From the Desk of Bishop Webb: Response to Hurricane Maria and those affected in Puerto Rico
September 28, 2017 / By Bishop Mark J. Webb
Bishop Mark J. Webb sent the following letter requesting prayer and support for Puerto Rico and all those impacted by Hurricane Maria and the other recent devastating storms.
Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
It is hard to believe that I am writing to you about devastating destruction from a hurricane for the third time in just a few weeks. As I am sure you know by now, Puerto Rico in particular was devastated first by Hurricane Irma and now again by Maria. Reports tell us that even while rescue operations are still taking place, lack of power and resources for millions of people becomes a growing concern. I ask you to join me now in continued prayer for the people of Puerto Rico and for all those who have been impacted by these devastating storms.
Let us pray for those whose lives will be forever changed due to death, destruction, or fear. Let us pray that those who can help are guided by God's will to do so quickly and efficiently. Let us pray that the hands and feet on the ground have the strength to carry on. Finally, let us pray that we, as the United Methodist Church, can be a part of bringing hope and faith to those who have been so devastated by these storms.
As with Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, there are two things you can do beyond your continued prayers.
- Invite your congregation to take up a special collection in the next few weeks. If you've already done this for victims of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, consider taking another offering for the victims of Hurricane Maria. If you haven't taken a collection, combine the offerings and ask people to be extra generous. You may forward these funds to the Conference Office with a single check, made out to Upper New York Conference with FUND # 483 - "2017 Hurricane Maria 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). Click here for instructions.
With so much destruction it is often hard to know where to begin to help, but like everything, it begins with prayer. Prayer is just the beginning, however. United Methodists will be hard at work giving their time, talents, and resources to support recovery in these devastated areas for many years to come. Let us continue to be God's love for this world that so desperately needs it.
Bishop Mark J. Webb