Network News Special - Disaster Relief - September 6, 2017
Capital Baptist News

Network News Special - Disaster Relief - September 6, 2017

How To Prepare Your Church To Help With Disaster Relief by
As you read Mark’s article that follows, continue in prayer for the areas of Texas and Louisiana affected by Harvey,and for the US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and possibly Cuba and Florida that are being or may be battered by Hurricane Irma beginning today. -Marty

When the largest rainstorm in U.S. history evoked historic flooding, it also elicited a heroic response—which has been beautiful. One week has passed since Harvey landed as a Category 4 hurricane in Texas. As of this writing he is still pestering neighborhoods like mine 800 miles away in Nashville. Although Harvey has left Houston, I’m grateful rescue workers are flooding into it.

The fourth largest city in the U.S. is getting lots of love from ministries, agencies, and families from around the country. Our first responders deserve our prayers, appreciation, and respect: military, law enforcement, fire, and medical. Fire Chief Sam Pena said his department had responded to nearly 7,600 calls for water rescues. This week as I drove past a convoy of utility workers headed to south Texas from multiple states I was reminded to pray for them also.

Our prayers and gratitude also go out to the countless lay-volunteers who are serving today. For example, my denomination started mobilizing thousands of volunteers before Hurricane Harvey even made landfall. The Southern Baptist Disaster Relief workers have been rolling into disaster zones for 50 years, providing hot meals, clean water, child care, laundry, structure repairs, rebuilding, and more. With a trained volunteer force exceeding 80,000 people, SBDR is the third largest disaster relief agency in the United States.

In 2011 I watched the aftermath of an EF5 tornado that killed 158 people. It was only 250 miles north of the church I was pastoring in Arkansas. All I knew to do was ask our people to pray and give. I had been pastoring for twenty-four years and was tired of doing nothing after floods and tornados bullied their way through neighboring Arkansas towns.

My discontent translated into a phone call to the Arkansas Baptist Convention. They eagerly arranged a disaster relief training at our church. Over thirty members showed up and before long we had organized DR Unit 1 in our county, with a fully equipped trailer full of chain saws and other tools and supplies useful in disaster areas. This team grew to include other churches in our association and led many of us into different disaster zones in the U.S. and Haiti, including our own back yard when an EF4 crushed our neighboring towns of Mayflower and Vilonia.

This time we were ready.

If you are a Southern Baptist pastor or member who is interested in helping these fine Texans during their hour of need, just call your state convention and ask. There will still be plenty to do in Houston this time next year, and I assure you the DR volunteers will still be loving their neighbors.

Why Pastors Should Lead Their Churches in Disaster Relief by
Today’s post is by Alan Cross. Alan is a Southern Baptist minister who served as a pastor for 16 years in Montgomery, Alabama. He currently works on behalf of immigrants/refugees with the Evangelical Immigration Table and as a missional strategist with the Montgomery Baptist Association. He is also the director of Community Development Initiatives (CDI). Check out Alan’s blog, find him on Facebook, follow him on Twitter, listen to his podcast, and buy his book, When Heaven and Earth Collide: Racism, Southern Evangelicals, and the Better Way of Jesus (NewSouth Books, 2014).

“If we don’t lead our church to respond to this, they should never forgive us.”
I said this to our elders as a brand new pastor when Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast in 2005. We were in Montgomery, Alabama, approximately 200 miles from where the destruction started. I was convinced that if we could help, then we were obligated to do so. Our comfort, safety, and convenience could no longer be considerations when our neighbors, fellow believers, and countrymen were in such dire need. I told our church leadership that if we didn’t give our church an opportunity to respond and help, our members had every right to question our leadership. Why did we even exist? It was a bold step, but I was convinced that we were right.
Fast-forward to 2016
When the floodwaters began to rise in Louisiana a couple of weeks ago, it took me a few days to hear about what was going on. Like so many others, my news consumption was mainly focused on the Olympics and the looming presidential election. I am from Louisiana and South Mississippi, so images of flooding in that area are not that surprising. But, as the weekend progressed, I began to realize that this was different. There were serious problems here. I found out that approximately 7 TRILLION gallons of water fell on Louisiana over the course of a few days—24 inches or more in some areas. The rivers and bayous of Livingston, Ascension, East Baton Rouge, Tangipahoa, as well as many other parishes were inundated to the point of overflowing. Floodwaters rose to the rooftops.

People were suffering again in Louisiana and while my concern was with them, my concern was also for the church. Would we respond? Would we rush to the aid of our neighbors?

