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  • Pastor Emily

Staying Connected with Our Community

Updated: Mar 26, 2020

You may not know that one of the first connections I had with FPC was during the 2017 Tubbs fire. At the time, I was the interim pastor at Knox Presbyterian Church over on the other side of town. On the night of the fire, my family and I fled our Rincon Valley home and went to sleep on the floor of my office at church. We then sheltered for the duration of the evacuation with some kind and generous church members in Sebastopol. Once my family was secure, and I knew that the Knox community was faring ok, I decided to drop in on the other churches in town to see if they needed help.

When I came by FPC, I found a church community sheltering and supporting one another during a time of extreme crisis. After saying hello to Dale and a few others, it became clear that this was one of those times when staying out of the way and offering prayer from afar was the best thing I could do. As I started to leave, I bumped into Linda Maloney (member and former elder) and we began to chat. She asked after the Knox congregation, and I shared that everyone was doing fine in regards to the fire, but we were struggling with water damage and a vanishing contractor who had left us high and literally dry with no restrooms for months on end. She recommended a new contractor, who turned out to be an answer to our prayers. I came looking to help, and left getting help!

Seeing how the FPC community pulled together during the fire left an impression on me. When my interim time was up at Knox, I was excited to be able to come to join the First Pres staff. Little did I know that in November 2019, my family would end up sheltering in my office at FPC during the Kincaid fire. Yet again, the church building was a place of respite and shelter for many. We were so grateful to be able to be there, to be safe, and to gather together with others during such a stressful time.

With the shelter-in-place due to COVID-19, we are again facing a stressful time as a community. This time it's different. We can't pull together in one location. However, it is vitally important that we do pull together as a community and keep in touch. That's why I've started this FPC Community Connections blog as a central place for us to remain in community. Check back on a regular basis for updates relevant to our community life. We'll share all kinds of stuff like spiritual practices, practical tips for staying sane when we're stuck at home, books reviews, music selections, and more.

If you'd like to contribute to this blog, please email me at

Below, please enjoy a photo of some of our FPC families fishing at Spring Lake during our August 2019 family barbecue. Several of our kids really caught fish that day!

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