In a letter issued today, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) National Bishop Susan C. Johnson encourages individuals and congregations to join with others throughout the Lutheran communion and pray for churches and communities affected by the Ebola crisis in Central and West Africa on Sunday, September 28.
The text of Bishop Johnson’s letter follows. A pdf version of the letter can be viewed here: https://www.elcic.ca/Documents/20140925PastoralletterEbola.pdf
September 26, 2014
Dear friends in Christ,
This Sunday, September 28, churches throughout the Lutheran communion are invited to join in prayers of solidarity for churches and communities affected by the Ebola crisis in Central and West Africa. I encourage you, individually and within your congregation, to hold in prayer our sister churches in this region this coming Sunday, and as you are able.
According to the World Health Organizations, over 2,900 deaths from the Ebola virus disease have been confirmed in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
Lutheran World Federation General Secretary Rev. Martin Junge, speaking about the request for a day of solidarity in prayer says, “As we explore collaborative ways of supporting our brothers and sisters in these countries, let us continue to uphold them in our prayers. When one part of the communion is sick, mourning, suffering and distressed, this pain is shared by the entire communion.”
Bishops from Lutheran churches in the affection regions have expressed their appreciation for the global call for prayers. Evangelical Lutheran Church in Sierra Leone Bishop Thomas J. Barnett says, “We give thanks to God for sparing mercies and for the knowledge that there are others out there who continue to be with us in prayers.”
I invite you to please join me in praying this Sunday, September 28 for churches and communities affected by the Ebola crisis in Central and West Africa, with this or another petition:
Loving God, we lift up before you all the people, churches and communities affected by the Ebola crisis in Central and West Africa. Grant comfort and healing to all who suffer and all who mourn. We give you thanks for those who are providing care for those in need. Amen.
I also invite you to make donations to Canadian Lutheran World Relief who is working with partners, including the Christian Health Association of Liberia, to mitigate against and prevent further Ebola infections while encouraging the highest standard of health care for the people of Liberia. You can make donations at http://clwr.donorshops.com/product/0A12F05/ebolaoutbreakresponse.php
Yours in Christ,
The Rev. Susan C. Johnson
National Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada is Canada’s largest Lutheran denomination with 145,376 baptized members in 594 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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