A collaboration between the Presbyterian Women (PW) and Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) ministries provides specialized training to equip Presbyterian women to work with their congregations and witness to the healing love of Christ through caring for communities adversely affected by crisis.
Sixteen women received commissions as Disaster Preparedness Trainers in a brief ceremony held last week at Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) offices in Louisville, Ky. They are now responsible for returning to their local congregations and presbyteries to conduct a minimum of three disaster preparedness trainings per year.
The April 8-9 training was the first PDA event to train Presbyterian Women to become certified as volunteer trainers. The PW and PDA ministries will train a minimum of two women in each presbytery to prepare families, congregations and presbyteries on how to plan for natural, human-caused, and/or industrial-technical disasters. To become a commissioned disaster preparedness trainer, individuals must be willing to acquire, or have experience in, the following:
- Exhibit an interest in disaster preparedness;
- Display a three-year commitment to actively seek, set up and conduct at least three preparation training per year in congregations or presbyteries;
- Give group presentations;
- Be comfortable using email and PowerPoint; and
- Complete an application and provide three references.
“With PDA’s experience and PW’s organizational skills, our goal of having at least two PW Disaster Preparedness Trainers in every presbytery in the country is achievable,” says Laurie Krause, Coordinator, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance. “Today’s group exemplifies great talent, collaboration and camaraderie so we’re off to a great start and are very proud and excited for this new collaboration between ministries.”
The new trainers, commissioned in Louisville, include:
Joyce Ann Batty (TX) – Mission Presbytery, Synod of the Sun
Kirsten Berlin (NC) – New Hope Presbytery, Synod of Mid-Atlantic
Wanda Beauman (CO) – Denver Presbytery, Synod of Rocky Mountains
Emaline Dhaliwal (CA) – Riverside Presbytery, Synod of Southern California and Hawaii
Heydi Morales-Gomez (TX) – New Covenant Presbytery, Synod of the Sun
Patricia Snyder (VA) – Shenandoah Presbytery, Synod of Mid-Atlantic
Reba Woller (CA) – Riverside Presbytery, Synod of Southern California and Hawaii
Carol Winkler (KY) – Cincinnati Presbytery, Synod of the Covenant
Mary Jorgenson (MO) – Heartland Presbytery, Synod of Mid-America
Sheila Louder (GA) – Greater Atlanta Presbytery, Synod of South Atlantic
Several PC(USA) staff members also became commissioned trainers including Jessica Maudlin, Kathy Reeves, Susan Jackson-Dowd, Carissa Herold, Rhonda Martin and Beth Snyder. Members of the PDA National Response Team (NRT) that became instructors at this training are Kathy Montgomery, Morella Larsen, Pamela Ruarke, Carolyn Thalman, Meg Scott-Johnson, Liz Branch, Lynette Williams and Ken McKenzie.
It is hoped that the commitment of these trainers will ensure congregations and presbyteries have basic plans and preparations in place in the event of a church emergency or a disaster in their area. For more information about PW Disaster Preparedness Training, contact Beth Snyder at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.pcusa.org/pda.