1 Jan 2020
Dear sisters and brothers of the Parish of Cobargo,
I write as your Bishop at a time of shared loss and grief.
You have lost treasured buildings, valued homes and beloved friends and neighbours. Many of you have faced overwhelming situations and have worked selflessly to care for others .
The Bible assures us that God is close to the broken-hearted and it is right and healthy to grieve. The Bible also assures us that in Jesus Christ God is able to bring restoration and hope. This journey of hope will take time, and it is a journey we will make together. Be assured of the prayers of the rest of the Diocese and our readiness to work with you as, with God’s help, we renew and rebuild.
In your wisdom you have so ordered our earthly life
that we must walk by faith and not by sight:
give us such trust in your fatherly care
that in the face of all perplexities
we may give proof our faith by the courage of our lives;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. APBA, p465
In the love of Jesus,
The Bishop’s pastoral letter includes the prayer, written by the Dean of St Andrew’s Cathedral, The Very Reverend Kanishka Raffel, to be read on Sunday:
“Lord of all days and years, and time and eternity, You made this land and have blessed us with its riches and beauty.
You are a refuge to all who seek your shelter, our strong defence in trial and tribulation.
Send rain we pray to extinguish flames and heal our land.
Mercifully protect life and property.
Give help and hope to our neighbours assailed by fire.
Comfort and provide for those who grieve.
Uphold those who suffer loss,
Give peace and hope to those bewildered and broken-hearted.
We thank you for men and women of courage and selflessness.
We thank you for brave communities of care and support, We thank you for those who share your comfort and hope, We thank you for those at a distance giving and praying.
Lord, you sent your Son so that we would know your power to save, your presence with your people in this world of turmoil, and your promise to renew the whole creation. Turn our hearts to you, that we may have faith for this day and hope for eternity.
We ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.