Doing The Leg-Work As Preparation For When Disasters Might Strike

18 clergy, laity took part in Early Response Training

A successful Early Response Team training for the North Texas Conference's Disaster Response ministry was hosted in April by First UMC Henrietta. Twelve attendees were certified as ERTs after attending the Basic course; six were recertified to keep their credentials current.

Bobby Aga and Sue Gross led the six laity and 12 clergy, including Northwest District Superintendent Todd Harris, through the training.

ERT Henrietta classAll of this bodes well for the reemerging focus on Disaster Response and Volunteers In Mission within the NTC. DR/VIM represent powerful possibilities for all our churches to be “in ministry with” in effective ways.

Rev. Jeremy Basset, the conference’s Disaster Response Coordinator, outlined what to expect from this ministry going forward.

“Our conference DR team envisages a ministry actively engaged at all levels of disaster response and of on-going short-term mission,” Rev. Basset said.

For Disaster Response work, responding to an actual disaster will be only one aspect of this emphasis, the ministry will also help churches prepare for future possible disasters as well as mitigate vulnerabilities after an event. Early Response teams will be regularly deployed in non-disaster renovation projects as a way to build team spirit, sharpen skills and make a difference in the lives of struggling homeowners. Through VIM, churches will be equipped for appropriate and effective mission, honoring vital principles such as cultural sensitivity, mutuality, inclusiveness and empowerment.

“In both DR and VIM,” Rev. Basset said, “we will seek to accompany vulnerable communities, amplify their voice as they seek to recover and strengthen their communities and advocate for changes that will be truly transformative.”

While more information will follow, anyone or any church interested in making Disaster Response and Volunteers In Mission a part of the Christian service is encouraged to email Rev. Basset.

Published: Wednesday, May 19, 2021