Colorado wildfires

From the Office of the Bishop, Denver, by Beckett Stokes:

With fires raging around the state, parishes in many communities are affected by and responding to the worst wildfires the state has seen in some time.

The Waldo Canyon fire in the Colorado Springs area exploded overnight and ran into neighborhoods on the northwest side of Colorado Springs. Authorities now estimate at least 100 homes have been lost. With more than 32,000 people in the area evacuated, parishes in Colorado Springs have been working to pair parishioners who are evacuated with other parishioners who have room. The Rev. Sally Hubbell, an associate priest at St. Michael’s, which was in the evacuation area, said, “I think half our parish is staying with the other half.” Chapel of Our Saviour, also in Colorado Springs, is offering to help find homes for evacuees, as is St. Matthias in Monument. Grace & St. Stephen’s is also working to pair those with rooms to spare with those who’ve had to leave their homes, and will host St. Michaels for services on Sunday, if St. Michael's remains under an evacuation order.

Chapel of Our Saviour has also been collecting supplies requested by local agencies offering support to evacuees and firefighters, including Care and Share and Westside Cares. They’ve also offered their parish hall to St. Michael’s as they need it.

Today mandatory evacuations spread into Teller County and the Woodland Park area. Cathedral Ridge, the diocesan conference and retreat center outside of Woodland Park, has closed for the next seven days. Their staff is facilitating alternative locations for groups who had reservations there over the next seven days.

Episcopal Relief & Development has been in touch with the Office of the Bishop to see how they can help. The Office of the Bishop will take donations designated for fire relief and get them to either parishes in the area, Episcopal Relief & Development, or local agencies who are providing direct services to evacuees, firefighters and those who have lost property.

The front page of the diocesan website also includes "A Prayer for Rain" from the BCP:

O God, heavenly Father, who by thy son Jesus Christ has promised to all those who seek thy kingdom and its righteousness all things necessary to sustain their life: Send us, we entreat thee, in this time of need, such moderate rain and showers, that we may receive the fruits of the earth, to our comfort and to thy honor; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Additionally, on the blog Kirkepiscatoid

A Litany of Hope in a time of destruction by wildfires By Maria L. Evans

Creator God, Author of the Universe;
as the deer long for cooling streams,
as weary people long for shelter in skeletal, burned places,
gather your creatures and your children safely into your loving arms.
(silence)
In your mercy, Lord,
Hear our prayer.

Ever-present God of the wind and sky,
God who holds the oceans in the palm of Your holy hand,
God who has dominion of thunder and rain,
Assuage the thirst of a scorched land and a parched people.
(silence)
In your mercy, Lord,
Hear our prayer.

Sheltering God of maternal eagle’s wings and home-seeking sparrows,
Comfort your people.
Brace the aching legs of weary firefighters and volunteers
and ease the pain of the hearts of those displaced.
(silence)
In your mercy, Lord,
Hear our prayer.

Resurrecting God of of the Valley of Dry Bones and the Easter miracle,
Forgive, restore, and renew your people.
Remind us that, just as the lodgepole pine requires fire and death for rebirth,
that your people can also find hope in the acrid smoke of tragedy.
Call to the hearts of those unaffected by wildfires
to put their hands toward the cloud of smoke and pillars of fire
and grasp the hands of those who flee in fear.
We ask these things in the name of Jesus Christ,
who conquered the burnt wasteland of sin and death,
refreshing us with the living waters of the peace that passes all understanding.
Amen

Comments (2)

We give thanks to the entire Body of Christ everywhere for your prayers for rain, for the welfare of the firefighters, rescue and aid workers, those displaced by the fires, and those whose homes have been lost. Knowing that we are knit into one Body through Christ comforts us even in the midst of much fear, anxiety, and helplessness.

We in Colorado also offer up our prayers for the rest of the Body everywhere who are in trouble or any kind of sorrow. Lord, have mercy on us all.

Lelanda Lee
Member, Standing Committee, Diocese of Colorado

Amen!

JC Fisher

Being mindful also, of how we (individually and collectively) contribute to climate change, exacerbating the conditions which lead to explosive fires. Kyrie eleison.

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