O God, our refuge and strength,
our help in times of trouble.
Have mercy on the lands damaged by fires.
Have mercy on the lands
where weather has destroyed livelihoods.
Protect those who evacuate houses,
and strengthen those who rebuild hope
so that entire communities
may face the future without fear.
Dear St. John’s,
I first became aware of the devastating Hawaii wildfires when my cousin posted a photo on Facebook and said he was preparing for a quick middle-of-the-night evacuation if necessary. Fortunately, the fire stopped about half a mile from his house. Two other friends formerly from the Diocese of Newark also posted that they are safe: the Rev. George Wong, former rector of Church of the Saviour in Denville, and Hawaii Bishop Robert Fitzpatrick, who was a priest at St. Peter’s in Morristown when I first moved to the diocese.
On a happier note, I learned through a post on our church Facebook page that frequent commenter Mike Casparian was a choir member at St. John’s years ago, when Mrs. Bidwell was the organist.
These incidents reminded me, once again, of how connected we all are as members of Christ’s body. And they demonstrated that the tools of social media, which people often yield for less-noble purposes, can help us stay in touch with one another and connect across large geographic distances.
Let us give thanks for our connections as members of God’s extended family. And let us pray for all affected by the wildfires, which have killed at least 55 people and displaced hundreds of families.
In addition to prayers, we can help with monetary donations to the 2 Episcopal organizations listed below.
Articles are posted by the Communication team, Rev. Sharon and others.