During hurricane season, Bishop Ward reminds us of the strength the United Methodist Church has in disaster response and recovery.
(NOTE: This video was made prior to Hurricane Harvey hitting the Texas coast. Methodists through the United Methodist Committee on Relief [UMCOR] can respond by giving to UMCOR’s US Disaster Response Advance #901670. 100% of all contributions specified for Hurricane Harvey/Texas relief will be used there.)
Grace and peace to you in the name of Jesus Christ.
Today, Aug. 29, is the twelfth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. A couple days after the hurricane, leaders came together in Jackson, Mississippi, to talk together about a coordinated response to the unprecedented devastation on the Mississippi gulf coast. Our United Methodist leaders were a bit late to the meeting and as they walked into the room, there was an audible sigh of relief and someone said, “Thank God you are here. We could not do this without the Methodists.” That memory rings in my ears as one of the most wonderful tributes of our connectional mission and ministry as United Methodist people.
We give thanks for the ways in which we are organized to respond to disasters which happen in our communities, in our state, our nation and indeed around the world. Here in the North Carolina Annual Conference, we have received prayers and gifts and presence and work across the years in the wake of devastating storms.
Almost a year ago now, Hurricane Matthew devastated communities in eastern North Carolina. The recovery work ongoing is remarkable. Just a couple weeks ago, we dedicated a house rebuilt by volunteers from a number of states, from a number of annual conferences. There was great joy as the Edwards family anticipated moving into their newly renovated home.
Let us remember these images as we approach the first anniversary of Hurricane Matthew. Amazing work has been done. Generous love has been offered. Abundant offerings have been given for the work. Let us continue to share our prayers, our presence, our gifts, our service until every household is restored.