Archives For Disaster Relief

The Briefing

TX churches sue FEMA over Harvey relief funds
Three small churches damaged by Hurricane Harvey and made its way through the Houston area sued the Federal Emergency Management Agency in federal court, seeking access to relief funds for nonprofit groups. The lawsuit filed on behalf of the Rockport First Assembly of God in Aransas County, Harvest Family Church in Harris County and Hi-Way Tabernacle in Liberty County claims the government’s disaster relief policy violates the Constitution by denying faith groups the right to apply for funds.

Free abortions offered to women affected by Hurricane Harvey
Whole Woman’s Health, a reproductive health care organization, in collaboration with other groups, is offering free abortions to women affected by Hurricane Harvey. At least 74 women have already taken the organization up on the offer, or have scheduled an appointment for the procedure. The price will be fully covered, as will the cost of transportation and accommodations, the group said.

Illinois abortion bill still in limbo
The bill, known as HB 40, that would extend the availability of taxpayer-subsidized abortions to state workers and Medicaid recipients, still has not been sent to Governor Bruce Rauner’s desk. Lawmakers approved the legislation back in May.

Protestant unity is new confession’s focus
A confession of faith aimed at expressing “interdenominational unity” among Protestants on the 500th anniversary of the Reformation has drawn endorsement from professors at all six Southern Baptist Convention seminaries and staff members at the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. The “Reforming Catholic Confession” also has been signed by professors from at least eight colleges affiliated with state Baptist conventions and by Southern Baptist pastors including Matt Chandler, J.D. Greear, and James MacDonald.

Gaines: Memphis Confederate monument should be moved
Southern Baptist Convention President Steve Gaines is among about a dozen Southern Baptist signatories of a letter requesting that a Memphis statue of Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest be moved from a public park “to a more historically appropriate site.” In all, 169 clergy members representing 95 congregations and other institutions signed a Sept. 13 letter to the Tennessee Historical Commission in support of Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland’s request to move the statue.

Sources: Houston Chronicle, Fox News, Springfield News Channel 20, Baptist Press (2)

Missions mobilization

 

Missions Spectacular

Missions Spectacular mowing ministry project

Mission trips are excellent opportunities for evangelism. In fact, sharing Jesus is the primary reason 22,000 Illinois Baptists personally engage in missions each year.

Supported in part by the Mission Illinois Offering, IBSA’s Church Resource Team equips missions leaders in Illinois churches to lead mission trips and to engage their churches in Acts 1:8 mission strategy. From just next door to the other side of the world, IBSA churches share Christ with many people and people groups. Missions Spectacular, Children’s Ministry Day, ChicaGO Week for Students, and GO Weeks on international mission fields are just a few ways IBSA helps mobilize Christ-followers for missions.    

And with 1,600 trained volunteers, Illinois Baptist Disaster Relief brings aid after natural disasters, while chaplains witness to suffering people.

Pray for Dwayne Doyle and Carmen Halsey who lead missions mobilization, and the teams who equip and send thousands of Illinois Baptists each year.

Give to the Offering. If your church promotes and receives a Mission Illinois Offering, we encourage you to give that way. If not, you can also give here — www.IBSA.org/GiveToMIO.

Learn more about the Mission Illinois Offering.

Watch “Students on Mission at ChicaGo Week.”

The Briefing

IBDR flood response teams activated
The heavy rains that fell in late April and early May leaving behind several inches rain have caused major flooding in Southern Illinois and the St. Louis Metro area. Illinois Baptist Disaster Relief (IBDR) has been monitoring the situation and called assessors. Now, multiple IBDR flood response teams are on the ground in Williamson and Franklin Counties in Illinois.

Samford U considers pro-LGBT student group
A recommendation by Samford University’s faculty to approve a pro-homosexual student group could have “serious implications … for the relationship” between the university and the Alabama Baptist State Convention, according to a joint statement by the convention’s president and the executive director of its State Board of Missions.

Americans view of morality studied
Most older Americans say right and wrong never change. Younger Americans — not so much, according to a new study released May 9. The study by LifeWay Research found a significant generation gap in how Americans view morality. More than 6 in 10 of those older than 45 say right and wrong do not change. For those 35 and younger, fewer than 4 in 10 make that claim.

Religious liberty order doesn’t answer evangelicals’ prayers
In his biggest religious liberty push since taking office, President Donald Trump officially laid out in an executive order some of the protections he has promised faithful supporters for months. The move came on the same day that evangelical leaders gathered in Washington for the annual National Day of Prayer. One problem: This is not the executive order many evangelicals had been praying for.

Army secretary nominee bows out over marriage views
President Donald Trump’s nominee to be secretary of the Army has withdrawn from consideration amid criticism of his positions on marriage and gender. Mark Green, a state senator from Tennessee, said in a statement that false and misleading attacks against him made his nomination a distraction.

