By Chris Morton
Disasters capture our hearts and minds very quickly, and the mudslides in Oso is no different. As the news carries updates on the impact that the mudslide has had on households in Oso, we are all gripping our chairs in hopes that the toll does not increase.
Associated Ministries has a long-standing tradition of responding to disasters in Pierce County. While Oso is a couple of hours north of us, and we are not going to be directly engaged in this latest disaster, I do want to invite you to respond in a way that is faithful to you.
I am grateful for the work of the Episcopal Relief and Development who are actively engaged in a number of ways – through their local congregations, through the Diocese of Olympia, through a fund that they have established, and through Washington Voluntary Organizations Active in in Disaster (WAVOAD). Once we learn of other denominational activities and funds, and/or an ecumenical fund being established (e.g., Church World Service), we will let you know and post something to the Associated Ministries web site. So, please let us know of any such activities and/or funds being established as you learn.
As we consider the households who have been impacted by this tragedy in our home state, as well as the people who are risking themselves in service to those very same households and their families, may we find comfort and guidance through the poetry of the Psalms, particularly Psalm 46:
“God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,
though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble with its tumult.
God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved;
God will help it when the morning dawns.
The LORD of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our refuge.”
Rev. Chris Morton is executive director of Associated Ministries, an organization that addresses community and social needs in Pierce County. Congregational partners include many churches in the Graham and Eatonville areas, as well as countywide.