One way that I am keeeping up with the devastating bushfires and responses to them is via information from Anglican ministers and parishioners. Mostly via emails and Facebook pages.
The Dunalley bushfires, and the surrounding areas (Forcett) still have fires burning. The Parish of Sorell, Richmond Tasman in which Dunally lies, is posting bushfire updates on their website at, https://sites.google.com/site/srtanglican/fire-jan-2013. Please check their website for ongoing information and prayer fuel.
I should note money from our Tasmanian Anglican Bushfire Appeal will assist people in this community. Please consider giving generously. Thank you.
Bushfire update from the Parish via Andrew McCoy:
We’re sad to report that some members of our parish have been dislocated by the Forcett fire, particularly associated with the destruction through Copping, Dunalley & Murdunna. Please uphold all people from these communities and all who are affected by the fires.
You can see parts of our journey in the sections below. We welcome your comments or questions via the contact-us page.
The change that came through yesterday afternoon has kept temperatures in the region quite low which reduces the overall threat of the fires. This evening the wind has ‘got up’ again which will create anxiety in some, fear that the fires may come raging through again. We’ve heard that the fire fighters have been putting in control lines and putting out spot fires. They are magnificent. Handwritten roadside signs of thanks to them have begun to spring up.
Kerry & Elaine from Copping Christian Fellowship (and part of the South East Christian Leaders Network) provided pastoral support at Dunalley today. We’re sure that members of their congregation were delighted to see them today as the Anglican’s were to see Jill yesterday. And equally importantly they were able to support the welfare needs of any and all members of the community. It’s really great to see evidence of the cross-denomination co-operation swing into action at this critical time, and for us to be working as one team.
Jill, Joel and members of the parish met this morning to pray for the needs of the area. Joel then spent most of his day at the Sorell Recovery Centre, with support from other leaders of other churches. Some of our parishioners and lay members of other churches have been active in the centre in various roles since last Friday and were again in evidence today.
We were delighted to hear today of a bus full of people from the affected areas being transported from their evacuation location to Nubeena to collect their cars and then join the outgoing convoy, enabling some to return home. For others who remain in temporary accommodation regaining access to their cars offers them greater independence.
Plans are being made to ensure that the regularly scheduled communion service will go ahead at St Martins Dunalley and be led by Jill on Sunday at 11.00 am. Everyone in the community is welcome. Kristina, who also regularly leads services at St Martins, will be offering pastoral support in Dunalley tomorrow along with Joel. We were delighted that Father Terry from the Catholic church has confirmed today that he will be leading the Dunalley pastoral response on Friday.
Please pray for all members of the christian leaders network as they share in pastoral support ministry across the affected area. Ask that we will find ways to communicate between ourselves the needs of the various people we talk to as we share this role.
We are thankful for the sensitivity of the police and government officials to the needs of the community, and particularly that their awareness extends includes the spiritual needs of the people.
Please pray for people who become anxious when the weather changes.
Give thanks for the spirit of co-operation that is so evident among the service providers working at the recovery centres.
Pray for sensitivity of all who work with affected people, that we will all be prepared to meet needs as and when they are expressed, that we won’t be task focused to the exclusion of the needs of the whole person.
We’re thankful too for the continued expressions of support coming to us, both from within the church and outside.