold press conferences, organize concerts and fill collection plates. Here are some of their events:
Praying for Haiti
The Sunday School class of St Alban’s, Richmond
composed this prayer and collected change for two weeks to be sent to PWRDF for Haiti.
A Prayer for Haiti
Loving God, today we pray especially for the country of Haiti and all its people.
We are sad for all who have died and pray that help will come soon for the hungry and the injured and homeless.  We are thankful that Canada and many other countries are able to help.  Let us pray every day for Haiti, asking God to take care of the people.  Let us look for ways we can help too.  Amen.

All Saints Cathedral in Edmonton focused their prayers and givings at their regular Thursday night Taize service on the people of Haiti, finding ecumenical prayers on the internet that were read by members of the congregation. Attendance increased to 45 people and $1,166.00 was collected with the promise of more to come.
A Day of Prayer and Meditation
The Very Rev. Dr. Logan McMenamie of Christ Church Cathedral, Victoria invited people from all faiths and spiritual journeys who live in and around Victoria to gather in silence, prayer or meditation to lift up the people of Haiti on January 20. The Cathedral was open all day and people gathered from all faiths, no faiths and from all spiritual journeys.

The ringing of the Cathedral bells at 4:30 marked the start of a communal gathering. The Most Rev. Andrew Hutchison, former Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, accompanied by his wife, Lois Hutchison, patron of the PWRDF AIDS Photo Exhibit, and Dr. Andrea Mann, Global Relations Coordinator for the Anglican Church of Canada attended this event.  The Most Rev. Andrew Hutchison greeting those gathered in French and with the help of a friend from Montreal was able to express a one liner in Creole. He reflected on his visit to Haiti, noting that the Hotel Montana, in which he had stayed, is now reduced to rubble.  Ogé Beauvoir, principal of the Anglican Theological College in Haiti was also ordained by the Most Rev. Andrew Hutchison. The Very Rev. Dr. Logan McMenamie greeted those gathered in English and welcomed them to this special event for the people of Haiti.

Sing Out
Allison Lynn, a member of St. John’s York Mills in Toronto, designated $5 from each one of her CDs sold over a ten day period to PWRDF Haiti response. Allison is a Toronto based actress, singer and performer. Her repertoire includes acting for film and theatre, gospel, cabaret, jazz and opera singing.Photo: Courtesy of Allison Lynn

Speaking Out for PWRDF
 The Most Rev. Andrew Hutchison, former Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, is speaking at his new parish in British Columbia, St. John’s, Cobble Hill about the situation in Haiti and how Anglicans in Canada are responding.
Press Conferences
Upwards of 70 media people attended a press conference put on by St. Peter’s Anglican Church in Calgary. The event was organized by church members and led by Richard LeSueur. Among other speakers, Heather Pearson, PWRDF Youth Council member, spoke on behalf of the work being done by The Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund. This civic event presented a real opportunity to share the work of PWRDF with the wider community and to affirm the work of PWRDF.

Let’s Put on a Concert
St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, Ontario hosted a ‘drop in Hope for Haiti concert on January 30 from 1-4:00 p.m. It was an all community event with visitors encouraged to drop in throughout the afternoon with no assigned seating or tickets. Among those who gave their time and talent were local politicians, the Fagan Singers, the Cantorion Choir, Kyle Geraghty & the Holy Family Life Teen Band, Rev. Bill Cliff-member of the Three Cantors, and the Festival Youth Singers of St. Mary’s. All proceeds are being directed to PWRDF.

St. Peter’s in Calgary hosted A Song for Haiti on Saturday January 30. Georges Gabriel, Denis Grady & the Stone Rejected Band, the Jarosh Accordian Ensemble, Los Morenos, Latin guitar players, and Ken Mann on the piano donated their time and talent to the event. The musicians renamed the ‘concert’ an act of worship and it lasted for over two and a half hours. There were 325 in attendance and the Chair of the Calgary Haitian Community spoke movingly. In the end, $12,000 was collected for relief work in Haiti through PWRDF.

Christ Church Deer Park, Toronto presented Voices for Haiti, a fundraiser for The Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund’s efforts in assisting the people of Haiti after the recent earthquake. This benefit concert, that took place on February 6 featured The Larkin Singers and special guests: soprano Shannon Mercer; jazz vocalist Shannon Butcher; Latin musician Louis Simão; mezzo-soprano Christina Stelmacovich; actress and singer Amy Wallis and the Durham Men’s Acapella Gospel Choir.
We thank you for all you have done to lift up and support the people of Haiti. But we want to hear more.

Please send your stories about events, big and small, to Christine Hills at

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