Bishop Ruben Saenz Jr. has drafted the following letter of support for financial assistance for people impacted by Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas and along parts of the U.S. Atlantic Coast.
At this point, the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is asking congregations and individuals to limit donations to financial gifts and not supplies of any sort. Also, please do not self-deploy to provide assistance. Rather, please wait until UMCOR provides more instructions once damage assessments and humanitarian needs have been fully assessed.
Download a printable copy of the bishop's letter.
Sisters and Brothers in Christ, Sept. 7, 2019
Grace and peace to you in the name of Jesus Christ, the one who is making all things new (Rev. 21:5).
We the people of Kansas and Nebraska certainly have seen our share of climate-related devastation in 2019. From the floodwaters in Nebraska in March to the spring tornadoes in Kansas to even more flooding this summer in both states, our disaster response ministry has worked diligently to help people and communities recover from tragedy and loss. Your generous financial donations help make this vital ministry possible.
We are in need, once again, of your faithful and generous support.
I’m sure many of you have seen news reports in recent days about the catastrophe caused by Hurricane Dorian to parts of our U.S. mainland and the Bahamas. Much of the Bahamas, less than 100 miles from Florida, sits in rubble after Hurricane Dorian, a Category 5 storm with sustained winds of 185 mph that also caused extensive flooding to the islands. More than 70,000 people desperately need immediate humanitarian relief because they have no homes to return to and little food and water to sustain them.
As trying as the weather has made this year for the people of the Great Plains Conference, we thankfully have not faced anything near the magnitude of the destruction and long recovery period facing the people of the Bahamas. Experts have stated that recovery there will be measured in years.
We are called to look outward in love for our neighbors (Matthew 22:36-40). Friends, the people of the Bahamas are our neighbors, and many of them are in desperate need. Our care and generosity toward others in need shines like light in the world and belongs to the work of restoration, characterized by Jesus’ own ministry.
I ask that you consider a special offering as a congregation or as individuals to help relief efforts through our United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), our global humanitarian aid and development agency. Direct your congregational and personal donations to Advance #901670 (U.S. Disaster Response) or Advance #982450 (International Disaster Response).
Saving lives and easing suffering is something we all agree upon as United Methodists. Please open your hearts and donate to enable the unifying work of UMCOR to continue providing immediate relief and long-term recovery assistance to survivors long into the future.
And, as always, please hold in prayer the people impacted by yet another disaster.
Bishop Ruben Saenz Jr.