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EDITORIAL: The true character of Nashville

Facing their worst natural disaster in recent memory, Tennessee church members found signs of hope and embraced opportunities to meet not only physical needs, but also spiritual ones.
“We’ve drawn closer as a community,” Bellevue Church of Christ pulpit minister Steve Blackman told Ted Parks, The Christian Chronicle’s correspondent in Nashville. “Just the knowledge that we do need each other, we are not independent of one another, is actually a good lesson.”
Tom Boyette, minister of the Pennington Bend Church of Christ, echoed that sentiment: “If we’re not challenged with calamities, where in the world would we find … the true character of people?
“Our response … really is letting God’s light shine through us,” Boyette said. “We think it’s going to be furtherance to the kingdom of God. … That’s what we’re going to work toward.”
In Davidson County alone, damage from May’s record flooding to more than 11,000 pieces of private property reached $1.9 billion, The Tennessean newspaper reported.
On a national level, the disaster failed to draw the sort of major media coverage that it deserved. For one thing, the flooding occurred at the same time as a major oil spill and a failed terrorist attack.
At the same time, the Tennessee story lacked the kind of political drama that feeds much modern news reporting.
Rather than a disaster response marked by disarray, dedicated volunteers working together characterized Tennessee’s relief effort. Churches of Christ and Lipscomb University played a major part in that.
But make no mistake: Nashville and other parts of Tennessee suffered a big blow. The Volunteer State needs our prayers — and our help.
“Unless you are here, you can’t appreciate the scope of the flood,” Bob Smietana, religion writer for The Tennessean, told us. “So far 18,000 people have applied for FEMA relief to repair their homes — a striking number. It’s all over Nashville — from the wealthy Bellevue community to the impoverished Bordeaux community north of downtown to immigrant communities in Antioch to rural Hickman County. Unless you get your feet on the ground and into neighborhoods, you don’t get a feel for the enormity of the disaster.”
Here are just a few opportunities to help with flood recovery:
• Churches of Christ Disaster Relief Effort (www.disasterreliefeffort.org). The organization uses volunteers to sort and pre-pack relief supplies.
• Give a Hand Up (www.giveahandup.com). The ministry of the Mt. Juliet Church of Christ will help rebuild damaged homes.
• Disaster Assistance CoC (www.disasterassistancecoc.com). The ministry sets up mobile kitchens to provide meals during disasters.
• Millington Church of Christ (www.millingtonchurchofchrist.com). “The needs of our members, as well as the community at large, are just beyond our ability to fully address,” reads a note on the West Tennessee church’s website.

  • Feedback
    Ahh. The spirit of Nashville– the true driving force 🙂 I love Nashville for a reason (and it’s not just country music). I’m from a very small town where God plays a major role– and I feel that same vibe in Nashville. I’ve been affected by the flooding in ways– Kentucky Lake & Lake Barkley were several feet over summer pool, most of the boat launches were all but gone. I can’t imagine how bad it is in Nashville and the surrounding Tennessee communities. Everyone is in my thoughts and prayers until the final repair is made 🙂
    Aimee Graves
    University Church of Christ
    Murray, KY
    May, 28 2010

    I heard this very description on “Larry’s Diner” on RFD TV. said there wasn’t much media coverage…there was no looting, no fighting, none of the things you hear about happening during other catastrophes. I just knew the church was involved!
    Carole Campbell
    Valley Center Church of Christ
    Wichita, KS
    May, 27 2010

Filed under: Editorial Staff Reports

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