COVID RESPONSE
Southeastern Synod ELCA

Middle Tennessee Disaster Response amidst Covid-19

The Rev. Dr. P. Morgan Gordy - March 19, 2020
We move forward with the disaster response in Middle TN which is now morphing into Covid-19 / tornado recovery event. The work of the TNVOAD [Tennessee Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters] has begun to address both together adding preparedness for feeding and health care resources alongside disaster cleanup and rebuild.
 
Christ Lutheran Church has offered its parish hall and kitchen for use as food distribution site in case of extreme need for our area. We can anticipate more congregations stepping up to do this as well. 
 
Addressing housing and recruiting volunteers and the need for physical distancing is proving difficult. We are seeing the volume of volunteers for the continued disaster response diminishing. To provide for everyone’s safety, this response will most probably be slower than expected with stops and restarts due to the need of physical distancing.  We continue to provide emergency assistance funds for families affected by these storms. We continue to plan for long term recovery.
 
In addition to being involved in the Long Term Recovery planning in Wilson County, TN, Pastor Matt Steinhauer has been coordinating the feeding of 70 National Guard in Mt. Juliet, TN. He has leveraged his great relational skills to provide lunches and dinners for what will be two weeks! Our Synod funds help pay for food supplies to make this possible.
 
The disaster support groups continue to be planned however we are putting them on hold during this time due to physical distancing.
 
We are helping families in many different ways. From getting a family with a child with autism a swing set to replace the one damaged in the storm to providing supplies for cleaning and tarping.
 
We support partner disaster response efforts. We have been providing Administrative -data entry assistance to New Covenant Disciple of Christ disaster response outreach in North Nashville through the talents of volunteer, Cathy Crimi! This outreach is ongoing.
 
We are also working with another disaster ministry partner whose truck is disabled. We may be helping fund part of the repair so his efforts can continue.
 
We continue to walk beside Inspiritus and help where we can. We housed their response team at Christ Lutheran Church until last week when they moved to Lebanon, TN.  Our congregations in Middle TN have provided volunteer assistance in the food bank, a need that continues.
 
We continue to make available emergency assistance funds for recovery through referrals from partners in TNVOAD and Inspiritus.
 
Thank you all for your donations and most especially,your prayers…
 
God’s peace,
Pastor Morgan Gordy