Donate to Disaster Relief on March 10
Jacque Riley said “Methodist Angels” helped repair her home in Middleburgh, NY, after Hurricane Irene badly damaged it in August of 2011. These angels came in the form of countless numbers of United Methodist volunteers who arrived on the scene to transition from emergency to recovery.
“These volunteers not only fix houses,” said Jack Hill, project manager for the Upper New York Annual Conference. “They also fix people’s lives just by showing up to help.”
United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) also showed up, supporting the conference as it aided flood survivors, first with more than 2,000 cleaning buckets, then with grants totaling $120,000.
In an article published in The Methodist Reporter (Jan 31, 2013), Michelle Scott Okabayashi reports that when Superstorm Sandy, “the most massive hurricane to strike the US Northeast, roared ashore in October, 2012, UMCOR was there – helping families that in some cases had been impacted both by Sandy and its powerful predecessor, Hurricane Irene.”
One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) calls United Methodists to share the goodness of life with those who hurt. The offering provides administrative support for UMCOR as it responds to disaster survivors and people in need around the world.
In 2011, United Methodists across the Texas Annual Conference donated $40,318.07 to OGHS. In 2012, the offering was slightly lower at $35,303.75. TAC Disaster Response Coordinator Clay Whitaker is cheering us on. “If we all pull together and do our part, there is every reason to believe we can surpass the $40,000 mark reached in 2011! This is a very important offering that allows our denomination to do what they do best.”
For more than 50 years, United Methodist congregations have been taking part in this special offering, laying the foundation for UMCOR’s ministry of relief and hope. All donations from OGHS, along with other undesignated gifts made throughout the year, cover the costs of doing business, making it possible for UMCOR to use 100% of all other contributions on the projects our donors specify, instead of on administrative or fund-raising costs.
UMCOR doesn’t receive United Methodist World Service or apportionment funds, so without these offerings, UMCOR would not exist.
UMCOR has a strong track record for stewarding God's gifts through donors. By keeping operating costs under 10% of the total budget, undesignated gifts may actually exceed UMCOR’s administrative needs. When that happens, they are channeled to one of many specialized ministries that assist the most vulnerable people whose need is greatest. Besides the major emphasis on disaster response, UMCOR fights hunger, alleviates poverty, provides relief supplies around the world, and offers hospitality to immigrants and refugees.
Most UMCs will celebrate One Great Hour of Sharing on March 10, the fourth Sunday of Lent. If this conflicts with other events, local churches are encouraged to choose the date that best works for them.
Congregations can order free One Great Hour of Sharing offering envelopes, bulletin inserts, posters and other worship resources through umc.org or by calling 888-346-3862.