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May 17, 2011

Emergency Appeals Issued to Assist those Affected by Wildfires in Alberta and Flooding in Manitoba

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC), through its partnership with Canadian Lutheran World Relief (CLWR), is appealing to its members for financial support for humanitarian aid to assist Canadians displaced by wildfires in Alberta and flooding in Manitoba.

A wildfire, along with strong winds, forced the sudden mandatory evacuation of 7,000 residents of Slave Lake, Alberta, during the early morning hours of May 16, 2011. Similar fires are threatening other communities in the region.

In Manitoba, flooding on the Assiniboine River and in the Interlake region has led to critical situations in several communities. An unprecedented controlled breach of a dike near Portage La Prairie, Manitoba, put 150 homes at risk in the hopes of preventing an uncontrolled release that would have put hundreds more at risk.

CLWR is issuing an appeal for funds to support humanitarian efforts which could include: help relocating those affected to safe areas; providing emergency shelter; providing food; and supporting congregational programs that provide assistance which fills potential gaps already provided by governmental emergency services. Based on currently available funds, $5000 for the Alberta wildfires and $5000 for Manitoba flooding is being committed to relief for each of these domestic disasters. The ELCIC and CLWR work in effective partnership with lead agencies which are providing front line services.

ELCIC National Bishop Susan C. Johnson is also calling for members to pray for the people who are threatened by the wildfires and flooding. She has prepared the following suggested prayer: God of the Universe, you have created this world in which we live and have called it good. And yet at times the forces of nature seem out of control. We pray for all those who are affected by the flooding in Manitoba and the wildfires in Alberta. Help them, and us, to put our trust in your love and care. Motivate and equip those who are reaching out with hands and hearts to serve those in need. In our faithful prayers, in our generous response, help us to be a church In Mission for Others. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Donations for the appeals may be made in the following ways:

1. ELCIC members are asked to donate to the appeals by making a designated offering donation for “2011 Alberta Wildfires” or “2011 Manitoba Flooding” through their congregation.
2. Donations may also be made through CLWR:

After May 18, online at www.clwr.org/donate. In the process of completing the form, you will come to a pull-down menu that allows you to designate a specific project. Choose “2011 Alberta Wildfires” or “2011 Manitoba Flooding.”
By calling CLWR's toll-free number: 1.800.661.2597 or locally at 204.694.5602.
By sending a cheque made payable to CLWR and mailed to: CLWR, 302-393 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, MB R3B 3H6. Please indicate in your correspondence that you wish to contribute to the “2011 Alberta Wildfires” or “2011 Manitoba Flooding.”

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The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada is Canada's largest Lutheran denomination with 152,500 baptized members in 607 congregations. It is a member of the Lutheran World Federation, the Canadian Council of Churches and the World Council of Churches.

Material provided through ELCIC Information is intended for reproduction and redistribution by recipients in whatever manner they may find useful.

For more information, please contact:
Trina Gallop, Director of Communications
302-393 Portage Ave. Winnipeg MB R3B 3H6
204.984.9172
tgallop@elcic.ca

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