For a week or more, the church seemed to respond slowly and many seemed to be in a lull. The media seemed absent from this story and the alarm was slow to be heard. Little-by-little, however, individual and teams started going to the flood zone to both help and to assess the situation so others could come help.

Southern Baptists have a fantastic disaster relief ministry. The North American Mission Board and state conventions having thousands of trained volunteers that work to feed people, clear debris with chainsaws, and do a myriad of other needed relief activities. Many volunteers are retirees who are giving their “golden years” to ministry, always ready at a moment’s notice to head to the next disaster area.

But, sometimes, the disaster is so large that individual churches need to respond. Katrina was that way. The Louisiana Floods are also one of those disasters.

I went down that first weekend after the floodwaters subsided and saw destruction everywhere. It wasn’t the type of destruction that happens with a tornado or hurricane where houses are flattened. It was an inside-out destruction as floodwaters had ruined the inside of homes – tens of thousands of them. Whole towns and parishes were affected. Driving around working with others I saw the possessions of families piled high on the streets—completely ruined. I witnessed people frantically trying to “mud out” their homes to save them from the encroaching mold. And in the midst of these calamities, I saw local churches springing into action.

Churches in the area were opening their doors and mobilizing their people to aid their neighbors. Food, shelter, work crews…hope; all of it was being dispensed lavishly.

Over the past two weeks churches from across the Southeast and beyond have joined their local brothers and sisters in Christ to give aid and hope to flood victims who are working hard, but are wearing out. That is what Christians are supposed to do: come alongside those in need. Galatians 6:2 says, Carry each other’s burdens; in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Jesus said, “[L]et your light shine before men, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).

Pastor, leading your church to help those afflicted by natural disasters is a crash course in discipling your people in service, sacrificial love, and burden bearing. If you think beyond giving financial assistance (which we should do out of love) to how your own church will be spiritually formed, the reasons to create disaster relief teams dwarf the reasons not to. Having gone to disaster areas by myself and with small teams, I can attest: any church can do this and every church who does will benefit from laying their lives down to help their neighbors.

Discipleship is far more than what happens inside a classroom in a church building. Sometimes, it is what happens with a shovel in your hand in the midst of 95-degree heat as you help mud out a home of a stranger who has lost everything. Pastor, lead your church there.

California Disaster Relief Teams Are in Active Response Status
This information went out today from Mike Bivins to all volunteers with CSBCDR. Because the need is so great, other volunteers are needed. Please read and pray about volunteering:
California Southern Baptist Disaster Relief is now in “active” response to Hurricane Harvey, that left thousands of flooded homes throughout Southeast Texas.
We are currently recruiting trained individuals and teams for two-week-long cleanup (mud-out) recovery deployments that will begin on Saturdays, starting this Saturday Sept. 9 and continuing through October.
  • September 9 to September 23 
  • September 16 to September 30  
  • September 23 to October 7
  • September 30 to October 14 
  • October 7 to October 21
  • October 14 to October 28 
Our plan is to fill these openings with as many trained DR volunteers as possible who can commit to a two-week deployment. The need is great and to get more people activated some allowances will be made for those are not currently certified with CSBCDR.
All Volunteers should be aware of the following:
  • The two-week deployment includes four to six travel days, at least six work days and a day or two of rest.
  • Travel to Texas takes two to three days by car.
  • Accommodations are “DR” style meaning:
  • sleeping is on the floor of a Sunday School room 
  • meals are prepared in a DR kitchen 
  • showers are in a DR trailer
  • The conditions in Texas can be hot and humid.
  • Cleanup involves heavy lifting as well as wet, often moldy conditions.
  • Proper clothing and footwear are required.
Travel expenses are the responsibility of the volunteer. Preapproved expenditures with proper documentation will be reimbursed by CSBC. 
To volunteer please send an email to with your full name, church and contact information.
If you are a pastor or have a group from your church, please let us know how many (male and female).
Please indicate your first and if possible second choice from the schedule above of available dates to deploy. If you have questions you may call our deployment line at 916-693-3428.
CSBCDR mass feeding teams, please remain on standby as needs in Texas might increase with other states focused on approaching Hurricane Irma.
All volunteers please continue to monitor the website, Harvey Update page, for the latest deployment information and needs.
We continue to need DR donations as this deployment unfolds.
Pray and give to Disaster Relief ministries
Disaster Relief contributions are used to underwrite California Southern Baptist Disaster Relief Ministries (CSBDRM) response to natural disasters (hurricanes, tornados, floods, etc.) that occur in California, nationwide or in mission partnership countries.
These response services include, but are not limited to, the reparation of hot meals for disaster victims who are without basic utility services, cleanup of homes, recovery assistance to victims without insurance resources and transportation for volunteers to the affected areas.
Your contributions will be used for current or future disaster response efforts. Donations to support California Southern Baptist Disaster Relief Ministries may be made online or by sending contributions to California Southern Baptist Convention, 678 E. Shaw Ave., Fresno CA 93710, Attn: Disaster Relief.

