UPDATE (4/24): Grateful for the spirit of collaboration between churches. Grateful for the spirit of generosity. As of today,
29 30 churches have covenanted together to pray and raise funds. Thus far, we’ve raised $129,000 for Oso Relief and Rebuilding efforts (of which 100% will go directly to efforts). Hoping for at least one more church to join us to come alongside the 30 churches in the Oso/Darrington/Arlington area.
It’s been such a heavy week processing all the news from the tragedy of the mudslides in Snohomish County in Washington or otherwise known by locals as the Oso Mudslide.
On Saturday, March 22, 2014 at 10:37 am, “a major mudslide occurred 4 miles (6.4 km) east of Oso, Washington, United States, when a portion of an unstable hillside known as the “Hazel Landslide” collapsed, sending mud and debris across the North Fork of the Stillaguamish River and onto the adjacent river valley, covering an area of approximately 1 square mile (2.6 km). As of March 28, 2014, the Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s office confirmed 17 of the dead have been identified,and that a further 10 bodies have not been formally identified, and 90 people remain missing or unaccounted for as a result of the landslide. [link]
To be honest, I had no idea this took place until later on Saturday evening. And by then, I was too focused on getting my heart and mind ready for my Sunday sermon…and had no idea of the depth of tragedy and human suffering.
17 37 confirmed dead.
10 6 not formally identified
90 30 missing
And we know these numbers will increase.
Hundreds of families directly impacted.
Thousands grieving and mourning.
We cry. We mourn. And we cry more…
Sometimes, you just cry because that’s all that you can do. But we keep praying for all those that have passed and their loved ones. We pray for those missing. We pray for all the relief efforts and the relief workers.
Oh Lord, in your mercy, we pray…
As we pray, we act. We come alongside…
A vision has sprouted among some leaders within several Seattle area churches. This isn’t about their church, my church, that leader, this leader… This is about the wider Seattle area church, the regional Church, and the larger Body of Christ to respond to this tragedy.
Churches Together for Oso Relief
We’ll be launching a We’ve launched a special fund this week with hopes of raising $100,000 through various churches around Seattle, Belleuve, Puget Sound, Pacific Northwest, and around the country/world. We’ve working on launched the website right now so we’ll need your help to share it but as you’re reading this, maybe you might encourage your church this weekend to consider joining us. For example, Quest will be making a donation and encouraging our congregation to make donations to their own church (designated for Oso Relief) and then, we’ll make a collective donation to this relief and rebuilding fund.
So far, the following churches have joined together. I’ll be adding churches to this list as we hear commitments:
Alderwood Community Church
Ballard Church (Seattle)
Bethany Community Church
Bethany Covenant Church of Mount Vernon
Compass Community Church
Cornerstone Christian Fellowship
Creekside Covenant Church
Emerald City Bible Fellowship
Evangelical Chinese Church (Seattle & Redmond)
Faith Bible Church (Seattle)
First Covenant Church of Everett
Highland Covenant Church (Bellevue)
Kent Covenant Church
North Sound Community Church
Pacific Northwest Conference
Pine Lake Covenant Church
Praise Covenant Church
Redmond Presbyterian Church
a Seattle Church
Seattle Chinese Alliance Church
Shoreline Covenant Church
Trinity Church (Kirkland)
Wiley Heights Covenant Church
University Presbyterian Church
Dear churches and pastors: Would you join us? Let’s stand together.
Email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or leave a comment so I can add you to our #OneChurch list.
* And we’d be thrilled to have businesses, schools, clubs, individuals, and companies join us as well.
The funds will go to a Relief Fund administered by local pastors/leaders in the larger Snohomish Country/Arlington Area. They are folks that we trust and have pledged that 100% of the funds will go to relief and rebuilding efforts.
In the coming weeks, we hope to also mobilize local Seattle area churches to send volunteers to the region.
Unity and Love
This is important because we want to show unity in the body of Christ in the larger Seattle area. We want to demonstrate our love to the communities in Oso. We will send a letter sent representing all the women, men, and children from all the churches that will partner together in this relief fund. We want to come alongside local leaders because they know their context and community better than we ever can. These churches, congregations, and leaders will remain…when the attention dissipates to another story.
And lastly, we want God to receive all the glory and honor.
So, once more, if your church or community is interested in making a donation and signing a joint letter to the Oso community, please email me at eugene(at)seattlequest.org.
Together – to demonstrate God’s love and compassion to the grieving and suffering. For the glory of God.
– Pastor Eugene
photo credit: King5News