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PC(USA) framing response to Japan earthquake, tsunami

In immediate aftermath, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, World Mission checking in with partners, mission workers, presbyteries

March 11, 2011

LOUISVILLE

Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) staff are working to respond to the massive earthquake and resulting tsunami that struck Japan March 10, killing unknown numbers of people and sending tsunami waves across the Pacific.

The PC(USA) has nine mission co-workers in various cities across Japan. By mid-day March 11 staff in Presbyterian World Mission had received word from four that they were safe. None of the mission workers are based close to the northern coastal city of Sendai, which has taken the brunt of the impact.

Denominational leaders have issued a call to prayer. The Rev. Gradye Parsons, stated clerk; Elder Cynthia Bolbach, moderator of the 219th General Assembly; and Elder Linda Valentine, executive director of the General Assembly Mission Council are urging Presbyterians to pray for all those affected by the disaster — victims and their families, aid workers, faith communities and leaders.

“The magnitude of this kind of tragedy is difficult to grasp. Yet, our faith leads us to affirm that in even greater measure is the presence of God in the midst of the devastation,” states the call.

World Mission staff have also contacted all of the PC(USA)’s partner churches and organizations in Japan.

Yodogawa Christian Hospital in Osaka is not damaged, but sent a message.

“… our heart aches as the earthquake disasters are spreading in other parts of Japan. We are praying for God’s protection and comfort over those people in the earthquake affected areas. He is our refuge and fortress.”

The 8.9-magnitude earthquake is the world’s fifth largest since 1900 and the biggest to hit Japan in 140 years.

The U.S. National Weather Service has issued a tsunami warning for at least 50 countries and territories, including those in Central and South America and parts of the United States.

“Presbyterian World Mission grieves at the loss of life from the most powerful earthquake to hit Japan in at least 100 years,” reads the denomination’s Japan country webpage. The message urges readers “to pray for those who have lost loved ones in Japan. We also urge you to pray for people in other countries affected by the tsunami.”

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) has set up a direct response account for donations. Individuals can give through their congregation, by calling PresbyTel at (800) 872-3283, on the secure PC(USA) website, or by sending a check to:

Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
P.O. Box 643700
Pittsburgh, PA 15264-3700

Gifts should be designated for account DR000117 — Japan Earthquake and Tsunami.

The account gives PDA discretion to help all areas affected by the tsunami, said PDA coordinator Randy Ackley.

PDA is a member of ACT Alliance, an international coalition of churches working for humanitarian aid and development. ACT is reporting that the Pacific Islands are highly vulnerable and that most will be touched by tidal waves.

“We are deeply concerned about the most vulnerable countries and their people, and we are monitoring the situation closely so that ACT Alliance can direct its resources to where they are most needed, as quickly as possible,” said ACT general secretary John Nduna.

In the United States, PDA’s National Response Team is contacting potentially affected presbyteries on the West Coast, Alaska and Hawaii to offer assistance.

PDA officials say they will continue to watch for needs as the disaster progresses.

Staff in the Office of Theology and Worship have gathered worship resources for Presbyterians to use in times of disaster.

  1. I want to know if at this point 4/8/2011 has any aid from Presbyterian USA been given (not just offered) to Japan? I have given money through my church. thank you patricia clark

    by Patricia Clark

    April 8, 2011

  2. The only power that will fulfill the needs of the world is the love of Christ. Would that we would all extend love, compassion and personal service to the people of Japan and the far east.

    by Richard Cobb, Sr.

    March 24, 2011

  3. Hi Samuel, PDA has set up a tsunami relief account. Here's the information: Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) has set up a direct response account for donations. Individuals can give through their congregation, by calling PresbyTel at (800) 872-3283, on the secure PC(USA) website, or by sending a check to: Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) P.O. Box 643700 Pittsburgh, PA 15264-3700 Gifts should be designated for account DR000117 — Japan Earthquake and Tsunami.

    by Bethany Furkin

    March 16, 2011

  4. Why don't the PCUSA have a tsunami relief fund set up so we can give our support and contributions???

    by Samuel S. Yoshioka

    March 16, 2011

  5. We have hygiene kits ready to send - and can get more if they are needed. Where can they be sent?

    by Presbytery of St. Andrew

    March 14, 2011

  6. PDA does not have requests for volunteers at this time. However, those who are willing to volunteer or have a specialty to offer can email PDA@pcusa.org and let us know of your willingness. Then if/when we need your assistance, we will know how to contact you! Please include your contact information, especially your email address. Thank you!

    by PDA

    March 14, 2011

  7. Children and other groups are encouraged to assemble Gift of the Heart hygiene, school, and baby kits. These are collected and ready to send immediately following a disaster. Find information at http://gamc.pcusa.org/ministries/pda/making-gift-heart-kits/. The kits you make now will be ready when disaster strikes - what a great way to plan ahead!

    by PDA

    March 14, 2011

  8. Please send ideas of what children in a New Jersey congregation can do to help. Thanks.

    by Charles Courtney

    March 14, 2011

  9. We will fold orgami paper cranes and pray for the people of Japan tomorrow at North Presbyterian Church, Cleveland, OH.

    by Maria

    March 12, 2011

  10. When the time comes (if it comes) that a team is being sent over to help I want to offer my services. Please email me.

    by Kara

    March 11, 2011

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