Moderator’s SA Flood Appeal

By Moderator Bronte Wilson

Posted in News

By faith Noah, warned by God about events as yet unseen, respected the warning. (Hebrews 11:7)

The Riverland in South Australia is preparing for what is believed to be one of the larger floods of the River Murray.

The Moderator is calling the Uniting Church in South Australia to respond to this emerging disaster, through financial assistance and prayer.

Already the Murray is flowing at 166 Giga litres/day (GL/day), compared to the usual 10-20 GL/day at this time of year, and waters from the Darling tributary are still to enter the Murray system. The first major SA town which will experience the effects of the flooding will be Renmark and at a meeting there on December 1st, the District Council CEO, Tony Siviour advised that the first river peak would reach 175 GL/day around December 14th and a second peak of 185 -200 GL/day would be likely between Christmas and New Year.[1]

At a November meeting at Waikerie, attended by Rev Linda Forsyth of the Renmark-Loxton congregations, the meeting was advised to expect a sustained flood that might continue to March. [2]

Every day to prepare is critical as the Riverland faces this challenging event which will cause extended discomfort, risk and inconvenience. Already some roads to important medical services at Berri have been closed and SA Power Networks will be shutting down vital electricity supplies as the flood approaches, meaning growers will not be able to irrigate their crops. Other services, like sewage will also be closed down as disaster emergency procedures take effect.

Our Riverland faith communities need our prayers and financial support.

Disaster and Recovery Chaplaincy Coordinator, Pastor Wendy Perkins has already deployed trained Chaplains to the Berri Emergency Relief Centre at the invitation of the SA Government and is rostering Chaplains for other Centres at Mannum and Murray Bridge as they open in coming days.

The multi-denominational and multi-faith Disaster and Recovery Chaplaincy team is coordinated by the Uniting Church, and consists of trained volunteers from the UCA, other Christian churches and faith traditions, as well as Pastoral Care Workers from the Schools Ministry Group. The ministry operates under a Memorandum of Understanding with the SA Government in its response to disasters in our state. The Disaster and Recovery Chaplaincy ministry needs our prayers and support.

The Moderator’s SA Flood Appeal has been launched by the Moderator, Mr Bronte Wilson to enable members of the Uniting Church in South Australia to make financial donations, thus providing some funds to resource Riverland congregations in local ministry to flood affected communities, and to support the Disaster and Recovery Ministry program.

Donations may be made via the Donate button on the Synod website that will lead to the Uniting Church in SA Relief Fund page. Look for the SA Flood Appeal link. Donations using a credit card may be tax deductible. Unfortunately, donations by direct deposit or cheque are not tax deductible due to staff shortages at this time.

Awash with Prayer is a call to commit to pray for the Riverland community as the floodwaters approach. Resources are being prepared for each week of the next three months and will be shared on the Synod webpage and as part of the weekly UC-news for subscribers.

We begin our prayer vigil this week:

Compassionate God,
as you connect creeks and streams
and make rivers and tributaries that flow with life giving water,
connect your church with the communities and all creation
along the path of the mighty River Murray in South Australia
as preparations are made for floodwaters,
that threaten infrastructure and livelihoods,
as well as flora and fauna.

Advent God,
in this time of preparation for Jesus’ coming with good news of salvation,
draw near to those preparing for the Riverland floods.
Assist the work of district councils, emergency services and volunteers
as levee banks are strengthened, homes and shacks sandbagged,
and belongings and electrical equipment are sent to higher ground.
Bless the work of Ministry leaders in local congregations.

Loving God,
in the power of your Holy Spirit,
equip the work of the Disaster Recovery Ministries in the Riverland.
Empower chaplains as they serve at Relief centres,
offering comfort and help to anxious people, through listening and caring.
Pour your peace upon the fearful,
let hope drop into the hearts of the uncertain,
and allow the gift of faith that will enable
forbearance to flow unmeasured.

May our prayers help bring new life and joy to all
who call the River Murray their home.

Amen.

[1] Source: Renmark flood measures near completion | Shepparton News (sheppnews.com.au)

[2] For further information view the YouTube video of the Waikerie meeting at  https://youtu.be/TkUYRl-NRIw?t=637

 


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