REGION 1 congregation preparation network

Region 1 Disaster Preparedness and Response Initiatives

We are called to love and serve our neighbor when disaster strikes. As individuals, families, faith communities and neighbors we seek to be ready to help as during the critical hours, days, weeks and years following a disaster. We have muchto learn from each other about being ready to respond!

In partnership with Lutheran Disaster Response, and our state and local partners in the Pacific Northwest, Alaska and Montana, we are congregations training congregations in preparedness and response for times of disaster.

Please join us in taking steps to be ready. Our names and contact information are waiting for you on our contact page. We look forward to hearing from you.

Our April Gathering found us spending more time than anticipated just catching up with each other. It was time well spent. We always have so much to learn from one another.

Central to our time was a report from Oregon Synod VOAD representative Charlene Larsen of the work of the Blue Mountain Long Term Recovery Group as they wrap up their efforts after two year's work following the Umatilla River flooding of February 2020. View this video -  - for a summary of that process. Great work, all!

All the rich conversation we enjoyed meant that we didn't get to our "From Conversation to Construction" theme. We will pick this us in our next Gathering Wednesday, May 18, 2022. Register today. Our worksheet for our time in May can be found here.

There is great opportunity for engagement as we move into Spring. We promised two resources for you, and those are here.

  1. One is a congregational (or home) Disaster Preparedness Spring Cleaning event. Learn how one congregation had great fun with a walk through of there church facility with an eye to disaster preparedness and outreach. Some of you, we know, want to make this a May project. We'll take some next session to share our progress.
  2. The Washington State Emergency Management Division offers a great resource to engage Disaster Preparedness in a paced, month by month progression. This would be a great project for your family, neighborhood group or congregation. Grab some friends and make it something you do together. They've got other great resources, too.

Thank you to all who joined us in April. As always, if you have questions or seek some consultation let us know.

Following our February session on "No Wrong Doors," this month we engaged in training and practice around conversation styles which invite others into Disaster work. Specifically, we talked about "one-to-one" conversations with those we find "at the intersections." Who would you like to talk with about their possible involvement with you on a congregation or neighborhood Disaster Preparedness Team?

"One-to-one" conversations are a tool gleaned from Community Organizing practice. (Consider further training with the ELCA Organizing for Mission Network.) In a "one-to-one" relational meeting  the goal is to find passions and possible common interests that might bring you into partnered action with another. "One-to-one" relational meetings:

  • - Begins with a personal invitation to sit down and talk - maybe over coffee, but always at a time that is convenient for your 'guest.'
  • - States the reason for your visit as you invite. You are only interested in learning more about your guest and what motivates them to do the wonderful work you see them doing.
  • - Lasts between 30-60 minutes. Clarify the time frame you are asking for and stick to it.
  • - Listen more than you talk. Your "one-to-one" meeting is not a one way interview - but neither is it a social visit. Reflect, share connections as appropriate, but keep the focus on your guest and their story. Consider a 2 to 1 rule. Listen twice as much as you talk.
  • - Follow up your meeting with written notes which help you reflect on what you're learned.
  • - Generally you will not want to ask you guest to join your team or do anything for you at this meeting. That would be a bait and switch. Honor your stated intent of just getting to know them.
  • - Follow up your conversation with a personal thank you, and a thank you email or card as appropriate.

This worksheet was distributed during our session. Download it as a guide to having an actual "one-to-one" relationship meeting. It's actually fun. You and your guest will undoubtedly enjoy your time together.

Between now and our April 21 Gathering (Register here) you are asked to conduct one or more "one-to-one" meetings with people you find interesting. Bring your notes to our April session and we'll learn about next steps.

We had a great session February 16, 2022. Our theme was "No Wrong Doors: Entry Points for Disaster Preparedness and Response." Thank you to all who were able to participate.

As you review this session you will want to download the No Wrong Doors Worksheet we used for the session. This gives you space for notes and a way to participate in the work we did. In addition, our No Wrong Doors Summary offers you a concise way to see the flow of the evening and most important points.

Please use this video (below) to catch up if you missed the session. Or, share the evening with others who may be interested, or  use it as a review for your own reflection and learning. At the end of the No Wrong Doors Worksheet there is space to write. We encourage you to Name a person you "found at the intersection." Have this person in mind as you Join us for our next Gathering March 17, 2022.

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