This Sunday, Aug. 27, is the Sunday closest to the first anniversary of the Hurricane Katrina disaster in the American Gulf Coast. The United Methodist Council of Bishops have asked every United Methodist congregation to take up a special offering this Sunday to benefit the Katrina Church Recovery Appeal. Our bishop announced this date at our Annual Conference session in June.
All of the aid that UMCOR sent to the stricken region went to humanitarian needs...food, clothing, shelter, medicine, etc. That was certainly needed, and UMCOR did an outstanding job, along with other agencies such as the Salvation Army, Catholic Charities, the Red Cross, and Church World Service, to name a few.
But congregations, ministries, and pastors have also suffered tremendously. Many churches don't have facilities, and many more lack basic worship tools such as hymnals or instruments. Essential resources for a wide variety of ministries were destroyed in the flood waters, and, with the focus on humanitarian need, have not been rebuilt. Additionally, many pastors and their families have not had regular salaries...in many cases, that's been because their parishes no longer exist...in other cases, it's because their parishioners have relocated or have "spread out" geographically. The tragedy continues.
Our bishops have organized the Appeal in order for the Connection to help one another. This is one of the best things about our United Methodist connection...we are able to lift up one another at times like this. I'm excited to be a part of this appeal, and Jefferson church will be faithfully participating this Sunday.
For more information on the appeal, click here.
To purchase maroon bracelets which say, "rebuilding churches and communities", the purchase of which will benefit the Appeal, click here.
For a bulletin insert on the appeal (a PDF file), click here.
For worship tools (also a PDF file), click here.
It's a time for United Methodists to stop whining about our connectional problems and actually do something constructive and meaningful. Praise God that we have been deemed worthy to have this opportunity; may the Lord bless our faithful efforts.