It has been brought to my attention by Kevin Massey, the director for Lutheran Disaster Response and Lutheran Disaster Relief, that the National Weather Service has announced a "life-threatening winter storm of historic proportions" headed for the Seward Peninsula in Alaska. It is being predicted that hurricane force winds (Cat. 2 or 3) will endure for at least 12 hours, during this storm. This is twice as long as sustained winds in an actual hurricane. Add to this enormous storm surges on coastal areas that are already experiencing major erosion from rising waters and we have a potential for great disaster.
The ELCA has five congregations on the Seward Peninsula, which comprises one-third of the native ethnic-specific congregations of the ELCA. I encourage you all to do two things: 1) Pray for the safety of these congregational members and their communities, and 2) watch for ways that you can be of help to them in the coming days and weeks. Until a specific person has been designated as the ELCA contact person for more information regarding this situation, who lives outside the impact area, I suggest you contact The Rev. Mark Allred, the D.E.M. for the Alaska Synod. His email firstname.lastname@example.org. The synod office number is 907-272-8899.
Thank you for your concern and prayers for the members of Our Savior's LC, Nome; Brevig Memorial LC, Brevig Mission; Teller LC, Teller; Shishmaref LC, Shishmaref; and Thornton Memorial LC, Wales.
Program Director for American Indian & Alaska Native Ministries
Congregational & Synodical Mission Unit- ESMM
8765 W. Higgins Road
Chicago, IL 60631