South Carolina UMC Focuses on Long-Term Recovery

October 28, 2015

After-the-Flood-730x332By Jessica Brodie Weeks after a storm so catastrophic South Carolina’s governor called it a “1,000-year flood,” South Carolina United Methodist disaster responders are transitioning from a rescue phase to a relief and recovery phase. “This is a ‘drying out period,’ and we expect it to last at least through year-end, though the full recovery could take up to three years,” said the Rev. Kathy James, director of Connectional Ministries for the South Carolina Conference. “We will be involved in long-term recovery after the cameras go away.” James is working with South Carolina Disaster Response Coordinator the Rev. Gregg Varner and other disaster response leaders to “be the church” to those who lost homes, cars and even loved ones in the storm. “There are perhaps thousands of people in the state who have been harmed by this flood,” Varner said. “The South Carolina United Methodist Church will be an active player with other volunteer agencies—like the Salvation Army, Red Cross and Baptist Association—coordinating with the state to help victims return to normalcy, or at least as close as we can get.” South Carolina Resident Bishop Jonathan Holston is urging prayer, volunteerism and generosity of compassion and financial resources as the state begins slow steps to regroup and heal. Eight of the 12 districts in the conference have been affected by the flood (excluding Anderson, Spartanburg, Rock Hill and Greenville), and disaster leaders say financial contributions and assembly of health kits and school kits are the most important things United Methodists in South Carolina can do right now. Thousands of cleaning buckets are available through the United Methodist Committee on Relief, so additional cleaning buckets are not needed at this time. The conference has set up an incident coordination center and hotline staffed weekdays to register requests for help and offers of assistance, as well as to schedule teams (800-390-4911 or Varner, who used to be the volunteer disaster response coordinator, will serve full-time as disaster response coordinator through March, working out of the conference center. Read the rest of the article- Faith through the flood Also, for more updates from South Carolina: