Disaster Ministries



     St. Paul's United Church of Christ is engaged in providing relief aid throughout the country and throughout the world.  Below you can find some highlights and updates on our relief efforts, as well as ways in which you can help.




     To provide the most effective, timely, trusted, and comprehensive relief aid, most of our relief efforts are done through the United Church of Christ, Church World Service, and other ecumenical partners.


About UCC Disaster Ministries (National & International UCC Disaster Ministries)

UCC Disaster Ministries Site (takes you to the UCC Disaster Ministries website)

     (provides a listing of the latest updates on national/international UCC Disaster Ministry efforts)

About PSEC Disaster Ministries (Local UCC Disaster Ministries)

PSEC Disaster Recovery Team Site (takes you to the PSEC Disaster Ministries website)

UCC Ministries (a listing of many of the ministries in which we engage through the UCC)

Church World Service (one of our ecumenical partners)

Disaster Ministry Videos

UCC Disaster Preparedness Guide


     Are you and your family ready for a disaster?  Click on this UCC Disaster Preparedness Guide link for information about what to consider to be prepared in the event that a disaster strikes. 



Disaster Response Articles

     Beirut Explosion Response - August 2020

     Derecho Response in Iowa - August 2020

     2020 Hurricanes - August 2020

     Western Wildfires - September 2020


     Hurricane Dorian - September 2019


     Hurricane Maria - September 2017

     Earthquake in Mexico - September 2017

     Hurricane Relief Aid - Fall of 2017

     Hurricane Irma - September 2017

     Hurricane Harvey - August 2017

     South Sudan - March 2017

     Hurricane Matthew Housing Volunteers - March 2017

     Ottawa Tornado - March 2017

     UCC Disaster Support Recovery Initiative - March 2017

     Hurricane Matthew - February 2017


     Hurricane Matthew - December 2016

     Hurricane Matthew - November 2016

     Hurricane Matthew - October 2016

     Anniversary of 9/11 - September 2016

     Nasara - February & March 2016


     Prayers for France - November 2015


     A running total of our year-to-date financial relief aid efforts can be found in our monthly newsletter, The Herald.  The year-end-totals can be found in the Annual Report.  For more information about our disaster ministries and other mission outreach efforts, please contact the Mission Committee Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, or Consistory Liaison.


~ ~ ~   Relief Aid - 2020   ~ ~ ~

Click on this 2020 Relief Aid link, for the web page dedicated to disaster relief aid taking place this year.


~ ~ ~   Relief Aid - 2019   ~ ~ ~


Click on this 2019 Relief Aid link, for the web page dedicated to disaster relief aid taking place this year.


~ ~ ~   Relief Aid - 2017   ~ ~ ~


Click on this 2017 Relief Aid link, for the web page dedicated to disaster relief aid taking place this year.



~ ~ ~   Relief Aid - 2016   ~ ~ ~


UCC helping Haiti, Cuba, U.S. begin Hurricane Matthew recovery

December 07, 2016

     As Hurricane Matthew scraped its destruction across western Haiti in October, it destroyed the fall 2016 harvest. In response, UCC Disaster Ministries is helping fund seed distribution so that farmers will not lose the next planting season.

     Repair of 30 houses, a public high school with 300 students, and two cooperative offices in the Northwest, distribution of water purification tablets and construction of five latrines also are on the list of early recovery assistance.

      To read the full article, click on this UCC Helping Haiti, Cuba, & U.S. Hurricane Matthew Recovery link.

     Click on this Help Support Hurricane Matthew Relief Assistance link to learn how you can help with the relief efforts.




UCC deploys Yungclas, Tosh to help Hurricane Matthew recovery in Florida

November 16, 2016

     From Florida to the Carolinas, Hurricane Matthew survivors in the United States are asking, "What do we do now?" United Church of Christ Disaster Ministries Is playing its part in helping them move toward recovery.

