Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A Time to Give Back

I turned on my television to see the unbelievable pictures of the devastation caused by the tornados that ripped through Missouri, Kansas and Iowa this Spring. Homes ripped apart; lives lost; cars overturned; trees stripped of branches and bark; and faces showing the strain of shock and disbelief.

How many times this year have we seen such pictures - whether caused by floods or tornados or fires or earthquakes or tsunamis? This has been a difficult and devastating year. And even as we here in the Dakotas have fought the fight against rising water, I am reminded that there are so many others who are reeling from disasters of much greater magnitude than ours.

I was shocked to learn at our Council of Bishops meeting this year that the UMCOR funds which allow an Annual Conference to receive an automatic $10,000 grant for disaster aid was nearly depleted. The call for those monies has been so great over the past several years, that it has put an incredible strain on those important resources.

Did you know that in the past five years the Dakotas Annual Conference has received over $ 150,000 in direct grants from UMCOR (as well as other assistance) to help with floods and fires and drought?

Did you know that One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) pays the administrative costs of UMCOR, so every penny we give goes directly to those in need?

Did you know that every time we have asked for help from UMCOR, we have received it?

Friends, we have truly benefitted from the generosity of UMCOR, and also from United Methodists across the country who have contributed to UMCOR - and therefore to us in our times of need.

It is now time to give back.

During the 2011 Annual Conference a special offering for UMCOR was taken. Furthermore I asked each local church to receive a special offering during the Summer months. These funds will go directly to UMCOR to allow them to continue to respond to disasters across the world.

  • We can be the hands and feet of Christ to hurting people.

  • We can join with other United Methodists to increase our gifts to those in need.

  • We can truly make a difference in the lives of people across the world.

In the words of Matthew 25:"Then the righteous will answer him, "Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?' And the king will answer them, "Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me." (37 - 40)

With you in the Work of Christ,

--an excerpt by Bishop Deb Kiesey, Dakotas Ann Conf

God Is Still In Control!

Miss Lladale Carey
Web Content Producer
United Methodist Communications

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