Posts

Have you heard the bells…and the message?

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Have you heard the bells…and the message? Douglas Hoy, Conference Disaster Response Coordinator Last month, my wife and I took the opportunity to go on a date. We decided to take in a movie entitled “I Heard the Bells.” The storyline chronicled how poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow came to write the poem that eventually turned in to a popular Christmas carol. After seeing the movie, I was intrigued by the portrayal of Longfellow’s life, decided to do a little research, and familiarize myself with his writings. The result of that exploration revealed that, while he was considered the most popular poet of that time, Longfellow also lived a real and relatable life. Without giving away the entire story line, he lived a simple yet very happy life. He experienced family struggles, grief and healing. He was drawn into the conflict created by a charged political and social climate. He grappled with keeping promises and addressing teen rebellion. Longfellow was a widow and single father after tr

ANNUAL CONFERENCE 2023 DAY OF SERVING

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AC 2023 DAY OF SERVING Save the date and be a part of "A Day of Serving" on  Wednesday, May 17, 2023 , the day   before our 2023 Annual Conference   Session begins.  It's going to be different!  Continue to watch QuikLINK for more details.

EARLY RESPONSE TEAM TRAINING (ERT)

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EARLY RESPONSE TEAM TRAINING (ERT) “In the hours and days after a disaster, those who survive are looking for anything to give them hope. ERT’s can provide the kind of immediate response that restores hope, builds faith, and encourages those who are looking to their neighbor for support.” Charlton UMC  - Harrisburg, Pa. will be hosting an ERT Basic training on  Saturday, January 28 ; and  Lightstreet UMC  - Bloomsburg, Pa. will be hosting an ERT Basic training on  Saturday, February 11 . For more information and to register, go to  Disaster Response Ministry  and click on “TRAINING.”

Great Is Thy Faithfulness

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Douglas Hoy, Conference Disaster Response Coordinator      A few weeks ago, I was struggling. Facing health-related issues and problems at work, I was looking forward to a weekend camping trip. It was going to be a great opportunity to put those troubles and concerns behind me, if only for a few days. I packed the camper Friday morning and started my weekend, intending to meet my wife when she finished working that evening. I was 30 minutes into my trip when I felt the camper bounce and sway. And, before I knew it, I was sitting along the side of the road.       The camper had sustained a flat tire. As I got out of my truck to inspect it, I saw rubber from the tire lying on the road, accompanied by torn air conditioning duct work and plywood. My heart sank. Approaching the back of the camper, I found the tire had shredded and had ripped away portions of the weather barrier and subflooring. The wire that reinforced the duct work was tightly wrapped around the axle of the camper. At that

Le Tour . . . Disaster Response

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Douglas Hoy, Conference Disaster Response Coordinator I am an avid bike rider and enjoy spending time on the roads and trails. I cycle for exercise and the enjoyment of the outdoors. Each year, during the month of July, you can find me glued to the television watching le Tour de France and le Tour de France femmes. Also referred to as “grand tours” in the cycling community, these men’s and women’s races involve up to 200 individual riders representing 24 teams from professional cycling world-wide. Over the course of a few weeks, these riders traverse the French countryside completing daily stages (21 for the men and eight for the women) and riding approximately 3,500 kilometers (2,200 miles) and 1,033.6 km total (642 miles) respectively. For perspective, as a novice rider, the most I have ridden has been 74 miles in one day and 400 miles over the course of a month. The tour is both a team sport and an individual one that relies on strategies and tactics to be successful. Only one rider

Is There More to the Disaster Response Ministry?

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Douglas Hoy, Conference Disaster Response Coordinator At Annual Conference this year, I had the opportunity to speak with attendees about the Disaster Response Ministry. It was a joy to share all the opportunities the ministry has to offer. During one of those conversations, after explaining to connection to UMCOR and how we respond to “headline” disasters, I was asked whether there was more to the ministry. My reply was an emphatic “YES!” The mission of  UMCOR  and the Disaster Response Ministry is to provide assistance to alleviate human suffering as the result of disaster. And, most people associate that with helping people after they have been the victims of a natural disaster, such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and flooding. While this is true in the traditional sense, human suffering can occur on so many levels in so many places. All we need to do is watch the news every evening to know our neighbors are hurting as the economy continues to slow down and inflation continues to rise. T

Disaster Response Ministry: When Blue Skies Turn Gray

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  Douglas Hoy, Conference Disaster Response Coordinator In emergency management circles, references are often made about an organization’s status in “blue skies” and “gray skies.” The term “blue skies” refers to how that organization conducts its normal, day-to-day operations without the direct threat of an emergency or disaster. Those operations involve building and maintaining capabilities for when disasters, or “gray skies,” strike. In carrying out their responsibilities, emergency managers utilize a four-phase model to prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters. The phases include mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery. Mitigation  involves taking steps to avoid or minimize the cause and consequences of disasters.  Preparedness  involves planning and training for those things that are not able to be mitigated. The response phase takes place immediately after the disaster occurs and focuses on the personal safety and wellbeing of those in the community. The duration

