Introducing Sarah Kruger, the LDR Western Region Resiliency Representative
I am excited to share that Lutheran Disaster Response (LDR) has contracted with Sarah Kruger to serve as our new Resiliency Representative for the LDR Western Region which includes Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, California, Hawaii, and U.S. Pacific Island Territories.
Our world’s experience of disasters is in a rapid state of flux. Natural disasters are occurring with greater frequency and growing intensity. Many of these changes are climate driven, and people and communities in the Western United States experience this trend through prolonged drought, intense wildfires, unusual heat events, unseasonal flooding, and more. In addition, it is increasingly evident that racial injustice and inequity continue to play a role in the way disasters disproportionately affect communities. In order to address the increasing impacts of disasters, LDR remains committed to working with ecumenical and community-based partners to respond to disasters. However, we also recognize that a reactive approach is not sufficient in the face of what lies ahead. Our deeper call is to accompany and strengthen local communities to be vital, resilient, and ready in ways only they can know and imagine.
Disasters are intensely local and personal. The way we address them must be as well. The LDR vision for resilience is centered on intentional relationship-building and relational organizing, seeking to center the unique expertise of impacted communities. In order to deepen our engagement across the United States, LDR begins this work by engaging a Resiliency Representative in each of the four LDR regions (West, Midwest, East, South) to lead relationship and capacity-building initiatives. Sarah is the first Resiliency Representative to join the LDR team. Her focus will be on relational organizing and equity in the growth of community resilience throughout our LDR Western Region, which is ELCA Regions 1 & 2.
I am grateful for the diverse skill set that Sarah brings to this work. With experience in the adoption field, she has deep knowledge of social work and case management; years of living overseas brings a unique understanding of navigating change and the importance of community; and the lived experiences of her family shapes her sense of call and purpose to impact change in existing systems of oppression. She carries a passion for the work ahead and is excited for your partnership. Dave Brauer-Rieke has been supporting you in a similar capacity for the past two years and will continue as part of Sarah’s team for which I am also most grateful.
LDR is a collaborative ministry of the whole Church; you are an essential part of our work, and we recognize that our work as national staff is to accompany and support you as God’s hands in your local community. I believe that this new resilience initiative strengthens our traditional focus of locally-led efforts and will provide a new avenue to engage new and diverse partners across the Western Region and beyond. Please join me in welcoming Sarah to the team.
Program Director, Lutheran Disaster Response