I know that you join with me, and all of New Zealand, in being shocked and heartbroken by the tragedy of the volcanic eruption at Whakaari/White Island.
The lives of many have been lost and shattered. Dreams have ended and loved ones have been taken away. We mourn for those affected by this uncontrollable and devastating destruction by nature.
Please join with me in sending your prayers to all those who have lost their lives, those injured, those fighting for their lives, and the families and friends of all who have been affected both here and overseas. Send prayers and thanks to all those who have helped and are helping the injured and their families. Let them know that they are in our thoughts as they go through this time of tremendous grief and distressing uncertainty.
Historically, the Presbyterian Church and the late George Buttle and family have had a long association with Whakaari/White Island.
I call on all of our Church at this time to keep the communities around Whakatane, and the presbyteries of Kaimai and Te Aka Puaho in our prayers and thoughts.
Please give what you can. Be involved personally where possible. Provide the assistance, love and support you are able to during this incredibly difficult time.
Blessings in this Advent Season.
Right Rev Fakaofo Kaio, Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand