As we left our 151st Diocesan Synod Sunday afternoon, we were shocked and saddened to learn of the dangerous wildfires spreading in parts of mainland Nova Scotia. At this morning’s news briefing it was estimated that over 150 buildings have been lost so far and others are still at risk. We hold in our hearts all who have been evacuated, and all who have lost homes, pets, valuable possessions, and businesses. We give thanks for the firefighters and other first responders who are bravely trying to extinguish these flames and to save whatever can be saved. We give thanks for the generous outpouring of food, clothing, personal hygiene items, and other needed supplies for the first responders and all who have been impacted by the wildfires. 


We have been in touch with clergy and lay leaders who are keeping us informed of the situation where they are, and we are ready to help in whatever ways we can. Yesterday our Diocesan PWRDF representative, Chris Pharo, briefed PWRDF about the situation in Nova Scotia. We have received inquiries from within the Diocese about whether there will be a PWRDF appeal to raise funds to assist those who have been most severely impacted by the wildfires. At this time, we do not know. Once the  fires have been extinguished or are under control, and the full extent of the damage has been assessed, and we know what supports are available from our governments and other relief agencies, we will know more. We will share any information we have as soon as it becomes available. In the meantime, the Hurricane Fiona Response and Resiliency Fund established by PWRDF may be available to support activities that will contribute to community resilience in the face of climate-related emergencies. To find out more, or to receive an application form which outlines the criteria for accessing this Fund, please contact Chris Pharo at


While we watch and wait, hoping that the fires will soon be extinguished or brought under control, and that much-needed rain will fall soon and steadily, let us pray:


O God, our refuge and strength, our help in times of trouble. Have mercy on the lands damaged by fires. Have mercy on the lands where the weather has destroyed livelihoods. Protect those who evacuate houses, comfort those who have been displaced, surround with your peace those who are anxious, and strengthen those who rebuild hope so that entire communities may face the future without fear. We ask this in the name of the One who is our Compassion and our Hope, Jesus Christ, the risen and ascended Lord. Amen.

(Episcopal Relief and Development, adapted)