For some time both the PA Southeast Conference and the Penn Northeast Conference have been active in disaster ministries in eastern Pennsylvania and throughout the United Church of Christ. We can celebrate the ministry that we have had, but now it is time to take a fresh look at what God is calling us to do and be. Over the past few years our Conferences have affirmed that we share a ministry relationship, even though we are not moving forward with the unified conference council at this time. Therefore, we are seeking to consult with people who have a passion for Disaster Ministries as we seek to discover if and how we can work together.
Therefore, YOU are invited to the INITIAL MEETING OF THE JOINT PNEC/PSEC DISASTER MINISTRY TEAM!
Monday, March 11, 2019 at 6:30 PM
Penn Northeast Conference Office
431 Delaware Avenue, Palmerton, PA
A ZOOM option will be available. Notice will be sent later.
We will explore some “What if …” questions, seeking ways to grow and enhance our Disaster Ministries Initiatives:
- What if … our Conferences would be engaged in a collaborative disaster ministry program, sharing leadership and resources? Is this the right time?
- What if … we could get others involved? Who should that be?
- What if … we had some common goals and objectives? What protocols should guide our collaborative ministry?
- What if … we would start working together? What are the first steps we would take?
We ask that you ponder and prayer about your response to this opportunity. If you will participate please respond to firstname.lastname@example.org, so we can prepare for your attendance.
Pennsylvania Southeast Conference’s Disaster Recovery ministry works to prepare congregations to deal with disaster events by providing preparedness training and acting as a communication nexus for receiving and dispersing human services referrals, volunteer relief opportunities, recovery supplies availability, and timely information on disaster management. The Conference Disaster Coordinator, Rev. Karl Jones Jr., represents PSEC in his work with the wider church, and other faith-based and community organizations to constantly discover and disseminate best practices of dealing with disaster.
All Disaster Recovery activities are coordinated with the UCC National Disaster Ministry which oversees related activities on the national level. To learn more about the National Disaster Ministries, click here.
The Mission Statement of UCC Disaster Ministries is “Responding to the call of our Christ-centered faith, UCC Disaster Ministries supports holistic community recovery, worldwide, by engaging supporters, volunteers and partners to focus on preparedness, emergency relief and long-term recovery.”
UCC Domestic Disaster Ministries is focused on:
- Preparedness and Long-Term Recovery (Rebuilding, Grants, Listening to community needs and responding)
- Providing support, information and resources to Conferences and Congregations (solidarity grants, recovery grants)
- Deploying Long-Term Recovery Volunteers to disaster sites
- Encouraging volunteer opportunities for disaster recovery work teams
- Providing Grants to partners throughout the entire Response and Recovery Continuum
- Influencing Federal policy and disaster response and recovery best practices
UCC Disaster Ministries have 3 national staff: Zach Wolgemuth, Executive; Amanda Shelton, Program Associate; and Ken Skalitzky, Disaster Recovery Specialist. Each Conference has a Conference Disaster Coordinator. In PSEC that position is filled by Rev. Karl Jones.
Here are links where you can get very specific information on UCC Disaster Ministries:
“In 2018, Disaster Ministries supported survivors in 26 countries and more than 16 states and U.S territories with $2-million in disaster recovery.” For the details click here.
“UCC Disaster Ministries is pleased to introduce an attractive new ministry summary of our support for the long-term recovery of disaster survivors across the United States and around the world in 2018.” Check that out here.
Please visit the Disaster Response/Volunteer Resources page of the website for valuable information on how to help in current emergencies and how to prepare for possible disasters.