Illinois, Indiana United Methodists assess damages

United Methodists are working throughout Illinois and Indiana to determine the extent of damage from the multiple tornados that swept through the two states Nov. 17. While there were reports of damage in other states, the storm’s path took its greatest toll in Illinois.

Paul Black, communications director of the Illinois Great Rivers Annual (regional) Conference is posting updates on the conference’s Facebook page and a special page on its website — Illinois Tornados 2013. The conference has confirmed extensive damage in Washington and damages to home in neighboring towns. Six casualties are confirmed, but search and rescue was ongoing at publication time.

The Northern Illinois Annual (regional) Conference also is using its Facebook page andits website to provide information. Anne Marie Gerhardt, the conference communications director, still is gathering information.

The Rev. Dan Gangler, communications director for the Indiana Annual (regional) Conference, emailed that it appears Indiana was spared the damage that Illinois sustained.

He said that 164 structures — both houses and other buildings — were destroyed in Indiana at 17 different locations. Kokomo was hardest hit. The Rev. Jim Byerly, the Indiana Conference Disaster Response Coordinator, said ERTs from Vincennes, Ind., may be called to begin relief work in Washington, Ind.

FEMA has told Indiana it will not be receiving federal funds for recovery efforts, Gangler said.

“This morning, the Indiana Conference Disaster Response Team approved up to $5,000 for tornado relief,” Gangler wrote.

Relief efforts in the communities affected by the Nov. 17, 2013 tornados will be funded from the United Methodist Committee on Relief’s US Disaster Response advance (#901670).  One hundred percent of gifts designated for USDR Tornadoes 2013 will support the response in Illinois and other areas where the tornados hit.

Sign up for our newsletter!

umnews-subscriptions
Mission and Ministry
Over 30,000 pounds of food provided by Feed America First is distributed to those in need in Wilson County, Tenn. Lebanon First United Methodist Church in Lebanon, Tenn. was able to restock its food pantry as well as help provide a week’s worth of food to over 350 families. Pictured are John Stephens and Laura Headley, members of Lebanon First United Methodist Church. Photo by the Rev. Ryan Bennett.

Prayers, donations help in aftermath of storms

March storms left behind lots of damage, but because of COVID-19, church leaders are urging safety first, cleanup later.
The Rev. Thomas Kim. Photo by Kathleen Barry, UM News

Enforced COVID-19 isolation recalls days in prison

The Rev. Thomas Kim reflects on how the enforced isolation recalls his time in prison. While that isolation is hard to take, he writes that it is nearly impossible to take the racism and xenophobia aimed at Asian Americans.
The Rev. Knut Refsdal. Photo by Karl A. Ellingsen

God’s role in times of crisis

Humanity has never found a good explanation for why there is suffering in the world. Why do so many seem to accept that bad answers are better than no answers?