As summer approaches, bushfire season is well upon us. Already in WA we have seen devastating fires with properties destroyed and lives lost. Fire alerts have been issued in multiple areas across the state, including Toodyay, Ellenbrook and Bindoon. The community of Esperance has been particularly affected with, tragically, four people losing their lives as a result of fire in the area.
The Uniting Church WA’s Disaster Response and Community Recovery Working Group are working hard to respond to the situation. Letting the emergency services do what they do best, the working group exists to support communities in the wake of disaster, helping to rebuild in the months after a crisis.
“What we’ve decided to do is concentrate on how we can best support communities, churches, ministers, whoever is on the ground, in the time after a disaster. So it really is that community recovery side of things,” said Rev Gordon Scantlebury, convener of the Disaster Response and Community Recovery Working Group.
Rev Rob Dummermuth, minister in the region is, at the time of going to print, working with local communities to assess the need in the area. The working group is in regular contact with Rob and will be responding to the crisis once the need has been identified.
“At the moment we’re keeping in touch with the church through Rob Dummermuth,” Gordon said. “He’s very involved with the emergency services in town. He’s currently going around and seeing what the needs are and is going to get back to us soon.”
Gordon reminds us that one of the best ways people can help in these kinds of disasters is to donate money, rather than items. He also asks that members of the church keep affected communities in their prayers as they come to terms with the devastation and begin to rebuild their lives.
The Disaster Response and Community Recovery Working Group are currently seeking members. If you are interested in joining the group, contact Rev Gordon Scantlebury at Gordon_ email@example.com.
If you would like to send a card or message of support to Esperance Uniting Church as they work to support their community, send it to Revive, GPO Box M592, Perth, WA 6843, and we will pass it on.
You can donate funds to the Uniting Church’s Disaster Relief Fund at any Westpac branch. BSB: 036 001 Account: 921789. Account name: Uniting Church Investment Fund. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the details of your donation.
Alternatively, send cheques or money orders to: The Disaster Relief Fund Uniting Church in Australia GPO Box M952 Perth WA 6843. Attention: Gillian Dudley/Lyn Boorn.
For further information on the Disaster Relief Fund visit www.unitingchurchwa.org.au/disasterresponse.