The smoke is back.

So is the fear, the worry, the leaving, the memories.

We offer prayers for our community of faith members at Hillcrest UC in Fort Nelson, and for all those in the community and First Nation who have had to evacuate to Fort St John.
For all those evacuating around Fort McMurray, Grande Prairie.
For those waiting to hear if they are next, planning, packing.
For the responders who run toward the fire while so many must run away from it.

Prayers for safety, courage, strength.
Prayers of greatest care and compassion.
In love, let us pray.  -Rev Helen Reed, Regional Council chair

Fort Nelson, Grande Prairie, Fort MacMurray are all facing major wildfires, and the situation is dangerous and changing quickly. The people of Fort Nelson and Fort Nelson First Nation, and the members of Hillcrest United, have already evacuated; Fort McMurray and the people of First United move between evacuation alerts and evacuation.

We offer thanks to courageous first responders, fire fighters and community leaders; and to family and friends and the communities of Fort St John, Dawson Creek and far beyond who are hosting those evacuated. All of these communities have been contacted.

Caution about Pentecost imagery

Sunday May 19 we celebrate Pentecost, the birth of the church and the descent of the Spirit on the first disciples. Fire is the traditional image of this joyful intercultural celebration, but in our current context, you are asked to be very cautious about using fire imagery and songs. Many factors, including climate change and other human actions, have brought us to a place where the Canadian wildfire season starts early or never truly stops, and where the trauma people and communities carry is very real and widespread. Please use your creativity to find images and words that don’t risk triggering trauma further.

Next steps

With affected communities, we wait with anxiety for updates.
Please include affected communities and people in your prayers, both personally and in your community of faith. This has been requested especially by Fort Nelson members. So far, no financial appeals are underway, and we will update you if they are launched. The Regional Council will be in contact with trauma counsellors, so please call the office if you would like to access this or learn more: 1(800) 268-3781 ext. 6029 or