Giving Tuesday 2015 is December 1

#Givinggiving tuesdayTuesday is a new movement that seeks grassroots support of non-profits and worthy causes. It’s not only about refocusing holiday spending, but it is also a powerful way to raise awareness and resources for UMVIM (United Methodist Volunteers in Missions.)

This year #GivingTuesday falls on December 1. On December 1, 2015, United Methodist will join hands to support the work of Advance projects and missionaries to transform lives on Giving Tuesday. Every gift made online through The Advance on this day will be matched up to $1 million. Donations will start matching at midnight, CST, on December 1. UMVIM Advance #901875

 

Collecting Information Regarding Flood Damage Assessments

Bishop Johnathan Holston is asking each church to report any flood damage to church and/or parsonage. This reporting by church will give the Conference a centralized way of collecting information regarding flood damage to churches and to parsonages. Such consolidated data will make it easier to provide assistance to those affected by the rain and flooding.

Directions for accessing the online report:
1. Go to the Conference web page (http://www.umcsc.org)
2. Click on Church/Pastor Login
3. Enter your church’s user ID and password. Click on Login
4. When you log in successfully, your first option will be INITIAL FLOOD DAMAGE ASSESSMENT.
5. Click on that option.
6. Enter your data.

All information added by individual churches will be compiled and made accessible to each district office so that we will have a “picture” of damage throughout the district.

This is critically important for every church to complete this brief flood damage survey. There is no deadline for completion but churches are urged to enter the information as soon as the extent of damage to church buildings and parsonage is known.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Greenwood District Office.

Hurricane Season is Upon Us. Are You Prepared?

Hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30. The affect of hurricanes is heavy rains, stronghurricane winds, floods, and coastal storm surges. The damages may include destruction of homes and other facilities and the possibility of injury and loss of life…much of which is preventable with good planning and preparation. Other affects may include: death or injury to animals, disruption of transportation and utilities as well as communication shutdown.

Because hurricanes are identifiable and warnings possible; the most effective method to avoid injury or loss of life when a hurricane is immanent is evacuation. Planning for evacuation includes a destination, personal needs such as medications, a place to stay and family coordination and contact information. Follow the instructions of local and state officials and don’t wait until the last minute!

Some things to consider when planning for your family, community, church:
o       Know what the evacuation routes are from your area of the State.
o       Do an insurance check-up with your insurance agency of choice.
o       Know where you will stay, and if you need a shelter after evacuating, download the American Red Cross Shelter Finder App at www.redcross.org/mobile-apps/shelter-finder-app.
o       Remember not all hotels allow pets.
o       Set up a communication plan for your family as well as a meeting place locally and out of town.
o       Acquire first aid training and have a first aid kit on hand that you would also take with you when you evacuate.
o       Develop a list of needed supplies to have at home and for evacuation, for more information see www.ready.gov/build-a-kit. Note some things include, prescriptions, personal hygiene needs, children and pet needs, important papers and priceless items.
o       Plan to “not” have access to stores and banks. Have at least a 3-5 day supply of non-perishable food and water as well as some cash on hand. Also plan to not have full utilities such as power and water for days and possibly weeks.
o       Use extreme caution when traveling after a hurricane, such as avoiding down power lines and rising floodwaters.
o       Have a home inventory including pictures for possible insurance purposes, store away from your home in a safe place and consider giving your insurance company a copy.
o       Don’t forget friends and neighbors that may be at a greater risk.

*Source of information: fema.gov – How To Prepare for a Hurricane.

For additional information go to:
–  Institute for Business and Home Safety Protect Your Home Against Hurricane Damage: www.disastersafety.org/hurricane
–  National Hurricane Center: www.hurricanes.gov
–  www.Ready.gov/hurricanes

This information was shared with SC United Methodist clergy and District Offices by the South Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church.

The March Newsletter is now available

March newsletter

This month’s issue is available online. Items of interest in this issue include

– March Gathering of Fellowship of Clergy
– Greenwood District Disaster Response Training Events
– ERT Training
– Ken Callahan Seminar
– Greenwood District Lay Servant Ministries School

Early Response Training (ERT) Class

A Basic Early Response Training Class has been scheduled on Sat. March 7, 2015.  The class will take place at St. Paul United Methodist Church 301 N. Cambridge St. Ninety Six, SC 29666 in the Fellowship Hall.  It is located directly across from the Piggly Wiggly. The class begins at 9 AM and will end around 5 PM.  Re-certification will run from 9 AM to 1 PM. You may park in front of the church along the road or in the back of the church.

The church will provide light snacks for break times but lunch is on your own.  There are many restaurant options in Ninety Six including Mexican, Chinese, Subs, Hamburgers and more.

There is a $35.00 fee for the class.  Re-certification is $10.00.  Payment is due the day of the class. A criminal background check is required through the conference and you are responsible for taking care of that. You may contact your local church to inquire about the criminal background check.  Cost is around $16.00.  Successful completion of this course and criminal background check are required in order to serve on the Early Response Team.

An Early Response Team (ERT) is a self-contained team that enters a disaster zone at the invitation of local emergency management officials soon after disaster strikes. ERT’s provide emergency repairs and/or assistance to help people be safe, sanitary, and secure until insurance and other help are available. Work consists of clean-up and tasks required to stop further damage being done.  Examples are putting tarps on damaged roofs.  Minor repairs might be done to help make homes habitable, but not extensive repairs or reconstruction (that is the job for Long Term Recovery).

All ERT members are required to complete the training course and a criminal background check.  The training is done according to UMCOR guidelines and polices.  Persons completing the training and passing the criminal background check will be issued a badge indicating they are approved by the South Carolina Conference and credentialed by UMCOR.    Credentials are valid for three years. At that time a team member must be re-certified.

Team members are financially responsible for their travel and other expenses.

The class on March 7th will cover the purpose of an Early Response Team:

  • To show that the church cares about what has happened to the people.
  • To provide people an outlet for sharing their disaster related needs.
  • To assist the most vulnerable populations with their immediate needs.
  • To provide assistance that will help to prevent further damage to homes and property.

The class will also cover team member responsibilities, how to equip a team, how to prevent further damage (the four basic jobs), and more.

  • Tarping
  • Tools/Equipment Set-up
  • Team member safety

The class will begin at 9:00 a.m. For those persons seeking re-certification, the class will end at 1:00 p.m. For those persons taking the class for the first time, the class will end at 4:00 p.m.

If you are interested in attending this class, please send an email to STPAULERT@yahoo.com no later than February 22.