[Episcopal Diocese of Olympia] In a special edition email news release, Bishop Greg Rickel reported on the situation in Oso and Darrington in the aftermath of the mudslide over this past weekend and provided information on how financial support may be provided by individuals in the diocese.
Said Rickel, “I have been in close communication with the Rev. Janet Loyd, vicar at Church of the Transfiguration in Darrington, near Oso, and the Rev. Terry Kyllo, vicar of St. Philip’s in Marysville. Both Janet and Terry have members of their congregations who have been affected by the mudslide. Please continue to keep them all in your prayers.”
Rickel reported that he had also been in contact with Dave Baylor, diocesan Disaster Relief Coordinator. Baylor functions as the primary connection with the U.S. Disaster Program of Episcopal Relief & Development in New York, to help determine what kind of support that organization might offer to the diocese and the local church in situations like this. He also functions as our liaison to the state level organization of faith-based and community organizations that respond to these events. This group is known as the Washington Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster or WAVOAD.
According to Baylor, “This provides us an integrated and well-informed connection with the field staff and managers of groups such as the American Red Cross, Catholic Community Services, United Methodist Volunteers in Mission, and a host of other similar groups that mobilize to provide help at various points following a disaster, plus federal, state, county and local government agencies.”
An online donation page has been established for those who would like to assist with this relief effort through financial support. This fund will help not only with immediate efforts, but also in the longer term response to needs created by this mudslide.
Rickel concluded with the following prayer, offered for use by congregations and/or individuals:
O merciful Father, comfort all who are in distress in the wake of the mudslides affecting those along the north fork of the Stillaguamish River. Give courage to those who search for family, friends and neighbors, so they will not be lost in danger or despair. Show your compassion to those who have lost loved ones, that they may feel your presence and live in hope of the resurrection. Strengthen those who have lost homes and possessions but have their lives, that they may embrace the precious gift of one another. Receive into your arms your children whose lives have been swept away, that they rest in your everlasting peace through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.