Every morning we wake up to another round of devastating news - wars, famines, fires, heat waves, Indigenous graves, pandemics...Oh, and I could add gypsy moth invasions! It is enough to make you want to pull the covers back over your head and set the clock for next year.
But there is hope too. Our vaccination rates are looking very healthy, the hairdressers are open again, it is not snowing, and soon, by the Grace of God, we will be worshipping together once more in the Church of the Ascension, repainted and newly chaired.
As we manage to enjoy the summer weather and the opportunity to once more gather with our friends and family let us also remember the people of Lytton who have suffered an unimaginable loss.
July 1, 2021
To the Members of the Lytton Anglican Parishes and the Territory of the People: Dear friends,
We are all in shock at the tragic news of the fire in the village of Lytton, the Lytton First Nation, and surrounding areas. We wait in hope to learn whether all are safe. We are aware that many have lost homes and businesses, and are displaced into other communities. We don’t know the whole extent of the damage, but it is widespread and devastating.
We are keeping the people of the Lytton village and the Nlaka’pamux people in our prayers. We are praying for Angus Muir, priest in the community, for the pastoral elders Amy Charlie, Dorothy Phillips, Ernie and Pauline Michell, Ursula Drynock, and all church members as they offer a ministry of love and compassion in a time when they deal with their own losses.
We are praying for all in leadership: for Acting Chief John Haugen, for Mayor Jan Polderman, for firefighters and fire response teams, first responders, and local and provincial emergency response teams.
As we come to discover the scope of this disaster and learn of practical ways support can be offered, we will continue listening for how we can provide assistance. The Territory Office is collecting financial donations for immediate needs, clearly marked “Lytton Fire.”
In the meantime, we want to assure the members of the Nlaka’pamux Nation and the Village of Lytton that the Territory of the People walks together with all who the fire has so forcefully impacted
O God, you are our refuge and our strength,
our help in times of trouble:
Have mercy on the lands and communities devastated by fires,
and especially the people of the village of Lytton and Lytton First Nations. Have mercy on those who have lost homes and livelihoods.
Protect those who have had to evacuate.
Bless and keep safe all firefighters.
And strengthen those who seek to rebuild hope
that all may face the future without fear.
We pray this in the name
of Jesus Christ, our Saviour. Amen.
May grace and peace be with all,
Archbishop Lynne McNaughton Bishop Gordon Light
Bishop Barbara Andrews