Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
Our neighbors in Texas are crying out. We see it on our televisions, on the internet and on social media. The Lord hears their cries and is calling us to serve as His hands and feet to deliver them from their troubles.
In Greater New Jersey, we know something about hurricanes and flooding. We know what it is like to cry out for the Lord in despair. We also know how the Lord answers these prayers, by sending 12,000 volunteers and more than $17 million to A Future With Hope to help us rebuild.
It is our turn to respond to God’s call to help our neighbor. I call all people in Greater New Jersey to be in prayer for the people of Texas, for those who have been affected by the damaging hurricane and flooding and for those first responders who are selflessly coming to their aid. In addition to prayer, God calls us to action.
The United Methodist Church has many resources already being deployed to the Houston area. Here are ways that you and your congregation can help.
- Donate to UMCOR, the United Methodist Committee on Relief, who is already on the ground coordinating with disaster responders in the Texas, Rio Texas, Central Texas and Louisiana Annual Conferences.
- Make relief kits for UMCOR. These cleaning and hygiene kits (sometimes called flood buckets) provide pre-packed necessities ready for distribution in needed areas. Greater New Jersey has two Mission Central Hubs that coordinate relief supplies with UMCOR: Good Shepherd UMC in Northfield and the Skylands Outreach Depot. You can drop off completed kits and they will forward to UMCOR Hubs for distribution.
- Volunteer. Our Disaster Response Coordinators are meeting with representatives from the affected area and UMCOR to create plans to deploy volunteers. It is important to wait for coordination to deploy so that resources and volunteers are focused where they can have the greatest impact.
- Take an offering. On Sunday, receive a special offering for the people of Texas and send your congregation’s check to our treasurer and receive credit here in GNJ and with UMCOR:
The United Methodist Church of Greater New Jersey: Mission and Resource Center
Texas Disaster Response Advance #901670
205 Jumping Brook Rd.
Neptune, NJ 07753
At Greater New Jersey, we will share updates and news on relief activities and volunteer opportunities through our Facebook pages, in our weekly e-newsletter, the Digest and on our website.
The Lord listens and is sending United Methodists of Greater New Jersey to help.
Keep the faith!
John Schol, Bishop
The United Methodist Church
of Greater New Jersey