mercy in times of disaster - North Wisconsin District of the Lutheran ...
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mercy in times of disaster - North Wisconsin District of the Lutheran ...

Putting Faith in God’s MercyInto Direct ActionRev. Carlos Hernandez, Director, Church and Community Development,the Office of National Mission, 314-956-2005, carlos.hernandez@lcms.org1

RAPID RESPONSE AND PRESENCEStoughton, Wisconsin, August 18, 2005 F3 Tornado, 200 MPH, Rev.Thomas Peterson (Took call, November 2007)3



IMMEDIATE AND PURPOSEFUL RESPONSETO OFFER PHYSICAL RELIEFOrphan Grain Train Kitchen, Minot, ND. “For I was hungry and youGave me something to eat…” (Matthew 25:35) NEED FOR FOOD. 6


Immediate and purposeful response to offer relief tovulnerable congregational neighbors (Community)Hope, Des Moines, Iowa, Pastor Braun and Jurchens (Ellie Menz) 8

Immediate and purposeful response to offervictims opportunity to de-brief (Community)RED CROSS SHELTER, BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA…Scientology staff there in overwhelming numbers. 9

LISTENING to the victim share SPIRITUALRESOURCES. Leading questions? Questions forreflecting back? Prayer?How has theDisaster affectedyou spiritually?(Giving expressionto doubts andquestions )What spiritualresources andpractices havebeen mosthelpful?Has prayer beenA helpful resource?What Scripturalinsights have beenmost helpful?May I prayWith you?10

Janice Strizver, Ramona Lutheran, Ramona, California; Wildfires, December,2007 There twice. John Fale presented workshop on PTS first time (Gil Furst)11

Sylmar, California Fires: Jennifer Boehlke: “Like being in a long, dark tunnel”Lost their home and all their possessions.12

Because Bible-believing Christians arehearers and doer of the Word:“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceivingyourselves.” (James 1:22)‘Not everyone that says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the kingdomof heaven, but the one who does the will of my father who is in heaven.”(Matthew 7:21)“This people honors me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.”(Matthew 15:8)14

Because Bible-believing Christiansare hearers and doers of the Word:31“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, thenhe will sit on his glorious throne. 32 Before him will be gathered all thenations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherdseparates the sheep from the goats. 33 And he will place the sheep on hisright, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on hisright, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdomprepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungryand you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was astranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I wassick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then therighteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry andfeed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you astranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did wesee you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them,‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these mybrothers, [a] 15you did it to me.’

Because Confessional Lutheran Christians aredoers of the Word reflected in the Confessions: “Our churches teach that this faith is bound tobring forth good fruit [Galatians 5:22-23]. It isnecessary to do good works commanded by God[Ephesians 2:10]. Because of God’s will. Weshould not rely on those good works to meritjustification before God…” (From AugsburgConfession, Article VI, New Obedience, Book ofConcord, A Readers Edition of the Book ofConcord, Page 37 [1]17

Comes from a Holy Spirit empowered MOTIVATION. TheHoly Spirit calls us to faith by the proclamation of theGospel (Third Article): The crucial connection (The Gospelin the hands of the Holy Spirit) between receiving andsharing what we have received… “Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.” (Luke6:36) “For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus:that if One died for all, then all died. And He died for all,that those who live should no longer live for themselves,but for Him who died for them and rose again.” (2Corinthians 5:14-15)20

12 I appeal to you therefore , brothers, [a] by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as aliving sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. [b] 2 Do not beconformed to this world, [c] but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing youmay discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. [d]Gifts of Grace3 For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highlythan he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faiththat God has assigned. 4 For as in one body we have many members, [e] and the members do notall have the same function, 5 so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individuallymembers one of another. 6 Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us usethem: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; 7 if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, inhis teaching; 8 the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity;the one who leads, [f] with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.Marks of the True Christian9 Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. 10 Love one another withbrotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. 11 Do not be slothful in zeal, be ferventin spirit, [g] serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. 13Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice,weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associatewith the lowly. [h] Never be wise in your own sight. 17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thoughtto do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, livepeaceably with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it [i] to the wrath of God, for itis written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20 To the contrary, “if your enemy ishungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heapburning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. 21

