Wednesday, October 8, 2008

October 9 Hurricane Ike Recovery Update

This just in from Co-ordinator Tricia Pogue:

This is a very abbreviated update but wanted to report some very important dates and processes being put into place.

Dates to remember:


More than 200 homes in Sabine Pass were either destroyed or severely damaged by Hurricane Ike. Residents are planning to live in tents, travel trailers, etc. until they can rebuild their homes. Help is needed clearing residential properties of debris.

To volunteer, please call Pam Trosclair at the
Greater Port Arthur Chamber of Commerce at (409) 963-1107.
Check-in begins at 8 a.m. Work starts at 9 a.m.

WHERE: drive to Sabine Pass~ there is a 4 way stop. Turn right. There are only 2 structures remaining! The Sabine Pass High School and the Athletic Complex across the street. You will meet at the Athletic Complex by 8:00am and sign up your teams and they will send you out to work! Goal is to clean up properties to begin to have the community move back in with travel trailers to live and begin their long term recovery process.

Supplies needed include:
▪ Wheelbarrows ▪ Ropes ▪ Yard tools ▪ Pitch forks▪ Rakes ▪ Small BBQ pits ▪ Small bags of charcoal ▪ Charcoal lighter

To volunteer, please call Pam Trosclair at the Greater Port Arthur Chamber of Commerce at (409) 963-1107.
Bring boots, gloves, sun screen, and bug spray.

October 13-14: Spiritual Care Training: 
PDA is planning to hold a Spiritual Care Team Training in Grace Presbytery, October 13-14. Grace and Arkansas Presbyteries are planning to be partners in this venture. Pastors, Candidates for Ministry who have completed CPE, and Pastoral Counselors, in particular, are invited to participate in this training. Participants in the training will receive both PDA and American Red Cross training. They will be asked to commit to be present for the entire training which is scheduled for noon on Monday, October 13 through 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 14. 

Participants will be scheduled, as the needs arise, to spend 2-3 days in the Gulf Coast Region, and possibly the Rio Grande Valley, providing spiritual care to people affected by Hurricanes Ike and Dolly, including those in that region who have been the primary caregivers since the beginning of these storms. 
For more information send an e-mail to RICK CARUS rick@gracepresbytery.org or call him at 214.630.4502 or 800.678.4502. Please register by Thursday, October 9.

Just in….. News Story:
According to Greater Port Arthur Chamber of Commerce:
The mayors of Nederland, Port Neches and Groves and the First Baptist Church Groves organized a clean up day in Bridge City last Sunday and 3000 volunteers cleaned up all day! There are also 12 18-wheelers coming to deliver an assortment of needed supplies over the coming days!

Also, Carol Flores, from the Lutheran Services reported 400 showed up in Galveston last Saturday for a clean up day!

Please send me any updates and stories of hope and encouragement you want to share.

Just a few ways to help now!

Charlotte Wells is the coordinator for St James Presbyterian Church, La Porte and she has two immediate needs for their area:
1st - City Hall needs daily help handing out ice, water and MTE's every afternoon and evening. I think they finish at 7:00 pm. The busiest times are from around 4:30 until 7:00. It requires picking up ice, water and meals and setting it in people's cars.

Contact: Rhonda at the City of Shoreacres - 281-471-2244

2nd - trash clean-up in Shoreacres' Heron Park and the bayou. People need to wear heavy shoes/boots and bring garbage bags and gloves. Charlotte will be the contact person and can meet at whatever time is convenient for the volunteers. The earlier the better in case it is hot and humid.
Contact: Charlotte Wells 281-842-7764 or 281-455-9595.

Volunteer Work Team Overnight Coordination:

• Since PDA has a call center already in place to coordinate calls from congregations and individuals who want to help with clean-up and recovery efforts we are going to have them schedule all “OVERNIGHT” work groups. This includes any groups staying in “host churches” and the up and coming PDA villages. Once you contact the call center and register, they will send you the appropriate forms to fill out and a skill assessment form for your group so that we may connect the gifts and talents of each group to the appropriate work site. The requests I have already received are being processed through the call center this week and Penny and her volunteers will be contacting you to coordinate these efforts!

• Please call or email Penny Noel at our PDA call center
866-732-6121 or
• Our need will be to coordinate work sites for these volunteers. We are working within our Presbytery, various organizations already in place and other denominations to begin to coordinate these efforts.

To become a “Host Church” you must have showers, kitchen and sleeping area for work teams. Please call Tricia Pogue to coordinate these efforts. We have two already in the Houston area working through the forms and process and should be up and going very soon. We need more host churches and will welcome your call.

Our IKE Recovery Team is continuing their efforts and will have a conference call tomorrow and I will be reporting any news as soon as possible.

Thank you for your patience and your prayers

Tricia Pogue

Presbytery of New Covenant, Volunteer Coordinator for IKE Recovery

PH: 281-957-5859


1511 El Dorado Blvd.

Houston, TX 77062-3422

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

September 30 UPDATE

Administrator's Note: Mike Cole sent this yesterday, and I am late in posting it.

The Ike Recovery Team met today and organized itself into four primary areas of focus: Spiritual Recovery, Missional Recovery, Administration, and PDA Villages. The IRT sees the spiritual recovery as the most important component of efforts. Spiritual Recovery will be the driving force behind all our long-term recovery missional efforts. Spiritual recovery within our presbytery could involve, among other things, revitalization of our clusters for prayer, worship and fellowship, pastor-to-pastor mentoring, use of spiritual disciplines, caring for the caregivers, pulpit supply to relieve overburdened pastors, care for congregations through Stephen’s Ministry or other caring networks.

The Missional Recovery will seek to connect churches in need with churches with resources to meet those needs. We will be working on building partnerships between congregations, Sunday School classes, youth groups etc. so that those churches who are facing huge challenges will know that there are sisters and brothers who stand shoulder-to-shoulder with them. The church-to-church connection will be critical as we move from relief efforts to long-term recovery. We are also developing a database of information about churches which are willing to host work groups and we will also be exploring ways of involving youth in the recovery effort.

The establishment of two Volunteer Villages in the presbytery will be central to serving our communities which have been devastated. One village will be established in an area that serves Galveston and areas north of the island. Another village will be set up in the Golden Triangle. Each village will house between 90-120 volunteers who will be sent to worksites to rebuild homes and lives. PDA is working hard to get the first village serving the greater Galveston area set up in early November. The second village in the Golden Triangle area will follow soon after.

Administration is the necessary part of the work of the IRT to make sure that we maintain our connections with PDA and interfaith groups during this long-term recovery period. We are also recruiting a volunteer financial person to establish appropriate and transparent controls and lines of accountability for the financial aspects of this recovery effort. We anticipate that there will be a significant amount of money contributed to our Ike Recovery Fund. The funds entrusted to our care will be appropriately and wisely managed. The IRT will continue to provide updates by email and posting on our website and blog to be sure that everyone has the same information.

Tricia Pogue, our Volunteer Coordinator for Ike Recovery will be sending the updates beginning later this week. You can expect to receive email from her at: pda@clpc.org. The IRT is especially interested in sharing stories of faith, hope and encouragement in these updates.

Sondra Tucker, the Director of Music at ChristChurch, Bellaire offers the following: “I have written a piece of music for handbells that I am distributing to anyone who makes a $25 or larger contribution to PDA or another local area relief organization. The details are at http://www.houstonhandbells.org/ike.html. Since so many of our congregations have handbell ensembles, I hope that you will consider forwarding this message in your next e-letter. I am proud to report that in the two days the piece has been posted, it has collected almost $1000 for disaster recovery from organizations across the country.”