The Friday Reflection

From Bishop David Rice
As I trust you are aware, mass evacuations have occurred due to fires throughout the Pacific Northwest, specifically and closer-to-home, throughout our own high country, including our Retreat Center (ECCO).  Amid such disaster (and this query applies to Harvey and Irma) what is a Community of Faith to do?  This week, Saint Raphael’s, Oakhurst provided an extraordinarily faithful response to this query, furthermore, a profound example of how the Jesus Movement looks in the EDSJ.  When power was lost in the kitchen at ECCO corresponding with the required evacuation, conversations occurred between ECCO Staff and St Raphaels.  And the result of this conversation, was that Church responded as Church in the most poignantly possible manner.  The Executive Chef (Jay) and Pastry Chef (  ) from ECCO proceeded to clear out the fridge and transfer a significant amount of food to St Raphael’s kitchen.  Food was prepared by said chefs and the St Raphael’s Faithful.  And law enforcement and firefighters who have been working indefatigably, around-the-clock, were invited to take a well deserved break and sit at table at St Raphael’s.  During the brief time I spent with those gathered at St Raphael’s preparing food, I could not have felt prouder of the Episcopal Church and our ability to respond quickly, collaboratively and creatively.  And yes, to make a significant difference amid such uncertainty and challenge for so many people.  St Raphael’s and ECCO’s shared response has continued…  Thanks be to God!  This EDSJ, is the Jesus Movement!


Fire 1/2 mile from ECCO


Tuesday working at St. Raphael”s, Oakhurst

Episcopal Conference Center Oakhurst (ECCO) and St Raphael’s Episcopal Church combine to take advantage of lost power at ECCO to save food and reward First Responders of the Railroad Fire. Electric power lost at ECCO Kitchen so potential lost food was taken to St Raphael’s and prepared for distribution to those responders that were providing security for the Railroad Fire this morning and noon.St Raphael’s still has electrical power for cooking and the Executive Chef Jay Gillett and Pastry Chef Anna Strong relocated and prepared food that would have been lost.   -Dennis Fitzgerald, DioSJ  ERD Coordinator

St. Raphael’s parking lot was full all week with those responding to the fire and they were grateful for the community of St. Raphael’s and ECCO for the comfort they were offered with friendly faces, food and a place to regroup.

Please keep all of those affected by this fire in your prayers including St. Raphael’s and ECCO.

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