Fires Update, Oct. 18

Healdsburg vineyards. Photograph by Bryan Meltz
for the New York Times

Almighty God, to whom our needs are known before we ask: 
Help us to ask only what accords with your will; and those 
good things which we dare not, or in our blindness cannot 
ask, grant us for the sake of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

People in Jerusalem are praying for us. To see their bishop's letter to Bishop Barry, click  here.
As people begin to return home, CalFire cautions that a number of hazardous situations remain. Check for tips on returning, and the latest fire and evacuation information. More information is here as well. And the New York Times has an excellent story on the hazards. For city of Santa Rosa information (including current evacuation status, boil water notices, missing persons): 
Here are some food safety tips for those returning home after a fire.
The city of Sonoma has many emergency links  here.  
Follow the governor's Office of Emergency Services on  YouTube.

St. Patrick's, Kenwood, is "still standing, praise God," said Mother Karen King. The church is closed until further notice, and the services will be held with Incarnation, Santa Rosa, again this Sunday, Oct. 22. St. Luke's, Calistoga, worshiped with Grace, St. Helena, last Sunday. These congregations have been distributing gift cards for gas and groceries for fire victims, and the Rev. Sally Hubbell at St. Paul's, Healdsburg, also got a batch to begin passing out today.

Free therapy at Incarnation this Saturday: The Redwood Empire Chapter of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists is hosting free drop-in counseling at the Church of the Incarnation, Santa Rosa, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. for anyone who needs to talk about the recent fires. Therapeutic arts & crafts and games for children, and refreshments will be available.  For more information on the effects of trauma on children, or adults, please see RECAMFT's resource page

Nevada County Community Disaster Response Fund: Grass Valley Police Chaplains and local community leaders are partnering to organize a Community Disaster Response Fund to help those in Nevada County devastated by the local fires. At this time, 22 homes have been lost with a total of more than 55 structures destroyed including businesses, barns, and equipment. Congregations may choose to take an offering through its regular channels and then submit a church check to the Fund.  Donations are urgently needed and appreciated. 100% of all donations will go directly to verified victims.

Looking to volunteer? 

The Redwood Empire Food Bank still needs volunteers. They ask that you sign up via this link so that we can schedule volunteers efficiently. If you want your food donation to go farther, go to and select the REFB box near the bottom of the page. You'll pay for one box of Capay Valley organic  fruits to be donated to fire victims, and Farm Fresh to You will match your donation with another box to REFB.

To volunteer in Sonoma County, go here. Or here. 

To help at the Solano Large-Animal Evacuation Center, go here.

The Center for Volunteer and Nonprofit Leadership has also been called in to help. If you wish to donate or volunteer, you can register at

FEMA grants are available are available for residents who have lost a house or business in the following counties: Butte, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Nevada, Orange, Sonoma and Yuba.. They can apply online at or by phone at 800-621-3362, or (TTY) 800-462-7585. The phone numbers are available from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week, FEMA said.  Applicants will be asked to provide identification and contact information, a description of the damage and insurance information. 

Monetary donations are the very best way to support the victims of the fires:
  • Episcopal Relief & Development, through the U.S. Disaster Fund. 
  • Episcopal Diocese of Northern California bishop's discretionary fund through the diocese's website. The bishop has begun disbursing funds; please contact your clergy person with any needs involving fire relief and we will respond promptly. 
  • Incarnation, Santa Rosa, through its fire-relief fund.
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