September 11, 2020
We again find ourselves in the midst of a fearful time with the many fires burning in our region. Unfortunately, the past few years of wildfires in the Pacific Northwest may have eased us into a false sense of familiarity with smoky skies and news reports. However, there is nothing familiar about the fires currently ravaging the West. This year, they are much larger and more devastating, even compared with past tragic fire seasons. Hundreds of thousands of acres have burned, and now hundreds of thousands of people – our regional neighbors - have been forced to evacuate. Moreover, the imposing presence of a pandemic heavily impacts the ability of these evacuees to move freely and find safe shelter. Washington joins Oregon, California, and the greater Western United States as we face this unique moment of crisis.
It’s important to know that many in our Gonzaga family are directly impacted by these fires. We need not look far to find people we personally know and love who are concerned for their families, hometowns, and even their own wellbeing. We, as believers in a compassionate Creator, ask God to be with all of those impacted by this tragic destruction. We pray for those who have lost their lives or loved ones. We pray for those most directly involved, without power and resources. We pray for the many brave responders, battling the flames and providing care. We pray for those who have family, friends, and homes threatened. We pray for our communal home, our planet, as it suffers from this devastation. May the God of love and healing be with all of us and move our hearts toward compassion and action.
We know there is hope even in the darkest of times, and we pray that we may act to help bring that hope. We ask that you consider making a donation to any of the many charities that are providing support and aid to those affected by these fires. Thank you for continuing to be a community of compassion, action, and hope.
A Prayer for Wildfire Victims from America Magazine is available here.
For students who are in need of assistance, the following resources are available for support:
Center for Cura Personalis
Health and Counseling Services
Office of Mission and Ministry
For 24-hour assistance, please contact Campus Security at 509-313-2222. Campus Security will direct you to the Student Affairs on-call professional.
An online wellness toolbox is available with various resources: www.gonzaga.edu/wellnesstoolbox
Faculty and Staff:
We encourage you to access SupportLinc services through Human Resources. Counselors are available for all employees through 1-888-881-LINC. The Office of Mission and Ministry is also available to offer support; please call 509-313-4242 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be gracious to me, O God, be gracious to me, For my soul takes refuge in You;
And in the shadow of Your wings I will take refuge Until destruction passes by.