Disaster Relief through UMCOR

Thank you for your generosity to United Methodist Committee on Relief’s efforts in areas effected by recent hurricanes and wildfires. Together, we have raised $1,703!
 
Of course, there is still more work to do, both in the U.S. and abroad. Here are a few ways you can help:
 
1. PRAY for those who have been impacted, including Hurricanes in the Southeast, forest fires in the West, and the earthquakes in Mexico. Pray for the Early Response Volunteers, disaster coordinators, and many volunteers who are working tirelessly to provide relief.  Here is one prayer you might choose to use:
 
Lord of Heaven and Earth, we pray that as the storm rages and the flood waters rise you would allow us also to rise to the challenge of housing the homeless, feeding the hungry, comforting the grieving, and repairing the breach. We pray for those who are isolated and in danger, that you would hear their cries and send help. Give us the wisdom to know when we are called to act or pray or give or wait upon your guidance. And make us vigilant so that no one is left behind and all come to know your grace in the midst of disaster. Amen.
 
2. GIVE to UMCOR’s relief and recovery effort: 100% of donations reach their intended target since overhead costs are funded by your generous donations on UMCOR Sunday each year. Checks may be written to the church, with “US Disaster Relief” or “International Disaster Relief” in the memo line. You can also give by making relief kits (you’ll have a chance to do this on Faith in Action Sunday!) and donating only requested items.
 
3. Prepare to SERVE: As United Methodists, we serve when and where we are invited. The Western Jurisdictional Conference Disaster Teams have been working tirelessly to prepare for these and other disasters. The response begins locally through the Annual Conference that is affected and then is extended to the wider connection as needed.
 
You can Provide a Caring Christian Presence in the Aftermath of Disaster! Please be in prayer about whether God is calling you to provide hands-on response to disasters by becoming a United Methodist Volunteer in Mission (UMVIM). This will enable you to either serve as a member of an Early Response Team in case of a local emergency or travel with an UMVIM team to domestic or international disasters.
 
The Mission of an Early Response Team (ERT) is to provide a caring Christian presence in the aftermath of a disaster. The team is not a “first response” group; nor is it a recovery, rebuild, or repair team. It is assigned various tasks; usually relating to safety, mitigation of further damage to property, and cleanup tasks to assist the homeowner in preparation for  rebuild. The goal is to Always Be the Caring presence. Join this group of trained individuals extending the hands and feet of Christ to those in need!
 
We are in need of volunteers to be specially trained as ERT and UMVIM in order to fulfill that task here in the Eastern Sierra, where there is potential for avalanches, blizzards, earthquakes, floods, mudslides, volcanic eruptions, wildfires, and more. Upcoming trainings will be held October 21, 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM at First UMC of San Diego or October 28, 2017, 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM at Simi Valley UMC. The cost of the training (with lunch included) is $40 (scholarships are available). Students should complete or have started the online Safe Gatherings course and background check (please speak with a pastor to learn more about this).
 
This training will enable also you to join an UMVIM team that provides disaster response in other settings. Recent teams from our area have traveled to Las Vegas, Weed, Napa, Baton Rouge, and Taylor, Texas. You may also choose to travel with teams from other areas to meet the needs of persons effected by recent storms and earthquakes.

 

More than 6 Early Response teams have been formed in the jurisdiction and more are preparing to go. If you are interested in joining or forming a team, please click here to learn more about Cal-Pac’s UMVIM and ERT opportunities.