November 12, 2015
Dear Rostered Leaders and Faithful members of our congregations,
Please find below the email I received from our Companion Synod partner, Bishop Socrates, of the Arcot Lutheran Church, regarding the devastation that happened on the territory of the Arcot Lutheran Church, as the result of a cyclone hitting their homeland on November 9. They ask for our prayers and support. Further below, please find some prayers that you may wish to use this Sunday in your worship service. If anyone would like to make a financial contribution in response to the destruction, please forward your check to the Synod office marked “Arcot Lutheran Church Disaster Response” noted in the memo line. We will make sure these donations are sent directly to the Arcot Lutheran Church.
Bishop Gary Wollersheim
Dear and Respected Partners in Christ!
Greetings to you in the precious Name of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
As you may aware from the International Weather Forecast the recent Depression centred 450 kms East-South East of Chennai turned into a Cyclonic Storm and crossed the Pondicherry – Cuddalore shore with a rapid speed in Cuddalore district in the early hours of 9th November 2015 leaving many dead and many more homeless with heavy catastrophic effects.
- loss of life reaching 40 in Cuddalore area alone.
- loss of livestock crossing 4,000.
- around 30 Pastorates in the Arcot Lutheran Church’s operational area including Parangipettai where the ALC-Community College is situated are terribly affected by this cyclonic storm.
As immediate response we deployed the Danish Mission Hospital, Tirukoilur and the nursing assistant students and staff of the Community College, Parangipettai , to extend medical and health related assistance to the people of the affected villages. The feeding program is likely to be started shortly.
In this critical situation on behalf of the Arcot Lutheran Church we seek your earnest prayers, support and solidarity to enable us to take collective action to help and support the victims of the disaster.
With prayers and kind regards,
Rt. Rev. Raja Socrates. G
Sample prayers which can be used by Northern Illinois Synod congregations to pray for the NIS Companion Synod, the Arcot Lutheran Church of Tamil Nadu, India.
Adapted from prayers published by Upper New York Synod ELCA after Hurricane Irene.
- Loving Lord, we come to you trusting in your mercy and knowing that your steadfast love endures forever. Look with mercy on those in Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry, India, who have been injured and displaced by Cyclone Roanu. Grant them your strength to meet the days ahead. Allow those who are affected to experience your peace which passes all understand and new hope in the resurrection. Move in those who are able to give aid, that they may be your hands and heart on the earth. Be with all who offer your assistance; may your Spirit uphold them and help them to face the challenges ahead. Give those affected by this disaster the assurance of your presence even in this time so that they can cling to your promise of hope and life. Guide us to prayerfully support our brothers and sister in Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry, through the love shown us and them through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, Amen.
- Merciful God, hear the cries of our brothers and sisters in the Arcot Lutheran Church in the wake of the destruction caused by Cyclone Roanu. Help them to trust in your promise of hope and life so that desperation and grief do not overtake them. Come quickly to their aid that they may know peace and joy again. Strengthen them in this time of trial with the assurance of hope that we know in the death and resurrection of your Son. Amen
- Gracious God, your word of peace stills the storms that rage in our world. Bring hope to all persons and places that know devastation in the calm following the winds and rains of Cyclone Roanu. Bring comfort to those who grieve the loss of loved ones and property. Let your love be known through those who work to bring order to the chaos. Especially strengthen our brothers and sisters in Christ of the Arcot Lutheran Church that they may shoulder the burden of suffering and be bearers of hope that can be found in you, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, Amen