Bishop Ward highlights the strengths of the North Carolina Conference Disaster Relief and Recovery Ministries and the plans to rededicate the MERCI Center in Goldsboro for ongoing mission and disaster relief ministries.
The Lord is my light and my salvation. Whom shall I fear? The Lord is a stronghold of my life. In whom shall I be afraid? God has set me high up on a rock. I believe I shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
These words from Psalm 27 have been pressed upon my heart and my spirit as the result of engagement in disaster response and recovery. Here in the North Carolina Annual Conference, we have great strength in disaster recovery ministries. Our disaster response and recovery team meets regularly to be ready to help each of us step into mission when disasters occur within the bounds of our annual conference or any place in our nation or around the world. Many of us participate in work teams, going to places where disasters have had strong impact, offering comfort and helping people rebuild their homes, and indeed, their lives.
At Annual Conference, we will celebrate the reopening of the MERCI Center. The MERCI Center was established here in the North Carolina Annual Conference in Goldsboro in honor of Bishop Edwards as we engaged in the recovery following Hurricane Floyd. Since that time, ministries have continued to flow from the site. We now are reconfiguring the ministries there and will dedicate again the building, which will be used for disaster recovery and for ongoing mission effort. Linda Edwards [Foster] will be with us to dedicate the building and also at Annual Conference as we give thanks for the ministry of Bishop Edwards and rename the facility the MERCI Center.
Our neighbors in South Carolina and soon, our neighbors in Virginia, will be ready for work teams to come and assist in the recovery efforts following storms there in recent months. In these and many other ways, we will be God’s people engaged in this most important mission.
Thank you for your preparations so that when disasters strike, we are all ready to engage in mission in ways that are life-giving, healing, ministries that bring hope.
Christ be with you this day and always.