“Furthermore, we teach that it is necessary to do good works.This does not mean that we merit grace by doing good works, butbecause it is God’s will (Ephesians 2:10). It is only by faith andnothing else, that forgiveness of sins is apprehended. The HolySpirit is received through faith, hearts are renewed and givennew affections, and then they are able to bring forth goodworks. Ambrose says: “Faith is the mother of a good will anddoing what is right.” Without the Holy Spirit, people are filledwith ungodly desires. They are too weak to do works that aregood in God’s sight (John 15:5). Besides, they are in the power ofthe devil, who pushes human beings in various sins, ungodlyopinions and open crimes. We see this in the philosophers, who,although they tried to live an honest life could not succeed, butwere defiled with many open crimes. Such is human weakness,without faith and without the Holy Spirit, when govern only byhuman strength.” From Augsburg Confession, Article XX, GoodWorks, Book of Concord, Reader’s Edition to the Book of Concord, Page 47 [27-34] 23

HOLY SPIRIT POWER FOR CONFESSION AND ABSOLUTION IN TIMES OFDISASTER: “And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said tothem, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they areforgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.”(John 20:22-23)POST-RESURRECTIONHOLY SPIRIT POWER TO BE GLOBAL WITNESSES OF THE GOSPEL OFFORGIVENESS: 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit hascome upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in allJudea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8) ASCENSION HOLY SPIRIT POWER TO BE GLOBAL PROCLAIMER OF THE GOSPELOF FORGIVENESS4And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began tospeak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. 5 Now there were dwellingin Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. 6 And at this soundthe multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one washearing them speak in his own language. 7 And they were amazed and astonished,saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 And how is it that we hear,each of us in his own native language? 9 Parthians and Medes and Elamites andresidents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia andPamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors fromRome, 11 both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians—we hear them telling inour own tongues the mighty works of God.” (Acts 2:4-11) PENTECOST 24

Suspending judgment, how does theMotivation behind our putting Mercy intoaction reflect on our serving? Some common motives that compel aresponse? How do we assess a potentialCaregiver/Volunteer’s Motivation? Our ownMotivation? How can we insure that our Motivation iscontinually empowered by the Holy Spiritwho “calls us by the Gospel” and “keeps usin the one true faith.?”25

The World –InternationalSamaria –The mostvulerableJudea –TheNeighborJerusalem– theHousehold of God27

Galatians 6:1010So then, (A) as we have opportunity, let us(B)do good to everyone, and especially tothose who are (C) of the household of faith.28

“…Let us do good to EVERYONE…” Begin “at home” not as the Privileged (“Wewere here first”), but to build capacity(Receive relief so we can share relief withthe neighbor) In Katrina, the disaster response began withthe District staff, then the folks at HistoricSt. Paul on Burgundy, then the numerouscongregations attached to Districtsresponding to their communities.29

What are the challenges encountered in adisaster response beyond our own LCMScongregations, out in the communitiessurrounding our congregations? What are the opportunities? What challenges and opportunities ininternational disaster response? Responding where there are no current Wordand Sacrament Ministries? Internationally?Nationally?42

In the congregational setting, Mercy begins withchecking in on all the members. Pastor, Elders, other leaders dividemembership to check in on them. Home visit on those affected and potentially inneed of material assistance (Ask them; mostwon’t ask). Assist with relocation plans to transitionalhousing, as needed, when residence damagedand uninhabitable. Stay in touch. Prayerfully, most will be OK, but stay with thoseaffected and, therefore, traumatized.44

Pastor Braun, Hope, Des Moines, Iowa makes home visit.46

House build in Francisco Villa, Tamp., MX after Hurricane Emily47

After a disaster, what concrete steps need to bein place to make sure every member iscontacted to see that they are OK? Where there a member has an apparent need,what resources are in place to respond? Whatoutside resources might be available? What outside contacts and resources should besought where there is substantial damage tomembers homes and to them as persons? What is a reasonable time frame to stay in touchwith congregational victims of disaster?52

What does it mean to be pastoral?Is “being pastoral” limited toordained?What might be some goals of apastoral care visit?How might a pastoral care visit helpthe “client” recover spiritually andemotionally from the trauma of adisaster?67

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