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Bishop Beisner appeals for prayers, assistance as fires continue to grow

Bishop Beisner appeals for prayers, assistance as fires continue to grow

As wildlfires continue to grow in Northern California, covering more than 100 square miles, the Rt Revd Barry Beisner has issued an appeal for prayers for those affected by evacuation, loss and injury, and for clergy attempting to support them in the midst of their own stress.

Dear Friends in Christ,

Please join me in holding in prayer all who are directly affected by the crisis caused by the fires burning in Northern California. Pray especially for those who have suffered loss and all who mourn. Pray for those who may have lost or had to leave livestock and pets behind. Pray for those who have had to evacuate, and for all whom this is a time of deep disruption and anxious uncertainty. Pray for our firefighters and emergency responders, especially those who have been injured.

Pray also for our clergy in the emergency areas, as they actively engage in crisis ministry. My staff and I are in close communication with them, and they are advising us how best to help and where best to direct the contributions now being made to the Bishop’s Discretionary Fund. I will share what I learn with you.

May the grace and peace of Christ, together with His compassion and power to save, be known everywhere these fires are felt, and in the hearts of all His people.

The update includes details of Episcopal parishes involved in the relief effort.

Valley Fire Updates

St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Calistoga is now an evacuation center, with the Napa County Fair Grounds as the reception center. The Rev. Canon Mary Goshert, Priest-in-Charge, is asking urgently for your prayers and support.

An Update from Canon Goshert: Deacon Susan Napoliello has been at the fairgrounds all night and is returning there today. Thomas Hughes, a retired Roman Catholic priest who worships with us, has been there all night and continues today. The members of our preschool board are out shopping for emergency supplies, the Red Cross is there, and Calistoga merchants and restaurants are stellar in their responses with necessities and cooked food and service.

Grace Episcopal Church in St. Helena has members who are being evacuated. Parishioners arrived Sunday morning rather in shock with the stress, and grateful for a place to come and pray. The Rev. Mac McIlmoyl is ably praying, supporting, and mobilizing their members for mutual support.

The Rev. Kay Rohde, Ministry Development Coordinator for the diocese, visited St. John’s Episcopal Church in Lakeport, where some parishioners are being evacuated and one has lost their home. St. John’s has opened up their food and clothes closet to the community, and members are helping out with the efforts there.

The Rev. Canon Stephen Carpenter, Rector of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Napa, reports that members of St. Mary’s are helping support the evacuees.

Butte Fire Updates

Trinity Episcopal Church in Sutter Creek is an evacuation site and is supporting evacuees. The Rev. Karen Siegfriedt, Rector at Trinity reports that her congregation is also experiencing evacuation and loss of homes.

The Bishop’s page includes an appeal for contributions to the “Bishop’s Discretionary Fund – Fire.”

Our prayers rise up for those suffering and sorrowing.

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Emily Cragg

I walked out of the fire 12 hours after the evacuation order and was taken to the Evac Center 30 miles away. From there I was matched with a family in Lakeport, who have taken me in. The Sheriff’s Deputy, Red Cross’ staff and nurse’s assistance were impeccable and warm. I’m safe now, but we don’t know until we get back in about another week, whether there is still a house to go home to. Four days in, angels are working hard because people are opening up, responding and giving what they have.

What an experience to tell my grandchildren, when I am finally united with my family. In the meantime, one has to be open to God’s leadings.

In Agape Love and with kindest regards,
Emily Cragg

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