Friends in Christ,
Hurricane Michael has overwhelmed parts of Florida, Alabama, most of Georgia, and is heading into South and North Carolina with unbelievably strong winds, heavy rains, and massive flooding. There are reports that at least two people have perished. More than 780,000 homes and businesses are without power. You have probably seen images of homes, schools, stores, public facilities, and even several local UMC buildings that have suffered major damage or have been totally destroyed.
This comes at about the same time that heavy rains, high winds, and tornadoes have pummeled Iowa. Crops ready to harvest remain in the fields. Damage from the flooding has come with a high cost to personal, business, and public properties.
It almost seems as if there will be no end to the relief work that will be necessary here in Iowa, in the US, and around the world.
The storms are relentless, but still no match for the love and grace of God. We, as a connection in Christ called United Methodism, lift our prayers unceasingly for one another and for our neighbors in all the places of the world.
The relief efforts have begun. Rebuilding and long-term recovery will follow, just as they have happened in Iowa and elsewhere in the past because of our shared, connectional faithfulness.
There are ways you can help right now
Let us pray together.
- Pray for the safety for all those who are experiencing Hurricane Michael’s impact.
- Make a donation to Hurricane Relief by sending your financial gift to the Iowa Annual Conference (2301 Rittenhouse St., Des Moines, IA 50321) earmarking it for either Iowa Disaster Relief #0223 or UMCOR USA Disaster Relief #901670 and the Iowa Annual Conference will send it to UMCOR. You can give directly to UMCOR here.
God of grace, even more than the power of storms poured out upon us, pour out your Holy Spirit. Renew the land, restore the hope in our souls, relieve the hurt and suffering, repair the places around us that are so battered by the storms.
We read in your Scriptures about the storms, rain, the hail, and winds. But you were not in these. You were, and are, and continue to be in the still small voice.
So speak now, we pray. And let your voice be in the way we respond to one another, near and far.
In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.