Friday, 01 September 2017

New Allies in Disaster Recovery

Disaster Recovery coordinators have mapped out the beginnings of an ecumenical national alliance with their state and territory counterparts in disaster recovery.

With the blessings of the National Council of Churches in Australia (NCCA), we will work together on national communication, cooperation and policy for delivering chaplaincy to the community, working alongside government emergency management plans.

This work began in 2011 with an NCCA task group and has now reached a point of national representation of this ministry.

It is always heartwarming to see this valuable pastoral ministry expand.

My role as the National Disaster Recovery Officer has taken me to several other disaster recovery training events in the NSW/ACT Synod over the past week.

I led a revision training day for the Synod’s Peer Support Team involving ten ministry agents.

Peers are trained to come beside ministry agents and key leaders in congregations during times of crisis and debriefing carers after traumatic pastoral events.

The next day I trained Presbytery Disaster contacts from across the Synod.

Their work is to connect with churches and key people in and beyond the Church before, during and after disasters and emergencies.

Rev. Bob Rutherford joined us from the Far North Coast to share the impacts of flooding in Lismore earlier this year on churches and community.

UDR Resource

The odd whiff of smoke from hazard reduction burns reminds me that the fire season is fast approaching in southern Australia, and in the north the cyclone season will soon follow.

I encourage every Presbytery, Congregation and agency of the Uniting Church to be thinking through their disaster plans.

NSW/ACT Moderator Rev. Myung Hwa Park has launched a new resource for churches in the Synod to be prepared and plan for disaster - with a national version to come.

Stay tuned for more information on this resource - https://assembly.uca.org.au/disaster-recovery