Checking In and Staying Connected: In Response to the Present Fires
Updated: Aug 20, 2020
by Pastor Dale
The recent storm that brought thunder and lightning to our area has sparked a new threat of Lightning Complex Fires in Sonoma and Napa counties. The rapid spread of the Walbridge Fire West of Healdsburg and the Myers Fire North of Jenner have resulted in mandatory evacuations and a sense of alarm for area residents and neighboring communities. Some members and/or relatives of our church family have been evacuated; others have provided shelter and support. The immediacy of this fire is hard to accept given what we are already dealing with.
Emergency officials warned that the 2020 fire season would come early this year. For this reason, our church’s Caring Ministries formed an Emergency Preparedness Team to encourage us all with resources, information, and practical steps for how to be prepared with Go-bags, emergency kits, and evacuation plans. With government restrictions in place related to Covid-19, the church facilities will not be open--now or this Fall-- to house people as an evacuation site or place of shelter as we have in past years.
Nevertheless, there are ways, we as congregation can extend care and offer support to others in a response to this present fire.
Adjusting to the coronavirus these past several months has taken a toll on us all. We have had to formulate new schedules and patterns of activity related to work, family life, school, and social communications. During this time, many of us have experienced fatigue, forgetfulness, bouts of disinterest or even depression. And now a fire. We may want to lose ourselves with distractions or news further away, but we must be focused with what is here and now.
To the safety precautions we follow related to the coronavirus, we must now add fire safety and emergency preparedness. Please visit this week and last week’s church emails to access the Emergency Preparedness Resource. Then take time to make the necessary preparations. (Click here to view last week's email communication)
We need to stay connected as a church family. Please check-in with those you know who might be affected by this present evacuation to offer your support and care. People who lost homes in 2017 or who were evacuated in 2019 may need to process their feelings and reactions to this present fire. You can be there for them with a caring heart and listening ear. Others in our church family who live alone might benefit from a phone call to let them know you are there for them. If you are aware of someone who might need assistance, please contact our Caring Ministries Director.
We may feel powerless in the presence of yet another crisis and emergency, but we know better. Prayer is never our last resort; rather it is our primary resource for help in times of trouble. Please join us in praying for containment of the fires, for safety and stamina of firefighters and first responders, for families whose homes are at risk, and for all who are emotionally distressed by these conditions.
In closing, recall the lyrics to the song we sing together by David Haas: “I Will Be With You”
I will come to your in the silence. I will lift you from all your fears.
You will have my voice, I claim you as my choice.
Be still and know I am here.
I am hope for all who are hopeless. I am eyes for all who long to see.
In the shadow of the night, I will be your light.
Come and rest in me.
Do not be afraid I am with you. I have called you each by name.
Come and follow me, I will bring you home!
I love you and you are mine.