      To read the full article, click on this UCC - Hurricane Matthew Recovery in Florida link.

      Click on this Help Support Hurricane Matthew Relief Assistance link to learn how you can help with the relief efforts.




Hurricane Matthew

November 13, 2016

     Hurricane Matthew left a humanitarian disaster in its wake in October 2016 as it crossed Haiti and Cuba and continued northward to North Carolina, killing more than 500 and displacing hundreds of thousands.   Your prayers and financial support are still needed for people as they recover.

     Thank you to those who have made donations to support the relief effort through St. Paul's UCC.

     You can click on this Hurricane Matthew Relief Effort link to see how your donations have been used so far to help people whose lives were devastated by Hurricane Matthew, to whom you are providing hope and practical assistance, as the Body of Christ.

      To help provide assistance, you can make a donation payable to "St. Paul's UCC" designated as "Hurricane Matthew Relief Aid" to St. Paul's UCC; 301 West Penn Ave; Robesonia, PA 19551.  You can also make a secure online donation by clicking on this Online Giving link, enter the amount of your gift in the "Special Mission" line, and type "Hurricane Matthew Relief Aid" in the line next to the amount. 

     As in all such relief aid efforts, 100% of the donations we receive are forwarded through our UCC Conference to the UCC disaster relief aid; we do not retain (nor does our conference retain) any designated funds for marketing, advertising, administration, or other purposes.  Donating through the UCC is a great way for you to be sure that your funds are fully being used to provide help and assistance, and to do so in a way that also shares the hope and love of God with people in need.




Hurricane Matthew - Relief Aid

October 16, 2016

    Hurricane Matthew made landfall in Haiti on the morning of October 4 and in Cuba later that afternoon.  The storm flattened communities and wrecked agriculture throughout the region. This powerful and slow-moving storm battered the United States’ Atlantic coast, flooding homes and causing deaths.

HurricaneMatthew 2016_Wind

    The United Church of Christ and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) are well situated to respond robustly to people impacted both in the Caribbean and within the United States.  HurricaneMatthew 2016_FloodWithin hours, solidarity grants from the 2016 One Great Hour of Sharing Offering and Week of Compassion Fund were at work through partners in the region responding to immediate needs of food, shelter and safety.  The UCC and Disciples are poised to respond with other churches to provide food, water, containers, roofs, mattresses, hygiene kits and psychosocial support.  Within the United States, both denominations are active in local and national disaster response networks. Your generosity to this disaster appeal will enable our churches to expand these responses and to walk closely with our neighbors now, in the immediate crisis, and through the long-term recovery process that follows.

HurricaneMatthew 2016_0058    In the midst of tumultuous weather, people receive food and water to drink.  In the midst of danger, people find safety and rebuild homes.  In the midst of hopelessness, people experience a love that will not let them go.


How You Can Help

1.    Prayers are always needed.  If you are unsure for what or how to pray, the UCC provides a few sample prayers in the midst of this disaster on line at: http://www.ucc.org/disaster_get-involved_pray.

2.    Make a Gift.  100% of gifts designated to “Hurricane Matthew” will directly go to help provide relief aid.   To contribute, simply make your gift payable to “St. Paul’s UCC” marked “Hurricane Matthew,” which you can mail to the church or place in the offering plate.  (For your convenience, you can use the pew envelopes for your gift).  The church's mailing address is: St. Paul's UCC; 301 West Penn Ave; Robesonia, PA 19551.


       You can make a secure online donation by clicking on this green online giving link, use the “Special Mission” field, and type “Hurricane Matthew" in the  Comments Box.


Links for More Information:

+ By clicking on this Hurricane Matthew Bulletin Insert you can read the "Hurricane Matthew Relief Aid" insert from the Sunday morning bulletin.

