Responding in Joplin and Domestic Disaster Forum

March Opening for Joplin Mission Station

Week of Compassion and Disciples Volunteering are thrilled to announce the launch of a Disaster Response Mission Station in Joplin, Missouri.

After a number of lengthy conversations with different partners, arrangements are being made to host volunteers beginning in March 2012. The Joplin Long Term Recovery Committee has made important, local decisions regarding the prioritizing of needs, the distribution of grants, and the process for coordinating out-of-town Mission Groups. The city of Joplin has weighed in on appropriate details for the recovery and for the presence of this Mission Station. Disciples Volunteering, Week of Compassion, the Ozark Lakes Area, the United Church of Christ Volunteer Ministries and Disaster Response Ministries, and First Christian Church, Joplin and South Joplin Christian Church have gathered and conferenced, laughed and cried, planned and prayed and planned some more, and at long last, we have a great plan in place!

Our Disciples response in Joplin is unique from other responses because we have undertaken our work and witness there in partnership with the United Church of Christ. While so much of the work of Week of Compassion and Disciples Volunteering, including partnering with Church World Service and Long Term Recovery Committees, is rooted in deep ecumenical commitment, this is a new undertaking. In working together with the UCC, we will be able to stretch our resources and make better use of the gifts with which you entrust us, including the time volunteers offer to this recovery effort.

Projects will include, but not be limited to, home repair, rebuilding, and new construction, as identified by the Joplin Long Term Recovery Committee. Week-long Mission Trips, with housing provided by South Joplin Christian Church, will begin March 18, 2012. Mission Groups will arrive on Sunday evenings and depart by Saturday morning. Work days are Monday - Friday. The mission station will be equipped for hosting up to 30 persons per week (generally, 15 DOC and 15 UCC each week). Check with registrar Howard Self (contact information below) with questions about availability or register for your top two preferred weeks. Registrations will be honored in the order they are received.

Registration Information:

Registrar: Howard Self, UCC/DOC Disaster Ministries' Registrar (Joplin Response)
     phone: c) 618-318-2445


Minimum Age: 14 years. Those under the age of 18 have specific waivers requiring parent/guardian signature.

Adult to Youth Ratio: There must be at least 1 Adult for every 5 Youth in your Mission Group.

Accommodations: Housing is provided by South Joplin Christian Church. Bunks, bathrooms, showers, kitchen facilities including utensils and cookware, and access to laundry facilities are available at the church.

Cost: $75 per person per week, to cover utilities and on-going use of housing facilities, and to support the operation of the Mission Station.

A NON-REFUNDABLE deposit of $25/person will be due within 3 weeks of your registering, in order to complete the registration process and confirm your trip. The balance of $50/person will be due at least 3 weeks prior to arrival.

Checks should be made payable to "Disciples Home Missions" with the memo "Joplin Disaster Recovery."

Payments may be mailed to Disciples Home Missions, UCC/DOC Joplin Disaster Response, attn: Brenda Tyler, PO Box 1986, Indianapolis, IN 46206

Cancellations: Please keep Howard informed if your group size changes and especially if you need to cancel your trip. Cancellations made at least three weeks prior to arrival will receive a refund of $50 if already paid. Please remember the $25/person deposit is non-refundable.

Questions about payments may be directed to Brenda Tyler - or 888-346-2631. Please direct all other questions to the UCC/DOC Joplin Registrar, Howard Self.

Church World Service Forum on Domestic Disaster Ministry

Save the Date! Registration starts in January.

March 19-21, 2012, New Windsor, Maryland

Bringing together scholars, researchers, theologians, volunteers and staff who work in disaster programs throughout the broad inter-religious community to:

  • Explore the changing nature of response to natural, technological, and human-caused disasters
  • Tap the wisdom of the collective, yet diverse experience of participants
  • Identify issues affecting disaster ministry for the future
  • Suggest forward-thinking, practical resources for the changing needs of disaster ministry

Speaker and registration info is available online at

For more information please contact Tim Shenk at or 212-870-2728.