Martin Baker, the Assembly Executive Secretary of the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa has received the following letters of support for the church and people of Christchurch:
- Letter from the World Council of Churches
- Letter from the Presbyterian Church of Australia
- Letter from the General Secretary of the Christian Conference of Asia
- Letter from the Stated Clerk of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A.
- Letter from the Minister of Hamilton Old Parish Church of Scotland
- Letter from the General Secretary of the Presbyterian Church of Myanmar
- Letter from Gereja Presbyterian Malaysia
- Letter from the United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands
- Letter from the Presbyterian Church of Vanuatu
- Letter from the Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea
- Letter from the President of the Uniting Church of Australia
- Letter from the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan
- Letter from CWM
- Letter from the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland
- Letter from the General Secretary of the Presbyterian Church of Wales
- Letter from the United Church of Canada
- Letter from Rev Benedict Muthusamy, St Andrew's Presbyterian church, Kulai
- Letter from the Pastors of Limestone Presbyterian Church, Delaware
- Letter from Strubensvalley United Church, Johannesburg
- Letter from St Kilda-Balaclava Presbyterian Church, Melbourne
Beloved brothers and sisters in the Lord,
Grace, peace and the gift of healing be with you through Jesus Christ our Saviour. I write to you from the 2011 Central Committee meeting of the World Council of Churches. Christians from many traditions and all regions of the globe are gathered here in Geneva, and we are praying for the nation and people of Aotearoa New Zealand. We join in prayer for you, for your church and all churches, for your ministries and for the service you are undertaking. In the aftermath of earthquake and related calamities, concern for you occupies our hearts, minds and spirits.
We are praying for your people: for those who are suffering, for those who mourn, for those who are disoriented by the horror of events, for those whose faith is threatened. We remember the dead and dying, even as we pray that all may find comfort as sure as our hope in the promise of resurrection to eternal life.
May you find strength to join again in the great proclamation of Psalm 46:1-3.
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult.
We in the World Council of Churches and partner ecumenical organizations are eager for word of what we may do to be of practical aid as Aortearoa New Zealand deals with this tragedy, continues its recovery and begins to rebuild. Please do not hesitate to be in contact with me, and to let us know how we may help.
In Christian love,
Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tvei
Dear Mr. Baker,
On behalf of the Presbyterian Church of Australia I write to offer our prayers, encouragement and support to the people of the Presbyterian Church of New Zealand, particularly in Christchurch, in this very difficult time in the aftermath of the earthquake in Christchurch. We are conscious of the needs of our brothers and sisters in the community of faith in that area and pray for them as they rebuiuld, lives, homes, businesses, churches and other structures.
With every blessing,
Rev. Dr. Paul Logan,
Clerk of Assembly,
Presbyterian Church of Australia
Dear Friends, Brothers and Sisters in Aotearoa New Zealand:
Greetings of Peace from the Christian Conference of Asia.
We are following the events in Christchurch, Aotearoa New Zealand, in shock and with great dismay. We are also aware of the number of deaths, those gone missing and the extensive damage caused to churches, homes and commercial buildings. At times like this one feels the vulnerability of us humans along with fear, despair, hopeless and anger. It is unfortunate that these catastrophic events have been taking place in Asia quite frequently to the extent that many people of faith are beginning to raise the question like in the book of Psalms, “Why, O God, Why?” In such situations there are those who even despise God and move away from belief in God.
However, what is commendable and unique is that in these situations of tragedy our faith as a people of God and our solidarity reach out to you because your pain, loss, tragedy, despair and hopelessness are ours, too, as we are one in Christ and because we are the Body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:27). At the same time, you who have faced this tragedy are also bound together in solidarity and love with those who have faced similar tragedies and have walked through the valley of the shadow of death in spite of geographical distance and differences of ethnicity, color, class, caste, creed and gender.
It is this bonding and solidarity in Jesus Christ which gives all of us the spiritual strength to bring hope to situations of hopelessness, faith to situations of doubt, joy to situations of sorrow; and to accompany those who have lost everything in life. Please let us know what practical ways we can offer to help the Aotearoa New Zealand Churches in this emergency.
We, the members of CCA uphold you in our prayers and stand in solidarity with you as you try to bring life back to the people in and around Christchurch. Please convey our concern to those who have become victims and assure them the churches in Asia are praying for them with regular intercessions.
With peace, compassion and love,
Henriette Hutabarat Lebang
Please know the prayers of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. are with you and your church. We hope God heals quickly and your faith community can rebuild quickly.