+ Prayers Following a Disaster - UCC prayers you can offer following a disaster

+ UCC & Disciples of Christ Joint Hurricane Matthew Relief Aid

+ UCC Online Donate to Disaster Relief Aid

+ UCC Hurricane Matthew Bulletin Insert - generic UCC bulletin insert - October 2016

+ UCC Disaster Ministries tracking Hurricane Matthew - October 5, 2016 article

+ UCC Relief Response from the Caribbean to the Carolinas - October 12, 2016 article

+ UCC East Coast Clean Up after Hurricane Matthew - October 12, 2016 article

+ South Carolina Homeowner Gives Praise for UCC Relief Aid - October 15, 2016 article

+ UCC National & International Disaster Relief Aid - UCC Disaster Relief Web Page




Guest Speaker & Prayers on 9/11

Sunday, September 11, 2016 at 10:25am

    Sunday, September 11, 2016 is the 15th anniversary of 9/11.  During the 10:25am worship service that day, we will have a special guest speaker, Kara Rhoads, who is a survivor of the Twin Towers 9/11 terrorist attack.  At the time she was a special agent from the ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives), and will be sharing some of her experiences in New York that day.  She has since retired from the ATF and is now a local substitute teacher.
    During that worship service, we will also have prayers of remembrance and prayers for peace.
    Whether you are able to join us in worship that Sunday or not, we invite you to pause in prayer on 9/11 wherever you might be, as we remember that terrible day, and pray and work towards a better tomorrow for future generations.




I Am i-am-n n.  Are You Nasara?

February & March 2016

i-am-n d     In February and March of 2016, you may have seen the unfamiliar mark pictured here on the church doors and on various walls within the church building.  The symbol is the Arabic letter i-am-n n in red, which is the letter “n” in English.  The posting of this symbol and the wearing of it on t-shirts and jewelry symbolizes our solidarity and support of the Christian martyrs and refugees, particularly those dispersed from the ISIS invasion of northern Iraq.  Sometimes you will see the Arabic letter i-am-n n with the English "n" in shadow under it, as is pictured here.

     We invite you to keep in prayer all of the refugees from ISIS violence in your prayers, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or nationality.  We especially invite your prayers for the Syrian refugees, as they number 4.6 million at the time of the writing of this article.

History of i-am-n n

     Beginning in June 2014, ISIS extremists overran the city of Mosul in northern Iraq, which is located near the Syrian and Turkey borders.  In the Old Testament the name of this city was Nineveh (talked about throughout the Book of Jonah, as well as referred to in Genesis 10; 2 Kings 19; Isaiah 37; Nahum 1-3; Zephaniah 2; Matthew 12; and Luke 11).  Christians have lived in this region for centuries.
     Members of ISIS went from house to house identifying the homes of Christians.  When they identified a Christian home, they marked the house with the Arabic letter i-am-n n in red spray paint.  That Arabic letter is “n” in English, and stands for the word “Nasara.”  Nasara is based on the word “Nazareth.”  Nasara is a term used by ISIS in northern Iraq to identify Christians as “followers of Jesus of Nazareth.”
     After marking the homes, a few days later armed ISIS soldiers came to the homes with the red i-am-n n, and gave the Christian families an ultimatum: convert to Islam, pay an exorbitant tax to ISIS, leave, or die.
     Many were killed.  More than 100,000 Christians refused to deny Christ and left everything behind, fled with little more than the clothing on their backs, seeking asylum in Syria and Turkey, and have now become refugees.
     In solidarity and support of these, our sisters and brothers in the Christian faith, Christians around the world began displaying the red Arabic letter i-am-n n, seeking to convert this symbol of exile and death into a positive symbol of hope, courage, and of our Christian oneness as Narasa - followers of Jesus of Nazareth.

20160228-Nasara CQfS

Sermon on i-am-n n

     The pastor preached on this symbol on February 28, 2016.  His sermon was entitled, "I Am i-am-n n.  Are You Nasara?"

