Pastor’s Corner: Taking Our Turn

June 6, 2018

One of the things I’ve had to learn something about is the organizations that assist people in a disaster. There’s a well-established system in the United States, and although it gets reworked in each emergency situation, it’s pretty consistent. It goes like this:

The first people to respond are the people we have come to call “First Responders:” police officers, firefighters, paramedics, National Guard, and other government officials with appropriate responsibilities. I just learned today that in Puna, public works staff have been watching the roads and notifying residents of increasing risk.

The second people to respond are well defined. The American Red Cross manages shelters for those who have lost their residences. The Salvation Army runs feeding operations. Generally, these services run for a relatively short time, perhaps a few weeks, while other agencies find longer-term ways to meet the needs.

In the third phase, other organizations (including the United Church of Christ) step forward to help affected people recover.

A major difference here is that even after four weeks, our disaster continues to expand. More people are being driven from (and some of them losing) their homes. More people need emergency shelter, and at the same time, the second responders (and the first responders) need more help.

So it is our turn. The Board of Stewardship and Mission is working to recruit volunteers to help the Salvation Army serve meals once a week. The Trustees are looking at requests for use of our campus. I have been assisting the faith community with communications, and will also be entering the rotation as a spiritual care provider and a musician at the shelters.

There will come a time when we’ll need to pass some of this along. That’s OK. Nobody can do it all.

Everybody can take their turn in their time.

With aloha,

Pastor Eric


Categories Pastor's Corner Reflections | Tags: , , | Posted on June 6, 2018

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