Office of the General Assembly
I have sent an e-mail to Christchurch City Council expressing our deep sorrow and indicating that we will be remembering, in our Prayers of Intercession this Sunday, all who have been affected by this tragedy. We also intend to provide an opportunity this Sunday and next Sunday for our congregation to contribute to the relief of the disaster. We know that it will be but a drop in the ocean, but it is a tangible gesture of support and fellowship which we would like to make. Perhaps you could advise us how best to make the donation available to the Christchurch community - would you be prepared to receive and deal with a cheque, should we sned it to the British Red Cross with instructions as to use, or to th New Zealand High Commission? Your advice would much appreciated.
Rev John M A Thomson
Hamilton Old Parish Church
I was shocked to hear the bad news of the earthquake happened at Lunch time over there. As soon as I received the news, I shared with AEC members and held special prayer for the people over there. Thanks for sharing me more about the earthquake through CNN News. Please also pass on my thoughts and prayers to PCANZ and the people in your church. Please note we, PCM, will continue to pray for the people over there.
General Secretary - PCM
Dear Rev. Baker and people of New Zealand,
We are deeply saddened by the loss of lives and the destruction due to the earthquake in Christchurch. On behalf of Synod EXCO and all our member churches, we express our heartfelt and deep sympathy to the local congregations and communities at this time. We assure you of our sincere prayers and trust that God will assist and guide individuals, families and communities to cope with the sudden disaster, destruction and damage caused by the earthquake.
We especially pray for those who have lost their loved ones and those who have lost their homes and livelihoods. We are indeed pained at the loss of lives and resources. Please convey our love to the people of Christchurch and assure them of our prayers. We pray that those who are still missing will be accounted for and for God’s hands to guide the rescue workers to be able to locate them quickly and in time.
Our hearts and prayers are with you all - the Lord be your strength, wisdom and comforter.
Sincerely yours in Christ
Rev. Kong Chi Hai
Moderator of 35th -36th General Assembly
Mok Cheh Liang (Elder)
GPM General Secretary
Dear Rev. Baker:
The United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands greets you warmly and express condolence to the people of New Zealand and Christchurch in particular in this time of grief and severe loss.
Be assured of our continued prayer that God will remain your refuge and fortress and that the work of the rescue and medical teams will be fruitful. We pray that the families who have lost loved ones will experience God’s comfort and the assurance of God’s abiding presence and sustaining strength even in these difficult times and beyond.
We wish you and the people of New Zealand God’s Shalom as you continue the process of healing and restoration.
THE UNITED CHURCH IN JAMAICA AND THE CAYMAN ISLANDS
Norbert D. Stephens (Rev.)
Dear Pamela and all at PCANZ
It is unbelieveable to see the damages done by the recent earthquake in Christchurch and the loss of lives of many innonecent people of your country.
On behalf of the Presbyterian Church of Vanuatu we send you our deepest sympathy and pray for early recovery and encourage you to remain with hope as you face this challengeging experience of disaster in your nation.
Ps Kalsakau Urtalo
Presbyterian Church Vanuatu
Dear Martin, and all Presbyterian brothers and sisters in New Zealand:
We saw the news about the earthquake in Christchurch with great alarm. You are undergoing great national heartache this year, this being the second serious earthquake in five months, along with the November mine explosion. The PROK sends our sincere condolence and assurance of prayers to you.
Our ancestors in the faith endured such tragedies. Psalm 46 describes a situation when, “the earth gives way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea.” But the people of faith were still able to say, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” We pray for community courage and faith for the people of New Zealand and Christchurch particularly, in the face of this most recent tragedy.
If the Presbyterian Church in Aotearoa New Zealand is going to initiate a fund-raising campaign for the victims in Christchurch, the PROK would like to participate as we can.
Rev. Bae Tae Jin
Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea
Greetings Martin and David,
We are all very concerned and prayerful for the people of NZ and Christchurch in particular at this time. David I am very conscious of your particular location in the epi centre of this tragedy and hope that you and your family are safe and well.
The President is in remote WA at present and was not aware of the Christchurch earthquake when someone form the office spoke to him. However he has asked that I might pass on this message from him on behalf of the whole UCA
Grace and Peace
We in the Uniting Church are deeply shocked and saddened with the news from Christchurch. People are following the news here very closely indeed and there is deep concern. We want you to know that we are thinking of you and praying with you at this time and for the tough times ahead.
The original letter from the President of the Uniting Church of Australia is available for Download.
In the aftermath of today's fatal earthquake in Christchurch we send you these few words of deep condolences and concern. We continue to follow the news reports which indicate the magnitude of the quake and we understand that more than sixty persons to date have lost their lives but there are real fears the numbers could raise as the emergency recovery work continues.
