2017 PDA Meeting Summary
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) annual meeting was held in Atlanta, April 21 – 24. Members of the volunteer National Response Team (NRT) and National Volunteer Team gathered to expand the team’s knowledge of disaster ministries and response.
PDA members receive training throughout the year in areas such as natural and human-caused disasters, emotional and spiritual care, church damage, post-disaster volunteer work force housing, long-term community rebuilding, and refugee and immigration in disaster response.
In addition, in Atlanta, volunteers participated in sessions dealing with racism and privilege, and suicide awareness. Guest speakers from Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD), a consortium of groups that respond during disasters were featured.
PDA is made up of 102 clergy and lay members representing 34 states and Puerto Rico. NRT members commit to 1 month of service annually. In 2016, national volunteers spent approximately 2,377 days in 62 presbyteries in response to church damage, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, storms, human caused disasters and in the refugee ministry.
PDA enables congregations and mission partners of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to witness the healing love of Christ through caring for communities adversely affected by crises and catastrophic events. The organization gratefully receives support through your One Great Hour of Sharing donations.
Submitted by Rev. Pat Ashley
National Response Team, Member
Presbyterian Disaster Response