Eugene Cho

Churches Standing Together for Oso Mudslide Relief.

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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)
Bellevue Presbyterian
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
Marketplace Church
North Sound Community Church
Overlake Church
Pacific Northwest Conference
Pine Lake Covenant Church
Praise Covenant Church
Quest Church
Redmond Presbyterian Church
Roots Church
a Seattle Church
Seattle Chinese Alliance Church
Shoreline Covenant Church
Trinity Church (Kirkland)
Westminster Chapel
Wiley Heights Covenant Church
University Presbyterian Church

Dear churches and pastors: Would you join us? Let’s stand together.

Email me (eugene@seattlequest.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

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24 Responses

  1. Greg says:

    Please add ‘Pacific Northwest Conference’ to this list. Praying and standing together.

  2. Doug says:

    Hey Eugene, add us to the list for #OneChurch.

    Creekside Covenant Church

  3. Jason says:

    Please add First Covenant Church of Everett to the #OneChurch list

  4. Tim Gaydos says:

    Hey eugene, count us in. thanks for getting this going.

  5. Abe says:

    Hey Eugene,

    Our church is small, but we’d like to unite with the other Seattle area churches in the relief efforts. We’re going to have an offering next Sunday.

    Abe
    Compass Community Church

  6. […] for 100% of  funds to go to relief and rebuilding efforts.  As Pastor Eugene Cho wrote on his BLOG “We want to come alongside local leaders because they know their context and community better […]

  7. Eugene Cho says:

    Excited to share that Highland Covenant Church has joined the efforts.

  8. […] leaders because they know their context and community better than we ever can,” Cho said in a blog post. “These churches, congregations, and leaders will remain…when the attention dissipates to […]

  9. Royce Yuen says:

    Marketplace Church would like to join in on this effort. Thanks Eugene for leading this.

  10. Reiko Aramaki says:

    I also sent you an e-mail but Faith Bible Church would like to be a part of this.

  11. […] been a pretty ragged week, I’d say.  There are glimmers of hope, people who still unite in the face of hardship, such as told about by Eugene Cho.  There was another post from Kathy Escobar about healers, […]

  12. Mark says:

    We’ll be taking an offering this Sunday for Oso Families–Wiley Heights Covenant Church (Yakima, WA)

  13. Eugene, we will be taking an offering this Sunday. Keep us in the loop.
    Mark, Pine Lake Covenant

  14. Victor Caraveo says:

    It is amazing this tragedy became now a competitive tournament to see who is helping more, most of the evangelicals want to be on top of the list but no credit at all to the Catholics, go and see for yourself to see who is really helping recoveries at the site and you find names like Jeff and Theresa Smith and pastor Tim Sauer. Inmaculate Conception,and St.John Vianney from Arlington and Darrington they been on top of this tragedy. From New Mexico a former Oso Resident. Victor Caraveo

    • Becky says:

      I am glad to share that Immaculate Conception is part of the Arlington Ministerial Association, who will be receiving funds through this ecumenical multi-church effort.

  15. […] leaders because they know their context and community better than we ever can,” Cho said in a blog post. “These churches, congregations, and leaders will remain…when the attention dissipates to […]

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One Day’s Wages

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#TamirRice Incredible news: @onedayswages is projecting to have our most impactful year as we grant out $1.3 million dollars! Thank you so much for your prayers and support...please read on to learn how you can join in our work.

As you gather with family, friends, and loved ones for Thanksgiving and the holidays, I wanted to share an opportunity. Often times, when I speak to people about the privilege of generosity, I remind them, "You don't have to but you get to." It's so true.

My wife and I (and our three kids) started ODW in 2009. We felt the Holy Spirit convicting us to give up our year's salary. It wasn't an easy thing to say "Yes" or "Amen" to but we made the decision to obey. As a result, it took us about three years to save, simplify, and sell off things we didn't need.

It's been an incredible journey as we've learned so much about the heart of God and God's love for the hurting and vulnerable around the world - particularly those living in extreme poverty. ODW is a small, scrappy, grassroots organization (with just 3 full-time employees) but since our launch, we've raised nearly $6 million dollars to help those living in extreme poverty: clean water and sanitation, education, maternal health, human trafficking, refugee crisis, hunger, and the list goes on and on.

So, here's my humble ask: As we do this work, would you consider making a pledge to support our work...so that we can keep doing this work with integrity and excellence?
You can make a one time gift or make monthly pledge of just $25 (or more). Thanks so much for considering this: http://onedayswages.org/give (link in bio, too) Don't just count your blessings. Bless others with your blessings. Here, there, everywhere. Be a blessing for this blesses our Father in Heaven and builds the Kingdom of God.

#ReThinkRegugees #WeWelcomeRefugees
@onedayswages Grateful. Still reflecting on the letters that I've received from classmates and students that have come before me and after me. Never imagined all that God would have in store for me. Lots of humbling things but in the midst of them, there were literally thousands upon thousands of daily decisions and choices to be faithful. That's what matters. Seen or unseen. Noticed or unnoticed. You do your best and sometimes you stumble and fumble along but nevertheless, seeking to be faithful.

Also, you know you're getting old when your school honors you with a Distinguished Alumni Award. Lol. 47 is the new 27. Or something like that. Here's to the next 47. In our culture, we can be so obsessed with the "spectacular" or "glamorous." The Church often engagws in thia language and paradigm...but what if God has called many of us to small, ordinary things?

Will we still be faithful?
Will we still go about such things with great love and joy?

I recently came across this picture taken by @mattylew, one of our church staff...and I started tearing up: This is my mother; in her 70s; with realities of some disabilities that make it difficult for her to stand up and sit down...but here she is on her knees and prostate in prayer. She doesn't have any social media accounts, barely knows how to use her smartphone, doesn't have a platform, hasn't written a book, doesn't have any titles in our church, isn't listed as a leader or an expert or a consultant or a guru. But she simply seeks to do her best - by God's grace - to be faithful to God. She prays for hours every day inteceding for our family, our church, and the larger world.

Even if we're not noticed or celebrated or elevated...let's be faithful. Our greatest calling as followers of Christ is to be faithful. Not spectacular. Not glamorous. Not popular. Not relevant. And not even successful in the eyes of the world.

Be faithful. Amen. #notetoself (and maybe helpful for someone else)

At times, we have to say ‘NO’ to good things to say ‘YES’ to the most important things.

We can't do it all.
Pray and choose wisely.
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