Today we wake and continue our vigil with our church and community in Redding. Bishop Barry convened a call with bishop's staff, Dean Richard Yale, Rev. Carren, and our Episcopal Relief and Development representative.
All Saints, Redding.
Photo taken late July 26, 2018 by the Rev. Carren Sheldon, Interim Rector of All Saints.
Rev. Carren Sheldon, Interim Rector, is shepherding them beautifully in this crisis. Her words this morning on our disaster relief call helped me to understand our work more clearly. She helped us to understand that while so many want to help, really, during this first stage of a crisis there is not much to be done. The first responders which include the National Guard at this point, are the practical helpers right now. Those on the ground, experiencing the crisis, are preserving energy to focus on the task at hand, and it is not easy to focus on the offer for help from outside the area.
"The best work for you - and the hardest in some ways - is to help us to wait, watch, and know that God is God," said Rev. Carren.
Dean Richard Yale is contacting local clergy and lay leaders to be ready should evacuation needs extend outside the Redding area. We still do not need material donations at this time, as we have no way to store, sort, transport, or deliver.
We are blessed that the local Lutheran church has opened their doors for the All Saints church to gather in prayer and community well outside the evacuation zone. Our church building is within the evacuation zone, and we do not know at this time if the fire has extended that far. Rev. Carren went in last night and gathered the parish records, and they will be safely stored in the bishop's office during this crisis.
We do need our wider church community to gather in prayer and spiritual support and so that is the call for help now, today:
let us bear witness with one another, and stand with those in distress so they are not alone. We see you, we pray with you, and we remember that God is God.
Heavenly God, in you we live and move and have our
being: We humbly pray you so to guide and govern us by
your Holy Spirit, that in all the cares and occupations of our
life we may not forget you, but may remember that we are
ever walking in your sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Your Sister in Christ,