Dear Ones,

I wanted to update you on the Oso Mudslide from the perspective of those nearest this situation.  I talked today to the Vicar of Transfiguration, Darrington, Janet Loyd.  She is doing an amazing job in this situation.  She reports that the town is bonding together well and she is back working in her teaching job at the Elementary School there, as well as her priestly duties.    She reports that still, at this point, the best thing we can do is pray, and give.   You can give here if you desire.   We will work with Janet+ to see that the funds go where they are most needed.  The town is a bit overwhelmed and many volunteers that have shown up to help dig have had to sit it out due to having too many people to put into the zone.  Having some real experience in disaster response this is often our first instinct, a real and natural one, to go help, but that is often the least helpful.  The infrastructure needs to support those trained, and prepared, to do the work that needs to be done now.  Once this phase is over, there will be a huge need for rebuilding and I am sure we can play a major role in that when it comes.

I also spoke to the Mayor of Darrington today, Danny Rankin, assuring him of our prayers and our willingness to be with him and his town and area in the months to come.   He was very appreciative of the call.   Congresswoman Suzan DelBene, a member of St. Thomas, Medina, has been on the ground and has received high praise from all the officials there.    There was an interfaith prayer service last evening at which Janet Loyd ably represented us.    Our Dave Baylor, Diocesan Disaster Coordinator is closely monitoring this situation and working with Janet.

The connections ripple throughout our diocese, state, and world.   I am just back from the House of Bishops meeting in Texas and this was a major area for prayer each day, with many offers to help us in the future as needed.  I continue to hear stories of how people are connected both to the area, and even more to people who have been affected directly by the event.   That is sure to grow and continue.   The Rev. Rachel Taber-Hamilton, Rector of Trinity, Everett has many of those personal connections within her congregation.  She offered this website as a way to help you, and any you know, with explaining such disasters and loss to children.

Also, two website with graphics which try to reveal the shear size of this mudslide

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/03/26/us/houses-in-the-path-of-the-washington-mudslide.html?_r=1

http://seattletimes.com/html/picturethis/2023210816_darrington_arlington_mudslide_interactive_03232014.html

Keep the prayers coming.  We will keep you informed of how we can help as that is made clear to us.

Blessings,
+Greg