Over the past few weeks, in our worship services, we have been highlighting the ministries of St. Andrew’s UMC—the outreach ministries that have continued to thrive and serve others during this COVID-19 pandemic. The Food Pantry has been providing food in greater numbers each week., free of charge, to those in the community who are in need. Even though they have had to adjust to keep their recipients safe, the Meals on Wheels team from our church is still on the front lines providing nutrition and friendship to the most vulnerable of older adults in our community. Andy’s Angels has been spreading the love of God through home-cooked meals delivered to those who are struggling through challenging times. Just this past week, this outreach expanded to include our valiant teachers, school workers, and administrators as they begin to navigate a new school year filled with anxieties and uncertainties. These unprecedented pandemic times have not curtailed or slowed down the ministry outreach of this church. God’s love can penetrate through the darkest of times in this area, through the caring people of St. Andrew’s UMC.
This country has been overwhelmed as well by the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet there have been areas also besieged by various disasters, resulting in unparalleled adversity and tragedy. Tornadoes in Tennessee, wildfires in California, a derecho in Iowa, (yes, I had to look up that word—it is an intense and widespread windstorm). And most recently the destruction of Hurricane Laura that devastated parts of Texas and Louisiana. Winds in excess of 150 miles per hour caused extensive damage to homes, businesses and several United Methodist churches, leaving behind several communities in need of assistance and recovery. Yet, these crises have not curtailed or slowed down the reach of the United Methodist Church in offering help to those in need.
The relief and recovery arm of the United Methodist Church is the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) and is ever-present in the country as well as the world when disaster strikes. They make a difference in the lives of communities and individuals whose lives have been upended by storms, wars, tragedies, or civil unrest. In fact, UMCOR is usually one of the first relief agencies present when disaster strikes anywhere in the world.
UMCOR acts as the hands and feet of Christ’s church, moving toward the most vulnerable in their time of need. UMCOR affirms that “helping people in their darkest days doesn’t have to be something ‘they’ do, it can be something ‘we’ do.” Supporting UMCOR is a way that we, as United Methodists, can respond to the needs of others in extravagant ways, even if they are halfway around the world.
Supplies and assistance have already been mobilized to those areas hardest hit by Hurricane Laura. You can help by making a financial donation to UMCOR. All donations to UMCOR go directly to relief efforts—100%. None of your financial contribution goes for overhead or administrative costs. Not very many relief organizations can make that claim.
You can donate to Hurricane Laura relief or other relief efforts by visiting the UMCOR website and making a donation at www.umcmission.org/umcor/give/. Pandemics, disasters, or catastrophes can not stop or slow down the mission of the people called United Methodists in reaching out in love to those who need help in our world, in our country, or in the community surrounding St. Andrew’s UMC.