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2018 Advent gifts offer hope

Woman removing storm debris.

Bishop David Bard encourages The Michigan Conference to share hope and love this Advent season through generous contributions to UMCOR’s disaster relief efforts around the world and across the state. 


KAY DEMOSS
Senior Content Editor

Over the past 16 months, lives were broken by disaster in places like the Carolinas, Alabama, Florida, California, Puerto Rico, Indonesia, and Japan. “Advent is about another kind of breaking,” says Bishop David Bard. “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.”

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.

In this video filled with powerful images of the brokenness left behind from the storms of recent months, Bishop Bard invites Michigan United Methodists to reach into the broken places of the world with God’s love.

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 caseworkers have ministered in Detroit, Flint, Midland, and, now, Copper Country. Michigan is now preparing to hire a full-time Coordinator of Disaster Recovery Ministries, thanks to a grant from UMCOR.

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, 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 are available. Click here for the pdf. Bishop Bard reminds us, “An Advent gift is a gift that will bring hope.”

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