From the Worldwide Faith News archives

[LCMSNews] 'Know who's at risk,' advises LDRNY

From "LCMS e-News" <>
Date Wed, 20 Aug 2003 19:32:54 -0500

	LCMS News

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	August 20, 2003 .................... LCMSNews -- No. 92

	In wake of 'blackout,'
	LDRNY urges Lutherans
	to 'know who's at risk'

	With life returning to normal after the largest power failure in
U.S. history, Dr. John Scibilia, executive director of Lutheran Disaster
Response New York, has issued a reminder to congregations to "know your
members and neighbors who are at risk" and set up a "buddy system" of
volunteers who can make sure those at-risk people are safe.

	"Find out, who are the shut-ins, who are the older persons, who
are those people who may need help" during blackouts, ice storms,
tornadoes and other disasters, Scibilia said, and match them up with
another individual or family who is willing to help.

	Disaster can strike anywhere, at any time, he said, and while
churches are there to help in times of crisis, it's unrealistic "to
expect the church staff to address all those needs."

	Rev. Carlos Hernandez, director of districts and congregations
with LCMS World Relief and Human Care, was in New York City during the
blackout. The most typical scene, Hernandez said, was "people helping
people get through this latest crisis in New York and throughout the

	The experience was a sobering reminder, he said, "of how
vulnerable we are and how dependent we are on God's grace and each

	Atlantic District President David Benke, who is pastor of St.
Peter's Lutheran Church, Brooklyn, said the director and staff of St.
Peter's school reacted to the blackout by gathering the children
attending their summer camp and taking them outside, where they "prayed
and waited for news and the arrival of parents, while comforting those
who were confused, bewildered and concerned passing by on the sidewalk.

	"The people we saw were much impressed by the
'church-on-the-streets' approach we were taking," Benke said.

	Scibilia urged all Lutheran schools -- even vacation Bible
schools -- to "have a plan" for emergencies. He recommended "God's Care
in Times of Crisis," a two-day workshop led by an LCMS pastor and school
psychologist that helps schools develop crisis teams and action plans
for dealing with crisis situations.

	For more information about the program, contact Anna Eissfeldt
in St. Petersburg, Fla., at (727) 347-7276 or .

	"God's Care" information and resources for teachers and
administrators also are available on the Web site of Grace Lutheran
Church, St. Petersburg, at www.grace -- click on the
"Crisis Team" button.


	If you have questions or comments about this LCMSNews release,
contact Joe Isenhower Jr. at or (314) 996-1231,
or Paula Schlueter Ross at or (314) 996-1230.


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