January 13, 2010
In response to the humanitarian crisis provoked in Haiti by the serious earthquake on Tuesday, January 12, The United Church of Canada is appealing for donations to support relief and reconstruction efforts. The church has already committed $20,000 to relief efforts by partners in the region.
Hundreds, maybe thousands, of people were buried alive when a major earthquake struck Port-au-Prince, the capital of impoverished Haiti on Tuesday. The magnitude 7.0 quake sent panic-stricken people into the streets. Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive said he fears more than 100,000 have been killed.
Members of ACT Alliance ACT Alliance (the network of churches and Christian aid agencies that enables global responses to emergencies) are already in place, assisting those affected by the earthquake. The ACT Secretariat in Geneva is coordinating the relief operations of its members, and more details will follow in the coming days.
In response to the disaster, Canada has pledged $5 million in humanitarian aid to Haiti and deployed a reconnaissance team to the region to determine whether to send the military's Disaster Assistance Response Team, known as DART.
In recent decades, The United Church of Canada has worked with two partners in Haiti:
Cheques and online donations should be made payable to The United Church of Canada and marked "Haiti Appeal." The funds will be treated as “designated gifts.” Please note: Designated gifts cannot be counted as M&S Fund credits. However, they are eligible for tax receipts. Congregational treasurers may receive and receipt individual cheques and then forward one congregational cheque to the United Church.
Let us call upon our churches to pray and to respond to this devastation, to bow and unite our hearts, praying for
We extend our love and prayers to our sisters and brothers of the affected areas, and our solidarity with them for the facing of this hour.
Gracious God, extend your loving kindness, mercy and compassion upon all, we pray. Thank you for aid workers, first responders, churches, communities and families who are extending a loving, helping hand to one another. Grant us Your grace that we may respond in love, with kind and determined action, and with fervent prayer: mourning with those who have loss, labouring with those who seek to rebuild, and aiding those who seek to prepare for the next storm. Through Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.
Rev. Neal D. Presa, Convenor/Chair of the Caribbean and North American Area Council (Canacom ) of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches and pastor of Middlesex Presbyterian Church in Middlesex, New Jersey, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
For further information, contact:
Caribbean/Central America Regional Program Coordinator
Justice, Global and Ecumenical Relations Unit (JGER)
Tel: 416-231-5931 ext. 4013
Toll-free: 1-800-268-3781 ext. 4013
E-mail: Jim Hodgson