A few have asked about what we are doing about the fires in Eastern Washington. I can assure you that we have been monitoring this situation from the beginning. I want to also share our basic approach to such disasters, which is, to be in touch with those closest to it, and to attempt to actually respond in the way they wish us to, not the way we think we should. That is not always an easy call we do realize.
In this case, Dave Baylor, our Diocesan Disaster Coordinator has been in frequent and regular touch with several connections there. Archdeacon Gen Grewell has also been in touch. I have been talking to Bishop Jim Waggoner of the Diocese of Spokane. I quote from a message by Bishop Waggoner yesterday to me,
Lots of smoke in the community downtown, residential areas of Cashmere, Wenatchee, Chelan, and Ellensburg — actually quite close to Suncadia. Fires as well around Grand Coulee. The good news is that to date the fires are not upon homes and property and, as far as I know, no losses of life.
Toward the end of last week I was again on the phone with the clergy of areas named and none expressed particular needs except the need for air to clear. I am staying in regular contact and will keep you further informed on details and emerging needs.
In each case, we have been told that the most pressing need is prayer for the air to clear and the fires to be extinguished. In actuality, and blessedly, not many homes have been taken by the fire. Some have suggested collecting food and clothing, but this does not seem to be the request of those in the area, at least from those we are contact with. As is most often the case, the Red Cross is responding and can use donations of money to keep responding. If you wish to give, I would suggest that at this time. Should the Diocese of Spokane decide to begin such donations I will be sure and let you know.
Many blessings and thanks to those who have inquired.