All God’s people present at prayer service for earthquake victims

All God’s people present at prayer service for earthquake victims

The world has watched in horror and pity the devastating effects of the recent earthquake on the people of Türkiye and Syria. On Sunday 26 February, St John’s Uniting Church, Wahroonga, reached out to the local communities most affected by the tragedy to hold a special service of prayer for the victims of the earthquake.

Twenty-five members of Sydney’s Turkish community, including members of the Affinity Intercultural Foundation, joined St John’s congregation in prayer, worship, and fellowship. This was a gathering of all sections of the community.

This was a gathering of all sections of the community, all denominations, all God’s people. Rev. Dr Patrick McInerney from the Catholic Church’s Columban Institute, Lena Nazarian representing the Armenian Orthodox Church, and Helen Clarke from the Knox Grammar School were also present.

Prayers were offered by an Elder of St John’s and by a representative of the Turkish community, followed by the reading of one by Moderator, Rev. Simon Hansford. Verses from the Bible and ayahs from the Qu’ran resonated in the Church as we all came together as people of faith to express our grief and offer our comfort.

In the most moving part of the service, everyone taking part in the service lit a candle of remembrance and hope, and placed it on a table strewn with rubble, to symbolise the light that can be kindled in even the deepest darkness. As well as fellowship and prayer, the service offered practical aid, as the collection was devoted, channelled through Act for Peace, to relief for the victims of the earthquake. $1400 was raised.

As the service closed and we all sang Robin Mann’s ‘Comfort, comfort, all my people’, the assurance that ‘every night will have its morning, every pain will have an end,’ felt very real in the warmth and compassion of our fellowship.

Dr Bob Cowan


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