The West Virginia and Florida Conferences of the United Methodist Church have created a partnership to help Floridians recover from Hurricane Irma.
The West Virginia and Florida Conferences of the United Methodist Church have created a partnership to help Floridians recover from Hurricane Irma. West Virginia Resident Bishop Sandra Steiner Ball and Florida Resident Bishop Ken Carter announced that Rev. Deborah Coble, the West Virginia Conference’s Director of Communications, will be loaned to the Florida Conference Disaster Response Team on a short-term basis. Coble will help the Florida team develop a comprehensive disaster communications plan.
“Bishop Steiner Ball said, “many of our sister annual conferences are sending significant financial donations to Florida, just as we received last year. Since we are still in long-term recovery we aren’t able to make that sort of cash donation, but we can share what we have learned out of our own disaster response. This is at the heart of what we are called to do as a connectional church.”
Hurricane Irma made landfall on the Florida Keys on Sept. 10 and made a second landfall on Florida’s Marco Island. The hurricane then pounded up the Gulf Coast bringing heavy rains, winds, and, in some areas, a 10-foot storm surge. The storm damaged 242 United Methodist churches and parsonages in Florida.
“As I prepare to go to Florida I am reminded of the willingness of so many to come and serve alongside us as we began to recover from our flooding,” Coble said. “I am honored by the opportunity to fill this role. It’s in the stories of rebuilding and resiliency that we find the hope of the gospel, and in telling those stories we help people tap into that hope.
Until she returns to her day-to-day duties in West Virginia, the WVUMC’s Conference Communications Team will continue to be responsible for ongoing communications operations, such as the conference magazine, website, and social media channels.
“I am thankful that we have such a talented and faithful Communications Team,” said Ken Krimmel, Assistant to the Bishop and Director of Connectional Ministries in West Virginia. “While Deborah will be just a phone call or email away, I know that our entire Conference Communications Team will continue to move forward our mission to discover, develop and deploy passionate spiritual leaders who change the world.”
The West Virginia Conference continues its long-term commitments of financial and human resources to help West Virginians recover from June 2016 and summer 2017 floods.
For more information about our Disaster Recovery and Response visit: wvumc.org/disaster-response.
To read about the effects of Hurricane Irma follow this link.