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In Today's Hotline:
A few weeks ago, Thom Shores witnessed the demolition of the oldest African-American church in the town of Adairsville, Georgia. “The church was 106 years old,” said Shores, disaster response coordinator for the North Georgia Annual Conference. “It was so badly damaged by a tornado that it had to be torn down.”
The tornadoes in Georgia hit African-American communities and white communities, low-income communities and middle-class communities. Their commonality is that none of the small communities has ever experienced this kind of disaster before. The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is working in Adairsville and other communities across the region that were struck by a band of tornadoes in late January to give survivors help and relief.
“We've been doing what we can to assist them,” Shores said, “but at the same time, it's important to remember that part of respecting a community is acknowledging that it's their disaster, and their recovery.”
In Mississippi, where the same band of tornadoes struck, The United Methodist Church is reaching out to a Hispanic community, said the Rev. Andy Stoddard, pastor at Asbury UMC in Petal.
“Several Hispanic portions of the town were hit, including two trailer parks,” he said. “Our church already had a relationship with some of the residents there. One of the families is staying in a church member's trailer home and we put up another family in a hotel.”
Part of working with ethnic communities involves building relationships before disaster ever strikes, Stoddard pointed out.
We ask for your continued prayers for the people of Syria as they continue to suffer through the horrors of civil war and ongoing violence. This recent article tells some of what UMCOR is doing to alleviate suffering there.
Although One Great Hour of Sharing was celebrated in most United Methodist churches last Sunday (March 10), it’s never too late to give. If you’d like to plan your offering celebration for another day in the year, resources like this video that features UMCOR staff around the world, are available for your use. Also, you can always give to One Great Hour of Sharing online.
UMCOR is looking for experienced people to join their overseas field operations, including someone to head up the field office in Haiti and a program manager for UMCOR’s work in South Sudan. To see these and other openings with UMCOR go to the Career Opportunities page and search for positions open in UMCOR. (There is no need to select a location to get the comprehensive UMCOR list.)
World Water Day is March 22. This international day is set aside to consider how we use this life-giving resource and how we can help people who struggle to access it. Use this new church bulletin insert to celebrate World Water Day and share one way that UMCOR is helping supply water to people who need it.
UMCOR provides emergency relief in many areas of the world. To find out more about UMCOR's ministries, please visit umcor.org. You can donate to any project by placing a contribution in the offering plate at a local United Methodist church; by sending a check to UMCOR, PO Box 9068, New York, NY 10087-9068; or by calling 1-800-554-8583, where credit card donations are accepted. You can also give online by clicking any of the "DONATE" links or make a $10 donation anytime by texting “UMCOR” to 80888. UMCOR is exempt from tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of the United States and qualifies for the maximum charitable contribution deduction by donors.
And, please pray for those who are hungry, displaced, sick or in poverty because of these and other natural and human-made disasters, and for the workers who minister to them.
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United Methodist Committee on Relief
General Board of Global Ministries, The United Methodist Church
Room 1520, 475 Riverside Drive, New York, NY 10115
Voice Phone: 1-212-870-3816; FAX: 1-212-870-3624