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After the Storm, Relief Goes On

As the extent of storm damage along the Gulf Coast became clear, Dean L. Gregory Jones appointed a task force of faculty, staff and students to coordinate the divinity school's response both immediately and to focus on long-term help.

Bishop Kenneth Carder, director of the Center for Excellence in Ministry and professor of the practice of pastoral formation, chairs the task force. Carder retired from the episcopacy of Mississippi in 2004.

In addition to the special perfomances of Cotton Patch Gospel, the school’s efforts include:

  • Members of the divinity community observed a season of prayer and self-denial, known as Autumn’s Lent, in solidarity with those affected by the hurricanes. During the 40-day season, donations were raised through special collections and offerings.

  • In March, Duke Divinity School is hosting pastors from Mississippi and Louisiana for a weeklong study leave coordinated by the Center for Continuing Education. This week of renewal and rejuvenation is being funded by The Duke Endowment, which is based in Charlotte, N.C.

  • Duke Divinity students are helping pastors in Mississippi and Louisiana replace books lost during the storms.

  • Basin and Towel, the divinity school’s social justice and service organization, plans a trip to aid in recovery during spring break.

  • Faculty, staff and administrators will visit Jackson, Miss., during February to lead members of the Mississippi Annual Conference in a three-day retreat entitled, “A Time for Healing.”

  • A photo exhibit based on student mission trips for hurricane relief was displayed in the Divinity School Library and other locations at Duke.

  • Duke Divinity School worked with churches and the North Carolina Annual Conference’s Marion Edwards Recovery Centers Initiative to gather school supplies for children in the Gulf Coast region.
To learn more about UMC hurricane recovery in Mississippi and Louisiana,
go to http://www.laumcstormrelief.com and http://www.mississippi-umc.org.

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