We appreciate you have much to do at this point but we wanted to let you know sisters and brothers in Taiwan mourn with you and pray for the victims and families. Not to mention the major tasks ahead for your people and government in the coming weeks and months.
It is even more real and personal to us when we recall it is but a few months ago we had the privilege of attending your General Assembly meeting in Christchurch – at that time we were thankful the damage from last September’s earthquake was mostly to property.
We will wait further word from you once the situation becomes clearer.
Our hearts and prayers are with you all - the Lord be your strength, wisdom and comforter.
Sincerely yours in Christ
Rev. Lai Hsien-Chang (Benjamin)
Moderator PCT 55th General Assembly
Rev. Chang Te-Chien (Andrew)
PCT General Secretary
The original letter from the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan is available for Download
The very shocking news of the earthquake that has hit Christchurch is occupying our thoughts and prayers at this time. We think especially of those families who have lost loved ones and the many persons who are yet to be found and pray for comfort, strength and the will to go on.
On behalf of the CWM family I offer to you and the people of New Zealand our sincere condolence in this hour of pain and dislocation. We believe that God’s abundant grace will meet you at your point of need and supply you with all that is needed to rise.
Please advise us as soon as you are able of the developments and the particular ways in which our solidarity with you may find practical expression.
Once again, on behalf of the Moderator, trustees and all of us at Ipalo House I offer you our prayers and commit to standing with you in this your hour of trial.
Greetings and blessings.
Rev Dr Collin I. Cowan
The original letter from CWM is available for Download.
This email is a very inadequate way of expressing our concerns for all caught up in the earthquake in Christchurch.
News and pictures are beginning to tell something of the damage which has been caused and the loss of life which has occurred.
There is little that any of us can do - especially from this distance - except to say that all involved will be upheld in our prayers.
We remember particularly the families who have been bereaved, as well as those who are injured; rescuers, medical staff, colleagues in ministry and everyone who is involved in the aftermath of this tragedy.
Please accepot the assurance of our prayers and thoughts.
John C Christie
Rt Rev John C Christie
Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.
The original letter from the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland is available for Download.
Dear Martin Baker,
Please be assured that we as a Church (Presbyterian Church of Wales) will hold your people up in prayer during these difficult days. As I write this e-mail to you I am reminded of Psalm 46 and of knowing the stillness of God in all situations – even our, “ever-present help in trouble. And therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way”.
I was good to meet your colleague John Daniel in Durham a few weeks ago – he spoke with a particular anointing.
May God bless you Martin as you lead the Church at this time.
Ysgrifennydd Cyffredinol / General Secretary
Eglwys Bresbyteraidd Cymru / Presbyterian Church of Wales
The original letter from the General Secretary of the Presbyterian Church of Wales is available for Download.
Dear Rev. Baker,
It is with sadness in our hearts and concern for the people of Christchurch that we write to you today following the earthquake that struck the city and surrounding area on February 22. The loss of life and massive destruction of property is a great tragedy which we know you, your colleagues, Anglican Church members and new Zealanders in general have moved quickly and compassionately to address. Please accept our deepest sympathies at this time of immense human suffering and social upheaval.
The visual images of the destruction in Christchurch that we ve viewed on the internet are shocking and a testament to the severity of yesterday's seismic cataclysm. But equally as powerful are the scenes of New Zealanders helping New Zealanders in a time of great need people risking their lives to enter collapsed structures to try to save others trapped inside, people tending to the injured on sidewalks and offering words of comfort as they await transport to medical facilities. These are images of God's compassion and love at work through the hearts, minds and hands of the people of Christchurch. May God bless you and the people of Christchurch in this time of great distress and need and give you strength to do the work that needs doing. Please be
assured that United Church members across Canada hold you warmly in their thoughts and prayers.
In Christ's compassion,
General Secretary, General Council
The original letter from the United Church of Canada is available for Download.
Dear Rev. Martin,
Just a note to say that we are shocked by the loss of lives in the earthquake at Christchurch, New Zealand. The tremors were even felt in Malaysia, according to news reports. Just this morning I read in the papers that the Center of Christchurch is in ruins. It is almost unexpected that earthquakes would hit Christchurch twice in 5 months. With all kinds of natural disasters happening in all parts of the world with alarmingly frequency, the task of the Church in being there for the people is all the more urgent.
In the midst of such a disaster, I am sure that the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand together with many others would be engaging disaster relief efforts and counselling services. We ourselves were involved in ministry when floods overwhelmed some small towns near to us in late January.
So we appreciate the task facing the Church in new Zealand in ministering to the many who are suffering.
