Tornados, hurricanes, fires, floods, hailstorms, pandemics. Disasters can strike anywhere and any time of the year. How will we respond?

The Congregational Support Committee is organizing a Grace Presbytery Disaster Response Team (DRT) to help us prepare for and respond to disasters by caring for our neighbors, churches, and one another.

If you are interested in serving with this ministry, please submit an application, which will be delivered electronically to presbytery staff.

If you have questions email Rev. Jim Reinarz, DRT Chair, or Joanna Kim, Director of Ministry Services.

Volunteers must be a minimum of 18 years of age to serve with the DRT.



GRACE PRESBYTERY DISASTER RESPONSE TEAM

“Is this not the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?  Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless into your house; when you see the naked, to cover them, and not to hide yourself from your own kin?  Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up quickly; your vindicator shall go before you, the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.  Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry for help, and he will say, Here am I.” ─ Isaiah 58:6-9 NRSV

I. Purpose Statement

As part of its ministry to its congregations, members and their communities, Grace Presbytery will share the good news of Christ’s love in the world in times of disaster. Through disaster preparedness, communication, development of resources, training and direct response, the presbytery will invite and encourage participation in responding to disasters, both natural and human caused. Grace Presbytery will also develop relationships with neighboring presbyteries and support them when possible in times of disaster.

II. Organization & Composition

The DRT is a sub-committee of the Congregational Support Committee (CSC). The leader of the DRT will serve as a co-opted member of CSC. Membership in the DRT is open to clergy and lay people from member churches in Grace Presbytery.

Experience in disaster response mission trips or local volunteer work is highly desired. Participation in local or state VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Assisting in Disasters) by several team members is encouraged. A maximum of twelve members will serve on the core team composed of ministers and lay people, including representatives from the four regions of Grace Presbytery.

III. Communication

The Disaster Response Team will communicate with presbytery staff and CSC in the context of Grace Presbytery. Meetings of the team will take place at least quarterly; more often in the event of a disaster.

IV. Duties, Responsibilities & Possibilities

A. Disaster Preparedness: The DRT will assess the need for and provide preparedness and response training as needed. Training will encourage preparedness at the presbytery, congregational, and individual level and will be presented in a variety of formats, such as informational mailings, presentations at presbytery meetings, and presentations in congregational settings.

B. Relationships: The DRT will monitor the Texas VOAD response to discern ways Grace Presbytery can provide support and resources. The DRT will also explore and identify partnership opportunities with neighboring presbyteries.

C. Disaster Response: Grace Presbytery’s DRT is committed to supporting our churches, their communities, and neighboring presbyteries through specific and hands-on disaster preparedness training, as well as concrete support and resourcing, for those who have experienced a disaster.

Specifically, Grace Presbytery’s DRT recognizes the passion of Grace Presbytery for social justice, its ability to facilitate collection and transportation of emergency items, and the resources available within Grace Presbytery due to its regional diversity and scope. 

  • Train congregations with “Just-in-Time” response training.
  • When a disaster impacts a congregation, form covenant partnerships between the impacted church and another congregation for immediate and long-term partnership.
  • Provide coordination, assistance, and resources for churches and groups within the presbytery that are organizing to provide short term response.
  • Connect and resource with the Young Adult Ministry of Grace Presbytery.
  • Connect congregations with Presbyterian Disaster Assistance for mission trips.

D. Resources: Enlisting the time, knowledge, and talents of our membership, the DRT will provide and/or develop resources on a variety of disaster related topics for use by Grace Presbytery and its congregations.

APPLY to serve with the Disaster Response Team Ministry

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