Wednesday April 30, 2014 from 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM PDT
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The Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption 
1111 Gough Street
San Francisco, CA 94109

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Cynthia Zamboukos 
San Francisco Interfaith Council 

Congregations Responding to

Everyday Disasters 

The San Francisco Interfaith Council invites you to join us for the 5th Biennial Disaster Preparedness Workshop for Congregations on Wednesday, April 30, 2014 from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 Noon at The Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption, 1111 Gough Street, San Francisco.  Past workshops have focused exclusively on the faith community's response to catastrophic disasters.  This year's theme, "Congregations Responding to Everyday Disasters," will examine the role of the faith community in responding to the needs of those impacted by fires, floods, and other regularly occurring crises.  A complimentary continental breakfast will be offered at the time of registration.  Parking at the Cathedral is free.  

In order for your congregation to get the most benefit from this convening, it is recommended that three persons participate:  a member of the clergy, the person responsible for the facilities and an interested volunteer congregant.

The first half of the workshop will offer a comprehensive survey of local disasters over the past two years in the context of “A Remembrance Service.”  This spiritual moment will be followed by two survivor testimonies facilitated by a skilled mental health professional.  "A Chaplain’s Reflection” will help to further accentuate the spiritual as well as the practical needs of survivors of such disasters.  The second half will provide a window into the thought process and strategizing that occurs at key response agencies when a disaster occurs, as well as their expectations of what assistance faith-partners might provide.  Based on those remarks, participants, seated by neighborhood, will engage in two facilitated discussions addressing the key questions:  a) What ways can their congregations realistically be helpful in meeting the needs of people being impacted by local disasters and b) What resources do their congregations need to effectively help those impacted by disaster.  Next steps will include the completion of a survey assessing congregation resources as well as an invitation for attendees to become congregation contacts with first responder agencies.  In return, the agencies will share important reference materials with attendees.

The preparedness of religious leaders is critical.  Recent events have taught us that congregations and faith communities are among the first to offer aid in any disaster.  We are privileged to have as our partners in this effort the SF Dept. of Emergency Management, the SF Police and Fire Departments, the SF Human Services Agency, the American Red Cross Bay Area Chapter, SF CARD and The San Francisco Foundation.  This combined effort, along with your valued participation, will ensure that in the case of a disaster, San Francisco will be prepared.

Thanks to the generosity of the philanthropic community, in particular, the Walter & Elise Haas Fund, your participation comes at no cost to you or your congregation.