Friday, March 4, 2011

Thank you for praying; keep praying

It is heartening to know that so many people are praying for Christchurch, for individuals known to the pray-ers, and for churches and the church here in general, as well as for national and civic leaders, rescue workers, and others involved in the recovery operation. Thank you!

But please keep praying. I suggest two themes for your prayers.

Strength: we are now out of the first immediate, adrenalin fueled phase, and into the medium-term phase in which tiredness of bodies and minds is a burden and new strength would be a blessing. Our pastoral leaders, of churches and aid agencies are doing amazing things in order to meet people's spiritual,  physical, mental, emotional and social needs, but it takes a lot of energy to make calls, travel distances, and maintain communication in order to achieve this. Pray that we may have strength, stamina and sustenance for the long journey ahead.

Hope: we remain rational beings in the midst of emotional strain. Our eyes see the empty houses from which people have fled. Our minds compute the future as one full of uncertainty. Will our churches regain their flocks in full numbers? Can our city rebuild in ways better than the past (as we are assured some cities overseas have done, and as Napier here in NZ did in the 1930s)? What future for those we love who now find themselves out of work in a city with many closed businesses? It is tempting to despair, to be anxious, and to succumb to overwhelming negativity. But we have been taught and commanded to pray 'lead us not into temptation.' Please pray for us in that respect.

There is much to be thankful for in the midst of intercessions. Financial aid is excellent! It means we can look at some projects and say 'We think we can use some aid money to pay for that.' Our civic, national, and business leadership is united in forwarding the recovery of Christchurch. The weather is pretty good at the moment: warm and no rain. Empty or little used buildings are being found for churches to worship in, and for businesses to resume trade and services. Other cities and towns in NZ are welcoming our refugees.

And you are praying. That's a blessing and we give thanks for that.


Kurt said...

We certainly are praying for you! At each Mass at my church, Ascension parish, we pray for the people of Christchurch, and for the souls of those who died during the quake.

Kurt Hill
Brooklyn, NY

Mike said...

Prayers ascending...

Canon Neal said...

Yes, Peter, I am praying for you daily Thanks for the direction as to how to pray for you all.

Father Ron Smith said...

Latest news - there were no bodies found in the Christ Church Cathedral. This is good news - for the Dean, who wept when he heard the news. However, there are still many people who have no idea about where their missing relatives are. They stil need our prayers.

In the meantime, no churches within the City cordon are holding services, which, however, are being held in other churches outside the cordon.

Comparisons with the war-time Coventry Cathedral devastation are already being made - whether to try to re-build on the site or to relate
the ruins somehow with a brand new building as has been achieved in the situation of Coventry Cathedral. Food for thought for the diocese - in the not-too-distant-future.