A Special Update on Hurricane Dorian and messaging to UCC Churches and Conferences

Date: September 5, 2019

Subject: Update on Hurricane Dorian and messaging to UCC Churches and Conferences

Dear Friends,

No doubt you have been paying attention to Hurricane Dorian and have seen the devastating impacts in the Bahamas, and its encroachment into the Carolinas. Dorian’s destruction is still unfolding, ongoing and not yet fully quantified but I wanted to share what the UCC has been doing and planning as well as some suggestions for how to help. If you have questions or need to refer anyone who needs additional information please have them contact Amanda Sheldon sheldona@ucc.org or Zach Wolgemuth wolgemuthz@ucc.org.

As a reminder, UCC Disaster Ministries focuses on Preparedness and Long-Term Recovery. Long-Term Recovery is the most protracted response and the costliest.

• The UCC Disaster Ministries team continues to monitor the situation through multiple channels at the state, national and international levels.

• We have been in contact with our Conference Disaster Coordinators in the states which remain within the potential impact areas. The message has been ‘Be prepared, take evacuation orders seriously and respond accordingly’

• Because there are no UCC Churches in the Bahamas we are exploring potential partnerships with other organizations that have a more direct connections and will be determining our response as emergency needs are met, damage assessments occur and recovery begins.

• Financial donations are most effective, efficient and beneficial to survivors. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=pzH-7k035sM

As you receive inquiries from individuals wanting to ‘do something’ or support UCC Disaster Ministries, here are some suggestions:

1. Pray for all who have been impacted and those that remain in harm’s way. ** note the prayer below offered by our new Associate General Minister for Wider Church Ministries, Rev. Karen Georgia Thompson. Additional Disaster Ministries worship materials can be found here https://www.ucc.org/disaster_get-involved_pray

2. Donate to support disaster recovery, families and communities impacted by disaster. https://www.ucc.org/donate_to_disaster_relief

3. Volunteer to help families and communities recover. https://www.ucc.org/disaster_disaster-volunteers

4. Build relief kits using the UCC Disaster Ministries Matching grant. https://www.ucc.org/disaster_2018_matching_grants_for_cws_kits_home_page

5. Prepare your family and church so that you are able to respond locally if a disaster impacts your community. Resources: https://www.ucc.org/disaster_resources

** "Holy God, you are an ever present help in times of trouble. We put our hope in you on behalf of those whose lives have been affected by tragedy in the Bahamas. We pray their peace and comfort, asking for help for those who have suffered loss. We pray calm for those who now wait anxiously. Grant your peace O God. Amen."** ~ Rev. Karen Georgia Thompson, Associate General Minister for Wider Church Ministries and Operations

Amanda K. Sheldon, Program Associate, UCC Refugee and Asylum Ministries & UCC Disaster Ministries

United Church of Christ www.ucc.org

+1 (216) 736-3210

700 Prospect Ave. E., Cleveland, OH 44115