This is the second in a series of Faith In Action reports on how churches, ministries, and people from the Iowa United Methodist Church are making a difference and changing lives following the derecho disaster in August 2020.
On August 10, 2020, a derecho damaged an area nearly 800 miles wide throughout the Midwest with the highest winds recorded at over 140 miles per hour in the Cedar Rapids area.
Christ Community United Methodist Church in Marion, Iowa, had extensive structural damage after the wind ripped through the church roof, leaving a gaping hole and water damage. Insulation was blown throughout the interior and walls were weakened. It is estimated that it will take Christ Community a minimum of six to eight months to rebuild.
Bishop Laurie Haller toured churches affected by the derecho to offer words of support and encouragement to the pastors and their congregations.
“Everyone who is here from Christ Community Church has a testimony to give about the love and grace of Jesus Christ and the fact that this church is open to all people who want to want to know who Jesus is and experience fullness of life and the grace that you offer to everyone,” she said.
The rebuilding had begun at Christ Community when she visited, with narthex and sanctuary taken down to the frame and rafters.
"What touched my heart the most, the one thing that I saw that really was not damaged, was the cross. That's what sustains us—the cross of Christ," said Bishop Laurie.
Bishop Laurie spoke with Rev. Becky High, staff, and parishioners about the recovery efforts, their experience during the storm, their love and commitment to the church, and how the community has responded.
“This is a time in which I know that there has been a lot of grief on the part of this congregation knowing that their building sustained such incredible damage but, we are also very, very grateful that no one was hurt or in the building at the time," Bishop Laurie prayed. "We give thanks for that and we know that things are just things. We pray that during this time of rebuilding that you would give safety to all the workers that no one would be injured by anything that they do,”
If you would like to donate to help with the recovery of the derecho disaster, please send a check payable to Iowa Conference United Methodist Church and in the memo line write Disaster Ministries Advance #223. It can be mailed to Iowa United Methodist Church Conference, 2301 Rittenhouse Street, Des Moines, Iowa, 50321. Or donate online by clicking here.
Thank you for supporting Iowa United Methodists and others in need.