Please pray for the teams from other states who are already there, for the teams being deployed, and for the efforts that will continue for months. And, of course, lift up the many people who have lost so much in these storms. 
We have many people to pray for as Irma and other storms continue to hit other areas and fires rage in the West. In addition, there are horrible floods in Asia that have taken many lives. We need to pray, give, and when possible, go.

Remember, September is CMO month. Our Network was featured in a video. You can check it out here

Pastors and Pastor's wives! We hope to see you on the 15th. Please RSVP. 

Speaking of movie nights, there are so many Christian movies coming to theaters this fall! It's exciting to see family-friendly movies in theaters! Here is a list of the ones we know about:

All Saints in theates now
Extraordinary in theaters September 7
Because of Gracia in theaters starting September 15
Greg Laurie Presents Steve McQueen: American Iconin theaters September 28
A Question of Faith in theaters September 29

We're very excited to see youth leaders in our network come together and begin planning some events and activities for the youth and young adults! If you are able, please join us at El Camino Baptist Church at 6 pm on September 8th for a planning/brainstorming/connecting meeting. Gregory Horton is heading up the meeting. If you have any questions or need more information, please contact him at 415-684-4549 or 

Job & Ministry Opportunities
Children's Ministry Volunteers
New Seasons church has a need for temporary/short term volunteers in their children’s church ministry.
Trained, experienced volunteers with proper clearances, and pastor approval preferred.
For more information contact Pastor Ron Jackson – 619-540-9294 or

Youth Leader Internship
First Baptist Church of Winters (FBCW) is seeking a Youth Leader Intern.
The job requires about 15 hours of work each week, offers a competitive salary along with a generous budget for Youth activities. The youth group consists of 10-20 students at the Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday gatherings.
For more information, contact the church at 530-795-2821

Youth Director 
New Hope Community Church (NHCC) in South Sacramento is searching for a part time (20 hr/wk) youth director. The position will report directly to the senior pastor and offers a competitive salary and some flexibility of work hours. The intent is to grow the position to full time and eventually a pastoral position. Some Bible college or seminary study is a plus, and candidate must be a self-starter.

For a full job description and other information, please contact NHCC board of deacons:
Board of Deacons
New Hope Community Church
1821 Meadowview Road
Sacramento, CA  95832

Unique Mission Project Opportunity: Supporting Seminary Students and Persecuted Christians in Myanmar
What your church can do:
1. Show a five-minute video in your service about the ministry
2. Have 1-2 leaders/contact persons to lead this project in your church who can explain the importance of this project and what it is accomplishing and who can oversee the sell of the bracelets used to raise the money as well as forward the money to The Church on the Rock in Canada. (See below for more details). (If you are near the Sacramento area, we can provide a leader/speaker to coordinate with your church if you are willing to let us come and share).
3. Commit to sell at least 100 bracelets. (They are really beautiful and are hand-made by the families in Myanmar).
4. Contact Claudia Wreyford at 916-944-2225 with any questions or to adopt this project in your church.
The Church on Cypress in Carmichael has partnered with The Church on the Rock in Canada for many years. We need churches who, as part of their mission activities, would be willing to join us in supporting the mission churches in Myanmar. This project provides financial support for a lay pastor seminary (training 70-90 men from 15 outlying villages) as well as aiding Christian families being persecuted there. 
The families are making Kumihimo (braided) Bracelets which will then be offered for sale through churches here in the US. 100% of all monies collected go to the mission in Myanmar. There are no administrative costs. All work here is done by volunteers. 
We currently have 1,000 bracelets ready for sale, we just need your help by including this as one of your mission projects.  Here are links to both the informational video available for your use and to pictures/information on the Myanmar Mission activities:
Click here: Myanmar Mission Pictures Or: 
Here is a picture of the Pastors Class in Myanmar

7      Movie "Extraordinary" in theaters for one day only
Watch the trailer 

7-9   Disaster Relief Chaplain Retreat 
        $100 per person. Register online here.
        More information at 

