“Lord, hear their cry” — Sydney archbishop’s messages to the churches

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Archbishop Raffel has written to churches, and spoken on video, about the remarkable week which has seen the invasion of Ukraine and flooding in two states.

The Archbishop was to have been speaking to the Synod in the Greenfields this week, but it has been postponed to September this year.

“But I wanted to send you a brief message if only because the events of this week have been so remarkable and disturbing,” he said on the video. “It has been devastating to witness the unprovoked and unjustified invasion of a democratic and sovereign State by a neighbouring country in Europe. I know you are all remembering the people of Ukraine in your prayers.”

As waters receded in Queensland but rose in New South Wales and especially in parts of the Sydney Diocese, the Archbishop said the floods meant “Some have lost their lives and others are grieving the loss of their loved ones. Thousands of people have nowhere to live and have suffered the loss of their homes, their property and their businesses. Communities have lost shops, schools, aged care homes and no doubt church buildings. The shock and grief are overwhelming.”

He commended the work of Anglicare which is assisting through food and financial relief and provision of goods through the network of Op Shops

“If people need assistance they can access it through the op shops or the food and assistance page on Anglicare’s website,” he said. “As local churches, you will be serving in your own communities and as a fellowship of churches across the Diocese rectors will be in touch with your regional bishop as particular needs arise. I’m so grateful for the ordinary work of the local church in serving the community.  Please continue to pray, and take the opportunity to gather for prayer in person or online as the opportunity arises. Do touch base with people you know who might be anxious or need a voice on the other end of the phone and the chance to pray together.”

“And by all means, do not neglect the word of God, he said quoting the apostle Peter ‘Cast all your anxiety on God for he cares for you’. 

“In a world of unpredictable upheaval and heart-wrenching loss, there is a shelter in the storm, a place of rest and comfort for the weary and worn,” the Archbishop said. “Jesus is our home and hope, our ever-present help in trouble.”