In a world beset by natural disasters, a forum at the Seattle Scientology Church stressed collaboration as the key to preparedness and recovery.
Emphasizing the importance of cooperation and collaboration among disaster response organizations in Washington State, Marty Grisham, president of Washington Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (WAVOAD) was the guest speaker at an open house on World Civil Defense Day at Seattle’s Church of Scientology.
WAVOAD is part of the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD) whose role is to “bring organizations together and enable them to understand each other and work together during times of disaster preparedness, response, relief and recovery.” Churches of Scientology Disaster Response (CSDR) has long been a member of NVOAD and Volunteer Ministers have served on the leadership team of WAVOAD for many years.
Mr. Grisham noted in his speech that “we’re all brothers and sisters” when it comes to disaster events, and cooperation leads to the best outcomes in handling disaster response situations. He also commented on the importance of volunteers and the work they do during these crises.
Washington State Volunteer Ministers have responded to flooding and other disasters over the years. According to the Washington Military Department, Emergency Management Division, “Damage from flooding exceeds damage by all other natural hazards in Washington State.”
Scientology Volunteer Ministers have a decades-long history of helping in times of disaster around the world, from their response following the 9/11 terrorist attacks to the relief they provide to those affected by hurricanes, fires, tsunamis and earthquakes, and other catastrophes.
In addition to helping wherever disaster strikes, Volunteer Ministers work with public servants in their own communities to improve conditions at home. Their information and training centers are bright yellow tents. These are open to the public at weekend events and fairs, where anyone may enroll free of charge on a course or seminar delivered right in the tent.
Courses are also available online through the Scientology website and the Volunteer Ministers website. These free courses cover vital skills, from how to improve communication to helping a friend or loved one with a substance abuse problem. They also include setting and achieving goals, resolving conflicts, restoring relationships, and study skills to improve the ability to learn and apply any subject.
The Scientology Volunteer Ministers program is a religious social service created in the mid-1970s by L. Ron Hubbard. It constitutes one of the world’s largest independent relief forces.
Mr. Hubbard described a Volunteer Minister as “a person who helps his fellow man on a volunteer basis by restoring purpose, truth and spiritual values to the lives of others.” Their creed: “A Volunteer Minister does not shut his eyes to the pain, evil and injustice of existence. Rather, he is trained to handle these things and help others achieve relief from them and new personal strength as well.”
The Church of Scientology of Seattle is an Ideal Scientology Church, dedicated by Scientology ecclesiastical leader Mr. David Miscavige in July 2010. The Church is configured to serve its parishioners in their ascent to spiritual freedom and to serve as a resource for the entire community.
For more information, visit the website of the Church of Scientology Seattle.