Report from The Revd Jill McCoy, Rector of Parish of Sorell, Richmond & Tasman on the bushfires in the Parish and information for our prayer for this parish region and throughout Tasmania and on the mainland.[‘mainland’ in Tasmanian usage refers to the rest of Australia!]
Revd Jill McCoy, 6 January 2013:
I’m deeply moved and thankful to God for all your messages of support and offers of help for those affected by the fires. We still cannot go down the peninsula because the roads are closed. I was appalled by the scale of destruction shown in today’s papers. We’ve seen this afternoon that a few extra emergency response vehicles have started going down to help – Telstra, Aurora/Hydro, etc.
Joel, Kristina & I (& their friend Will) are active in the response/recovery centre at Sorell talking to those who come in – offering a listening ear and a quiet prayer.
Give thanks to God for the preservation of human life. For the many who have offered support. For the wonderful response of the local community, Sorell Council, Lions, St John’s, Salvo’s, footy & cricket clubs and lots more. We’re thankful that we have phones and internet that work well enough right down to Port Arthur. Thanks too to you many who have had the grace to stand back and wait until we can say better what is needed.
For weather that will help quell the remaining fires. There is still fresh fire within 10km of Sorell. For safety and skills for the firefighters and those who support them.
For loved-ones left behind, wherever they may be.
For those who have lost pets, livestock & property.
For those who have lived through the terrifying reality of fires nearby, sometimes rushing headlong toward them.
For families and couples facing a future unimagined just days ago.
For peace among neighbours – that one families decision to evacuate will be accepted as good by those who chose to stay (& vice-versa).
For acceptance of good fortune for those whose property has survived when others nearby have lost everything.
For perseverance for all at the southern end of the peninsula who are now living without power, water, sewerage and perhaps running low on food (about 56 hours so far).
For patience and release from anxiety for those who still do not know what awaits their return.
For grace from parish folk (and others too) for me & Joel if we inadvertently overlook them.
For wisdom to balance relief and recovery with normal parish duties.
For good & refreshing sleep for all.
We remember those further afield who are also facing with bushfire at present and ask that you pray for them.
St Martin’s Church building at Dunalley is intact. In this, we’re feeling some of that complex survivor guilt. We have offered it for use in the relief effort.
*Information about the Parish church buildings at St Alban’s Koonya, St David’s Port Arthur and St Martin’s Dunalley is on the parish website: Bushfires Jan 2013.