Dear brothers in Christ,
As you are well aware, a deadly tsunami struck the coast of Japan in the early hours this morning. Hundreds of people have lost their lives and many more are missing. As the morning progressed, the lethal waves moved across the Pacific Ocean striking other land masses in their path. While the full effect of the tsunami is not yet known, the losses are expected to be great.
We have been in touch with our missionaries and partner church leaders in the affected parts of the world. At this time, we have been assured that our missionaries in Japan and the presidents of the two Japanese Lutheran churches are safe. We will continue to closely monitor the aftermath of the storm, and our disaster response team is preparing to respond.
We encourage you to visit the LCMS website, http://www.lcms.org, often for periodic news updates. Also, we will be posting links to worship resources later today that may be suitable for use this Sunday or at another appropriate time.
In closing, please join me in prayer for the victims of the tsunami and their families. I would suggest the Litany. And let us also during this Lenten season make use of the historic discipline of caring for the needy (Matt. 6:2-4).
God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea. Psalm 46: 1-2
In His peace,
Rev. Matthew C. Harrison, President
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod