Floods Devastate Nashville

Nashville is our city. It is a Disciples city. Nestled in a valley, surrounded by the hills of Middle Tennessee, Nashville is a town with which Disciples have deep, strong connections. Disciples churches, large and small, are involved in life-changing ministry in its neighborhoods and suburbs. It is the home of the Disciples of Christ Historical Society and the Disciples Divinity House at Vanderbilt University. Enterprising Disciples pastors, such as Preston Taylor, and Disciples academics, such as H. Jackson Forstman, made important contributions to the church and the wider community while living in Nashville. Countless ministers were educated in Nashville. Talented musicians, teachers, activists, professionals of all stripes grew up in our churches there, and were nurtured by this vibrant city.

As a Church, we say that we are a “Movement for Wholeness in a Fragmented World.”

Well, Let’s MOVE!

As we reported in Monday’s update, Nashville was hit hard by a devastating flood this past weekend. You’ve likely seen media reports about damage to Nashville’s historic downtown, the Opryland Hotel, and other tourist sites. You may have caught a headline or two about people being displaced. 

The fact of the matter is—it’s bad. This is a disaster. The damage is worse than anyone would have anticipated or imagined. Tent cities established by the homeless have been washed away. People have lost their homes—and not living in an area considered at-risk for flooding, most Nashvillians have no insurance coverage. 

In partnership with our Nashville churches, Week of Compassion responded immediately; solidarity grants were rushed to our congregations and the Regional Office. We’re supporting grassroots feeding projects, helping our churches get people to safe places, and getting them clothed, and we’re helping churches provide childcare for parents who want to help their friends start getting cleaned up and salvaging what they can.

We are also in the middle of several conversations - with Disciples Volunteering, Tennessee Middle Area ministers, and Regional Minister Glen Stewart (whose Regional Office sits submerged in 3 feet of water) - about how we can continue to most effectively respond.

Make no mistake. We are organizing. We are on our way. And as with everything we do, we’ll get there quickly, and we’ll be there for the long haul.

A long-term recovery like the one Nashville faces takes resources. We will need your elbow grease very soon. But right now, we need to make sure that we have the resources—the funding—to make sure that we can commit to a long-term recovery process. Please—give as you are able, designated as “flood relief,” either by donating online or by sending a check to Week of Compassion, PO BOX 1986, Indianapolis, IN 46206.

In our estimation, Nashville has earned its reputation as a “Disciples City” by nurturing many creative, strong, smart leaders and vibrant Disciples communities of faith. Let’s return the favor, and make a mark by reaching out to the entire city with Courageous Compassion. Nashville needs us.

This week's responses:

Disaster Relief & Emergency Assistance

India (2), tropical storm in Bihar & W. Bengal
Tennessee (5), flood relief
China, earthquake
Mexico, earthquake recovery
Chile, earthquake recovery
Haiti, earthquake recovery

Development and Long-Term Recovery

Nebraska, food security
Michigan, food security
Georgia, health ministry
India, food security
Burkina Faso, food security