Dear Members and Friends of the Pacific Mountain Regional Council,
Greetings and peace to you in the name of the holy risen One.
It has been three days since an atmospheric river dumped its load of water all over British Columbia. The rivers and creeks of our beautiful home, which normally run below average at this time of year, could not hold the sudden deluge; whole mountainsides have been jeopardized and the result is a convergence of mud slides, flooding, and washouts. Parts of the province are completely underwater, highways have been shut down, and access to basic life essentials are being severed. In tandem with the COVID19 pandemic which continues to wreak its havoc, all of this is heartbreaking and challenges our faith. It really does seem like all creation is groaning, convincing us of a climate crisis when scientists have failed. It’s like our bodies telling us things our minds choose to ignore.
An hourly barrage of photos on all manner of social media expose the conditions people are having to live with. What is heartening is watching beautiful people having to crawl out of their second story widows met by other beautiful rescuers in waiting watercrafts. Other brave souls are traversing moving mudslides to get provisional supplies to trapped motorists. This weather catastrophe may have shut down all access in and out of the lower mainland, but it has not shut down people’s capacity to care for one another.
On behalf of everyone at the Pacific Mountain Regional Council, I want you to know our prayers are with you. Watching your resilience as you deal with wave upon wave of disaster is inspiring beyond measure. We pray for a special sense of the holy breath of God as you wade through the mess.
In Christ, Rev. Blair Odney President, Pacific Mountain Regional Council (United Church of Canada)