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2018 Thanksgiving offering 100% for UMCOR relief efforts to ravaging storms

Lynn Haven Umc

Flooding at Lynn Haven Methodist Church in Panama City. Photo courtesy of Lynn Haven United Methodist Church

Congregations and individuals across the Dakotas Conference are invited to magnify their generosity to the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) this Thanksgiving. Bishop Ough invites all United Methodists in the Dakotas, in the 2018 Thanksgiving Offering, to bless those who have been impacted by the ravaging, relentless storms of Hurricane Michael, Hurricane Florence, the earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia, and the typhoon that hit the Philippines to join together through our annual Dakotas Conference Thanksgiving Offering.

An invitation from Bishop Ough:

In recent days and weeks, I have often thought of the gospel account of Jesus calming the storm. 

“Gale-force winds arose, and waves crashed against the boat so that the boat was swamped. However, Jesus was in the rear of the boat, sleeping on a pillow. They woke him up and said, ‘Teacher don’t you care that we are drowning?’ He got up and gave orders to the wind, and he said to the lake, ‘Silence! Be still!’”        Mark 4:37-39 CEB

Recently, we have seen an unprecedented number of devastating storms with gale-force winds and waves crashing over people’s lives and property, generating debilitating fear and inflicting great suffering. Some reeling in the aftermath of storms and tsunamis are in far-away places like the Philippines and Indonesia. Other natural disasters closer to home, on the eastern seaboard and Florida’s gulf coast, carry names like Florence and Michael. We have seen images of people crying out with their own version of “Teacher don’t you care that we're drowning?” 

So, I appeal to you to join together through our annual Dakotas Conference Thanksgiving Offering to help silence the wind and waves. Help to bring hope and recovery to our sisters and brothers whose lives have been disrupted, devastated, swamped. Read the entire invitational letter here.

Ravaging devastation:

October 11-13, 2018: Hurricane Michael, a ferocious and historic storm, has killed at least 17 people, left a "tremendous number" of others unaccounted for and left a trail of destruction across Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas. Michael is the fourth most powerful storm on record to hit the U.S., and the worst since Hurricane Camille in 1969.

September 28, 2018: Thousands perished in the September 28 earthquake and tsunami in Central Sulawesi, Indonesia. The earthquake’s epicenter was closest to Donggala, a city of 300,000 that has been difficult for rescuers to reach. Palu, another Central Sulawesi city, was severely affected by the ensuing tsunami generated by the quake. The death toll had reached more than 2,000. 

September 14-16, 2018: Hurricane Florence led to the deaths of at least 33 people — 26 in North Carolina, six in South Carolina and one in Virginia. Florence, was a category 1 hurricane, in much of the eastern Carolinas and part of Virginia. Much of the area, was hit and is still recovering from the ravages of Hurricane Matthew two years ago.

September 11-17, 2018: United Methodists were picking up the pieces and preparing to assist others after the super Typhoon Mangkhut struck the northern part of the Philippines. The death toll caused by Typhoon Mangkhut and monsoon rains in the Philippines has reached 127, with at least 111 people still missing. Philippines officials say Cagayan is one of the provinces worst affected by the storm. 

Resources: 

Bishop Ough’s invitational letter

Photos

Power Point (Microsoft Power Point version)

Power Point (PDF version)

Bulletin insert (PDF version) 

Bulletin insert (Microsoft Word version)