LCA members have been at the forefront of community efforts to serve those who have suffered losses in the Australian bushfires, which have claimed at least 33 lives.
At Tuggeranong in the Australian Capital Territory, the Lutheran church became a temporary evacuation centre for people holidaying on the New South Wales coast. Volunteers from the church and local community prepared food for and supported guests.
In the Adelaide Hills, a team from St John’s Lutheran Church Woodside instigated what became a multi-parish, cross-denominational, community relief effort. One coordinator, Kelly Johnston, said around 1800 home-cooked meals had been delivered to fire-affected people. ‘It’s a gift from the church and wider community’, she said. ‘It really is love in action.’
St John’s chairperson and CFS volunteer Darren Juers, whose own family land was razed in the fires, said it was wonderful to see church and community members working together.
On South Australia’s Kangaroo Island Helen Wurst’s family homestead, in which her son and his family now live, was destroyed. Helen, from the Kangaroo Island Multi-site Congregation, said she felt ‘very supported’ by the church, with SA–NT District Bishop David Altus and the congregation’s spiritual leaders from previous years contacting them.
In Victoria, many thousands of people have been forced from their homes. Pastor Mark Kleemann, Senior Chaplain at the RAAF Base East Sale, has been supporting evacuees. ‘It’s just about meeting people in their stories, administering the support according to each one what’s appropriate’, he said.
You can donate to help Lutherans and their communities (tax-deductible) via LCA Disaster & Welfare Fund at https://lcadonate.online/fires-drought
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