Sources: Illinois Baptist, Florida Baptist Witness, Baptist Press, Christianity Today, World Magazine

ibdr-screen-shot-2017-03-03-at-12-16-34-pmThe storms that swept through the Midwest Feb. 28 developed into tornadoes when they went through southern and northern Illinois. Now, Illinois Baptist Disaster Relief (IBDR) volunteers are assisting victims with storm clean-up efforts.

Working in the southern Illinois town of Vergennes, volunteer Don Kragness told local television station WSIL, “We are here, basically, because we love Jesus and we want to serve Him and the best way we know how to serve Him is to help people when they’re in need.” Teams from Williamson and Saline Associations are serving the southern communities of Elkville and Vergennes. A shower unit from Franklin Association will also be deployed.

A team from Greater Wabash Association is at work in Carmi and Crossville, where one was killed, in the southeastern part of the state.

Dwayne Doyle, Illinois Baptist Disaster Relief Coordinator, said disaster relief assessors were on the ground in both parts of the state March 1. “The need is probably greater in the north in the Ottawa area, but assessment there is taking longer due to the damage.” Three died in the tornado that struck Ottawa. Doyle estimates chainsaw crews and chaplains could serve at locations around Ottawa and nearby Naplate doing cleaning up work for a week.

In an e-mail sent by Kathy Schultz on behalf of Three Rivers Association Director of Missions Dan Eddington, he wrote, “Our Disaster Relief Team leaders and Pastor John Patterson (Parkview Baptist, Marseilles) are assessing the damage… Parkview Baptist had three members from their church sustain damage to their homes from the tornado.” Volunteers from that association have been put on stand-by and were told, “There is much work to be done.”

The Illinois Baptist State Association’s Streator Baptist Camp is providing housing to volunteers serving in the Naplate area.

IBDR has over 1,600 trained volunteers who serve as part of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Disaster Relief ministry, the third largest relief agency in the United States. Disaster Relief often responds to natural disasters by providing feeding stations, mobile kitchens, child care and chaplains. In the case of flooding, volunteers in their signature yellow shirts help homeowners with “mudout,” clearing flooded properties of debris and contaminated building materials, so they can begin rebuilding and recovery.

The BriefingBaptists mobilize after weekend storms in Southeast
Southern Baptists throughout the Southeast have started responding to a deadly storm system that reportedly claimed the lives of at least 19 people from Georgia to Mississippi over a two-day period this past weekend. According to the Associated Press, 39 possible tornadoes were reported in the Southeast.

Ban reinstated on U.S. funds promoting abortion overseas
President Trump signed an executive order blocking foreign aid or federal funding for international nongovernmental organizations that provide or “promote” abortions. The order came Jan. 23, one day after the 44th anniversary of the Roe V. Wade Supreme Court ruling that made abortion legal, and days before the annual “March for Life” in Washington on Jan. 27.

U.S. abortion rate hits all-time low
The abortion rate in the United States declined to an all-time low, while the number of lethal procedures dropped below a million for the first time since 1975, according to a new report. The Guttmacher Institute reported the rate fell to 14.6 abortions per 1,000 women 15 to 44 years old in 2014, which is a decline of 14 percent since its most recent survey in 2011.

Divinity schools: Stop using ‘he’ or ‘him’ to refer to God
Guidelines at two top U.S. divinity schools have recommended professors use “inclusive” gender-neutral language—including for God, according to documents from both Duke and Vanderbilt. Vanderbilt’s 2016-2017 catalog says the divinity school “commits continuously and explicitly to include gender as an analyzed category and to mitigate sexism” in its teachings.

Vatican to issue stamp featuring Martin Luther
The Vatican office charged with issuing stamps confirmed that Martin Luther, who broke away from the Catholic Church in a schism 500 years ago, will be celebrated with a postage stamp in 2017. Honoring Luther and the anniversary of the Protestant Reformation is an unlikely choice for the Church. Luther, an Augustinian monk, was excommunicated in 1521.

Sources: Baptist Press, The Hill, Life Site News, Heat Street, Christianity Today

The BriefingStorm damage hampers relief efforts in Haiti, Carolinas
In the United States, the death toll from Hurricane Matthew reached 23. As floodwaters receded and Haitians could begin to count the bodies, the death toll in the Caribbean country soared to 1,000. Officials began to bury the dead in mass graves in Jeremie, one of the hardest-hit cities.

Trump’s pastor problem
A large number of Protestant pastors are undecided ahead of the election, and few of them have endorsed a candidate from the pulpit. Their indecision poses an issue for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. In the past two elections, more of these pastors suggested they were firmly in the Republican camp.

InterVarsity stands for biblical marriage
InterVarsity Christian Fellowship USA, one of the largest evangelical organizations on college campuses nationwide has told its 1,300 staff members they will be fired if they personally support gay marriage or otherwise disagree with its newly detailed positions on sexuality starting on Nov. 11.

