From Pastor Ann–This month I have chosen to use my column space to share the following article about UMCOR Sunday which falls on March 22.
We read or watch on the news and see communities overwhelmed by natural disaster. We hear about humanitarian crises arising from civil unrest and war. We know that famine and drought are caused by climate change and see in our own community signs of food insecurity. And, of course, when we are also in the midst of our own suffering, it is hard to see beyond our own needs to help someone else.
It can seem like too much. How could we possibly make a difference? How can our limited resources make a dent in the seemingly never-ending need of the world? As followers of Jesus Christ, we are called to respond with extravagant grace.
Through the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), we can make a difference in the lives of communities and individuals whose lives have been upended by storms, wars, climate change, and displacement. Through UMCOR, we see the impact of extravagant grace through the generosity of United Methodists.
UMCOR lives out signs of Christ’s extravagant grace in the world by prayerfully working with communities that are overwhelmed by natural or human-made disasters. UMCOR builds on the strengths of what is already available in a community and actively involves the people affected in recovery efforts.
By mobilizing trained volunteers who are already living in the community, purchasing emergency supplies and food from local merchants and channeling funds through trusted partners who are already on the ground, UMCOR is uniquely positioned to respond quickly after a disaster and to remain invested in rebuilding, even after these needs are no longer in the news. Recovery is a long process for individuals and communities. UMCOR also works with communities to train leaders to address infrastructure concerns, climate change and environmental degradation.
The special offering received on UMCOR Sunday helps support the small but impactful UMCOR staff who are specialists in disaster response and recovery. Because we join our church’s offerings with those of United Methodist congregations around the world, UMCOR remains strong in its day-to-day operations. When needs are immediate, UMCOR can respond quickly and efficiently with signs of extravagant grace and expert assistance. Let us continue to ministry together.
(Article from UMGiving website)