DisciplesWorld, the magazine of news, mission and opinion of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) is gearing up for a road trip to cover some of the stories coming out of the churches and regions following Hurricane Katrina. Our managing editor, Sherri Emmons, will be leaving tomorrow morning, headed for Arkansas, where many refugees are being housed and more are arriving. From there she will head into south and east. Hopefully, Sherri will be able to post from the road to this Weblog, so stay tuned. I’m sure she will also have some great stories for the magazine and the web site.

And as we were working out the logistics over the past few days, I was developing a case of the shingles. Shingles is caused by the chicken pox virus which can lie dormant in your nerves and then come out much later in life. I won’t bore you with medical details except to say it’s painful and it means resting instead of going on the road and potentially spreading chicken pox to those who have not had it or been vaccinated.

Aside from the road stories, we have some great writers working on coverage. Rev. Jayne Ryan Kuroiwa is working on a story about the Houston interfaith effort to serve the many refugees (up to 250,000) there. Nathan Hill is writing about the response by Disciples colleges and universities.

I’ll be holding down the fort – or at least the outpost in Cincinnati, writing a few stories and staying comfortably numb. Tomorrow morning, I will be sitting at my computer at 11:30 Eastern time to participate in a worship service via email, conducted by Rev. Michael Oberlender, of First Christian Church of Greater New Orleans. The congregation started a listserv in 2003 and has been using it now to report on the whereabouts of members and family, the condition of homes and areas of town, etc. The service, in keeping with Disciples’ tradition, will include communion – BYOBread and Juice. I’ll be writing about that.

Works out well since I can’t go to my own church anyway, with the shingles…