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Disaster Response and Recovery

United Methodists begin Kansas tornado response


A UMNS ReportBy the Rev. Kathy Noble* An aerial view shows how the May 4 tornado devastated the church building. Photo by Jaime Oppenheimer, courtesy of The Wichita Eagle . "It is just painful," the Rev. Gene McIntosh said. The pastor of Greensburg (Kan.) United Methodist Church choked back tears and shook his head in disbelief as he saw, for the first time, the church's tornado-shattered building with its cross-topped steeple gone, its sanctuary exposed and pews filled with debris. ...

UMCOR Provides Support for Kansas Recovery


NEW YORK, May 7, 2007—A powerful tornado with winds at more than 200 mph left a swath of destruction 22 miles long and more than a mile wide in southwest Kansas the night of May 4.  The town of Greensburg was sitting in the middle of the tornado's path and when it was over, nary a building was left standing.  Nine people perished in the storm and dozens more were injured. A tornado warning issued a half hour before the twister hit saved countless lives. UMCOR released an emergency grant to the ...

UMCOR Bulletin on Central Florida Storms


NEW YORK, Feb. 2, 2007--Central Florida was struck early Friday morning by violent thunderstorms that spawned tornadoes causing sufficient damage for a state of emergency to be declared in four counties.  The storms killed at least 14 and sent many more to hospitals seeking treatment. UMCOR is in contact with the Storm Recovery Center for the Florida Annual (regional) Conference as they assess the situation.  UMCOR is sending emergency grants to the area to help with recovery efforts.    The ...

Conference announces new Conference Disaster Response Coordinator


Rev. John L. Hassell, Jr., is the new Conference Disaster Response Coordinator. The duties of the Coordinator include working with Volunteer in Mission Coordinator Paulette West, other Conference staff, and District Disaster Coordinators to help the North Alabama Conference prepare its relief plan for natural and other disasters and to coordinate the relief work following a disaster – such as Hurricane Katrina.  Rev. Hassell, who currently serves as pastor of Cottondale UMC in the Southwest ...

Earthquake in Indonesia: UMCOR's Response


New York, May 30, 2006-The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is working with partner agencies to provide immediate relief and assistance following a major earthquake that shook the city of Yogykarta and surrounding areas in the early morning hours of May 27. The tremor took more than 5,000 lives and left over 200,000 people homeless in a highly-populated area on the Indonesian island of Java.   “We are deeply saddened by this latest disaster to strike Indonesia, a nation that has ...

Age poses no barrier for Katrina relief workers


By John Gordon* Click here to see the video version of this story. OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (UMNS) - Aubrey Smith laced up his work boots under a cloudy Mississippi sky. He could have been home enjoying his favorite pastimes, fishing or playing golf. Instead, he traveled 400 miles to aid families whose homes were destroyed and whose lives were thrown into chaos by Hurricane Katrina. "They just need a lot of help," he said. At 85, Smith is still going strong and wanted to volunteer. "There was an ...

Recent church burnings raise larger issue


A UMNS ReportBy Kelly Martini* Responding to the recent arsons of 10 Alabama churches, United Methodists are joining the call to focus on broader issues of church burnings that are continuing nationally. All of the Alabama churches burned since Feb. 3 housed Baptist congregations. Five of the churches have predominantly black congregations and five have predominantly white membership. The Women's Division, United Methodist Board of Global Ministries, has long worked on this issue through the ...

United Methodist hurricane relief exceeds $62 million


By Elliott Wright* NEW YORK (UMNS) - More than $62 million was contributed in 2005 to the United Methodist Committee on Relief for hurricane relief and rehabilitation in the United States and wider Gulf of Mexico region. "Year-end receipts from the annual conferences pushed the figure far, far beyond what we anticipated in the late fall," said Roland Fernandes, treasurer of the Board of Global Ministries, the denominational agency of which UMCOR is a part. UMCOR had received $62.37 million as ...

North Alabama Women in Ministry group helps to rebuild in Mississippi


The concrete block building of Pass Christian First United Methodist Church stands strong just a block away from the Mississippi coastline. Almost five months after Hurricane Katrina poured feet of storm surge into the sanctuary, fellowship hall and classrooms, the church was buzzing with activity. With the leadership of clergywoman Terry Hilliard, who now also serves as an UMCOR regional director for two Mississippi counties, the church reconstructed their education wing as a bunk house for ...

Conference Announces New Coordinator for Conference Disaster Response Team


Mr. Steve Kilgore, a member of First United Methodist Church in Weaver, has been appointed as the new coordinator of the conference Disaster Response Team. Steve has been actively involved in disaster response relief efforts in the aftermath of tornados and hurricanes across the North Alabama Conference. He has been serving as the lay coordinator for the Anniston District's Disaster Response Team for the past four years. Steve is very involved as a leader in his church and community. He is a ...

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