October 13 Update
In the last 10 days, the North Georgia has sent two ERT groups, delivered two truck-loads of supplies, delivered our conference shower trailer as Florida opens another church to host ERT in Fort Myers, and some of these same ERT who served in the last week are in the queue to return!
Now, we need your help.
As our neighbors in the Florida Annual Conference face a 20-county clean-up effort following Hurricane Ian, the North Georgia Conference is looking to multiply our numbers in service in Florida. Our goal is for representatives from 100 churches to commit to serving, "boots on the ground," in the Florida Annual Conference.
What can my church do?
October 5 Update
Please keep our North Georgia ERT (Early Response Teams) in your prayers as they serve in Florida and make coordinated deliveries of essential supplies on invitation from the Florida Annual Conference.
"I’m grateful for our trained and coordinated disaster response ministries as we partner with UMCOR and our sister Annual Conferences," said Rev. Scott Parrish, North Georgia Conference Disaster Response Coordinator. "A healthy church is prepared to serve the community and I’m thankful for these motivated, action-oriented folks who quickly respond to the call out for help!"
The team this week is serving in Fort Myers, Florida, where Cypress Lake UMC is their home base. They have space there for air mattresses and a kitchen. The 11-member team includes members from Northside UMC in Atlanta, Hillside UMC Woodstock, St. James UMC Atlanta, and Alpharetta First UMC.
Next week's team is being led by Canton UMC.
As the storm approached last week, Dr. Stephen Redmond, NGUMC Disaster Response Warehouse Coordinator, picked up truckloads of UMCOR cleaning buckets and ERT supplies from the Decatur, Alabama warehouse and staged them here in our North Georgia Conference warehouse in East Point.
Rev. Thom Shores and Terry Peters of Canton UMC delivered a U-Haul full of those needed disaster supplies, including portable solar panels, to help with the Florida Conference recovery efforts.
"One thing many United Methodists don’t realize is that 'UMCOR is YOU!'" explained Scott. "UMCOR has a small number of paid staff. These folks are experts in disaster response, funding/grants, and they work to train and mobilize UMC conferences in our ministries. So, we are a volunteer network with a congregational base. We are ready to serve our church community, our district, and conference, and when invited we assist in other conferences all working from the UMCOR playbook. Just another reason I love the UMC and work of our missional connection!"
Our best response today to help communities recover from the damage from Hurricane Ian is to pray, give, and prepare.
September 29 Update
Hurricane Ian has made landfall in Florida as a Category 4 storm. Our prayers are with the communities of southwest Florida and all in the storm's path. The North Georgia Conference is in contact with the Florida, South Georgia, and South Carolina Conferences as the storm tracks north.
Our best response today is to pray, give, and prepare.
If you have storm-related damage in your community which requires church response, please contact Conference Disaster Response Coordinator, Rev. Scott Parrish. If your church or church property is damaged in the storm the pastor or Trustees chair should make two phone calls: one to the church insurance company and one to the District Superintendent.
Contact our Conference Disaster Response Coordinator, Rev. Scott Parrish for more information on Disaster Response efforts.