This information comes from a weekly mailing sent out to pastors in the Missouri District by President Ray Mirly…

Joplin Relief Efforts

All volunteers desiring to serve at Immanuel Lutheran Church, Joplin, please register at Lutheran Church Charities is scheduling crews to help at Immanuel.

Current financial gifts given through the Missouri District Disaster Fund total $99,232.56 (8/4/11). These gifts have been received by the Missouri District to aid Immanuel Lutheran Church as they provide needed assistance to Joplin residents.

I am not sure of the implications, but this morning’s news is that FEMA has declined to provide further financial aid to the city of Joplin for debris removal. Since there is still much debris to remove, this may fall upon the shoulders of Joplin and volunteers. I will try to get better information to share with you.

Discussions are underway by a number of LCMS entities to provide expertise and resources to Rev. Mech, his staff and Immanuel to enter into the rebuilding phase of the recovery efforts in Joplin. It is hoped that bringing in church individuals who have experience in rebuilding efforts will provide valuable assistance to the rebuilding effort.

Immediate needs:

  • Stump grinders and operators are still very much needed.
  • Preferably a church group of teens (with supervisors) and/or adult groups to assist with the enormous task of converting Martin Luther Lutheran School back from a relief center into a school in time for mid-August opening day. If a group from your congregation would be interested please call Immanuel’s church office and speak to Kimberly Johnson, 9 to 3 daily at 417.624.0333. (scrub, paint, wax floors, wash windows, repair, etc.) Be sure to ask what tools, equipment and supplies you need to bring with you.

Special Project — Immanuel’s existing refrigerator and freezer storage is totally inadequate. With the anticipation of volunteers continuing to come for the next year or more, it is the congregation’s intent to continue providing meals. To date daily meals served have exceeded 700 per day. A Lutheran woman, experienced in catering, is in charge of preparing the meals. A walk-in refrigerator and walk-in freezer are needed. This could be a project for a congregation or group of congregations.

There remains a significant need for financial gifts. Money or gift cards permit recipients to purchase needed items. I encourage that your congregation begin to give thought to a special thank-offering around the time of Thanksgiving. This could be a wonderful way to celebrate Thanksgiving this year.

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