Church World Service Executive Director John McCullough, meeting with Louisiana religious leaders and others in Baton Rouge on Thursday (Sept. 1, 2005), said cooperation among different faith groups must be an imperative in the response to Hurricane Katrina.
During a meeting convened by the Louisiana Interchurch Council here, the Rev. McCullough stressed that cooperation and not competition among faith groups will help consolidate their role as advocates for survivors coping with an unimaginable disaster in destruction and scope - affecting not just New Orleans but rural Louisiana and Mississippi.
“This is not just an urban story; it’s a rural story,” said McCullough during a meeting that was attended by members and pastors of independent churches in Louisiana, as well as representatives of the Presbyterian Church (USA); United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR); the Christian Church (Disciples); and CWS staff that included Linda Reed Brown, CWS’s Associate Director for Domestic Emergency Response.
Long-term recovery efforts are going to be key in the response, McCullough said after a day that concluded with meetings with disaster survivors in Houma, La., site of long-time CWS partner Terrebonne Readiness and Assistance Coalition (TRAC), a long-time CWS partner in southern Louisiana.
“People are homeless and will have to start new lives, and the faith community has to be a partner with them,” McCullough said.