As we enter hurricane season, Bishop Ward gives thanks for conference Disaster Ministries and all United Methodists who are in the forefront as helpers in the wake of natural disaster.
Grace and peace to you in the name of Jesus Christ.
It’s June, and June 1 was the beginning of hurricane season. We know what that means in eastern North Carolina. We have seen wind blow and we have experienced rising water many, many times.
Mr. Rogers famously spoke of looking for the helpers. It was a phrase his mother used when he was a child. If he became afraid or anxious hearing news of a disaster in the world, his mother would say, “Fred, look for the helpers. Look for the helpers.”
“When I looked for the helpers,” he would tell children on his television show, “I was encouraged. Look for the helpers,” he would say to them. We United Methodist people are helpers in the wake of natural disaster.
I urge you to take time now, in the month of June, to prepare your church and your home for hurricane season. Go to the Conference website and there are careful instructions for doing those two things. Secondly, I ask you to give a gift to the North Carolina Storm Fund. This fund exists so that we will be ready to respond if we are impacted by a natural disaster. And third, you will find information on how to volunteer. You may want to become a part of an early response team and be trained to be part of a first wave after a disaster. Or you may want to be ready to organize a work team from your congregation and your community to help those whose homes have been damaged.
As we move forward in the month of June, we give thanks to God, that indeed we are helpers in the wake of storms. Thank you for your generosity, thank you for your preparation, and thank you for offering your gifts.