     The text for the day was Luke 13:1-9, where Jesus was questioned about two terrible tragedies in Jerusalem, each of which resulted in the loss of many lives.  One was at the hands of Pontius Pilate's troops, and the other from a natural disaster.  In his sermon, the pastor discussed the "theodicy question," which is, "If God is all powerful, and if God is all loving, why does suffering exist?"  It is a question that we all ask at different times in our lives, whether it be due to something of the magnitude of the Syrian Refugee Crisis, or whether it be in the more personal ways we all at times experience loss, pain, suffering, and loneliness.  Whether worthy of international media coverage or not, those times of hurt can challenge our hope and faith, our outlook on life, and our view of others.  The pastor spoke of how this Biblical text addresses the theodicy question, and how from its teachings we can meaningfully move supportively together from suffering to a more joy-filled and hope-filled brighter future in Christ.

     The pastor also wrote about this symbol in his "Pastor's Page" for the March 2016 issue of The Herald (St. Paul's UCC's monthly newsletter).


How I Can Help

(1)  We can help by keeping in prayer all the victims of terrorism and violence, including the Christian refugees from Mosul, as well as all of the refugees displaced by the violence of ISIS, regardless of religion, race, nationality, or ethnicity.  We are all children of God.

(2)(a)  You can send aid through the United Church of Christ’s Syrian Refugee Ministry.  To do so you can make a donation payable to “St. Paul’s UCC” marked “Syria Humanitarian Crisis”, addressed to St. Paul’s UCC, 301 West Penn Avenue, Robesonia PA 19551.  All of the funds are forwarded by our church to be used for refugee aid, none of those donations are used for administrative or other purposes.

(2)(b) Throughout the month of March, we are receiving offerings for One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS).  This annual UCC offering supports not only our refugee ministries, but also our UCC national and international disaster ministries and other relief and humanitarian aid.  You can learn more about this offering, by clicking on this OGHS link.
(2)(c)  You can make a secure online donation at this link: UCC Refugee Emergency Fund.


To Learn More

(1)  The following link will take you to a recent article on the UCC efforts to provide Syrian Relief Aid:  UCC Refugee Ministries

(2)  The following link will take you to the ACT Alliance website, through who the UCC works in partnership with other denominations in order to provide relief assistance more quickly and in greater magnitude: ACT Alliance

(The ACT Alliance is a coalition of 137 churches and faith-based organizations working together in over 100 countries).

(5)  You can click on this Syrian Refugee Crisis - Bulletin Insert - September 2015 link for a copy of the bulletin insert information from September 2015.

(4)  The following link will take you to The Voice of the Martyrs (VOM) website, where you can purchase Nasara t-shirts and other items, the proceeds of which go to help the Christian refugees who fled Mosul:  www.i-am-n.com. 

(Please note that VOM is not affiliated with the UCC.  As we have insufficient direct information about the workings, ministries, witness, doctrine, and monetary dispersions of VOM, the link here is not meant to be an endorsement of VOM, but rather a link to more information).




~ ~ ~   Relief Aid - 2015   ~ ~ ~


Prayers for France

Sunday, November 15, 2015

FrancePrayer151115     During worship on Sunday, November 15 we paused to pray for the victims of terrorist attacks in France, and provided the opportunity to light a candle in solidarity with their loved ones and their nations.  Please keep the victims, those hospitalized, surviving loved ones, first responders, medical personel, and law enforcement in our prayers.  Let us also continually pray for peace for our world, and may our Christian witness be strong and bold enough to lead all of humanity to see the value of life and the sisterhood and brotherhood of one another.



Bulletin Insert: Syrian Refugees - September 2015



Bulletin Insert: Typhoon Haiyan - March 2015 (relief efforts update)




~ ~ ~   Relief Aid - 2014   ~ ~ ~


Bulletin Insert: Ebola Outbreak - October 2014




~ ~ ~   Relief Aid - 2013   ~ ~ ~


Bulletin Insert: Typhoon Haiyan - December 2013

Bulletin Insert: Typhoon Haiyan - November 2013


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