September 29, 2020
A Note from Pastor Mark
Evacuation – verb (used with object), e·vac·u·at·ed, e·vac·u·at·ing. to leave empty; vacate. to remove (persons or things) from a place, as a dangerous place or disaster area, for reasons of safety or protection: to evacuate the inhabitants of towns in the path of a flood. to remove persons from (a city, town, building, area, etc.) for reasons of safety: (dictionary.com)
The Echo Mountain Complex Fire started late Monday night with fires burning in Otis and Rose Lodge. Power went out Monday night for most of the area. Many in the Otis area evacuated late Monday or early Tuesday morning. Neighbors and first responders knocked on doors to tell them to go now, no time to pack. The fire was burning out of control.
Tuesday morning power was out, and we began calling people to find how who needed what and make sure all were OK. With power out, radio, TV, many cell phones offered no information. Accurate information was hard to come by. The weather was eerily calm, and the sky was a smoky peach color. We were on a level 1 evacuation order (“residents should be aware of the danger that exists in their area”), and thought, “no way would the fire come this far West.”
Wednesday, September 9th we got the evacuation order of level 2 (Get Ready)!
Wednesday morning the fire had grown from 500 acres 2, 400 and now those who lived on the North end of the Lake were on a level 3 (Go Now). Many woke up to the “get out now” alert. There were rumors Lincoln City was ablaze. Residents were evacuating. Highway 101 North was blocked as was Highway 18. The only way out of Lincoln City was to go South. For hours 101 was like a parking lot, taking up to six hours to get to Newport. At noon, our street was at level 2 (two blocks away from level 3).
Eventually, we decided the best thing to do was to evacuate. It seemed unlikely that the fire would get to our neighborhood, but…you never know. Most Chapel by the Sea households were evacuating, and three church families lived in the Otis area. They were OK but did not know about their home (those three homes survived). We knew our job as pastors was to make sure our people were OK, not have people worry about us.
We started packing the truck with the things we thought we needed or wanted. But what do I take? We had a bit of time to think about it, but still, what do I want to keep?
Wendy and I have been married 40 years. We have lots of stuff and lots of memories…thousands of photographs, hundreds of books, art objects from around the world, tools, music, homemade furniture, heirloom objects, videos of our kids in plays or of their first steps. In the end Wendy and I took each other, some important memorabilia, my guitar and my teddy bear, Theodore. Theodore has been with me through two other house fires; one when I was 5 and the other when I was 19.
When the tribes of Abraham fled from Egypt what did they take with them? When Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus left Bethlehem and evacuated to Egypt what did the take with them? When Jesus told the disciples to go two by two and spread the news that the Kingdom of God was at hand what did they take with them? When Jerusalem fell to the Roman empire what did the Hebrew people take with them? Evacuation has been part of our human story, whether we are fleeing war, natural disaster, or oppression, we need to be prepared to evacuate. What people take with them when they flee is shaped by what time and space allow. If you have only minutes to leave, life is all you can keep. If you only have your two hands to carry things, then you hold on to each other.
As followers of Christ we are taught, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:19-21) Our true treasure is our love of God and our love of neighbor.
To date in Oregon, more than 3,700 structures have been destroyed by the wildfires with thousands more throughout the West Coast. It is going to take a while for homes and lives to be rebuilt. It is going to take a lot of work and love to help all the displaced people. Our congregation has a role to play in helping people to rebuild their lives. We can help by remembering what is most important in life, what Jesus has been teaching us about treasures, and then share so others may be helped.
Always be prepared and try to be more careful of love than everything else,
Marcia Nerling – October 3
Polly McGuigg – October 21
Leota Langdon – October 28
Chuck Stanford – October 3
The book club meets on the second Thursday of the month at 1:00. October’s meeting will happen on October 8th. The book for October is “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens. Presented by Georgia Sherman.
The story follows two timelines that slowly intertwine. The first timeline describes the life and adventures of a young girl named Kya as she grows up isolated in the marsh of North Carolina from 1952–1969. The second timeline follows a murder investigation of Chase Andrews, a local celebrity of Barkley Cove, a fictional coastal town of North Carolina.
A NOTE FROM JUDY SHERWIN
It is sad that I was not able to be with you all at church these last months. CBTS will be in my heart for many years to come. I have grown in my faith and learned so much in the tender loving care of everyone there.
It was an answer to prayer when God sent Wendy and Mark to Chapel by the Sea. May you have many happy years ahead!
Worship Transition – The Session has voted to resume in person worship in the sanctuary beginning Sunday October 11.
We are hungry to worship together in the sanctuary but many of us are vulnerable to the serious health risks of Covid-19, and the health of our community is important to us. In a prayerful effort to balance these factors, we invite those who are at low risk of harm to join in Sunday worship in the sanctuary.
