For more than a week we have all watched in sadness and compassion as Hurricane Harvey came ashore in Texas and then continue to dump water on the southeastern part of the state. In this newsletter, there is an article stating how you can donate money through UCC Disaster Relief Services and other things you can do. There are many ways to help. I want to encourage you, if you choose to donate, to do it through Disaster Relief. When you donate through the UCC, 100% of your donation goes to “on the ground help.” The national setting of the UCC has already released funds for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. I can also assure you that long after the 24/7 media coverage leaves Houston and the surrounding area, the UCC will continue to be there. Our denomination’s focus in disaster relief is long-term recovery. We arrive as the crisis managers leave and we stay until homes and communities are restored. It is not glamorous work, but it the work of Christ made flesh in our world.
The other reminder I want to add is that it is the beginning of September and we are all beginning to regroup from the summer. Please, remember your OCWM pledges. OCWM giving always slows during the summer, and this is your friendly reminder that the work of the conference and national settings continues in the summer months. Also remember that it is your OCWM contributions that make it possible for your Disaster Relief funds to go solely to relief efforts. Your OCWM giving allows the national setting to pay for the staff and the overhead that is needed for Disaster Relief whenever and wherever it happens.
I have heard from the Rev. Dr. Don Longbottom, Conference Minister of the South Central Conference, UCC. He is doing well, but several of our sister UCC churches are under water. Please keep them all in prayer during the coming weeks and months. As other opportunities for assisting our neighboring conference arises, I will let you know.
Thank you for your generosity in the face of Hurricane Harvey.
Blessings and peace,