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Ellen Smith, World Mission’s regional liaison for Central and Eastern Europe, led a packed and thought-provoking mini-course last week during Synod School on the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s mission in Ukraine.
Through a collaboration between Presbyterian Disaster Assistance and 1001 New Worshiping Communities, church planters and spiritual leaders visited Puerto Rico in June to learn about ongoing efforts to rebuild after hurricane disasters. 1001 New Worshiping Communities leaders recognized many commonalities with pastors in Puerto Rico, including the necessity of bivocational calls and a need for community engagement and the work of healing and relief.
“How do we do justice to the people we serve and have empathy with them?”
Last week, Michelle Muñiz posed this question to an assembly of 100 leaders of disaster relief organizations in San Juan, Puerto Rico, at the Puerto Rican affiliate chapter of National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (PRVOAD) Conference and Assembly.
Marcdaline Abelard was in her home in the mountains above Leogane on Saturday, June 3, when her husband Claudy left to go search for the family goat. Rain was pouring and the wind had picked up.
While she waited, she tried to calm her baby who is only a few months old. Her 2-year-old and 4-year-old were frightened by the weather.
The heavy rains caused flash flooding that ripped through the mountain village.
Claudy never returned.
The congregation and leadership of a Presbyterian church that was set on fire earlier this week in Douglas, Arizona, is determined not to give up despite major damage to the building.
It began, as so much seems to begin these days, with an email.
“The mission committee of Mid Kentucky Presbytery is ready to again collect Hygiene Kits for Presbyterian Disaster Assistance,” wrote Ruth Welch, coordinator of the project for the presbytery. “We hope the Presbyterian Center will join in collecting, sorting, and assembling these kits.”
Following yet another weekend marred by deadly gun violence in Louisville, Mid-Kentucky Presbytery opened its May 22 stated meeting at Briargate Presbyterian Church with a screening and small-group discussion in response to “Trigger: The Ripple Effect of Gun Violence,” a documentary directed by David Barnhart as part of Presbyterian Disaster Assistance’s Story Productions.
Members of the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) National Response Team took a few hours out of their recent annual meeting to hear from representatives of two Colorado presbyteries that the team has served over the past few decades.
Friday’s tornadoes, which took the steeple off First Presbyterian Church in Martinsville, Indiana, and destroyed 200 homes in and around Sullivan, Indiana, came on top of tornadic destruction in and around Little Rock, Arkansas.
When tornadoes leveled neighboring Rolling Fork, Mississippi, last Friday evening, it didn’t take long for members and friends of Leland Presbyterian Church to spring into action to help neighbors who’d lost everything.