Fires and Other Disasters

September 19, 2014

The Cabinet of the California-Nevada Annual Conference, along with Phil Bandy, Conference Director of Volunteers in Mission (VIM), and Norm Hardin, Conference Disaster Coordinator, have been in contact with pastors in the affected fire areas.  Some of our folks have been affected, and others are reaching out and assisting their neighbors who are in need. At this time, it is too early for teams to travel to the affected areas.  We are continually monitoring developments in the affected areas. 
We are in the process of setting up a California-Nevada Conference Advance Special for California-Nevada Disaster Relief to respond to this, and other disasters within the Conference.  Please make checks payable to California-Nevada Conference and mail to the Conference Center, P.O. Box 980250, West Sacramento, CA 95798-0250.  Write "Cal-Nev Disaster Response" in the memo line of the check.
Currently, we are also applying for grants available to us from the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR).  We anticipate receiving those funds in a day or two to help us meet some immediate needs in our communities.  Donations made to UMCOR will go to the United States Disaster Response Advance #901670. To donate to UMCOR, click here.
Please keep our brothers and sisters in your prayers in the midst of this devastation.  All future fire disaster correspondence will be channeled through the California-Nevada Conference social media platforms on Facebook and Twitter.
Just this week, the Cabinet, along with staff of the Conference Center, have participated in a previously scheduled disaster response training with Greg Forrester, UMCOR's Assistant General Secretary for Disaster Response in the United States. 
The following are updates from our pastors and churches in and near the affected areas of 9-19-14 at 12:15 p.m.:
New Community UMC in Oakhurst, California

The Rev. Helen Mansfield from New Community UMC in Oakhurst reports there was a resource fair for victims. The church offered $100 gift cards to stores for folks affected. They are also offering free shopping in the church's thrift store for needs in the community.  In addition, teams of people from the church are offering to help them with clean up, brush clearing, etc. Rev. Mansfield will also be offering ongoing grief support for persons in the community. Congregation members who live in the area affected by the fire still have their houses, but the community water system is not working so there is no water and no electricity.

Georgetown UMC in Georgetown, California, Foothills UMC in Cameron Park, California, and El Dorado County Federated Church in Placerville, California

The Rev. Reynaldo Letana from Georgetown UMC in Georgetown reports that he and three other church members were at the town meeting Wednesday night to discuss responding to the nearby King fire.  The church is preparing to possibly serve as a shelter, staging area, etc.   The Rev. Mike Harrell from Foothills UMC in Cameron reports that one neighbor may have had to evacuate due to the fire.  The Rev. Andrew Headden from El Dorado County Federated Church in Placerville reports that they are closely monitoring the nearby fire which has not yet resulted in evacuation being required in the immediate area.

Yreka UMC in Yreka, California, Montague UMC in Montague, California, and Community UMC in Mt. Shasta, California

The Rev. Toni Hartman from Yreka UMC in Yreka reports the church is stockpiling food to distribute to needy folks. She says one of the priorities is to get the children dislocated by the Weed fire back to whatever "normalcy" they can.   Rev. Joe Morgan from Montague UMC and Community UMC in Mt. Shasta reports that there is conversation with Siskiyou County officials to respond to the immediate unmet needs of those dislocated by the Weed fire.  The Mt. Shasta Church has reached out to the Weed Presbyterian Church (which was destroyed by the fire) offering Mt. Shasta UMC facility for their use.