Blazing but not consumed — the God Squad goes to Washington State

From Sunday, July 31 to Tuesday, August 9, 23 high schoolers and nine adult leaders from six East Bay churches came together for a ten-day mission trip to Washington State. 

The task for the trip was to assist in long-term fire recovery efforts on rural ranchland outside of the town of Omak. Several consecutive summers of wildfires in the area have heavily affected local ranchers, damaging both property and land. The ranch where the group worked all week was in greatest need of barbed wire fence repair. So, equipped with leather gloves and plammers (combination plier/hammer), they got to work replacing charred wooden posts with new metal posts, tightening loose wire, and reattaching snapped wire. 

Every evening was spent in a couple of hours of formation, small group time, and prayer. The topics included a 1 Corinthians 12 discussion about passion and call, an unpacking of the imagery of the Burning Bush [Blazing but Not Consumed], tales from an indigenous storyteller, reflections on Ash Wednesday and human mortality, and much more.

At the end of the work week, the team finished repairs on five miles of barbed wire fence — not an insignificant amount when progress was made in six-foot increments.

The final leg of trip the team drove back over the Cascades for a couple of days in Seattle. They stayed worshipped with St. Andrew’s, Seattle, on Sunday morning and spent Monday exploring Pike Place, the Space Needle and the Experience Music Project.

Upon return home, the mission trippers took the pulpit on Sunday, August 14, in their respective congregations and delivered reflections and interpretations on the Gospel against their experiences on the past ten days: “I came to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!”

The God Squad, as they refer to themselves includes Christ Church, Alameda; All Souls, Berkeley; St. Stephen’s, Orinda; Resurrection, Pleasant Hill; St. Paul’s, Walnut Creek; and St. Timothy’s, Danville. To learn more, you can check out the God Squad’s Facebook page, linked above, or contact any of the member churches.