August 29, 2017
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God… He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we may set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the generous favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.”
(2 Corinthians 1:3-4, 10-11)
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
Grace to you in the name of Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace, Healer of our Brokenness, and Hope of the World!
We have watched and have been greatly stirred by the devastating effect of the deluge of historic proportion in Texas. The Houston area has received more than twenty inches of rain and it is still falling. Judge Robert Herbert, Fort Bend County, Texas, in his Monday press statement summarized the dire situation: “The flood of this magnitude is an eight hundred year event.” Bishop Scott Jones of the Texas Conference said, “Tropical Storm Harvey has unleashed the worst flooding in Houston’s history, with catastrophic damage.” Our hearts ache and go out to so many people who are suffering from the destruction of hurricane Harvey.
I call upon the people of our United Methodist Churches to pray for the protection and comfort of so many people directly affected by this overwhelming natural disaster, including safety for the rescue and relief personnel. We have observed the brokenness in their eyes and faces as they struggle to comprehend what has happened. Thus, we pray for strength, healing and hope that they might know that others are praying for them and are offering help to rebuild their lives and homes. Lord, in your mercy, hear
Knowing the generous hearts of the people of our beloved conference and the way they have answered the needs of others effected by past natural disasters, I urge our congregations to receive a special offering either this coming Sunday, September 2nd or one Sunday in September. I know that our people are compassionate and long to help those whose lives have been turned upside down. Checks for the offerings received should be made payable to the Susquehanna Conference with 9205 - Texas 2017 Flooding in the memo line and sent to the Conference Office, 303 Mulberry Drive, Mechanicsburg, PA 17050-3179. Offerings from churches should be included on the Treasurer’s Remittance Report as 9205 Texas August 2017 Flood Relief.
Mission Central is also preparing to respond as needed. They have requested congregations to assemble cleaning buckets and hygiene kits. Further information about these items can be found on their website. You are also invited to attend their Noon prayer meeting on Thursday, August 31st. Following the prayer time, the participants will remain to assemble the necessary kits. Any individual or church which wants to provide gifts to support the transportation costs for these various kits should contribute directly to Mission Central.
Please be assured that our connectional church is already present and at work with the people in the flood affected area. Once again, I humbly ask for your prayerful and generous support for these our sisters and brothers in need. It is moments like this that we see a church alive in mission with Christ. I continue to be blessed to serve God in this place with so many saints of God.
With You in Christ’s Ministry,
Jeremiah J. Park
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