Again this Advent, Bishop David Bard asks The Michigan Conference to help heal human suffering with generous contributions to disaster recovery efforts both around the world and across the state.
Over the past 12 months, lives were broken by disaster in places like the Bahamas, Philippines, California, Iowa, Florida, and Zimbabwe. “Advent is about the breaking in of hope, of light, of life, of God’s love breaking into the world in Jesus Christ, years ago and always,” says Bishop David Bard.
Michigan’s disasters don’t have names like Dorian, Harvey, Michael, or Maria, but people have been hurt and property damaged, nonetheless, by torrential rains in places like Detroit.
In those and many other cases unnamed, the United Methodist Committee on Relief has partnered with annual conferences and local agencies to bring healing and help.
For decades Michigan United Methodists have supported UMCOR giving millions of dollars of contributions to disaster relief, national and international. Further, congregations have packed countless tubes of toothpaste, bottles of bleach, pencils, and work gloves into relief supply kits distributed by Midwest Mission Distribution Center or Sager Brown Depot.
In the past four years, such support for UMCOR has continued and the partnership has expanded in scope to touch the lives of those within the state at the mercy of rain and wind. Since 2014 UMCOR-funded disaster caseworkers have ministered in Detroit, Flint, Midland, and, Copper Country. Michigan has hired a full-time Coordinator of Disaster Recovery Ministries, Nancy Money, thanks to a grant from UMCOR.
Michigan loves UMCOR, and UMCOR loves Michigan and the whole world beyond.
Disasters keep happening. And because of the strong ministry ties between The Michigan Conference and the United Methodist Committee on Relief, Bishop David Bard has once again designated Disaster Relief as the recipient of the annual Advent Offering. The 2019 Advent Offering will again be shared between UMCOR Domestic Disaster Relief, UMCOR international Disaster Relief, and the Michigan Conference Disaster Relief Fund.
“Advent is about arrival and hope,” says Bishop Bard. “As I think about places in our country and God’s world devastated by recent natural disasters, nothing speaks of the arrival of hope more than UMCOR. Beyond the headlines, UMCOR brings hope to people and helps them put their lives back together in the long-run.”