December 30, 2015
Dan Steska, Associate Director for Disaster Response for the Missouri Annual Conference, called Missouri Methodists into action due to the recent flooding throughout the state. United Methodist Disaster Response has set an immediate and urgent goal of 2,000 cleaning buckets (a.k.a. “flood buckets”). The value of a cleaning bucket is roughly $65 each. Volunteers should watch this video for bucket contents and assembly. Cleaning buckets can be dropped off at the following places any time in the next 30-60 days to replenish current inventory (call in advance for drop off specifics):
- Manchester UMC, 129 Woods Mill Rd, Manchester, MO 63011. (636) 394-7506
- Wentzville UMC, 725 Wall St, Wentzville, MO 63385. (636) 327-6377
- Arch UMC, 56017 Ocean Wave Ln, Hannibal, MO 63401. (573) 221-3227
- Schweitzer UMC, 2747 E Sunshine St, Springfield, MO 65804. (417) 881-6800
- New McKendree UMC, 225 S High St., Jackson, MO 63755. (573) 243-8487
- Woods Chapel UMC, 4725 NE Lakewood Way, Lee’s Summit, MO 64064. (816) 795-8848
- Christ’s Community UMC, 2700 E 44th St., Joplin, MO 64804. (417) 781-8701
- Missouri Annual Conference, 3601 Amron Ct., Columbia, MO 65202. (573) 441-1700
“United Methodism’s connectional energy is needed yet again,” said Bishop Robert Schnase. “If your particular community has not been strained by flooding, I ask that you prayerfully consider offering yourselves in service to others. Our Missouri disaster response leadership is fully prepared to respond to the needs of our state, but we will need the support of the Missouri United Methodists to offer our best response.”
Steska reported the usual amount of chaos arising in the aftermath of weather-related disasters but noted that unfortunately, Missouri has a great deal of experience with flooding so state agencies and the response and recovery system appear to be working well.
“The west side of the state has already moved to the recovery phase,” stated Steska. “Missouri’s eastern side is still in response mode as they wait for water to recede.”
Missouri United Methodist Disaster Response is currently awaiting further instruction from state agencies as to how United Methodists will be asked to contribute in the “Recovery” phase. Long term recovery efforts have not begun, as we are still in the “Response” phase. Steska is in daily contact with Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) and Missouri State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA).
Servant leaders are asked to focus on the following mission and service efforts:
- PRAY. Pray for the people of flood-infected areas, for the lives lost in Pulaski County and first responders. Search Discipleship Ministries for worship resources during times of natural disaster, including this Communion liturgy appropriate for those celebrating communion this first Sunday in January.
- SERVE. The facebook/umcdisaster site will list volunteer opportunities and locations as well as stlvolunteer.org. Specific cleanup opportunities will also be coordinated through the MO Conference Disaster Response effort and communicated through electronic and social media.
- GIVE. Visit Missouri Disaster Response and click on the PayPal button for Missouri-related disaster needs. All monies stay within the state for disaster response and recovery. Consider giving a number of cleaning buckets ($65 each). For paper giving, make checks payable to: Missouri Annual Conference (memo: MO Disaster Response) and mail to Missouri Annual Conference, 3601 Amron Ct. Columbia, MO 65202. Or, visit UMCOR.org for monies to be disbursed throughout the United States for disaster relief (US Disaster Response, Advance #901670).
- REPORT. If you have needs for volunteer disaster response in your community, including flood bucket requests, please contact Dan directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or 573-382-4520.
- LEARN. Visit Missouri Annual Conference’s communication platforms to be informed of immediate needs: www.facebook.com/umcdisaster and www.moumethodist.org/disasterresponse2015flooding.
- TRAIN. Be ready to respond. Our next training event will be April 29-30, 2016 at Wentzville UMC and in Blue Springs April 16 or 23 (tentative). More information will be forthcoming at UMC Disaster.
- UNITED WAY 2-1-1. http://www.211helps.org/ (A resource for pastors to refer congregation and community members in need of social service).