There are no words for the devastation of California wildfires raging now. The faith community, and, indeed, many across the globe are heart-broken – dozens of lives have been lost; tens of thousands of acres of forests have burned; and homes, houses of worship, businesses and whole towns have been decimated.
While fires are part of the natural ecology of many parts of California, climate change has made it worse. Warmer temperatures, dryer conditions (because of drought), and stronger winds are fueling more frequent and more devastating fires.
California Interfaith Power & Light will continue to mobilize faith communities in our state to reduce emissions, and our congregations around the country will continue to act. We must significantly curb carbon pollution now, and begin the shift to a 100% clean energy economy globally, within the next 12 years.
In the meantime, our prayers and thoughts go out to all who have been affected by the current wildfires; those who are grieving the loss of loved ones and homes and those who are working tirelessly to bring this devastation to a close.
—American Red Cross
—California Community Foundation’s Wildfire Relief Fund
—Charity Navigator – List of charities related to wildfires
—Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (Mark Carlson, head of Lutheran Office of Public Policy and CIPL Steering Committee member, is a former CalFire Firefighter)
—California Interfaith Power & Light – working to reduce the causes of climate change
—Bidwell Presbyterian Church, Chico – providing clothing, supplies, finances for needed items such as medications; very close to the city of Paradise; Bidwell’s address is 208 W 1st St, Chico, CA 95928
—Presbytery of Sacramento – send check addressed to the Presbytery, Camp Fire Relief Fund, 9983 Folsom Blvd., Sacramento, CA 95827
—Wildfire Preparedness – information and planning
—Disaster Planning – for fires, hurricanes, floods and other severe weather events
—Community Preparedness Planning – ideas and toolkit
Special prayer for victims, first responders and action:
We are grateful for the beauty of Creation and for every living thing upon your Earth.
We recognize that Creation has a natural balance.
We recognize that, by our actions we have interrupted this harmony
through our indifference and too-heavy living upon the Earth,
greatly stressing the inter-connected balance of all eco-systems.
We pray for all those affected by a changing climate and Earth.
We pray especially for those affected by wildfires in California –
those who have lost their homes, their sacred houses of worship and livelihoods.
We especially pray for those who have lost their lives, and those who grieve for them.
We pray for the firefighters, the first responders,
and those who have come out to minister to those affected.
We pray that the fires are contained completely very soon to avoid further loss,
and that communities receive the resources and comfort and aid needed at this time.
Loving Creator, in this new reality of increasing severe weather events,
may we may move forward with wisdom and a re-dedication
to caring for and protecting your beautiful Creation and the abundance of life within it.
For it is in respect for all living things that we help create a world of safety for others,
in which all may have the fullness of life.
Allis Druffel, CIPL Staff Member