Monday, September 22, 2008

Volunteer Opportunities and Church Status Updates

September 22 Update
from Mike Cole


We are getting our support structure in place to coordinate offers of assistance with needs in our communities. We need volunteers to help us for the next couple of months in the following areas:

Worksite Assignment Manger – someone to work with the Volunteer Coordinator in assigning work groups to work sites

Case Workers - people to do on-site visits of families needing assistance. It would be especially helpful to have folks with degrees in social work.

Financial Officer – A CPA serving on the Ike Recovery Team to help administer funds and design systems of financial reporting and accountability.

The Golden Triangle area is prepared to receive work groups immediately. Beverly Antilley is our Golden Triangle Volunteer Coordinator. Her phone 409 223-0118 She can handle groups coming in with work assignments and accommodations and other information.

Clean up buckets can be take to Clear Lake Presbyterian Church. CLPC will oversee the distribution of the buckets to the community.

The High Island Retreat Center will be housing some teachers from the High Island Independent School District who lost their homes to the storm. There is still no electricity on High Island and no generators available. If anyone has a generator they are no longer using and would be wiling to donate/loan it to the Retreat Center, that would be very helpful to those we are housing. The teachers also need food, cleaning supplies and toilet paper.

Focus – The discipleship and renewal event of our presbytery is STILL scheduled to happen on Saturday, October 4 at Northwoods. We have extended the early-bird registration deadline to September 29. I would encourage all of us to attend – I plan on being there. It will be a great opportunity to gather with friends and colleagues, be uplifted by great presentations and recover some sense of normalcy.

Here are some recent updates on church communities:

Houston, St. Giles – Greg Feigh reports that that they are without power and will be for at least another week due to a downed line behind the church. They have some wind damage plus water "in the usual places"

Hunstville, FPC – Ken Jack reports that the church has been without power until Friday. Church sprung a few leaks and had a little damage to our chapel steeple, but that is about all. We have many less trees in the little city now, however. I lost a 100 foot pine that fell away from my house instead of toward it.

Eagle Lake, FPC – Ed Triem reports that the church did not have any damage nor did any members have any problems. We were very blessed not to lost power and hosted other family members here who lost power.

Pasadena, Faith – Joe Delgatto reports that the church had no structural damage from Ike. However, a leak in the sanctuary ceiling caused water to come the floor. As of today (September 21St) there is still no power. Services were canceled for September 14 and 21.

Houston, Heights – Mark Downs reports that our physical damage in minimal and even more important, all our members are safe, just a little uncomfortable. More powerful than the hurricane winds was the blowing of the Spirit. The church worshiped this morning "unplugged", including no air conditioning. Last week we were able to distribute ice, water, and food to the Heights community. We have also had teams go out and help clean up for those who needed help. With no phone or internet, we still have kept our Angel Food program going and have yet another record number of orders for the month of September. This week we hope to expand our mercy effort beyond the Heights and help others in our larger city and presbytery.

Cleveland, FPC – Gene Marion reports that the church at Cleveland is recovering from IKE'S visit. Most of our members left town and there was no health threat to any of them. Damage was limited to houses and tree limbs in the yard. However one member had two trees fall on her house another had one fall on his mobile home. The church had a tree come through the south wall of our fellowship hall. We are hoping that our insurance will cover the damage. Most of us were without water and electricity for about a week. The church was closed for one week.

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