Over the past weekend, we have watched with anticipation as Hurricane Harvey made landfall in the coastal region of Texas.  As we have seen and will continue to see over the coming hours, days, and months, the damage is devastating.  Lives hang in the balance even as I type this.  Massive flooding in the Houston metropolitan area is poised to worsen over the next two days.

If you are like me, you find it difficult to sit by and watch helplessly as the news updates us on the worsening condition in which many of our brothers and sisters, friends and family find themselves.  We all may not be able to be boots on the ground in places such as Rockport, Victoria, or Houston, but we can all play a part in the recovery efforts.  As a United Methodist Church, our connectional nature makes possible rapid response to catastrophic times such as these.  The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is an arm of our shared connection that helps us be one of the first on the scene and one of the last to leave when it comes to disaster relief.  By all accounts, this will be a lengthy recovery for these areas and all of our help will be needed in some way.

Below, I leave you with ways in which UMCOR is encouraging our support and involvement for those affected by Harvey.  In addition to these channels, this Sunday, Colonial Park will be receiving a special offering for UMCOR, specifically for the ongoing relief efforts in Texas (via U.S. Disaster Relief, Advance #901670 and Material Resources Advance #901440).  All you have to do is write UMCOR in the memo line of your check and bring it by the church office this week or place it with your offering this Sunday (9/3).  100% of these funds will go to UMCOR direct relief effort.  You may also give directly to UMCOR here.

Other ways to help:

1. Please continue to pray for those whose lives have been impacted by hurricane/tropical storm Harvey. Please also pray for the Early Response Teams, disaster coordinators, and many volunteers in The Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, Louisiana Conference of The United Methodist Church, Río Texas Conference of The United Methodist Church and Central Texas Conference who are working tirelessly to provide relief after Harvey.

2. Make relief kits http://www.umcor.org/…/Relief-S…/Relief-Supply-Kits/Cleaning

3. Give to UMCOR’s relief and recovery efforts.

4. Donate only those items requested.

5. Please wait for an invitation to volunteer.

There will likely be some coordinated efforts from our conference and we will keep you posted on those opportunities as they arise.

Peace,

Jathaniel

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