In this season of hurricanes, Bishop Ward highlights the work and ministry of UMCOR in helping people rebuild not only their homes, but their lives. We have the opportunity to support this work through our contributions to UMCOR.
Grace and peace to you in the name of Jesus Christ.
In this season of violent storms, we remember as The United Methodist Church, our call to be generous, to be a healing presence and to be a force for recovery. Hurricane Harvey and then Hurricane Irma have come ashore creating havoc in the lives of countless people in Texas, in the Caribbean, and in Florida. We, in the North Carolina Annual Conference, know the impact of hurricanes. Just a year ago, Hurricane Matthew devastated communities in eastern North Carolina and we continue to receive teams, to receive the generosity of the connection and to rebuild homes for people in our annual conference. In Robeson County, teams come one after one helping families return home.
We give thanks for the generosity of the connection and in this season, we offer our own generosity to others. I hope that every church will receive an offering for those who’ve been impacted by Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma, and more hurricanes are anticipated in this season including Jose that hovers out over the waters in this very moment. Through The United Methodist Committee on Relief, we work together to help people recover after being impacted by natural disaster.
A pastor in the North Carolina Conference said very wisely and well after Hurricane Floyd many years ago, “We are UMCOR.” Indeed we are UMCOR. Together we offer our gifts, we offer our service, we offer our prayers and our compassion. UMCOR is not a large staff of people that we deploy, rather UMCOR has a relatively small staff of people who go to an impacted area and work with leaders in that place to create the response that is needed in that place. We have learned through the unfortunate experience of tornadoes, of earthquakes, of floods, of hurricanes, a good way to help families come back home. Through our casework, we help families one by one by one, helping them maximize their resources, any insurance that they might have, any FEMA assistance that they might have. We work with them to create a template for the rebuilding of their home and their life.
Rejoice and be glad that you are a part of a connectional church working together in this way. We will be in Texas. We will be in the Caribbean. We will be in Florida until the last family returns home. Your gifts may be designated for US disaster response or for International response. Thank you for giving to UMCOR as you feel led at this time.