Hello Friends. It is Tuesday, October 10th, and we are still in the throes of the biggest disaster to hit this city since the 1906 earthquake. Whole neighborhoods have been razed. Major landmarks have been destroyed. Thousands of people are displaced. The shelters are full, and the extent of the damage is not yet known since the fires are not yet under control. At least 10 UUCSR families have lost their homes, and that number is expected to rise.
For now our congregational home, the Glaser Center, is safe and has power and Internet. We will continue to be open throughout the day and into the evening to provide a safe space for anyone who needs company, rest, or a prayer. If you are a member or friend of the congregation, I’d invite you to visit our Facebook page UUSANTAROSA and post an update and let us know what’s happening with you. If you need shelter, we have folks with empty bedrooms who are making them available. Call the church office or my cell phone and we’ll get you connected.
We will definitely worship on Sunday, assuming no further danger to downtown. We will have to postponed our Saturday night Musician’s Showcase, though we may gather for songs and fellowship. The fate of the Men’s Retreat and other upcoming events is uncertain. Stay tuned for more.
As always, our hope and strength at such times comes mostly from our fellow human beings. The response of the emergency teams in Sonoma County has been astonishing. Neighbors are opening their homes, sharing their goods, their food and their funds. Even good cheer can be found. One fellow member who lost her home yesterday said, with a laugh, “Well, I guess that completes my downsizing project.”
I live in complete faith that meaning can be made of whatever happens to us, and that no matter how terrible things are at the moment, the Sacred Way is still unfolding in our love for one another and our embrace of the present. God doesn’t burn people’s houses down on purpose, ever, for any reason. But She is present when we care for each other. We can and will find life and love in the midst of this mind-numbing tragedy. Be safe, and be kind, and let’s take care of each other and our neighbors.
Love to all,
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