LONGWOOD, Fla., June 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Congregants at Northland Church in Longwood, Fla., are used to being welcomed by friendly greeters when they arrive for church on Sunday morning. This weekend, a few of those greeters ... will have four legs and a tail.
June 26-28 has been designated as Disaster Response Weekend at the church and will feature some of the K-9 heroes who serve with FL3 Airboat Search and Rescue along with other local rescue dogs.
Congregants and other members of the community will be provided with information about the 2010 hurricane season (which began June 1) and learn more about how they can help during times of local, national and international crisis by joining Northland's Disaster Response Team (DRT).
Special events will take place before and after each of Northland's five weekend services - Saturday at 5 p.m.; Sunday at 9 and 11 a.m., and 6 p.m.; and Monday at 7 p.m.
There will be opportunities to tour the DRT's mobile response units, and individuals with special needs who live in Seminole County will be able to register with the local emergency operations center to receive specific assistance during emergencies.
On Sunday morning, DRT volunteers will also serve a pancake breakfast between 8 and 8:45 a.m. out of their 18-wheel Mobile Kitchen Unit, which is capable of serving 30,000 meals per day.
"It's mostly a training opportunity for our kitchen volunteers, but I don't think anybody's going to complain," jokes Gretchen Kerr, director of the church's Life Crossroads ministries.
Photo of Mobile Kitchen Unit: http://www.ereleases.com/pic/Northland-Mobile-Kitchen.jpg
Northland's DRT was initiated in 2007 after Hurricane Katrina and was recently mobilized following the devastating earthquake that ravaged Haiti earlier this year. The team has made four trips to the region so far.
DRT volunteers serve in teams, which assist with everything from providing medical and emotional care, to food distribution to setting up temporary pet shelters. A total of 110 Northlanders currently serve as emergency responders, and hundreds more have registered to serve in the future. But many more are needed, Kerr notes.
She concludes, "What if what happened in Haiti happened here? We need to be prepared. Moreover, serving others is what Jesus commanded us to do. We're supposed to get our hands dirty and help out when things get messy. And when you do, you become heart-connected to people in ways you can only imagine."
Northland, A Church Distributed (http://www.northlandchurch.net) is a pioneering congregation of 12,000 focused on building an international community of worshipers. Led by senior pastor Dr. Joel C. Hunter, the church connects thousands of believers worldwide, bringing live, interactive streaming of its weekly services to the Web, Facebook, iPhone and other environments. Northland has several sites throughout Central Florida, as well many house churches and partner ministries around the globe.
Robert Andrescik, Director of Public Relations
SOURCE Northland, A Church Distributed