Best Ways to Help
As we pray for those affected by Hurricane Ian, Trinity joins in Virginia Conference and its efforts to help.
On World Communion Sunday (Oct. 2), we encourage individuals/small groups/Sunday school classes to take a five-gallon bucket and participate in assembling cleaning kits which will be essential in the aftermath of a hurricane. We thank those who have already done that.
Bring complete cleaning kits back by Oct. 15, and we’ll bless them and send them off. Our goal is 50 cleaning kits (19 buckets have already been taken).
If you prefer to make a financial contribution to purchase relief kits, please donate $75, which will cover the cost of assembling on cleaning kit with a memo of UMCOR.
A message from Bishop Sharma Lewis
As we hear and see the catastrophic destruction caused by Hurricane Ian, I am asking the Virginia Conference of The United Methodist Church to remember our sisters and brothers in Florida and other states bracing for this hurricane. In front of such natural disasters, we realize how fragile life can be. However, we also see how we embody the strength to overcome all disasters as people of God. Therefore I ask the Virginia Conference to pray and prepare as we approach the aftermath of Hurricane Ian.
Remember the people affected by this hurricane. Join in their loss through prayer, as it says in Romans 12:15b “…and cry with those who are crying” (CEB). We ask churches to remember the people as we worship the Lord who makes us one. You may use this prayer written and presented by the Rev. Crystal R. Sygeel, Associate Director for Call and Candidacy of the Virginia Conference.
Prayer written by the Rev. Crystal R. Sygeel
God of the Seas, God of the Wind, Our Scriptures tell of an awful flood. Of waters that overwhelmed the earth. It was you who called your servant Noah to build an ark, a vessel of rescue for the people, the animals of your creation.
Today, we face another water event of cataclysmic proportion. Before Hurricane Ian ever made landfall coastlines and city streets, factories and fields, houses and hot spots were torn up, blown down, and washed away.
As Ian makes tracks, we remember your word, “You were not given a spirit of fear but of love.” We mobilize to tie down, board up, and lash together. We help pack clothes, food, pets, and phones. We get families on the road. We lend helping hands to those that remain.
Even before the torrents subside, we give you thanks: for first responders who will answer emergency calls for volunteers who will be a wave of a second response for service providers who look to a time to offer meals, shelter, and aid. We remember Christ’s words, “When you helped those in need, you helped me.”
We lift your people who are suffering from Ian’s devastation: those without water, electricity, or sanctuary from the storm.. We ask your hand be upon them as we offer our own hands in service. For the lives already lost, we remember your promise, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you.” For their loved ones, we ask for your comfort and peace.
In the time of Noah, You dried up the water, you placed a rainbow in the sky In our time, we ask the same That the land return, that homes are restored That work resumes, that “the ties that bind” endure, That your banner of grace and love remains over us always.
In your holy name, we pray, Amen.
Prepare to Help
1. UMCOR Disaster Response Advance We are all connected through the grace of God. We are also one body through the connectional system called The United Methodist Church. The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) offers relief to the people devastated by the hurricane on behalf of the local church. To help UMCOR become the hands and feet of Jesus this time, remember that you can join their effort by giving to the US Disaster Response and Recovery Advance # 901670. You can make donations to the church with a memo of UMCOR.
Please visit our online give page or scan QR code to give.
2. 2022 Cleaning Kit Collection – Virginia Conference responded to UMCOR’s call in early September to replenish the cleaning kit stockpile in UMCOR storage. The cleaning kit, also known as the hurricane bucket, is an essential tool in the aftermath of a hurricane. We ask churches to continue collecting the cleaning kits so that UMCOR can continue their work. For more information about the kit collection and how to join, visit www.vaumc.org/2022cleaningkit
Please watch the below video to assemble a cleaning kit.
3. Recovery Effort – Recovery effort takes a long time. We ask all churches to use this time to be patient and advise them not to make hast decisions, such as selfdeployment. When there is a call from our neighboring conferences, we will make announcements for any needs. In the meantime, we ask our churches to utilize the resources available through the VAUMC Disaster Response team.