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New Disaster Response Coordinator Gets Right To It


Joyce Appel started as the new Missouri Conference Response and Readiness Coordinator on May 13. Initially she was focused on developing a plan for recovery assistance to areas in Northwest Missouri that have been flooded since March. But on the second week of her job tornadoes touched down across Missouri and the United Methodist response suddenly had additional disaster sites to take into consideration.

Appel grew up on a farm in Glasford in central Illinois. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in religion and philosophy, with a double minor in art and music. Following college she did a year of volunteer service with AmeriCorps, working with literacy at an inner-city elementary school in downtown Kansas City. From there she went to The Summit, a United Methodist Church in Lee’s Summit, where she worked as first impressions coordinator. While at The Summit she was part of two disaster recovery teams that went to Victoria, Texasx and Beaumont, Texas, to assist with disaster recovery following Hurricane Harvey.

She found herself to be well suited for the mission service work and took a job with Woods Chapel UMC in Lee’s Summit as mission coordinator. Her work there included organizing a mission trip to Newport, North Carolina, to aid in recovery from Hurricane Florence.

While at Woods Chapel Appel became Early Response Team certified, and trained to be a certified ERT trainer. She’ll be leading an ERT training workshop on June 15 at Evolution UMC. You may contact Appel at