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Bishop Hagiya’s Pastoral Letter on Southern California Fires

Among the absolute beauty of our Southern California environment lies the latent potential for the opposite in the destructive fires we have witnessed.

Those directly affected have so far been the people of our Westlake Village UMC, Thousand Oaks UMC, Malibu UMC, and St. Matthew’s UMC of Newbury Park.  But, we now know that there are fires in the areas of Rialto as well as Santa Paula.  Our Cabinet and Conference Staff are monitoring the situation in order to provide all possible assistance as circumstances continue to change.

We grieve for those who have lost their lives and property in these destructive fires.  We pray for those who have lost so much, for the first responders who put their lives on the line on a daily basis, and for the much needed recovery that will restore a sense of hope for the future.

As we pray, we know that there is more that we can do.  The most immediate need is for financial donations as they are the best way to ensure that resources are distributed in a timely manner.  Our Cal-Pac Disaster Response Fund receives financial donations that will be used as needed in times such as these.  In addition, own UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief) will be sending emergency funding.

Right now, only our first responders have access to the burn areas.  But, eventually, there may be opportunities led by our Cal-Pac Disaster Response Task Force for physical repair and direct assistance.  Below are ways that you can support our relief and recovery efforts.  Please, give generously and pray deeply for this directly impacted.

  • Pray for all affected by, and engaging in, the fires
  • Donate to the Cal-Pac Disaster Response Fund online or by check (Cal-Pac Advance #24050)
  • Donate to UMCOR’s U.S. Disaster Fund online
  • Request info for next training (

Be the Hope,

Bishop Grant J. Hagiya
Los Angeles Area Resident Bishop