A New Vision, A New Voice ~ The North Texas Conference
NTC Joins with Rio Texas to Rebuild After Harvey
Here are more details on how you and your church group can lend a hand after the hurricane.
The clergy and laity of the North Texas Conference have been extremely generous in their contributions to the recovery efforts from Hurricane Harvey. Your unwavering support – both locally and in the affected regions along the Texas Gulf Coast, struck in late August 2017 – has come at a pivotal moment during the initial stages of relief.
Full recovery, however, is a work in progress that will continue for months and, quite possibly, years to come. Our sisters and brothers will no doubt need our support during each step of that journey.
Are you still looking for ways to make a difference? Here are some suggestions on how your impact can immediately be felt:
Financial donations continue to provide invaluable resources for those who are in a rebuilding mode. Since the storm made landfall, more than $153,000 in contributions have been made to the North Texas Disaster Relief Fund. Be assured that 100 percent of all money donated to that fund will go directly to those affected by the disaster.
Early Response Teams, or ERTs, are the main way of sending people to the region for support. Signups are underway for individuals/small groups (https://riotexas.org/ert-individual-and-small-group-signup) and teams (https://riotexas.org/ert-volunteer-team-registration). For ERTs going to the Rio Texas Conference, these teams will be based in one of three cities: Corpus Christi, Victoria or Columbus. If you have a preference regarding these three sites, indicate your preference in the comments area when you register.
It is important to note, though, that those wanting to take part in one of these Early Response Teams must first complete ERT training. The North Texas Conference will offer training on this date, with more to follow:
Oct. 7 at College Mound UMC
Basic ERT training registration: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/umcor-early-response-training-basic-registration-38044033729.
Re-certification training registration: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/umcor-early-response-training-re-certification-registration-38014740111.
Additional trainings are being added. Please look to the conference Hurricane Harvey updates page for new information: https://www.northtexasumc.org/hurricane-harvey/.
If you have any questions about ERTs, please contact Rev. Dr. Janet Bell Odom at email@example.com.
Church teams that would like to plan a volunteer mission trip to the area are being asked to wait until the Christmas break or early 2018 to do so.
It is Bishop Michael McKee’s vision for the people of the North Texas Conference to be long-term partners with the Rio Texas Conference in providing recovery assistance. Thirty churches in the Rio Texas Conference were affected by Hurricane Harvey, and financial support for the pastors in those churches — not to mention rebuilding needs of the churches themselves — will be critical. This is an opportunity for the 300 churches of the North Texas Conference to come together, serve side by side and offer a profound witness to the love of Christ in action.
Rev. Andy Lewis, director of the North Texas Conference Center for Missional Outreach, is talking with leaders of the Rio Texas Conference to determine what this partnership will look like. Rio Texas is still in a stage of damage assessment and is prioritizing plans for recovery. Once that evaluation is complete, they will be in a position to tell us how the North Texas Conference can be most helpful and make the greatest impact. At that time, we will communicate more about our long-term plans.
If you have any questions about this long-range strategy, please contact Rev. Lewis at firstname.lastname@example.org.