The United Methodist Church has a strong history in disaster relief with UMCOR as the primary relief agency leading long-term recovery and rebuilding. The Mississippi Annual Conference has established the Mississippi Committee on Relief (MSCOR). The mission of the Mississippi Committee on Relief is to act as the oversight umbrella of Disaster Response, management of Early Response Teams, Long-Term Recovery, Volunteers in Mission and Camp Love Katrina Recovery and to provide an organizational structure for the efficient allocation of resources. Robert Sharp and his remaining Katrina Recovery Staff will be with us through October should we need them.
Beth Dean, currently the Volunteer and Site Coordinator for Katrina Recovery, will additionally serve as the MSCOR Program Director working with Rev. Steve Casteel and the Department of Connectional Ministries and Communication.
Prior to coming on board with Katrina Recovery, she spent many years at a local hospital as the Director of Medical Staff Services and acted as a liaison between the physicians and administrators to help ensure the quality of care provided to patients. She is married to Rex Dean and they have 4 children. They are members of FUMC Long Beach.
In addition to Beth, the MSCOR team is comprised of Rev. Wayne Napier, who will continue in his role as Disaster Response Coordinator, and Rev. David Newton who will continue to serve as the UMVIM Coordinator. The team is committed to ensuring.
Disasters can occur on a large or small scale, and while our natural instinct is to roll up our sleeves and assist, it is important that we remember the disaster-struck area is in charge. There is a procedure in place that will allow the conference to monitor and assess the damage and the level of involvement of volunteers necessary. The local community and the local church "own" the disaster and will reach out to the district and conference when appropriate. While Early Response Teams will be requested and utilized, it is important for each of us to remember that ERT does not stand for "Emergency Response Team." The focus of MSCOR and UMCOR will continue to be the long-term recovery efforts for which the United Methodist Church is known.
The hardest part of any disaster is waiting. Patience is key to the success of any endeavor. Proper communication will help alleviate the stress that comes from waiting. Each district has a disaster response plan and a group of individuals who will orchestrate the plan and will communicate with the conference. The Conference Communications Office will promptly provide notification of any updates, directives or pertinent information via The Circuit Rider, the conference website and other forms of media.