From the desk of Bishop Mark J. Webb: Response to Hurricane Irma
September 12, 2017 / By Bishop Mark J. Webb
On Sept. 12 Bishop Mark J. Webb sent the following letter about how to respond to Hurricane Irma to members of the Upper New York Conference.
Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
Once again, we have seen the incredible destruction a powerful hurricane can bring. Our prayers are with the people of the Caribbean, Florida and the other places along Irma’s storm path. Just as with Harvey, we know recovery from this latest storm will take years. Likewise, we know we are called and equipped to play a part in this work. Your prayers, your love and your giving are vitally needed now.
Here’s how you can help:
- Invite your congregation to take up a special collection in the next few weeks. If you’ve already done this for victims of Hurricane Harvey, I ask you to do this again for Irma’s victims. If you’ve yet to take a collection, combine the two and ask people to be doubly generous. The need is great. Announce to your people which Sunday you will do this and ask them to be especially generous. You may forward these funds to the Conference Office with a single check, made out to Upper New York Conference with FUND # 482 – “2017 Hurricane Irma Disaster Relief” on the memo line.
- Assemble Cleaning Kits (Flood Buckets) and bring these to the Mission Central Hub at the United Methodist Center. We have committed to filling at least one tractor trailer (around 430 buckets). Let’s exceed our expectations and fill several! Click here for instructions.
As with Harvey effected areas, Volunteers in Mission (VIM) will be needed to help with the Irma recovery, but this will be down the road. The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) will let us know when teams can be sent.
Finally, what I said in the wake of Hurricane Harvey remains just as true after Irma: God does not abandon, but stands with us amid the wreckage and will enable the people to recover. We are invited to embody God’s loving presence and power in this work. And so, I ask you to offer your prayers, your dollars, and your time. Thank you in advance for your generous spirits. I am grateful for your ministry and your willingness to be the hands and feet of Christ in all opportunities!
Grace and peace,
Bishop Mark J. Webb