Northern California Earthquake
August 24, 2014
Dear California-Nevada Family,
As you know, Northern California was rocked yesterday morning at 3:20 a.m. local time by a magnitude 6.0 earthquake. The epicenter of the South Napa Quake was centered between Napa and American Canyon, but many of us were jolted by this early morning wake up call. Our hearts and thoughts have been with the people of the area since that moment.
Members of the Cabinet have talked with, or checked in with, all the pastors in the immediate Vallejo and Napa area. We feel blessed to report that our pastors and churches, although they have sustained some damage, are okay and in good spirits: Vallejo Wayside UMC, Vallejo Fellowship UMC, Napa First UMC, and Vallejo First UMC. Both Napa First UMC, and Vallejo First UMC, sustained moderate damage and are accessing its significance.
Bishop Brown, along with the Rev. Schuyler Rhodes, Bridges District Superintendent (who serves the affected area), and a delegation from the California-Nevada Conference are in Fiji to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Methodist Church in Fiji as an autonomous conference. I have been in contact with both Bishop Brown, and Schuyler, keeping them abreast of the current situation. Bishop Brown and the delegation in Fiji are lifting up those impacted by the event in prayer. The delegation is scheduled to return later this week.
The Cabinet is working in conjunction with Phil Bandy, Conference Director of Volunteers In Mission (VIM), and Norman Hardin, Conference Disaster Response Coordinator, to assess the immediate and long term needs of our local churches and congregants in the affected area.
Schuyler writes the following via e-mail from Fiji:
As communities around the North Bay reel and respond to this morning's earthquake centered in American Canyon, we come together in prayer for those who are injured. We also lift up those whose homes and places of employment have been damaged or destroyed. This is a time when we reach across boundaries of faith, culture, and community to offer one another the hands of help and assistance. It is a moment when we feel deeply our human connection to one another. As United Methodists, who are engaged in the communities affected, we will be present through our own Disaster Response Network and through our collaborative relationships as we all begin to work together for healing, hope and recovery.
Please keep both the Napa and Vallejo congregations in your thoughts and prayers, as well as those affected and impacted by the earthquake. We will continue to gather information and keep you informed of both church and community needs. Together, we will be the hands and feet of Christ.
In the Peace and Grace of Christ,
Rev. Kristie L. Olah
Dean of the Cabinet
Superintendent of the El Camino Real District