Many in Oklahoma and Texas are watching and waiting this Good Friday as fires sweep through their communities. Worshippers gather in safe places wondering if their homes and churches will be standing on Easter. We join their prayers for safety in the midst of disaster.
Katie Sherrod in the Diocese of Fort Worth, Texas reports:
We are ... displaced Episcopalians in Parker County who have been worshipping in a school near the fires have been watching carefully as well as helping some who were evacuated.
The whole city reeks of smoke and my grandson's soccer practice was cancelled because the smoke and ashes were so thick yesterday evening.
So far no injuries and no homes lost, so we are very lucky. But the winds are still high and we are all praying for rain, which is predicted for tomorrow.
And from the Rev. Emily Schnabl, St. Christopher's, Midwest City, Oklahoma, last night:
Parishioners evacuated or watching fires closely. A Maundy Thursday celebrated in the midst of crisis.
Read about the fires at CNN.
Schnabl writes today:
...for a number of parishioners, it got awfully close and they're feeling a little shaky this morning..
A friend of mine is an Episcopal chaplain over at the base, and there were people in the chapel who lost homes or sustained some damage.
It really changed our Maundy Thursday celebration--people came in briefly and left, and we were all anxious... While we were having service, we could hear the sound of sirens passing by outside. Even though the church wasn't particularly close to the fires, there was an odd smoky smell in the air