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2018 Advent gifts offer hope

David Kim and Bob Miller unload cleaning buckets

Bishop David Bard invites The Michigan Conference to share hope this Advent Season by contributing to UMCOR’s disaster relief efforts around the world and in the state. 

Senior Content Editor

Natural disasters inflicted suffering on many over the past 16 months. Some reeling in the aftermath of storms and earthquakes are in far-away places like the Philippines or Indonesia. Others are closer to home, recovering from fires in California and, most recently, hurricanes on the eastern seaboard and Florida’s gulf coast.

Michigan’s disasters don’t have names like “Harvey,” “Florence,” or “Michael,” but people have been hurt and property damaged, nonetheless, by torrential rains in places like Midland and Houghton.

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 partnered with 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 but 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 case workers have ministered in Detroit, Flint, Midland, and, now, Copper Country.

Truly, 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 designated Disaster Relief as the recipient of the annual Advent Offering. The 2018 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, particularly the Carolinas and Indonesia, 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.” 

Bulletin inserts will be available later. For now, plan to accept Bishop Bard’s invitation to make Disaster Response the focus of your Advent giving. Bishop Bard reminds us, “An Advent gift is a gift that will bring hope.”