Spring is always a dicey weather season, but the last few years have produced many devastating tornadoes, not to mention the recent hurricanes during the Fall season, and freezing weather and flooding in various places across our nation. The recent incidents in Grandbury, Moore, OK and the explosion in West, TX have all hit close to home. As always, the United Methodist Church responds in such disaster with relief in various ways. Often the most immediate need is through financial help, shelter, and basic necessities which we provide through the "United Methodist Committee on Relief."
For several years, our Annual Conference has been training "disaster relief teams," which go into these devastated areas to help with clean up and rebuilding. At our District Section on May 19, 2013, they announced that our District is working to put together some teams. As an example, since the devastating tornadoes in Joplin, MO a few years ago, some 48,000 hours have been donated through UMCOR teams and they will probably not be finished for another 10 years.
If you are interested in providing your manual labor for relief in times like these, there are some upcoming training opportunities in our conference. If you are interested, please let Derek or me know and we can get you more information.
- UMCOR Connecting Neighbors Leadership Training—"Preparing the Local Church For Disaster Ministry"
This disaster readiness program can be held in our facility and will include basic instruction on how to put together a disaster response plan for our church, as well as exploring options for reaching out to your neighborhood. The Rev. Cathy Partridge is our trainer for this class, which can be customized to our schedule and needs. Cathy can be contacted at email@example.com
- UMCOR Early Response Team Training
This class can be held in our facility and will teach and train an Early Response Team how to tarp a roof, how to muck out a flooded house, and basics in disaster spiritual care. Requirements include having an identified team leader. This is an 8-hour class. All participants must have a background check. We have four certified UMCOR trainers in the North Texas Conference for this class.
- UMCOR Disaster Academy, October 7-10, 2013—Location: Mt. Sequoyah Conference and Retreat Center, 150 NW Skyline Dr., Fayetteville, Arkansas
This Academy is held annually at Mt. Sequoyah. Attendees include South Central Jurisdiction clergy and laity. All classes are taught by UMCOR trainers. Everything from basic disaster ministry courses to advanced classes are being offered.
These classes are coordinated through our Conference Office, the Center for Missional Outreach. You can contact Rev. Marji Bishir, Associate Director, at 972-526-5000.
It would be really exciting if there was enough interest in our church or even our county to put together some response teams. Is God tugging at your heartstrings about this?
See you Sunday in the place where serving others demonstrates our Love for Christ!
Yours in Christ,
Bro. David (home: 940-683-1724; firstname.lastname@example.org)