More than 300 religious leaders, faith-based and volunteer disaster responders, community leaders, and emergency response professionals already have registered for six regional disaster response workshops that will be held across Missouri from April 24 to May 4. The conferences are designed to further strengthen the state's nationally recognized disaster response and recovery partnership of faith-based and volunteer organizations following the disasters that affected much of Missouri during 2011.
"This is an invaluable opportunity to step up the coordination of our collaborative efforts, and I'm pleased that more than 300 faith and community leaders are registered," Gov. Jay Nixon said. "During 2011, Missouri was affected by one of the deadliest and devastating tornadoes in U.S. history, in addition to other tornadoes, severe storms, record flooding and a blizzard. The overwhelming response and extraordinary work of faith-based and community volunteers made an immeasurable difference in Joplin and elsewhere in Missouri."
At Gov. Nixon's direction, the Missouri Governor's Faith-Based & Community Service Partnership for Disaster Recovery has put together a program and speakers to provide insightful and inspiring practical advice about the unique demands that churches and other religious communities must be prepared for following a large-scale disaster. The program also will address the continuing needs that communities face long after disasters, and the best ways to be prepared in advance for a possible disaster. Religious and volunteer leaders from Joplin who continue to lead the community's recovery efforts will speak about their real world experiences.
Gov. Nixon said the workshops will build on a previous round of regional faith-based and volunteer response meetings conducted in 2009, and will be an opportunity to reflect on the experiences and lessons of 2011's disasters, to assess strengths, and to develop strategies for continued growth.
There is no cost to participate in the conferences, but registration is required. The conferences dates and locations are:
April 24, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. - Jefferson City
Bible Baptist Church
4730 Country Club Drive
Jefferson City, MO 65109
April 26, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. - Cape Girardeau
St. Francis Medical Center
211 Saint Francis Drive
Cape Girardeau, MO 63703
April 27, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. - St. Louis (Webster Groves)
Eden Theological Seminary
475 East Lockwood Avenue
Webster Groves, MO 63119
May 1, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. - Springfield
1655 West Republic Road
Springfield, MO 65810
May 3, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. - Kansas City (Lee's Summit)
Crown Pointe Church
5950 Northeast Lakewood Way
Lee's Summit, MO 64064
May 4, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. - St. Joseph
Huffman United Methodist Church
2802 Renick St.
St. Joseph, MO 64507
A registration form is available online, and participants also can register by calling (573) 526-9410. Participants should provide their name, title, contact phone number, email address, and the name of their organization.