How Can Our Church Respond in the Time of Disaster
Prayer is the first step in responding to all situations in our lives. Praying for the victims of such disasters helps us to cultivate and learn God’s heart toward God’s people. Prayer also reveals how we can respond to God’s call to become God’s hands and feet in this suffering world. We should also find ways to encourage the church to join in prayers. Writing Congregational prayers or using prayer responses during worship can be an option for worship. If your church wrote a prayer to share with the churches in the conference, please share it with us!
Give through UMCOR
United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is the giving arm of the United Methodist Church. All gifts offered to UMCOR are guaranteed to serve the people going through disasters. We invite churches and individuals to give directly to UMCOR in times of disaster. When your church sends a check to the Virginia Conference with UMCOR in the memo, we send the contributions directly to UMCOR. Individuals can send checks to either the Conference Center (10330 Staples Mill Rd. Glen Allen, VA 23060) or directly to UMCOR. You may also use the online giving option here.
UMCOR Cleaning Kits and UMCOR Hygiene Kits are valuable resources for people recovering from flooding or hurricanes. When a disaster happens, UMCOR Supply Depots are able to deploy the cleaning and hygiene kits to the area in immediate need. While the stocked clearing buckets are deployed to areas hit by the disaster, it is also a time when churches can share the need and impact of the kits to collect and assemble more kits. If your church is located near Culpepper, Va, we ask churches to send the newly assembled kits to the Central Virginia Mission Hub, a ministry of VAUMC that serves as a collecting hub for Mission Central (UMCOR Hub).
Emergency Response Team (ERT)
Early Response Teams (ERT) respond during the first phase of disaster relief. ERT Teams deploy upon request of the Conference Disaster Response Coordinator who coordinates ERT response and relief efforts with local emergency management officials and other voluntary agencies. . ERT will assist survivors, prevent further damages, and be a listening ear to people experiencing the disaster. You are required to have a current UMCOR ERT Credential to be part of this team. So watch out for the upcoming training dates here.
United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM)
UMVIM is a grassroots movement within The United Methodist Church designed to provide an official channel whereby Christians, both lay and clergy, may offer their skills and talents for Christian service at home (and around the world) on short-term assignments at their own expense. UMVIM teams are deployed after the first phase of recovery is completed. UMVIM is a great way for a church or district team to participate in the second phase of recovery after the disaster hits. For your church to have a UMVIM team, we strongly encourage one member of the team to complete the UMVIM Leader training, which provides resources and support in leading a team. Please visit VAUMC UMVIM page for future training schedules and resources.