Vigil brings prayers, money for tsunami victims

A group of 70 people gathered in fellowship and prayer here Sunday night on behalf of victims of the Boxing Day tsunami in Southeast Asia.
The event, sponsored by the Fort Frances Ministerial Association, was hosted by Knox United Church.
Rev. Marietta Marshall of Knox United Church said Monday she was pleased at the turnout and generosity of those on hand, although she does not yet have a final tally of the money collected.
However, she said it was another example of the good that can be accomplished when the various faiths work together.
“The ministerial association here works very well,” Rev. Marshall noted. “We hold these on a regular basis. The tsunami relief was just an added event.”
Rev. Marshall said the real credit for the vigil belongs to Pastor Stephen Laing of Calvary Tabernacle, the current president of the local ministerial association, as well as Fr. Wayne McIntosh from St. John’s Anglican Church.
“It was really [Fr.] McIntosh who was the heart and soul,” she stressed.
Pastor Laing shared Rev. Marshall’s enthusiasm for the vigil and the response of the community at large.
“We were just thrilled at the sense of unity there,” he enthused. “We believe prayer is one way to make a difference—as well as giving—and we’re just grateful we were able to do both.”
The vigil featured addresses from Pastor Laing, Rev. Marshall, and Fr. McIntosh, as well as Pastor Jeff Plett (Evangelical Fellowship Church), Pastor Sandy McEvoy (Joy of Life Fellowship Church), Rev. Brian Keffer (Zion Lutheran Church), and Fr. George Karekunnel (St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church).
In addition, there were songs and readings from Mike Andrusco, Capt. Marlene Sandoval (Fort Frances Salvation Army), Kayla Lauzon, and a choir composed of members of several churches.
Proceeds from the vigil will go to the Salvation Army South Asia Disaster Fund.
For those who could not make it Sunday night, a benefit concert is being held tomorrow (Jan. 27) at 7 p.m. at the Townshend Theatre, featuring Lauzon and members of the youth choir from International Falls.
All donations for tsunami relief are welcome.