Rev. Dr. Christine Johnson

It’s been quite a year in the life of West Carleton residents.  In September 2018, we had a tornado that damaged many homes, and lives, in the area. This spring, a flood on the Ottawa River, has left many without homes, or dealing with the aftermath in terms of repairs and clean-up.

Unfortunately, natural disasters are a fact of life.  It is disturbing, however, to consider that climate change may be at the heart of why we are experiencing so many climate emergencies.

As we deal with what this means for us, it’s normal to have existential questions.  Why is this happening to me?  What is my future?  What does all this mean?

In the midst of the trauma of dealing with damaged property, while still trying to function in our jobs or at home, we sometimes get overwhelmed.

Right now, our church is exploring ways that we can be more helpful when incidents such as a tornado or flood take place.  As a leader, I know that I experienced feelings of helplessness in the midst of these emergencies.

As our community learns more about the process of emergency preparedness, we hope to offer a caring and compassionate response to those who need concrete assistance and/or a friendly listener and companion on the way.

Bethel-St. Andrew’s United Church hopes to connect with our other religious communities of all faiths in order to be better prepared for such events and also to assist and continue the work of healing tired and stressed out souls.