Connecting Neighbors

CONNECTING NEIGHBORS PROGRAM

Overview:

The Connecting Neighbors program has the goal of inspiring congregations and communities to be better able to minimize disaster-caused harm to people and property and to respond to our neighbors in helpful, cooperative and caring ways on behalf of the church and in the spirit of Jesus Christ.

The curriculum is broken into three modules.  They are designed to empower United Methodists to prepare for and respond to disasters.  These modules are:

 

  • Module 1: Ready Congregants focuses on preparing individuals and families to be disaster-ready.
  • Module 2: Ready Churches emphasizes the importance of protecting church property and the people within the property, before and immediately following a disaster, and of appropriate use of church property in disaster response.
  • Module 3: Ready Response encourages churches to explore their capacity for various disaster response ministries and to consider ways to engage community partners.

 

 

Program Description:

United Methodist churches understand, in a foundational way, that our mission is to be the transformation the world needs. Our calling leads us to enter into disaster response as followers of Christ who earnestly seek to live our faith in ways that can transform communities…and the lives of those who are our neighbors. We must continually strive to become better than we are. That’s done by building competent local strength; by attracting, training and managing our volunteers better; by preparing our families, churches and communities to be better prepared for disaster; by being true to our collective mission.

Our work is based on our faith in God and respect for the communities we serve. This gives us the courage to serve boldly as the presence of Christ to alleviate human suffering and advance hope and healing. If we are inspired by our mission as to why we do what we do, our values provide the guidance we need for how we do what we do.

Our faith beliefs are strongly articulated in the Wesleyan United Methodist values. We see our neighbors as God see them, worthy of love and honored as partners. We appreciate working with others who care about helping neighbors and respect their beliefs as well.

The Connecting Neighbors curriculum consists of an overview of disaster ministry, three units and supporting handouts.

 

Overview: The Disaster Ministry Overview provides foundational information especially useful for modules 2 and 3.

  • Objectives: Participants will understand how our United Methodist structure enhances the local church’s capabilities for disaster readiness and response.
  • Time: Budget about 30-60 minutes for this overview.
  • Target Audience: Everyone.

 

Module 1: Ready Congregants focuses on preparing individuals and families to be disaster-ready.

  • Objectives: Participants will be inspired to take action in order to prepare themselves, their households and others before and immediately following a disaster.
  • Time: Budget about two hours for this unit.
  • Target Audience: Everyone.

 

Module 2: Ready Churches emphasizes the importance of protecting church property and the people within the property, before and immediately following a disaster, and of appropriate use of church property in disaster response.

  • Objectives: Participants will (1) identify one or more steps to take in order to mitigate against disaster-caused damage to property; (2) identify one or more steps to take in order to prevent harm to people who are present in or on church property when disasters or emergencies occur; and (3) be able to assess the utilization of church property following a disaster within or near the community of the church.
  • Time: Budget about two hours for this unit.
  • Target Audience: Everyone, especially church leaders including, but not limited to, pastors, trustees, Sunday school superintendent, lay leader, missions coordinator, treasurer and finance committee members, young adult and youth representatives, and others.

 

Module 3: Ready Response encourages churches to explore their capacity for various disaster response ministries and to consider ways to engage community partners.

  • Objectives: Participants will (1) be able to identify at least one disaster ministry their church might be willing and able to implement before and/or after a community disaster; and (2) initiate a preliminary plan to engage the church and to cooperate with other households of faith and the community in order to be prepared to respond in the event of a disaster.
  • Time: Budget about two hours for this unit.
  • Target Audience: Everyone interested in disaster-ready congregations and communities, particularly mission and outreach personnel, lay leaders, United Methodist Women, United Methodist Men, youth ministry leaders, lay servants and Stephen’s Ministers!

Training Calendar:

Training is available for churches across the conference that are interested in this program.  Please contact Mike Moore at mmoore@rmcumc.com or 303-550-0036 for information.