Archive for the ‘ELCA response to Haiti earthquake’ Category

LWR Kits

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

Our Church & The La Crosse Area Synod  are Joining with Lutheran World Relief to Send Much Needed Supplies to The People of Haiti who Lost their Homes & Families in the recent Earthquake.

If you want to participate in this much needed outreach, please bring in the items listed below for the Health Kit to your church. (Each church can decide if they are assembling their collected items into kits, or if individuals do this on their own.)


* HEALTH KITS  These Health kits can help refugees maintain personal hygiene while living in exile. 


     One Hand Towel, solid dark color recommended

     One Washcloth, solid dark color recommended

     One Bath-size Soap Bar (4 to 5 oz.) of soap, any brand, in its original wrapping

     One Adult-size Toothbrush, in its original packaging

     One Sturdy Comb, remove packaging

     One Metal Nail File OR Nail Clippers with File Attached, remove packaging                                                                                                        

Do Not Substitute Cardboard Emery Boards for the File

     Six Band-Aids® (or similar brand), preferably 1/2″ to 3/4″; secure together with a rubber band

*  you can bring in a box of 10 Band-aids if this is easier.

Please Do Not Include Toothpaste!  Toothpaste will be added at the LWR warehouse prior to overseas shipment.


* SCHOOL KITS     These School kits will help children attend and learn in shelter schools while living in exile. 


     Notebooks: wide or college-ruled paper, 8″ x 10 ½” totaling approx 150-200 sheets.    No Loose-leaf Paper

     One Blunt Child Safety Scissors 

     One 30-centimeter Ruler, or a ruler with centimeters on one side and inches on the other

     One Small Pencil Sharpener

     Six New, Unsharpened #2 Pencils with erasers; secure together with a rubber band

     One Eraser approximately 2 ½” long

     12 sheets of Construction Paper in assorted colors 

     One Box of 16 or 24 Crayons

     One Sturdy Cloth Bag approximately 12″ X 14″ with cloth handles or drawstring closure                              


From the Office of the Presiding Bishop 1/15/2010

Friday, January 15th, 2010

Dear sisters and brothers in Christ,

The images of the despair and destruction in the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti continue to overwhelm us, but they also call forth our response of prayer and generosity. 

Paul’s letter to the Romans gives us words of comfort and hope. Paul writes:

We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God (Romans 8:22-27).

Thank you for continuing to hold in prayer the people in Haiti and all those who are working to bring relief. Thank you for your generous financial gifts.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) is already working through long-standing partnerships with The Lutheran World Federation and Lutheran World Relief to provide emergency food, water, shelter and medical supplies.

This church is uniquely positioned to provide immediate and ongoing help. The ELCA has committed an initial $250,000 from ELCA International Disaster Response, and we’ve authorized an additional $500,000 as congregations respond both to the immediate needs and long-term rebuilding efforts.

For those of you who would like to support these relief efforts, I encourage you to visit this Web page ( or call 800-638-3522.

Our phones are open the entire Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. CST. One hundred percent of all gifts made to ELCA Disaster Response, designated for Haiti Earthquake Relief, will be used for immediate relief and ongoing recovery.

This is what it means to be the church together in mission for the sake of the world.

I invite you to pray:

Merciful God, hear our cry for mercy in the wake of the earthquake. Reveal your presence in the midst of our suffering. Help us to trust in your promises of hope and life so that desperation and grief will not overtake us. Come quickly to our aid that we may know peace and joy again. Strengthen us in this time of trial with the assurance of hope we know in the death and resurrection of our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen.

In God’s grace,

The Rev. Mark S. Hanson
Presiding Bishop
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

P.S. Thrivent has pledged to match $1 for every $2 their members contribute, up to a total contribution of $1 million from Thrivent. To make your matching gift (up to $250 per person), go to this Web page (

ELCA Presiding Bishop’s message to members on Haiti earthquake response

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

January 13, 2010

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ:

The first chaotic reports and images now are coming out of Haiti, documenting the devastation caused by yesterday’s massive earthquake. Haitian officials estimate that more than a hundred thousand people may have died and that the quake destroyed major parts of the capital, Port-au-Prince.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America already is responding through the Lutheran World Federation’s Haiti Program. Given the devastation caused by this earthquake, the ELCA has committed an initial $250,000 from ELCA International Disaster Response for Haiti and has authorized an additional $500,000 as congregations respond both to the immediate needs and long-term rebuilding efforts.

We give thanks to God that LWF staff escaped injury from the earthquake. We also give thanks that we have trusted and effective partners on the ground in Haiti who already are at work helping earthquake survivors. The ELCA is the largest regular supporter of the LWF’s program in Haiti, which helps communities escape the deep poverty in which so many Haitians live. Since staff is already in place, no precious time will be lost in shaping an effective response. The work of providing food and shelter and in helping people to rebuild their lives is under way.

We give thanks also for our partners in this work. The LWF staff in Haiti also was tapped to coordinate the responses of Protestant and Orthodox churches throughout the world through Action by Churches Together (ACT). In addition, the ELCA, in coordination with the Florida-Bahamas Synod, will be working to provide disaster support to and possibly through the emerging Lutheran church in Haiti.

More details of the ELCA’s response and a disaster insert for congregational use are posted on as communication channels are restored. Please share with members and friends both the urgent need in one of the United States’ closest neighbors and the effective means by which their church is responding. Please go to or call 800-638-3522 to give toward our response to the disaster in Haiti.

In God’s grace,

Mark S. Hanson
Presiding Bishop
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America