The Parish Paper - September 2013: Disaster Relief: Congregations in the Eye of the Storm

2013, 2 pp
An EF level-5 tornado ripped through Joplin, Missouri, killing 158 people, injuring 1,150 others, and causing nearly $3 billion in damage. The storm leveled St. Paul’s United Methodist Church worship center and severely damaged their family life center. Two of their members were among the dead and three members from another area congregation lost their lives. Hurricane Irene caused major destruction along the East Coast of the U.S. and record flooding took many inland communities by surprise. When the Schoharie Creek rose to historic levels, Prattsville and Schoharie, New York were among the most affected—90 percent of the village structures sustained major damage, including local churches. Congregations in the eye of the storm suffer in multiple ways—church buildings may be damaged or destroyed, lives may be lost, members and neighbors may become homeless, and the community and its residents are never the same again. Still, the disaster is not the event—it is what happens afterward.

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