Report from Phil Shea, SWC Disaster Coordinator, 11 April 2019
It was my privilege last week to represent the SWC in Puerto Rico at the annual meeting of Conference Disaster Coordinators and the UCC Disaster Ministries staff. Meeting in Puerto Rico was an opportunity to experience the beauty of the country and its people while also learning about the work the UCC and its local partners are doing to rebuild a country ravaged by back to back hurricanes. The UCC continues to send money and work teams to this country. $1.5 already invested and another $1 million anticipated over the next 1-2 years. Read More
The March Disaster Ministries Work Team trip to Port Arthur Texas has been cancelled. For a variety of reasons the March date was no longer viable. The need in Port Arthur and other locations continues and we will re-evaluate other dates. If you or your congregation are interested in forming or being part of a disaster recovery work team, please contact Phil Shea at email@example.com or 602-663-5065. Read More
Phil Shea updates us on donations, clean-up buckets/kits, work teams, case managers, and how the UCC Disaster Ministries are ready to help. Read More
On behalf of the Southwest Conference UCC Disaster Ministries I extend our prayers and concerns to our congregations and their communities who are in the path of Hurricane Florence. The hurricane is expected to make landfall during the next couple days along the North Carolina coast. Due to the size of the storm, its anticipated path and its expected “stalling” along the coast, several states will be severely impacted. If you have family and friends in any of these locations, I would strongly encourage that they heed the local and regional warnings being issued by emergency management officials.
You and your congregation may want to extend your compassion and assistance to the areas affected. Read More
The past twelve months have been very challenging for communities served by the UCC Disaster Ministries. Hurricanes. Floods. Fires. Tornados. Some suggest that due to climate change and other factors this is the “new norm”. The danger in that thinking is to become complacent. Our Disaster Ministries staff and volunteers have not been complacent but actively engaged in our communities. Below are some updates from California to the Virgin Islands. On behalf of our whole Disaster Ministries Team across the country I encourage you and your congregation to consider supporting our efforts (in fact, making them your efforts as well) in one or more of the following ways. Read More
As rescuers in California urgently search for more missing people in the deadly mudslides that devastated the Montecito community, a United Church of Christ minister is pastoring to the stricken and the injured.
The Rev. Kris Bergstrom, pastor of Church of the Foothills in Ventura, Calif., also serves as a part-time chaplain at the local hospital in Montecito.
"I was the village school principal in Montecito for 8 years more than a decade ago, so I consider all the people involved in the Montecito crisis my family," she said. "I have close ties with so many families." Read More