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March 3, 2010

ELCIC National Bishop Calls for Prayers Following Chilean Earthquake

The National Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) is calling on members to pray for all who have been affected by the devastating earthquake that hit Chile on February 27.

Conception, a city the size of Winnipeg, and surrounding coastal regions have been severely damaged by the 8.8 magnitude earthquake. The quake, which occurred in the early morning hours of February 27, has killed over 700 people and left over two million people homeless.

Evangelical Lutheran Church in Chile (IELCH) president, Rev. Gloria Rojas, reports that the situation in the city is chaotic, with much destruction. Some affected families are housed in church buildings and have lost everything. Many people are staying on the streets because their houses are partially destroyed or they fear new aftershocks.

As we continue to learn more about the situation in Chile, I ask that you keep all those who have been affected by this tragedy in your prayers, says National Bishop Susan C. Johnson. While current efforts are focusing on emergency measures, we also need to keep in mind the need for long-term relief efforts. We are grateful for our partnership with Canadian Lutheran World Relief, and their membership in the ACT Alliance, and the work that will be carried out in the region in the coming days, weeks and months.

ACT Alliance (Action by Churches Together) members are present in Chile providing emergency assistance in the form of food, water and shelter.

ELCIC members wishing to support these efforts can make a donation through Canadian Lutheran World Relief (CLWR), a member of ACT. Donations may be made through local ELCIC congregations. Donations may also be made through CLWR's website at www.clwr.org, by sending a cheque payable to CLWR (and mailed to CLWR, 302-393 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, MB R3B 3H6), or by calling 1.800.661.2597. While CLWR does not anticipate that it will engage strongly in response to this disaster, as it has with Haiti, donations are welcome and will be channeled through the ACT Alliance.

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The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada is Canada's largest Lutheran denomination with 162,100 baptized members in 611 congregations. It is a member of the Lutheran World Federation, the Canadian Council of Churches and the World Council of Churches.

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