OSO, Snohomish County — Pastor Gary Ray of the Oso Community Church said no memorial services have been scheduled for congregants of his church.
“Everything’s almost on hold,” he said during a news briefing Saturday morning. “People are waiting to see what happens.”
Ray said the 100-year-old church intends to play a role in the community’s rebuilding.
“The community wants to rebuild,” he said. “They do want to come back. We do want to bring life to this region. We want to be part of the process of helping them to come back.”
The church has connected with Operation Blessing and a host of other businesses and individuals who want to help, Ray said. More than 1,000 volunteers have amassed on both sides of the slide, he said, and donations of fuel, food, gift cards and cash are arriving steadily.
Though the Oso community numbers fewer than 500 people, “everyone has been hurt by what has happened.”
The church is about three miles from the western edge of the slide, and nearly all of its 80-member Baptist congregation knows someone directly affected by the disaster, Ray said.
“Most people are in shock, and just need love and special care at this time,” Ray said.