Katrina Anniversary Reunion


katrina Dear Friends, We are approaching the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina which brought so much devastation to the Mississippi Gulf Coast.  But in the wake of the destruction there came a wave of compassion and caring that brought thousands of volunteers who helped the people of the Gulf Coast begin to recover and rebuild. This summer, on August 22-23, St. Paul United Methodist Church in Ocean Springs, MS is hosting a 10 Year Katrina Observance to remember and give thanks for those volunteers who came to the Gulf Coast.  Many of these disaster relief volunteers were housed at St. Paul or flowed through St. Paul on their way to worksites.  We are inviting all who helped with the Hurricane Katrina relief efforts to be our guest at a 10 year reunion. This event will be held at St. Paul United Methodist Church, East Campus located at the intersection of Highways 57 and 90 in east Ocean Springs, Mississippi. Some of the activities planned include:
  • Saturday, August 22: Lunch with a presentation by Kathleen Koch, who will share her experiences as a CNN reporter in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Koch, a Native of Bay St. Louis, MS authored, Rising from Katrina: How My Mississippi Hometown Lost It All and Found What Mattered.  Also present will be Ocean Springs Mayor (both then and currently serving) Connie Moran.
  • Saturday Afternoon: Tours to the neighborhoods and places that were served by disaster response volunteers. We will be able to see how the Gulf Coast has rebuilt in the last 10 years.
  • Saturday Evening: Seashore District worship service that will include stories of God’s working through the volunteers who came to serve in the rebuilding.
  • Sunday Morning, August 23: Worship at St. Paul UMC and a reception following.  We will spend time sharing stories of rebuilding and taking time to say “thank you” to the volunteers who worked to rebuild the Gulf Coast.
Here’s how you can respond: RSVP on the St. Paul UMC Website at http://www.stpaulos.org/katrina.   We would love to hear from you! More details will be posted as details develop. You can also join a Facebook group dedicated to this event called the CORE Reunion Facebook page at  https://www.facebook.com/groups/CORE.St.Paul.Reunion/ And you can send e-mail to core@stpaulos.org or call St. Paul Paul UMC at 228-875-5701 if you need additional information. Through it all, this will be a time of remembrance, reflections, and appreciation.  We look forward to hearing from you.  Grace and Peace, Jon Kaufman, Senior Pastor St. Paul United Methodist Church, Ocean Springs

Resources for Vital Congregations



Lewis Center for Church Leadership

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Books

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Serve Your Neighbor

GBHEM Leadership Resources


Living Faithfully: Human Sexuality and the United Methodist Church

Englewood Book Review

Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations

Ted Talks: The Golden Circle

Ted Talks: The Power of Vulnerability

Ted Talks: The Price of Invulnerability

Design Thinking

Meditations on the Ministry of All Christians


Be A Disciple

A Disciple’s Path; A Guide for United Methodist

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Adult Christian Studies from the Wesley Ministry Network

Traveling Together: A Guide for Disciple Forming Congregations


Living As United Methodist Christians

Methodist Doctrine: The Essentials

Reclaiming our Wesleyan Tradition: John Wesley’s Sermons for Today

John Wesley Sermons: Anthology


Get Their Name

Evangelism & Theology in the Wesleyan Spirit

Canoeing the Mountains

Fresh Expressions

Fresh Expressions: Dinner Church

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Reach New Disciples

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: 50 Ways to Reach People

Community: The Structure of Belonging


Institute for Emerging Issues

Congregations 4 Children


The Royce and Jane Reynolds Ministry Fund Grants

The Duke Endowment


The Appalachian District Church Vitality Team has been prayerfully seeking ways to help support you and the ministries of your local congregation during this COVID-19 pandemic. Together they have diligently researched and connected with others throughout the conference and our denomination to identify resources and offer them to you. We hope they will be helpful to you and bless you greatly in leading your churches and communities through this unprecedented time. We are very grateful to the District Vitality Team and other contributors for their great work on this resource.
This faithful team has created three documents, two of which you are receiving today. They include:

  • Family Home Worship – designed to help families establish a regular worship space within their homes as well as a time where they can worship together.
  • Tech Strategies – to help guide you in selecting effective tools and resources within your budget to best communicate in the digital world.

We believe these resources will be of great benefit to you. Also know that the District Vitality Team is available to answer any questions you might have in regards to the documents attached. If you have questions, you may email Rev. Howard Fleming at hfleming@wnccumc.net.


  • Resources
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