Penny Ellwood

Blue Springs Enote

Responding to Crisis in Natural Disasters

Posted Sep 8, 2017

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Greetings Resurrection Blue Springs,

This week we have been bombarded with stories of crisis, trauma and tragedy. The natural disasters alone have been overwhelming - Irma followed on the heels of Hurricane Harvey and now, this morning, we heard the news of the earthquake in Mexico. Our hearts hurt deeply for those impacted and we feel sorrow and grief for the people caught in the midst of these natural disasters.

Many of us struggle with the question of how to respond when the needs are great and the number of people affected is growing. With the sheer number of tragedies bombarding us, the danger becomes indifference. We don’t know what to do and feel powerless to help, so we do nothing.

Let me remind you: we are not powerless to help, and even our seemingly small efforts make a difference.

The frontline responders cannot do what they do without the help of those behind the scenes. We can support the local and national organizations equipped to provide rapid response to immediate needs from feeding and shelter to emotional and spiritual care. Even small financial contributions make a big difference. Your offerings of this last week purchased a skid steer to be used in the Rio Texas conference.

We shouldn’t underestimate the power of prayer either. This is one of a Christian's most powerful gifts. Be intentional about praying for those who have experienced trauma and disaster. Pray for material needs as well as emotional and spiritual needs of those effected. Prayer only requires our time and heartfelt compassion for others. We’re all capable of this action.

If you feel called to more concrete action, we have asked our congregation to prepare cleaning buckets and bring them to the church this Sunday so that we can get them to the Conference office in Topeka by Sept 13. More information for the Cleaning Buckets is available online.

Our Early Response Team volunteer leaders are connecting with the Disaster Response Teams in the areas affected to learn when they will be ready to receive our teams from Resurrection. They are currently still assessing the situation in Texas.

If you’re feeling called to respond with personal service, do not self deploy or go alone. Crisis work is challenging emotionally, spiritually and physically. You need the protection of a reputable organization with qualified leadership. You can prepare now by getting the training needed to join one of the teams we will send in the near future or join in the work we are planning here to support and minister to those hurting. As the body of Christ, let us not become overwhelmed and lose our compassion for human suffering. To learn more about Resurrection’s disaster response efforts and the training being offered, visit the Disaster Response page on our website.

This Sunday in worship we continue exploring the faithful but flawed disciple, Simon Peter, as we look at how God's grace comes to us even when we mess up. Invite someone to worship with us this Sunday by sharing this page and video.

Speaking of worship, I want to close by giving you a heads up that you don’t want to miss worship on September 17, because Pastor Adam will be joining us live for both of our worship services.

I look forward to seeing you this Sunday!

Grace and Peace,


Penny Ellwood

Penny Ellwood

Rev. Penny Ellwood is the Campus Pastor at Resurrection Blue Springs.