A pastoral letter from the General Secretary to the Synod of New South Wales and the ACT

A pastoral letter from the General Secretary to the Synod of New South Wales and the ACT

By the Rev. Dr Andrew Williams, General Secretary Synod of New South Wales and the ACT

Dear Friends,

I am sure that you have been anxiously watching the events unfolding in Queensland and wondering how to help.

The Rev. Bruce Johnson, the Queensland Moderator had already written to people after the first round of flooding and he had this to say:

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ

Like me you will have been following the news reports about the devastation caused by the flooding across many towns in Queensland. I have tried to keep informed about what is happening in those places where we have Uniting Church people. I have been greatly impressed with the way people from our churches are offering their skills and leadership in their respective communities. Their actions epitomise the desire of our Church to be “acting with love”, “living with hope” and “witnessing in faith”.  I want to thank and congratulate all who have been working so hard to express the love of Christ in these difficult situations.

I would like to encourage all in our Church to pray for the many people whose lives have been shattered through this situation. For some this will have been the second time in two years. Please remember the farming community who were looking towards good harvests and now have seen their crops destroyed. Remember the grazing families who will have lost stock and many hundreds of kilometers of fencing.

Even the mining communities have been impacted as many mines are flooded and therefore have closed until they can be drained and mining re-commenced.

Pray for the many emergency services personnel and community support workers who have given generously of themselves to support and care for thousands of individuals and families.

I have been in touch with Lifeline who have counsellors active in every flooded community and are doing a wonderful job as they play their part in the national disaster recovery program. Please pray for them and if you have the chance let them know you appreciate their work.

Many people have contacted the Synod Office offering help and financial support. There are a number of ways that this can happen.

  • Donate to The Uniting Church in Australia’s Flood Appeal. Donate online at https://ucfloodappeal.gofundraise.com.au/ , via phone at (07) 3250 1840 or post cheques to:
    Uniting Church Flood Appeal
    C/o- Lifeline Community Care Queensland
    PO Box 491
    Fortitude Valley
    QLD 4006
  • There is no immediate need for second hand goods; however you can make any such donations to your local Lifeline Shop.
  • If you want to provide personal help in clean-up, email me and when such help is requested we can contact you. This help needs careful organisation as the devastated communities are not really in a position to provide accommodation and hospitality. This help will be needed for some weeks. My email address is bruce.johnson@ucaqld.com.au

I am sure that as we stand together and give support to those who need love and care, we will find a strengthening of faith and enriching of communities.

May you all know the presence of God with you.

Grace and Peace

The Rev. Bruce Johnson

Moderator, Queensland Synod

More up to date news from Bruce this morning says it is a waiting game in Brisbane and their Synod offices are closing down their operations because of the expected cutting off of power supplies to the city such that he will be operating by mobile for communications.

Bruce said they have had offers to help clean up but they cannot at this stage accept them as they cannot tell the extent of flood damage, when they can get into the many damaged areas and as some areas are expecting repeat flooding.

Signs are already noted that some frontline workers are becoming tired and may need back-up. Bruce greatly appreciates the offer of help from our Synod and will let us know when they know exactly what form that help should take.

We have alerted our Synod Disaster Response Team to be on standby to assist, but they are also monitoring the situation in flood affected areas in NSW. We are conscious of the flooding particularly up in Northern NSW and the flow on affect of Queensland floods to Western, Central Western and Southern NSW

Can I at this stage encourage you to PRAY for those affected and to GIVE generously to the President’s Flood Appeal.

Grace and peace,

The Rev. Dr Andrew Williams

General Secretary

Synod of New South Wales and the ACT

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