by Rev. Kyland Dobbins* and Vance Morton**
For those of you ready, willing and eager to turn your missional focus into missional action, there are two opportunities just around the corner to join in Early Response Team (ERT) trainings – Saturday, June 9 and 16 (see below for times and locations). And, while we have your attention, we’ll also remind you that the next chance to participate in United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM) Team Leader training is coming this fall – details for these UMVIM events are also below.
One of the primary ways the Central Texas Conference responds to disastersisvia our Early Response Team (ERT). Our CTC ERTs respond to disasters within the conference (i.e. the wildfires of last summer and the tornadoes that ripped through Central Texas earlier this year), as well as other areas of the country facing disasters. The mission of an Early Response Team is to provide a caring presence in the aftermath of a disaster, under very specific guidelines that enables a team to be productive and caring while causing no further harm or being a burden to the affected community.
If you are called to service as a member of the CTC ERT, you'll need to register for and participate in one of the trainings taught throughout the year. These trainings are taught by “authorized” UMCOR trainers, and team members are given authorized ERT ID badges from UMCOR as evidence of completing the training. Currently there are two training events planned for this spring. The trainings are scheduled to run from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. on the following dates and locations:
- Saturday, June 9, First UMC Mansfiled, 777 N. Walnut Creek Dr., Mansfield, Texas 76063
- Saturday, June 16, First UMC Keller, 1025 Johnson Road, Keller, Texas, 76248
If you plan to lead a mission team, be a part of mission team, just in the “getting interested” phase of missions to places like Rwanda, Haiti or Joplin, Missouri, or even if you are just very fond of the word “missions” then UMVIM training is for you. For those of you with UMVIM diplomas already on your wall, please be aware that if you have not gone through a training class in the last five years, you need to attend a class before you can be certified to serve.
Since the Central Texas Conference covers some vast Texas territory, we are attempting to make it as convenient as possible for you to attend one of the trainings by offering two different training locations. Of course, don’t let regional or county lines deter you as all are welcome to either of the trainings. Here are the details of the upcoming spring UMVIM trainings:
- 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Saturday Oct.27, First UMC Mansfield (777 N. Walnut Creek Dr. Mansfield, TX 76063) with Teresa Sherwood. The registration deadline for this training is Wednesday, Oct.24.
- 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Saturday Nov.3, Oak Park UMC (5505 S. 31st St. Temple, TX 76502) with Rev. Johnny Miller.The registration deadline for this training is Wednesday, Oct.31.