Disaster Response

Scope of our Mission                                                                   

Traditionally, the United Methodist disaster response has been called a ministry of pastoral care. Over time, the response has become much broader and now constitutes a multifaceted ministry of Christ’s Church in the areas of theological, material, mental health, advocacy and social services designed to provide for the spiritual, emotional and physical recovery of disaster survivors and for the well-being of their caregivers.


Overall Disaster Response Strategy

The Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference Disaster Response Team is an “umbrella” entity, meaning that it directs physical, monetary, and volunteer resources where needed within our area. It is not a “first responder” agency such as a fire department, EMS, or even the Red Cross. We work as part of the the Pennsylvania Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) to organize resources within an area and coordinate response with state, federal, and non-profit agencies with common guidelines and principles.  We are positioned to step into a situation typically in day two or three of an event and to provide near-term and long-term assistance as appropriate.

Western Pennsylvania UMC's Disaster Response Coordinator is Rev. Calvin Cook.  You can reach him by email at revcalvincook@gmail.com or by phone at (814) 442-5899.  If there is a disaster (humanitarian or natural) in your area, please call to report it to Calvin and your District Office.

Volunteers are needed in Connellsville area for cleanup and rebuild. There is need for trained Early Response Teams and general VIM Teams. Use this Request to Volunteer Form and email volunteer@wpaumc.org to get your team or individual scheduled. (Form will download automatically when you click the link.)

Early Response Team Training -

  • Fall 2016 Emergency Response Team Training. Cost is $20.
    • September 9th 9am - 5pm at Wesley UMC in Connellsville, PA
    • September 17  9am - 5pm at First UMC in Kane, PA
    • October 8 9am - 5pm at Zion UMC in Elton/Johnstown area