Do not grow weary of giving generously to urgent needs


Jim Antal

11/19/2013

Nov. 19, 2013
Sisters and brothers in Christ,

A little over a week ago, typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines. Millions of people have been displaced and the projected death toll is in the thousands. There are villages and regions that still remain unreachable.

Two days ago, more than a dozen devastating tornados plowed through numerous states in the Midwest . Hundreds of homes have been destroyed and several deaths have been reported.

Our partner churches in the Philippines and UCC churches in the Midwestern US are working in the midst of chaos to bring comfort and assistance. And as we know from our own tornado experience in Monson, their work will continue for the long haul throughout the months and years of recovery. Your past giving to One Great Hour of Sharing is what allows the UCC to respond immediately to these disasters. However, your solidarity expressed in prayers and generosity will allow these churches to continue to respond to these tragedies in the months ahead.

If your congregation has already taken a collection to help with the Typhoon Haiyan victims – thank you! Your generosity will help the UCC to meet our goal of raising $250,000 in response to Typhoon Haiyan. Your church – and individuals – can contribute here: http://www.ucc.org/disaster/typhoon-haiyan/  If you are able to take a collection for the communities in the Midwest which have been ravaged, please do so. We will post (on www.macucc.org ) where those contributions can be sent as soon as we have that information. Remember that because our support is given through OCWM, 100% of these donations go directly into services and assistance.

Although disaster seems to come after disaster, and we may feel the burden of continued response, we do well to remember the words of the Apostle Paul, when he wrote, "So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time, if we do not give up." (Galatians 6:9 NRSV). Giving generously to the urgent needs of the world is what we are called to do.

And there is something else we are called to do: we are called to seek systemic change. Climate scientists tell us that what these storms have in common is that they are part of a world-wide increase in frequency and severity of storms – something that climate change is accelerating. The Massachusetts Conference and our denomination are the leaders in this witness. Join with those churches already engaged in learning about and responding to climate change.

Thank you for all the support and help you are providing.

For the Disaster Resource Team:
Rev. Jim Tilbe and Rev. Don Remick (MACUCC Disaster Coordinators)
Rev. Dr. Jim Antal (MACUCC Minister and President)

 

 
Nov. 12, 2013
Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
 
Our hearts are broken as details emerge revealing the devastation created by Typhoon Haiyan.  This Super Typhoon is already being described as the most powerful storm ever to make landfall.  It is hard to picture the impact of winds that approached 200 miles an hour.  And the flooding from rain and storm surge can be seen flowing through village streets and neighborhoods.  It seems that few buildings have escaped damage and some whole forests have been leveled.  And many who have been living in temporary shelters following the destruction of last month’s earthquakes find themselves again enduring the unimaginable.  It will be some time before we know the deeper impact of this storm.  In the meantime, relief organizations are rushing into the chaos to try to assess the damage and provide emergency assistance and relief in the midst of rescue and recovery efforts. 
 
Our UCC has a presence in the region in and through our churches and partner agencies.  And many of our brothers and sisters in faith are providing shelter and food to the survivors even as they tend to their own losses. The UCC immediately sent $15,000 in grants through relief agencies, and is seeking to raise $250,000 for long term aid. Find out more about the UCC response here: http://www.ucc.org/news/typhoon-haiyan-aid-11112013.html.  Find out how you can help, and make a donation, here:  http://www.ucc.org/disaster/philippines_typhoon_appeal.html.  Please note that 100% of donations go directly to the disaster area.
 
Our hearts and our prayers go out to all those in the wake of the storm. In worship in the coming weeks we ask you to gather your voices with all of our MACUCC churches as we hold the people of this region in our prayers.
 
In Christ’s merciful compassion,
 
Don Remick and Jim Tilbe – The MACUCC Disaster Resource Team
Jim Antal, Minister and President

 



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