This week, NCNC Ministers braved the storms to travel to Monterey for the annual Authorized Ministers’ Retreat. The weather was frightening, but the worship, workshops, meals, and time spent together was well worth it. (Note: send your pastor next year!) Meanwhile, the UCC Disaster Ministries has been in touch to ask how NCNC churches are doing (see below)
Getting through Gilroy was an adventure. One minister didn’t make it — they’re okay!! — they turned around and went home.
Disaster Update, How to Help
Event: California Atmospheric Rivers, Storms, Floods, Mudslides, Landslides, and Fallen Trees
Event Date: January 10, 2023 — and continuing
What Happened and Where: Source Newsweek-As the latest storm to batter California begins to let off on Tuesday, leaving severe flooding and destruction in its wake, residents will be bracing for another “enormous” storm to slam into the Pacific coast on Wednesday, forecasters have predicted. According to the latest short-range forecast from the National Weather Service (NWS), this “rapidly intensifying” weather system will impact areas from northern California and up the coast into the Pacific Northwest. It anticipates that the total precipitation over the coming days will range between 3 and 7 inches. The latest storm to hit the state on Monday brought on average between 5 and 10 inches of rain across coastal regions, it said earlier, with rain levels as high as 15.5 inches recorded at certain locations. Wednesday’s storm will be the latest in a series of high-intensity storms to hammer California since New Year’s Eve, leading to thousands of homes without power, thousands of families evacuated due to flooding and at least 14 deaths. For updates on Federal Declaration visit disasterassistance.gov
Impact to the UCC: No reports from UCC Churches thus far. The Rev. Davena Jones, the Bridge Conference Minister and Disaster Coordinator is currently meeting with pastors at their Annual Ministers Retreat in Monterey. Many ministers reported flooding and devastation as they traveled to this gathering. Davena and the Conference Disaster Team led by Kenneth Moore are conducting welfare checks with each congregation and are assessing ways to assist UCC churches for emergency needs this week and next. The UCC Disaster Minister for Response and Recovery, Ms. Lesli Remaly is supporting this outreach effort and has been in touch with our partners at Church World Service and the Northern California Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NCAVOAD) who will conduct an initial coordination call with communities and organizations on Thursday.
UCC in Early Response: Global H.O.P.E. Disaster Ministries will support the California Conferences and the Conference Disaster Coordinator as they begin raising awareness of the needs, we invite all concerned to support this disaster by making a donation to the Emergency USA fund. This fund will offer solidarity grant support for the emergency needs to conferences and congregations. Disaster Ministries will also continue to connect emerging needs with resources such as Kits and Clean up Buckets, and we will engage in coordination calls with our partners through their state Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (VOAD).
UCC in Long-Term Recovery: Recovery from these devastating events will likely take years. Community centered and locally led Long-Term Recovery Groups are forming or reforming across the state, many will need to be reorganized. In addition, there are ongoing recovery efforts across the State from fires and the most recent December 2022 earthquakes. We will look to assist these groups and their emotional and spiritual care needs as well as support the longer process of repairing and rebuilding homes. Long-term funding will be necessary as the UCC is a leader in helping communities organize for recovery, repair, and rebuild. Volunteers will also be needed, and churches should consider organizing teams to help in this process when they are needed and for the long haul, bringing hope and healing to devastated communities. Please help us focus on persons and communities in need of support through volunteering or providing financial support. Please join us in this Immediate and Long Term Disaster Recovery Ministry.
How to Help: How-you-can-help-Disaster-Survivors-2022
Join the Willing to Respond Network of Churches: Willing to Respond Preparedness Network
Assemble Kits and Clean Up Buckets: CWS Buckets and Kits | Help Communities in Need Around the World (cwskits.org)
Donate Emergency Funds-Designate to Emergency USA: Donate Now – United Church of Christ (ucc.org)
Sign up to Volunteer: https://support.ucc.org/volunteer-opportunity-form
Volunteer Opportunities: UCC Ministry Opportunities
Connect for news and updates:
Facebook One Great Hour of Sharing (UCC)
Prayer: Holy One You have called us to respond, to Be the Church. We are here to offer our response to your call. Like a bridge that spans disasters, we too are committed to share our time, our talents, our financial support for those who are negotiating troubled waters. Through coordinated efforts of our conferences, churches and disaster leaders across the states we are equipped with kindness, compassion and love. Please accept our heartfelt prayers as we support communities who are in the midst of this devastation. May we bring this hope, through your grace. Amen.