The Oregon Knights of Columbus, known for community service, have added prayer to their public offerings during the current crises.

With the state facing the pandemic and wildfires, Ken Anderson livestreamed two prayers last month. He is state warden for the Oregon Knights.

“As we all know, this is a very difficult time for everyone. Excessive heat has caused these fires,” Anderson said Sept. 17, just more than a week after nine people died and hundreds lost homes. Much of western Oregon was covered with unhealthy smoke.

“All are wondering what will happen next. When will we be able to return to our homes? What will we do if we’ve lost our homes?” Anderson said.

He explained that the Knights of Columbus were created for just such times. The order began in 1882 to provide support to families in times of trouble.

The Oregon Knights were among the first in the state to begin a fire relief collection. They also have gathered basic supplies to donate to those in need.

“To be a Knight of Columbus is to step into the breach,” Anderson said. “As we are helping out one another with material needs, we are also here to help out one another with spiritual needs.”

He said those who have lost homes may take heart knowing someone is praying for them. He repeated a Knights’ motto: “Leave no neighbor behind!”

Anderson then led a prayer for protection from natural disasters, which said in part, “Our hearts are filled with compassion for all those who are afflicted by this dreadful natural disaster.”

Scripture readings and a rosary followed.

Anderson led a similar prayer Sept. 8 in Hillsboro. A handful of people joined in at the Knights of Columbus Hall with many more online.

“We must pray that God will help us navigate this storm, be with us every step of the way, and eventually bring an end to this pandemic,” Anderson said. “As Knights of Columbus, let us pray for the world. Let the world know that they may take courage during this time and know that they are not alone. They are not forgotten.”

The readings focused on storms, including the Gospel passage in which Jesus sleeps as a storm rages.

“This contagious virus along with all of the other impacts that have resulted from it have really tossed and shaken us in our daily routines,” Anderson said. “We’ve been experiencing all kinds of upset and tumult taking many forms.”

He pointed to Jesus’ example, saying the Lord was calm, knowing everything would work out.