The mission of United Methodist Disaster Response in the Illinois Great Rivers Conference is to provide a caring Christian presence in the aftermath of a disaster that begins with response and ends with long term recovery.
The disaster response effort of the Illinois Great Rivers Conference is primarily focused on natural disasters such as floods, tornadoes, fires and earth quakes. Other disasters, often called “man- made” may result from terrorism and domestic disturbances or from accidents such as chemical spills. Resources of the conference could be used to assist individuals and families impacted by these disasters as well.
The Disaster Response Ministries of the Illinois Great Rivers Conference stands ready to assist any time disasters are so large that the resources of the local community or the district are not sufficient to meet the needs. This response can take many forms. Expert advice can be provided to help the local community as they meet immediate needs, or as they plan for recovery from a disaster, UMCOR kits such as clean-up kits and health kits are distributed; and, volunteers can also be recruited by the conference. early response teams (ERTs) are deployed to assist with clean-up and other tasks needed by the community in the period right after the disaster (once the area has been declared safe by first responders). In the long term, UMVIM recovery teams help with home repairs or, in some cases, rebuilding homes that have been completely destroyed during the disaster. In addition, spiritual and emotional care teams can provide support to individuals and congregations as they cope with the loss caused by a disaster.
The United Methodist Disaster Response in the Illinois Great Rivers Conference rarely acts alone. We work with partners in order to provide the best possible relief to survivors of the disaster. The most important partners are the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) and Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD).
The mission of an Early Response Team is to provide a caring Christian presence in the aftermath of a disaster. The team is neither a first response group of emergency workers nor a recovery, rebuild or repair team. Rather, it fills a specific need in the early days after a disaster to establish the presence of the church. It is important to understand that ERTs are trained primarily to respond within their own community. To travel to another district, conference or jurisdiction requires an invitation from that area’s ERT coordinator. All ERTs are trained by authorized UMCOR trainers and given badges. We encourage all ERTs to wear bright green T-shirts as a means of recognition.
Connecting Neighbors: What if America’s greatest asset — its faith-motivated and God-centered people — rose up to embrace the belief that protecting people, places, and ministry is our responsibility? What if we saw preparation and planning to be equal partners with building projects and new fellowship halls? What if we understood that stewardship of our bodies (eating healthy foods and exercising) and stewardship of our gifts (teaching, praying, tithing) are twin pillars supporting stewardship of our church family and church home to become the best gifts we have to give to our communities when trouble comes? Suppose we were to embrace stewardship of our church family and church property in advance of emergencies. In that case, we might be the engineers of new beginnings in our communities, the source of hope for ourselves, and the visible evidence of our commitment to being the hands and feet of God’s ministry on Earth.
The Illinois Great Rivers Conference Disaster Response Ministry can help you make this a reality. The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) had developed a tool to get us started in our preparations. There are three modules, which can be stand-alone trainings themselves or in a combination of one another. Each module begins with a 30-45 minute Disaster Ministry Overview, during which participants will understand how our United Methodist structure enhances the local church’s capabilities for disaster readiness and response.
Midwest Mission distributes kits, UMCOR kits, prayer cards, resources and supplies. for more information on the kits projects and patterns click on the link below.
We encourage you to be in a spirit of prayer for all those impacted by the latest tornadoes and flooding. As United Methodists, we are inspired to pray for those who are lost, wounded, and in need of shelter and food. We are also committed to raising up in prayer the first responders who continually put themselves in harm’s way in order to ensure the rescue and welfare of those in need.
Contact: Sharon Monroe
Contact: Sharon Monroe
Contact: Sharon Monroe
IGRC Disaster Response Coordinator
Coordinator of Missions and Outreach
Midwest Mission Distribution Center
Phone: (217) 416-1306