by Jason Kinchen
Disaster scenarios seem to be happening all around us. From the heartbreaking reports of hurricanes Florence and Michael, just a few hundred miles south of us, to the horrible gas explosions that recently rocked our close neighbors to the north, we are reminded that God has blessed us with a beautiful, but chaotic Creation. And as members of that Creation, we are not always the most conscientious stewards – having sometimes put our own concerns above those that God would have for us. Indeed, the most precious blessing God has given us in the face of disaster is each other. We see the face of God in those who are affected by, and those who respond in a disaster.
At a global, national, regional, and local level we are called by our faith in Jesus Christ to respond to those in need. We need to consider two answers to this call. First, what if our Parish were directly affected by a disaster – how could we prepare ourselves to continue our important work of prayer, worship, outreach, and community support. When we are stricken by unexpected ministries, that is precisely not the time to suspend our ministries. Second, what if a regional disaster struck, but our Parish was not directly affected. We are blessed with many resources – physical and human – that could be very helpful in such a situation. Let us begin the dialogue of how we might respond in either extremity.
Two years ago, I was trained as a Disaster Chaplain by the National Disaster Interfaiths Network and for the past year have been working with the Red Cross as part of their Disaster Spiritual Care function. I feel particularly moved to encourage our Parish to begin this important work. I humbly ask for some help. Two to three volunteers who are willing to begin activating disaster preparedness for our Parish would be a terrific start. Thanks so much for your consideration.
This is an important and exciting new ministry that I'm willing to lead. If you feel called to join me please contact me, Suzanne, Jane, or Thomas. Thank you!