We have had so many frightening moments because of wildfires this year. We have witnessed heartache and loss, we had hoped that much of the danger was past. But it’s not.
Communities from the Northwest Territories including Yellowknife, N’dilo, Dettah, Ingraham Trail, Enterprise, Fort Smith, Hay River, K’atl’odeeche, Kakisa, and Jean Marie River residents have had to evacuate or are on alert. Communities in British Columbia, including West Kelowna, West Kelowna First Nation and Kelowna, are also facing crisis and evacuation.
So many people who have to leave their homes, their livelihoods because of this imminent danger.
There is so little we can do in this moment. But we can pray. We can hold these family members in our hearts. We can prepare ourselves to offer support when and where we can. We can be ready to love well, and hard and be hope for those who leave, for the first responders who stay, for fire fighters who leave their families to save others.
If communities want to donate to the emergency fund to aid these communities, they can do so by eTransfer to firstname.lastname@example.org, with a note in the memo line indicating that it is for support for these Northwest Territories communities in crisis.
in these moments of fear, of fleeing, of anguish and unknowing may your strength surround us.
in these moments of courage, of selfgiving, of community strength and weakness may your love hold us together.
in these moments of uncertainty, of disorientation, of bewilderment may we remember to lean on you.
in these moments when we can be your love in the world may we offer all that we have to nourish and sustain those in need.
God of creation, God of all creatures, God of our hearts
we pray for your presence to guide us all through these moments.
~ Rev. Helen Reed, Chairperson, Northern Spirit Regional Council
August 18, 2023
To: Yellowknife United Church
Re: Wildfires in Northwest Territories
Peter Workman is the Chair of the Board
Karen Wilford is the Vice Chair
Dear Peter and Karen,
I wanted to reach out to you, knowing that your congregation, as well as Yellowknife and the surrounding areas, are experiencing wildfires that are frightening, causing significant emotional and physical distress, property damage, and natural habitat and wildlife loss.
Knowing that the entire city is now evacuating, I cannot imagine the deep anxiety and fear that you and those in your care must be feeling. I have been offering prayers for families who are displaced by fire or the threat of fire.
Although fires may burn away things that are important to us, I pray they cannot burn away the hope for a future free from the worries of environmental disaster. I pray for peace of mind to return in its time.
It could be a long road to recovery, healing and rebuilding. May you and the congregation in your care have the strength in numbers and spirit to face the journey together. You have our support, and also our prayers.
May we continue to hold firm to hope and God’s promise of new and renewed life.
In Christ’s resurrection hope,
The Rt. Rev. Dr. Carmen Lansdowne
Moderator / Modératrice
The United Church of Canada / L’Église Unie du Canada
CC: Shannon McCarthy