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The 7.8 magnitude earthquake on Monday that devastated Syria and Turkey has now resulted in a death toll of over 19,000 people, with thousands more injured and without shelter. The destruction is too much for us to understand.
At times like these, it is natural to ask, “Why?”
Christians also ask the important question, “How?”
How may we pray for our brothers and sisters? How may we care for them? How may we depend on God who is redeeming all of Creation?
Last night, I reached out to Dr. Rouzana Hares, our partner in the Michigan Interfaith Refugee Dental Program, who is a member of the Muslim Unity Center and Syrian. Her brother’s home was in the epicenter of the earthquake. He and his family miraculously survived, but their home was destroyed. Yesterday, they were living in an outdoor stadium in near-freezing temperatures. Today, they managed to escape the red zone, but they have lost track of other family members, who are missing. They are still waiting to hear from them.
Christ Church Cranbrook will be working with the Muslim Unity Center to determine the best way to care for the people on the ground. We have set up a fund for earthquake relief to which I invite you to contribute.
This weekend we will pray the following prayer at all three services. I invite you to pray it throughout the weekend:
Holy One, you are our comfort and strength in times of sudden disaster, crisis or chaos. Surround the people of Syria and Turkey as they live through the aftermath of the devastating earthquake. By your Spirit, comfort those who mourn, lift up those who have fallen, sustain those who work to rescue or rebuild. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
As always, I am blessed and humbled to be your Rector.
The Rev. Dr. William J. Danaher