SEJ Disaster Academy


 Involved in United Methodist Disaster ministry in the Southeastern Jurisdiction? You will not want to miss this year’s SEJ Disaster Academy! The lovely, wooded Lodge at Simpsonwood ( in Norcross, Georgia, will again provide inspiration, fellowship and comfort as participants engage with God and fellow disaster responders for learning, fellowship, inspiration and challenge. Five learning tracks (see descriptions below) will begin Monday afternoon andcontinue through Wednesday noon. After lunch on Wednesday, all participants will work in groups to assess a disaster scenario. A Thursday morning plenary will focus on communications in disaster, including social media, United Methodist communications, and Ham radio, following which we will be sent forth to minister to those impacted by disaster!

Early bird registration rates apply through December 15. Full rate applies December 16 until February 1. Registration ends at close of business February 1.

Registration, Room, and Board: Double Occupancy $288 - $298; Single Occupancy $423 - $458; Commuters $150 (Less $25 for Early Registration)
UMCOR is heeding the call to take care of God’s magnificent creation. Please bring your laptop or other electronic device and/or a notepad for taking notes. If you will need to charge your device during class…and you have a surge protector …please pack it as well. As much as possible this year we will be providing the materials in an electronic format (thumb drive or CD) for you to use after you arrive at the academy. For those of you who would like the electronic files in advance of the academy, please note your email address on the registration and indicate you want an invitation to the files. You may also want to bring a notepad if you prefer to take handwritten notes. 

Track 1 - Basic Disaster Ministry (Disaster 101)
This tracks lays a foundation for disaster ministry and brings everything together for the person just beginning to work in disaster. Participants will learn the process for disaster response and recovery within the United Methodist Church and how we work in partnership with other agencies and organizations responding to disaster, including government, private sector, faith-based and nonprofit. Topics will include the phases of disaster, spiritual and emotional care, the basics of long-term recovery, information about UMCOR’s warehouse at Sager Brown and much more.
Track 2 - Children’s Disaster Services
This specialized training is provided by Church of the Brethren, in cooperation with UMCOR, and prepares individuals to work with children in shelters immediately after disaster. Participants learn to provide comfort and encouragement to children by offering the healing young children need in traumatic situations. They learn to create a safe, friendly environment that gives children the chance to engage in therapeutic play activities designed to relieve stress and calm fears. Upon completion, you will have the opportunity to be a Church of the Brethren Children’s Disaster Services volunteer and to deploy into shelters with Red Cross workers. For more information, visit . There is an additional $45 charge for this course to cover supplies. This class depends on both a minimum and maximum number of participants, so early registration is recommended.
Track 3 - Advanced ERT Training
This track, specially designed for trained and/or experienced ERTs, offers in-depth training to support team growth and provide the advanced skill sets desirable for early response. There will also be opportunities for problem solving and sharing lessons learned. Topics will include team position training as well as damage assessment, flood clean out, on-site management and more.
Track 4 - Connecting Neighbors Train the Trainer
This is a Train-the-Trainer Program designed to teach conference representatives how to help local churches develop a disaster ministry. Churches can better provide a caring Christian response to local disasters if they have prepared their church families and facility before disaster occurs. Connecting Neighbors addresses the faith community’s responsibility in disaster readiness and response and suggests tools to meet individual and community needs. Leaders are taught how to present the Connecting Neighbors program; how to connect the church to outside resources and to the community’s emergency plans; where the church fits in; and how the church can help the community at large. Participants are given all the tools necessary to present a meaningful program to local churches and to assist the local congregation in developing a disaster ministry.

Track 5 – Advanced Disaster Response and Recovery
Experienced Disaster Response and UMVIM Coordinators will explore ways to synergize their resources, enhance their communications, and re-energize themselves and others for disaster ministry! Participants will have opportunities to: 1) plan strategies to nurture involvement and engage the community, 2) learn how to craft an UMCOR grant proposal and prepare reports, 3) share lessons learned, and 4) apply best practices to "respond" to a disaster scenario. This track will include time for those who serve as leaders on behalf of the church to celebrate their calling and gifts as caregivers.


Register for SEJ Disaster Academy 2013


Simpsonwood Retreat Center
4511 Jones Bridge Circle
Norcross,GA 30092


Coordinator: Pam Garrison
Coordinator Email:
Registrar: Jim Sampson
Registrar Email: