A 9.0-magnitude earthquake and resulting tsunami struck Japan this past Friday, March 11. The quake was the strongest to hit the country since officials started keeping records over 100 years ago. Adding to the crisis is an ongoing situation at regional nuclear plants, which has prompted the evacuation of tens of thousands of people.

Episcopal Relief & Development is supporting the response efforts of Nippon Sei Ko Kei (NSKK, the Anglican Communion in Japan) following the catastrophe. An initial contribution has already been sent to the Provincial Office to support work in the Dioceses of Tohoku and Kita Kanto. The Anglican Communion in Japan is organizing teams with relief supplies, and will also launch a longer-term response to assist those who have lost so much in re-establishing their lives. Currently the diocese is developing emergency relief centers while completing a more comprehensive damage assessment to determine where additional assistance and services will be provided. As communications improve, updates on this response will be provided. Episcopal Relief & Development will continue to support the Church in its longer-term recovery plans.

Please photocopy this bulletin insert and place it in your Sunday Service leaflet this Sunday, March 20, or the following Sunday, March 27. Your prayers and support will help in providing for the country's recovery and rebuilding efforts in the days to come.

This prayer is by the Rev. Timothy Nakayama, Diocese of Olympia and formerly a priest with NKSS in the Dioceses of Tohoku and Okinawa:

O God, the Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ, O God, the Son, our Friend and Brother, and O God the Holy Spirit, who Leads us Into All Truth: Pour into our hearts the abundance of your mercy so that We, Your People, gathered together during this holy season of Lent in the Year of Our Lord, 2011, may give from our abundance, to help People in the face of so much destruction, suffering, injury, and death, during the Great Earthquake in Northeast Japan: followed by fires, tsunamis and the threat of nuclear fallout. We ask this, in the Name of the One who gave His Life that we might live forever: Our Savior, Friend and Brother-Christ Jesus, Our Lord. AMEN.

Please encourage your congregation to visit Episcopal Relief & Development's website, www.er-d.org, for updated information on the crisis and to make a contribution to the Japan Earthquake Response Fund to help those affected.

Please make checks payable to: Episcopal Relief & Development/Japan Earthquake Response Fund
Mail to: PO Box 7058 Merrifield, VA 22116-7058

To make a credit card donation, please call 1.800.334.7626, ext. 5129 or visit www.er-d.org.