Members of Trinity Episcopal in Bend, OR were stunned to find their church devastated by an early morning fire. They gathered behind the crime tape and tried to take in the scene.
Parishioner Ginger Sanders took this photo:
A press release from the Diocese says that members of the congregation won’t be able to assess the amount of fire, smoke and water damage until investigators complete their work. Besides the two buildings on the Trinity campus, fires were set at two nearby house, two cars and a shed. “Somebody went on a real rampage,” said The Rev. Roy Green, interim rector.
An update page can be found on the Trinity Bend website.
KTVZ.com reports on the fire, excerpted below:
Someone may have set fire to their place of worship. Broken windows, blackened walls and a caving roof are left behind.
“It makes me angry,” said (Carol) Zeigler (married there in 1954). “I don’t know why people have to get their kicks by hurting people. They’re sick.”
And perhaps the people hurt the most are those who were threatened with losing a hot meal. Family Kitchen served more than 50,000 meals just last year. Lunch for the homeless is given out three times a week and dinner is served up twice a week.
“I’m just shocked that someone would do this,” said Family Kitchen Program Coordinator Cindy Tidball. “What an awful thing for someone to do. I just really can’t believe it. I am really just in shock.
But the goodness of others in the community also shone through.
All four Subways in Bend donated two platters of sandwiches, so that Family Kitchen volunteers could still hand out food to the homeless. Hooker Creek donated time and equipment to get generators running, to save five freezers and three refrigerators full of food.
Rev. Roy Green says in all of his time, he’s never seen anything like this happen to his own church.
“It makes me angry,” said Green. “You feel wounded and violated. But we’re in the resurrection business. So we will gather ’round, come close and get through this and rebuild.”
As the smoke lifted, all the church members had to do was look up at the cross still standing tall atop the building, by the damaged roof, to know their faith was not swayed by tragedy.
“All will be well,” said Green. “It will be a bumpy road for awhile, but all will be well.”