Justice Ginsburg calls Kaepernick protests ‘dumb and disrespectful’
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, never shy to weigh in on the controversies of the day, said she thinks “it’s really dumb” for San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and others to refuse to stand for the national anthem.

Illinois marijuana sales top $20 million
Medical marijuana sales reached more than $3.8 million last month at licensed dispensaries throughout Illinois. September’s sales figures bring the total retail sales in Illinois to $23.5 million since purchasing began in November last year, topping the $20 million mark for the first time.

Sources: World Magazine, Washington Post, Time, CNN, NowDecatur

Disaster_Relief_logo_ILSix teams of Illinois Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers are scheduled to go to flood-ravaged southern Louisiana over the next month. The first team, from Harrisburg First Baptist Church in Saline Baptist Association, will serve from August 28-September 3. It will include flood recovery and chaplaincy volunteers.

According to Baptist Press, over 65,000 homes and 60 churches in southern Louisiana have been affected by the recent flooding. IBSA is offering a one-day Disaster Relief Training event Saturday, August 27 at Living Faith Baptist Church in Sherman. Potential volunteers will have the opportunity to train in flood recovery or food preparation. To learn how you can participate, visit IBSA.org.

Dwayne Doyle, State Disaster Relief Coordinator, shared, “Disaster Relief teams will be traveling through flood zones with recovery trailers and heavy equipment. Please pray for their safety. Pray for open doors in affected communities as volunteers offer physical assistance and spiritual comfort. Our chaplains often report salvation decisions from their work sites as people suffering after disaster turn to Christ.”

Doyle said he has received phone calls and e-mails asking, “if we will be accepting practical supplies like buckets, mops, and the such for the response. At this point, we will not be receiving practical supplies like these, but are needing funds to help mobilize our many volunteers and equipment. Your sacrificial giving helps Illinois Disaster Relief meet the many needs of those who are suffering.”

Illinois Baptist Disaster Relief is funded through individual and church donations. When you give, 100% of your offering will assist storm victims as disaster relief volunteers assist in recovery efforts. Ask your pastor to take up a special offering for Illinois Disaster Relief this Sunday. You may also give individually by mail or online. Mail a check payable to Illinois Disaster Relief to: Illinois Baptist State Association, P.O. Box 19247, Springfield, IL 62703.

Denham-Springs,-La.-from-blackhawk

The city of Denham Springs is among the hardest-hit in flooding across south Louisiana. Baptist Press/Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness

This isn’t Illinois Disaster Relief volunteers first time to serve in the state this year. Volunteers participated in Louisiana flood recovery efforts in March and April. It was during that call-out that volunteer Don Fulkerson, a member of First Baptist Church of Galatia, IL., died of a heart attack while serving flood victims in Leesville, LA. His team returned to Louisiana to finish the work it began later in the spring.

IBSA has over 1,600 trained volunteers who serve as part of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Disaster Relief ministry, the third largest relief agency in the United States. Disaster Relief often responds to natural disasters by providing feeding stations, mobile kitchens, child care and chaplains. In the case of flooding, volunteers in their signature yellow shirts help homeowners with “mudout,” clearing flooded properties of debris and contaminated building materials, so they can begin rebuilding and recovery.

If you are already a trained volunteer and want to go to Louisiana, contact one of the team leaders below.

Team Leader: Joe Jackson – Region 6
Date: August 28-September 3, 2016
Location: Southern Louisiana
Needed: Mud-out/Flood Recovery and Chaplaincy
Contact: joeluj@frontier.com

Team Leader: Don Kragness – Region 4
Date: September 4-12, 2016
Location: Southern Louisiana
Needed: Mud-out/Flood Recovery and Chaplaincy
Contact: donjank1@gmail.com

Team Leader: Dennis Felix – Region 4
Date: September 4-12, 2016
Location: Southern Louisiana
Needed: Mud-out/Flood Recovery and Chaplaincy
Contact: crossconnect2u@hotmail.com

Team Leader: Don Ile – Region 3
Date: September 11-18, 2016
Location: Southern Louisiana
Needed: Mud-out/Flood Recovery and Chaplaincy
Contact: donruthsawdust@gmail.com

Team Leader: Butch Porter – Region 6
Date: September 14-21, 2016
Location: Southern Louisiana
Needed: Mud-out/Flood Recovery and Chaplaincy
Contact: bp.dp@hotmail.com

Team Leader: David Howard – Region 2
Date: September 17-24, 2016
Location: Southern Louisiana
Needed: Mud-out/Flood Recovery and Chaplaincy
Contact: david@capcity.org

Media contact:
Lisa Sergent, IBSA Director of Communications
(217) 391-3119
LisaSergent@IBSA.org
Springfield, IL

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