Give what you to our church wide effort to address massive human needs so that folk know the church universal cares about them. As Tom Hazelwood, UMCOR Assistant General Secretary for U.S. Disaster Response said, "As large as the monster Sandy is, the church is larger and more powerful in its preparations, its spirit and its capacity to be here for years to come.
Tornados cut across the southern Illinois region leaving a path of destruction to the community of Harrisburg. As we watch developments on television, our hearts ache, knowing that we are called to respond.
It is in these times that the people called United Methodists are at their best, providing a ministry of presence and offering care and compassion for those in need. Let's do our part!
Every natural disaster reminds us of the valuable ministry our connection provides through the United Methodist Committee on Relief. Over the past five years, UMCOR's capacity has been stretched to serve the needs in earthquake ravaged Haiti and even more recently, in the upper Midwest, with flooding in Iowa. This is by no means a complete list of all that UMCOR does in the name of Jesus with your help and support.
But our mission and the mission of UMCOR is one that circles the globe. UMCOR was there and remains in Southeast Asia where a tsunami hit in December 2004 and they also have a presence in flood-stricken Pakistan.
These past few weeks have been filled with headlines of disaster around the globe. Whether it is in the Philippines, Haiti or Chile, the United Methodist Committee on Relief has been there as the hands, the heart and the hope of the church wherever people are suffering.
As a church, we are able to accomplish great things because of faithful and generous giving to the One Great Hour of Sharing offering, one of six denominational offerings. Funds received from One Great Hour of Sharing pay the administrative overhead of UMCOR. Because UMCOR does not receive World Service funds or any other apportionments, support of this offering is vitally critical.
I solicit not only your continued prayers but also your gifts and energy to assist with the long haul of recovery. The attention that is needed is both short- and long-term. Occasionally you hear calculations about attention span in the news cycles. When Haiti is no longer the lead story it will not be a sign that the work is complete. The tsunami at the end of 2004 and Hurricane Katrina have taught us that well.