We are keeping all of you, especially our brothers and sisters in the front-line of ministry to those who have lost loved ones and/or homes etc, in Prayer.
May God, who is our source of comfort and strengthen be with all of you.
Rev. Benedict Muthusamy,
Saint Andrew's Presbyterian church,
Kulai, Johor, MALAYSIA.
Dear Presbyterians in New Zealand,
We are very sorry about the earthquake there.
My wife and co-pastor Carolyn Winfrey Gillette is a hymn writer.
Below and attached are two hymns that she wrote that have been helpful for churches in responding to past disasters through prayer, special offerings and support of relief workers.
You may remember that she wrote a hymn in response to the earthquake in Haiti that was featured in a World Alliance of Reformed Churches newsletter.
Please share them with churches in New Zealand that might find them helpful.
Any church that wants to use them has permission to do so.
Both hymns are from Songs of Grace: New Hymns for God and Neighbor by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette (Nashville, USA: Upper Room Books, 2009) and are on the web site of Church World Service, the relief agency of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA.
You, the Church there and the people of New Zealand continue to be very much in our prayers.
Blessings on you and your ministry.
Grace and Peace,
The original letter from Bruce Gilette, including the hymns, is available for Download.
To Our dear brothers and sisters in Christ, at Christchurch, New Zealand.
We greet you in the precious name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
It was with great sadness that we learned of the tragedy that befell the city of Christchurch, her citizens and indeed the citizens of New Zealand.
One feels so helpless when being so far away, we realize that there is nothing physically we can do.
We watch on television and through the other media, of the devastation to both structure and human life.
We so wish we were able to stand shoulder to shoulder working, to save those still missing and clear away the debris. But we cannot, and it is when in the depth of our despair that we realize that there are however two things we can do.
Firstly we can and do remind you of the continuing love of God through all the hardships and difficulties you have endured and are still to endure.
And secondly, we can and do pray. We pray for the people of New Zealand; we pray for the people of Christchurch, their families and friends; we pray for the workers who risk their lives every day, and we pray for the families who have lost loved ones and whose homes have been destroyed.
May the Lord bless you and keep you, May the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious unto you, May the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace.
All blessings and love,
Brian Colmer (Minister), The Session and Members
Of Strubensvalley United Church, Johannesburg, South Africa.
Please be assured of our prayerful support for the ministers, elders and members of the PCANZ in this time of crisis. May you all know the extraordinary grace of God at this time to enable the perseverance of the saints in the midst of heartbreak and loss, and for your ministry to those in need.
Minister, St Kilda-Balaclava Presbyterian Church, Melbourne.
Christchurch Earthquake: Offers of help/expression of support:
- Letter from Hilary and Clive Oxford
- Letter from Siulangi Solomona Kavora
- Letter from Jürg Wendler
- Psalm from Rev James M McPherson
I am a presbyterian minister from the Church of Scotland living in Picton and associated with the Presbytery of Nelson and Marlborough. My husband Clive and I are offering our help in whatever way it can be used. We are both able to come to Christchurch if required and/or support any living in this area who have relatives there. We are also offering comfortable self contained accommodation in Picton for anyone who needs a roof over their heads at this time. I was not sure who to contact so would be pleased if you would pass our information on to the appropriate people.
With our thanks.
Hilary and Clive Oxford
03 573 7885
021 113 1980
The original letter from Hilary and Clive Oxford is available for Download.
Dear Brethrens, Colleagues, Partners & Friends of the Pacific,
Kia Orana, Talofa lava, Mauri, Gutpela dei to you all our dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ Jesus. Another disaster has hit one of our Pacific Nation-Aotearoa New Zealand. Our families and friends are hard hit by this disaster and as a family, we stand with our New Zealand people and embrace them with the love of God. We may not all be there with our people, but our prayers are needed by our people in New Zealand. Pray for our two Aotearoa Churches and many of our other Mission Partners that our Churches will serve her people in this time of need. Any form of support be given as the Spirit of God compels you to do. Worship Services can be held throughout the region to remember the loss of families and friends at the Christchurch earthquake
May God give us strength at this hour of need.
The original letter from Siulangi Solomona Kavora is available for Download.
I have heard about the serious earthquake in Christchurch, and I am shocked about this news.
Also it has happened on the other side of the world, we are not unaffected by this terrifying event, because a relative of my wife lives in Christchurch, and we have no message from her until now.
We pray for the people living in Christchurch, and for the people of New Zealand.
Please, let us know how we can help.
The original letter from Jürg Wendler is available for Download.
The Psalm from Rev McPherson is available for Download.