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Conference has a UCC rep for disaster recovery

The Rev. Ken Colman, pastor at Renton UCC, represents the PNC on the Washington Volunteers Assisting in Disasters (WAVOAD) and on the Washington Interfaith Disaster Recovery Organization (WIDRO).

Ken Colman
Ken Colman has served as PNC’s disaster coordinator since 2002.

He said he has been directing volunteers interested in regional disaster relief to contact David Bell at the Yakama Christian Mission. He is organizing recovery and rebuilding homes following fires driven by a hurricane-force windstorm in February.

Colman said that representatives of the Reformed Church in America came there to assess the needs.

“WAVOAD and WIDRO help in the recovery stage after the TV cameras have left a disaster area,” said Ken, who has been at Renton 11 years.

He first took national UCC training to be a disaster coordinator for the conference in 2002. For several years, Steve Erickson worked with him in that role.

“During my high school years, 1975 to 1978, in Afghanistan, there was a coup d’etat and after that a form of disaster, so I said yes when asked to assist the conference and national UCC in that role,” he said.

After Hurricane Katrina, he had also worked at a National Guard base for the WAVOAD, looking at needs for bringing refugees from Louisians.

A primary task of his role is education, helping churches establish emergency plans in case of an earthquake or disaster on a Sunday. He has free resources to offer churches through Church World Services and he has led annual meeting workshops.

“One Great Hour of Sharing offerings help with disaster recovery across the United States,” he said, “plus people can designate gifts at any time through the website. Through UCC contacts, we know how to send the money to people who will be sure to meet the needs.

For information, call 206-856-8547 or email

Copyright Pacific Northwest Conference News © Summer 2011





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