To minimize the risk, many things will be different than before and will require special care from all of us.
To protect the health of each other and the community, the Session has adopted the following guidelines:
- Masks must always be worn in the building and when you are outside and closer than 6 ft
- You will need to sign in and answer basic health questions.
(Have you tested positive for Covid, do you have a fever, any symptoms of Covid, been exposed to anyone known to have Covid)
- Use hand sanitizer when entering the sanctuary
If you can’t answer “no” to all these questions, or can’t wear a mask, please stay home and join worship online.
- Keep at least 6 ft of distance at all times (chairs will be marked off).
- No passing of the peace or physical contact of any kind with anyone outside your household.
- No group singing. Singing forcefully moves the virus through the air. Instead, we will accompany the music with humming, clapping, “silent singing” and sign language.
- No offering plate passed. Offerings will be collected in a plate at the back of the sanctuary.
- Communion will be celebrated with special “no contact” sharing.
- Leave the building while maintaining 6ft distance from others.
(stay in your row until those behind you are 6 ft ahead of you)
- No coffee hour. (visiting can happen outside, with distance).
- Only one person at a time in the bathroom (close and lock the door to indicate occupied).
- Wash your hands after using the toilet
- Sanitize each surface you touched before you leave. (supplies provided in the bathroom)
THIS is how we will speak love to one another. We must put on the mind of Christ and not think more highly of ourselves than of each other. To that end, we ask that you pray for the safety and nurture of each person in the church, those who chose to attend in person, and those who do not.
Each person is encouraged to make the choice that is right for your situation and that is comfortable for you. Some will join in person. Others will stay home. As sisters and brothers in Christ, we must respect and protect each person. There can be no pressure applied or shaming for the choices each person makes.
Worship will continue to be offered online for those who choose to stay home. You can view the recorded service at the church website (chapelbysea.org)
The Session takes its responsibility very seriously and will monitor the situation, in the congregation and in the community. There will be times in the future when adjustments are needed.
Please contact the church office, one of the Elders or Pastors if you have any questions or would like to talk or pray about any of this.
PRESBYTERIAN WOMEN VIRTUAL GATHERING
Presbyterian Women in the Presbytery of the Cascades 2020 Fall Gathering October 10, 2020 – 10 am to Noon Virtual Gathering via Zoom
Disaster Preparedness: Are you ready? Were you ready? Rebecca Jewel, Certified Trainer for disaster preparation will lead us in a look at the chaos that follows a disaster and what we can do as individuals and worshipping communities to mitigate the damage emergencies and disasters can bring. Disaster Preparation happens because we hear a call from God to reduce the suffering caused by disaster.
Presbyterians come to disaster preparedness and recovery ministry through our understanding of Scripture and a special concern for the poor, powerless and vulnerable. • This gathering will be held via the Zoom meeting app which can be accessed by computer, laptop, tablet or telephone.
• This invitation link will be sent a day or two before the gathering to all those currently on our email address list. If you have not been receiving emails from PWP, please contact Rebecca Jewel at [email protected] to have your address included.
• There will be a time to ask questions. • There will be a time to share your “seeds of hope.” What seeds of hope are you planting, or have you seen others plant? • Please share this information with others.
There is no reservation, but we do need an email address in order to send the meeting link. The Coordinating Team of Cascades PWP has donated $1000 to Presbyterian Disaster Assistance. Any additional funds donated for the Fall Gathering will also be sent for disaster recovery in the PNW. If you would like to donate, please send your check made out to Cascades Presbyterian Women, addressed to Mary Lou Williams, 14601 NW 26th Ave, Vancouver WA 98685 or donate through the Cascades Presbytery website: https://www.cascadespresbytery.org
Fire Relief Fund update….
Thanks to your generosity, the recently established Fire Relief Fund of Chapel by the Sea has already blessed our community.
With contributions topping $4000 in the first two weeks, we have been able to make distributions.
Much needed gas cards for families with extra transportation needs have been distributed through Echo Mountain Fire Donation and Distribution Center.
Head Start families have been identified and we are making contact to access needs.
Please continue to give generously. The rush of media coverage is over but the recovery for the community is just beginning. We want to be in this with our neighbors over the long haul…so please pray about how you might be able to contribute and how the church can participate.
Send contributions to the church (P.O. Box 25, Lincoln City, 97367) with “fire relief” in the memo line.
Contributions go directly to families affected and, as with all giving to the church, are tax deductible.
The Missions Committee is working hard to ensure your gifts make an impact.
If you would like to be on the Fire Relief Fund distribution team, let Wendy or Robert Seyfert know.