Talent, Oregon, September 11, 2020
As wildfires continue to rage throughout California, Oregon, and Washington, His Eminence Archbishop Benjamin of the Diocese of the West of the Orthodox Church in America has announced that the diocese is accepting donations for fire relief.
“The news from the West has been practically apocalyptic of late with wildfires throughout the West… Yesterday the skies in San Francisco were dark orange—so dark that the streetlamps were still lit at noon. Thankfully, while threatened, no churches have been lost,” the Archbishop writes in a statement published on the site of the Orthodox Church in America.
Though no churches have been lost, several families have lost everything and others are threatened, His Eminence writes.
Fr. Matthew Tate from the Annunciation Orthodox Church in Milwaukie, Oregon, reports that 7 families from among his parishioners have had to evacuate, and at least 2 of the homes are likely to burn.
“From my office window I cannot see beyond about 100 feet due to smoke. It is eerie and worrisome for everyone,” he writes.
Abp. Benjamin also writes about Fr. Andreas Blom of Talent, Oregon, who was evacuated with his family recently. Though there was great concern that his home and church would be lost, Fr. Andreas was able to return home to pick up a few things and found that everything across the street from his house had been completely consumed by the fires, while his home and church have survived thus far.
However, three families from his mission have unfortunately lost everything.
Given this terrible situation, Abp. Benjamin calls for prayers for all who have experienced loss and who are in harm’s way, and announces that fire relief donations can be sent to:
Diocese of the West
attn: Fire Relief
806 Talent Ave.
Talent, OR 97540
Donations will be used to help parishioners and neighbors.
OrthoChristian previously reported on a number of parish and monastic communities in harm’s way in California.