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“This is Ministry”- the Anglican response to the Fort McMurray fires

The Bold Centre in Lac La Biche, AB, is serving as an emergency shelter for evacuees from Fort McMurray. Photo: Diocese of Edmonton

May 13, 2016

By Simon Chambers

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On May 12, PWRDF sent an initial $6000 to the Diocese of Edmonton for immediate relief needs for evacuees of the Fort McMurray fires.  This is in addition to the $15,000 PWRDF announced last week for the Diocese of Athabasca.  These funds will help parishes like St. John the Evangelist, Cold Lake, whose clergy began responding as soon as families began to arrive in their community with little more than the clothes on their backs.

Rev. Donna Gauthier (PWRDF parish representative at St. John’s, Cold Lake) and Rev. Helen Northcott from Cold Lake have provided pastoral care, necessary items to families who lost everything, hosted barbeques, and invited evacuees to come to the parish’s spring rummage sale last weekend and just take any items they needed.

Clive and Deborah Scheepers (left) talking with evacuees at the Bold Centre in Lac La Biche, AB. Photo: Diocese of Edmonton

Diocese of Athabasca priests Deborah and Clive Scheepers have been helping with chaplaincy work at the Bold Centre in Lac La Biche since it opened as an emergency reception centre, as well as ministering in Athabasca.  “We’re tired at the end of the day,” they said.  “But it’s a good tired.  This is ministry.”

Anglicans in Canada and around the world continue to provide prayers and support for those affected by the fires.  St. Timothy’s, North Toronto has raised over $5000 in relief funds for Fort McMurray, and the Rev. Eric Beresford assures PWRDF that “people are continuing to give.”

Individuals, parishes, and dioceses are supporting PWRDF’s appeal, providing funds that will continue to allow the dioceses of Athabasca and Edmonton to respond to the needs of evacuees.  This is ministry.  It is the work of the Church, and the ministry of PWRDF—to provide relief to those in need, comfort to the suffering, and to walk and work alongside the people affected by this or any disaster as they rebuild their communities and their lives.

You can support PWRDF’s ongoing relief efforts in Alberta:

You can designate your online donation for “Fort McMurray wild fire”.              

By Phone:
For credit card donations contact:
Jennifer Brown
416-924-9192 ext. 355; 1-866-308-7973
Please do not send your credit card number by email or fax.

By Mail:
Please make cheques payable to “PWRDF”, mark them for “Fort McMurray wild fire” and send them to:
The Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund
The Anglican Church of Canada
80 Hayden Street
Toronto, Ontario  M4Y 3G2

 PWRDF Donations Contact:
Jennifer Brown
416-924-9192 ext. 355; 1-866-308-7973

 PWRDF Humanitarian Response Coordinator:
Naba Gurung
416-924-9199 ext. 321;  1-866-308-7973

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For media requests please contact Communications Coordinator Janice Biehn at (416) 924-9199;366.

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