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Program hopes to help pastors deal with stress - KOAM TV 7

Program hopes to help pastors deal with stress of the Joplin tornado

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Thirty-five churches were damaged or destroyed in the May 2011 tornado that struck Joplin and Duquesne.  From members forced to move or funerals for those killed, pastors bore the burdens of their church families and their own.

Many were forced to suddenly build new churches.

While other church leaders stepped in to help the community, it's still extra pressure for pastors who are now sharing their experiences.

 

Wildwood still houses volunteer groups in its basement and mental health professionals say those who have suppressed emotions will be needing someone to talk to now and many turn to pastors.

Pastor Dan Wermuth is the chairman of the Joplin Area Ministerial Alliance.  He says FEMA urged the Alliance to support pastors knowing that, like others, they too can suffer Post Traumatic Stress.

Each month the Alliance lets a pastor share his pains with his peers.  Members say it's helpful listening to each other to hear some of the miracles experienced in the tornado as well.

"Make sure your pastor is taking time off to get rested," says Pastor Wermuth.  "Give them vacations.  Give them  extra time.  We want every pastor in our community to yet be here serving strong."

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