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.”

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