Tornado Recovery Support

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  There are opportunities to financially support tornado recovery efforts as well as send volunteers to the Kentucky and Tennessee-Western Kentucky Annual Conferences. Tennessee-Western Kentucky Conference Long Term Recovery efforts are being planned through the Fall of 2022 and volunteer teams that are interested in helping should register their interest at  VOLUNTEER FORM .  If you want to send supplies, contact them at  SENDING SUPPLIES FORM .  Financial giving can be accomplished by clicking  Donate to Disaster Response Fund  or, mailing a check to Tennessee-Western Kentucky Conference, PO Box 440132, Nashville, TN 37244. (Please note Disaster Response in the memo line.) Kentucky Conference Currently, the Kentucky Annual Conference is only accepting teams that are ERT led, with a ratio of 1:1 (1 ERT trained* to 1 non-ERT).  When long term recovery efforts begin, more information will be shared.  Financial giving can be accomplished by mailing a check made out to Conference Treasure

The Power to Make a Change!

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  By Douglas Hoy, Disaster Response Coordinator “If you walked by a house fully engulfed in flames and you could hear people screaming, would you keep walking? If a car crashed in front of you, would you drive by it? If a child was about to cross a busy street without looking, would you stay quiet? Well, it’s not a fire, or a crash, or a busy street, but people ARE dying and our health-care workers are drowning, and they are seeing things they will never forget….” These words were shared by a friend on social media a few months ago. Like many of us, she has been frustrated with the pandemic, a lack of concern for those who are suffering, and the declining support for the decision-makers attempting to guide us.  My friend went on to share that “we have the power to change the outcome, to lessen the burden. We can be part of the solution.”  As I read her post, my thoughts turned to a cold day in October when I met with some residents of Knoxville (Williamsport District). That meeting was

Disaster Response Ministry: What’s the Catch?

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  Douglas Hoy, Disaster Response Coordinator SUSUMC  Have you ever seen those advertisements offering an all-expense paid, week-long vacation to a tropical location? It’s an offer that seems almost too good to be true, right? Just spend a few hours touring a vacation resort and listening to a salesperson attempting to sell you a condo. No strings attached. Just give them a few hours of your precious time. How bad could it be? Fill out the registration form. Provide them with your mailing address, telephone number, and e-mail address. Convinced it’s worth it because all expenses are paid? It’s a great opportunity because you were planning to take a vacation anyway. Then, you start receiving junk mail and spam e-mails. Your phone rings constantly. The texts never stop. You discover the airfare is free—well, except for the taxes and fees. Suddenly, what seemed like a great opportunity with no “catches” has turned into an expensive, time-consuming nuisance. Recently, I felt like one of tho

Connecting With Your Community

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  By Doug Hoy, SUSUMC Disaster Response Coordinator Growing up, I spent many hours watching Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood and learning life lessons that have formed who I am today. Fred Rogers was a pastor and, through his ministry and television show, he emphasized the importance of kindness, community, and friendship. He once said, “All of us, at some time or other, need help. Whether we’re giving or receiving help, each one of us has something valuable to bring to this world. That’s one of the things that connects us as neighbors—in our own way, each one of us is a giver and a receiver.” When we think of disasters, what comes to mind? Hurricanes…Flooding…Wildfires…Earthquakes? Have we considered the homeless, the hungry, single parents, seniors, or that forgotten population between 18 and twenty-something? While the needs of survivors of the former certainly should occupy our thoughts, prayers, and actions, the latter also suffer. They are our neighbors and friends. They live in our c

Commentary: Yeast, Bread, and Growing the Kingdom of God

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  By Douglas Hoy, Disaster Response Coordinator Recently, my wife and I spent a weekend camping at Greene Hills Family Campground & RV Park. It was a relaxing time and we enjoyed experiencing the sights, sounds, and smells of God’s creation. The colorful foliage, the sound of the nearby river, and the smell of cooking over a camp fire brought back fond childhood memories. We ended our weekend by attending the worship service. Vance Hart, the chaplain, shared a message of the importance of yeast. He spelled out how it is used to make bread and ferment grapes. As he spoke, I began to think about the aroma of freshly baked bread and the process of making it. Assemble the ingredients. Dissolve the yeast. Mix in the remainder of the ingredients. Knead the dough and allow it to rest and rise. Then, bake it and serve it. As these thoughts ran through my head on the drive home, I was reminded of the scriptural significance of bread and yeast.  Bread is not just something that satisfies our