In response to the heartbreaking deadly fires ravaging our neighbor congregations in the Diocese of Northern California, Bishop Marc reached out to Bishop Barry Beisner to ask how DioCal can help.

“Prayers and donations is the short answer,” Bishop Beisner responded. “Many of our folks in Napa, Kenwood, Santa Rosa have been evacuated (some from west of Grass Valley also). Some have lost homes. One is reported to have lost his winery,“ he added.

Bishop Beisner suggests sending monetary donations to his Discretionary Fund, or directly to the Church of the Incarnation, Santa Rosa, which is currently receiving evacuees. “Please, no clothing, etc. until needs are more carefully assessed. I am grateful for your concern,” he said.

Episcopal Relief and Development is in close touch with the Diocese of Northern California and will be updating its plans shortly.

In our diocese, Church of the Nativity, San Rafael is a registered evacuation center; St. John’s, Ross and St. Alban’s, Albany are also in contact with local emergency personnel and are on standby to host evacuees; and Grace Church, Martinez is prepared to provide sleep space and parking spaces for RVs if needed. Please be aware that this is a fluid situation and plans are subject to change. Please notify DioCal’s Working Group Head for Communications Stephanie Martin Taylor at stephaniem@diocal.org and DioCal’s Disaster Team Coordinator, the Rev. Jane McDougal at jane@holyinsf.org of any important updates in your congregation’s disaster response so that they can spread the word.

This tragedy is a stark reminder of why Episcopal Relief and Development urges congregations in our diocese and around the nation to update the information on ERD’s Asset Map, which keeps track of which congregations have kitchens, showers, housing facilities, and other services useful in an emergency. DioCal’s Asset Map information, along with update instructions can be found here.  

A final note: A call has gone out from the Interfaith Council of Contra Costa for churches who can provide housing either inside the church or spaces for evacuees to stay in RVs in church parking lots. Please contact them directly to be included on their registry.

Original article