SA communities were devastated by bushfires in the Black Summer of 2019/20: Yorke Peninsula, Adelaide Hills and Kangaroo Island were the worst affected. These fires impacted families, properties, livestock, businesses, and areas where many live and work, and others choose to find recreation.
In response to the Black Summer fires, the Uniting Church investment Committee swiftly donated $50,000 from Uniting Fund SA to the Uniting Church SA (USCA) Relief Fund, which enabled these funds to be quickly mobilised for numerous significant initiatives. This gift was followed by generous donations from churches and individuals, all of which are being put to good use in the following ways:
A Recovery Minister was appointed in each of the three communities to provide additional ministry support. These Ministers supplemented the work of their colleagues already in placement, and together helped address the pastoral, emotional and spiritual support needs generated by the fires in local congregations and the broader communities.
Through this additional ministry, seeds have been sown in local congregations about how they might assist and support their communities during the long-term recovery process. Given that disaster recovery generally takes about two years, there are many opportunities and ways to offer support, especially once outside agencies have moved on. The UCSA Relief Fund may well become a source of financial support for projects still in the imaginations of these congregations.
• The long-term future of Disaster and Recovery Ministries SA has been bolstered by this gift, enabling the provision of chaplaincy to Relief Centres, Recovery Centres and on outreach teams in partnership with the SA Government whenever and wherever disasters strike in the region.
None of these initiatives would be possible without our Investors who continue to provide their support and trust.
Thank you for assisting our disaster-affected communities in SA!