8      Youth Leaders Meeting
        El Camino Baptist Church
        2805 El Camino Ave, Sacramento, 6 pm

9      2nd Saturday Outreach
        10 AM - 1st Time orientation

9      3rd Annual Program honoring our "First Responders"
        Country Oaks Baptist Church, 9717 Bond Rd., Elk Grove
        1-6 pm, FREE

15    Pastors and Wives movie preview
        I Can Only Imagine at The Church on Cypress
        5709 Cypress Ave., Carmichael, RSVP to SRBN

29   Deep Love Live Simulcast with Drs. Les and Leslie Parrot
       Take a step toward deepening the marriages in your church
       Call 1-888-235-7948 for more information
       Video about the seminar 

30   Prepared to Answer: Where Faith and Culture Collide, Simulcast
       with Lee Strobel and Mark Mittelberg, Inciite Events

2-5  Pastor & Ministry Leader Retreat
       Camp Cazadero, $115 (includes 4 days, 3 nights, & 8 meals)

    Pastor and Staff Lunch
      12:00-1:30 pm, Bring your lunch
       Roseville Baptist Church, 1301 Coloma Way

5-7   Beth Moore - Living Proof Live and You Lead Training
         More information:  or
         or call 800-254-2022

6-8   Mother/Daughter Retreat at Jenness Park
        Pricing, details, and online registration at

13-23  Malawi Mission Trip with Internatonal Commission
           Contact Sonia Burnell  at or 916-784-2372

14    2nd Saturday Outreach
        10 AM - 1st Time orientation

19    SRBN Annual Celebration
        7 pm 

21    Piercing the Darkness 
        A faith-fueled summit for those on the frontline
        of empowering and protecting children from
        social injustice and human trafficking
        FREE, at The Artisan 
        Info and registration
        Contact: Chris Stambaugh (916) 952-7880

24-25  CSBC Annual Meeting
           Magnolia Church, Riverside, CA
           For More information:

7   Minister and Staff Lunch
     12 pm to 1:30 pm, bring your own lunch
     Roseville Baptist Church, 1301 Coloma Way

11    2nd Saturday Outreach
        10 AM - 1st Time orientation

1-2  Disaster Relief Roundtable for Cal Blue Caps
       More details:

5   Minister and Staff Lunch
     12 pm to 1:30 pm, bring your own lunch
     Roseville Baptist Church, 1301 Coloma Way

9   2nd Saturday Outreach
     10 AM - 1st Time orientation

28-30  Ignition Student Conference
          Sacramento Convention Center
          Learn more:


SRBN Youth Leaders Meeting

Gregory Horton, Youth Leader at El Camino Baptist Church, would like to invite all youth ministers, leaders, teachers, or others interested in ministering to youth in the SRBN Network to attend a meeting

Friday, September 8, 6 pm
El Camino Baptist Church

Guest speakers: leaders from the Ignition Youth Conference

For more information:
contact Gregory Horton
415-684-4549 or 

"We Remember" 3rd Annual Program Honoring First Responders

Saturday, September 9
1-6 pm
Country Oaks Baptist Church
9717 Bond Road, Elk Grove
For more info: (916) 685-4019

Family fun, Bounce houses, car show, food vendors, bands, and more!

California Mission Offering
September is California Mission Offering month: a Season of Prayer and Offering for California Missions.
Since the entire month is designated for California missions, churches are encouraged to use materials – poster, bulletin insert/prayer guide, videos and other resources – to observe the prayer and offering emphasis throughout the month.
Theme for 2017 is “It Begins With You" based on Acts 1:8. The goal for the 2017 Offering is $375,000. Gifts to the offering will support church starting, healthy church evangelism projects, disaster relief and mission action, associational projects and mission support.

Purposes for the offering are to:

  • Educate California Southern Baptists concerning the urgent need of reaching our state for Jesus Christ.
  • Encourage California Southern Baptists to pray for California missions and state missionaries who work with churches to share the Gospel.
  • Encourage California Southern Baptists to go on mission and share their faith.
  • Encourage California Southern Baptists to give so missionaries and ministries throughout the state can be deployed to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ
Pastors and Staff Retreat

October 2-5, 2017
Camp Cazadero
$115 (includes 4 days, 3 night, and 8 meals)
Details and online registration: 

SRBN Annual Celebration, October 19, 2017 at 7pm! 

Meeting site to be announced soon.

Dr. Bob Lewis will be the featured speaker at the Sacramento Region Baptist Network annual meeting and celebration. 

Your congregation should elect your messengers to come, share, and vote on items related to SRBN.


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