From Our Pastor, Rev. Gloria Smith
As you read this month’s ponderings, I will be preparing to participate in the Southwest Conference’s
Annual Meeting for 2022. During the business portion of this year’s Annual Meeting, I will be introduced
as the Conference Disaster Coordinator for Arizona along with Tom Davis, who will be introduced as the
Conference Disaster Coordinator for New Mexico. So, I wanted to share with you information about the
disaster ministries and the coordinators responsibilities. The information below is taken from the United
Church of Christ Disaster Ministries webpage.
Q: What’s a Conference Disaster Coordinator?
A Conference Disaster Coordinator is an individual appointed by the conference to serve as a primary
point of contact and team leader for a Conference Disaster Team (CDT). CDCs act as a liaison among the
CDT, the conference and UCC Disaster Ministries.
Q: What is the CDC’s job description?
Their primary responsibility is to develop and lead a Conference Disaster Team to assist the conference
and congregations to prepare for disasters and – when disasters occur – to educate local UCC
leadership, donors and supporters of needs, disseminate information and recruit and deploy volunteers or
long-term recovery work. By maintaining relationships with UCC Disaster Ministries and with state and
local disaster response entities, both governmental and private sector, including state and local VOADs
(Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster).
Q: What do the Conference Disaster Teams do?
Conference Disaster Team (CDT) members develop relationships with the state and local VOADs
(Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster), and assist the conference, associations and its
congregations in preparedness planning. In the early days of a disaster the CDT members serve as the
first point of contact with congregations that have been impacted, and share information about disaster
response and recovery needs and identify appropriate ways to help. As long-term needs are identified the
CDT will engage communities where long-term recovery support will be needed, and educate and
encourage local UCC leaders about how to participate in the local long-term recovery efforts. The CDT
will also recruit and support the deployment of both short-term work teams and long-term volunteers for
long-term community recovery work.
UCC Disaster Ministries’ focus is on preparedness, response and long-term recovery. It is extremely
important that all CDCs have a common understanding of their role and the focus of the ministry, and that they are able to direct limited resources (time, energy, financial and volunteer) to support the overall
mission and ministry. So, in the future will you not only become better educated about disaster preparedness but disaster within the State of Arizona. You also will be educated on ways to prepare your family and friends on disaster preparedness and safety.
Blessings to you, Rev. Gloria