Connecting Neighbors

Connecting Neighbors is a curriculum developed by the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) to help churches be better prepared for a disaster and also help churches respond more effectively once a disaster has happened. 

Connecting Neighbors Workshops will be planned for 2022-2023. Send your pastor, trustees chairperson, lay leader, and other key decision makers in your church. This workshop provides the framework for developing a disaster response preparedness and response plan. After the workshop, you will take the information learned back to your church to develop the full plan for your congregation.

.3 CEU units are available for participants.
Contact Rev. Chris Ackerman for more information.

CONNECTING NEIGHBORS:  A “Disaster Ready Congregations” Curriculum of the United Methodist Church


The Connecting Neighbors curriculum consists of an overview of disaster ministry, three units and supporting handouts.

Module 1: Ready Congregants focuses on preparing individuals and families to be disaster-ready.

Participants will be inspired to take action in order to prepare themselves, their households and others before and immediately following a disaster.  

Target Audience: Everyone.

Module 2: Ready Churches emphasizes the importance of protecting church property and the people within the property, before and immediately following a disaster, and of appropriate use of church property in disaster response.

Participants will (1) identify one or more steps to take in order to mitigate against disaster-caused damage to property; (2) identify one or more steps to take in order to prevent harm to people who are present in or on church property when disasters or emergencies occur; and (3) be able to assess the utilization of church property following a disaster within or near the community of the church.

Target Audience: Everyone, especially church leaders including, but not limited to, pastors, trustees, Sunday school superintendent, lay leader, missions coordinator, treasurer and finance committee members, young adult and youth representatives, and others.

Module 3: Ready Response encourages churches to explore their capacity for various disaster response ministries and to consider ways to engage community partners.

Objectives: Participants will (1) be able to identify at least one disaster ministry their church might be willing and able to implement before and/or after a community disaster; and (2) initiate a preliminary plan to engage the church and to cooperate with other households of faith and the community in order to be prepared to respond in the event of a disaster.

Target Audience: Everyone interested in disaster-ready congregations and communities, particularly mission and outreach personnel, lay leaders, United Methodist Women, United Methodist Men, youth ministry leaders, lay servants and Stephen’s Ministers!