Responding to Fires in Northern California

Episcopal Relief & Development is supporting relief and pastoral care efforts in response to the fires that have caused widespread evacuations and major damage in the Episcopal Diocese of Northern California.


September 25, 2015

The Rt. Rev. Barry L. Beisner, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Northern California, published a statement on September 24 thanking supporters and Episcopal Relief & Development for aiding the diocesan wildfire response:

Your donations, along with the financial support from our partner Episcopal Relief & Development, have also allowed us to place funds in the hands of our marvelous deacons, who are working with evacuees to provide gift cards for food, fuel and other basic needs. 

Read the full statement here.


Episcopal Relief & Development Web Statement

September 21, 2015

Episcopal Relief & Development is supporting relief and pastoral care efforts in response to the fires that have caused widespread evacuations and major damage in the Episcopal Diocese of Northern California.

The Diocese of Northern California posted the following statement on September 17:

The Episcopal Diocese of Northern California is partnering with Episcopal Relief & Development to assist Northern California communities suffering due to fires. Financial support from Episcopal Relief & Development brings additional resources to the local level, expanding the ministry of our congregations. With these donations, we will help provide increased bilingual communication resources, pastoral care and increased support for ministry outreach initiatives, such as local food closets and thrift stores.

Katie Mears, Director of US Disaster Preparedness and Response for Episcopal Relief & Development, has been assisting our diocese with outreach to lay and clergy leaders working on the ground near the fires, and assessing the needs in these areas. Elaine Clements, Diocesan Disaster Coordinator for The Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana and a member of Episcopal Relief & Development's Partners in Response Team, has contacted clergy and lay leaders from each congregation working in evacuation centers and high-risk areas. Elaine is an experienced disaster coordinator who has worked on relief efforts in response to Hurricane Katrina for the last 10 years.

“The Episcopal Diocese of Northern California has been a strong supporter of Episcopal Relief & Development for a long time," shares Bishop Barry Beisner. "We have celebrated its wonderful worldwide work. Now, in our time of need, we have become the beneficiaries of that work. We now see [Episcopal Relief & Development's] legendary effectiveness first-hand. This assistance enables us to respond with more effective compassion and generosity. [This organization] equips our prayers for action, and we are deeply grateful.”

An outpouring of support, prayers and funds are being showered on our diocese from across the state, country and the world. We are so grateful.

This recovery will take a long time. To continue to contribute to these efforts, please consider a donation to the Bishop’s Discretionary Fund or to Episcopal Relief & Development.

Donations to Episcopal Relief & Development's US Disaster Fund will support fire response efforts in the Diocese of Northern California and disaster relief and recovery around the United States.

Please pray for those fleeing and fighting the fires in California.

Prayer for Preparedness and Response

O God, our times are in your hand. In the midst of uncertainty lead us by your never-failing grace as we seek to be agents of healing and hope. Walk with us through difficult times; watch over us in danger; and give to us a spirit of love and compassion for those who suffer and mourn. And finally remind us that you have promised never to leave us so that even in the valley of the shadow of death your love may be felt, through Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN.

— The Rev. Lyndon Harris, from the Episcopal Diocese of New York disaster preparedness plan

Resources & Learning

Click below to access our Resource Library and learn more about our efforts around the world.

Resources & Learning