by Don Remick
It’s been a while since we’ve seen a Category 5 hurricane. And unless you’ve been there you really can’t imagine what 150+ mile an hour winds can do. Haiti can tell you. And Florida. And the many islands and lives in between. And, though as of this writing it looks like Matthew won’t make landfall in New England, it doesn’t mean this storm won’t impact us. It already does, as we see the devastation of a day’s worth of rainfall that surpasses two feet. It does as we see flattened buildings, flooding everywhere and the blank anxious stares of people.
So let me remind you again. Our UCC works with partners all over the world to be ready instantaneously to respond to the needs of people in disasters. They have the resources to know what is needed, where and when. And they know how to get things there in the fastest most effective way. And, because of our church’s support of OCWM and UCM we already have the infrastructure and administration in place so that every dollar you designate for Disaster Relief will go completely to that relief. You can send you donations to our Conference (MACUCC) and mark ‘Disaster Relief’ or ‘Hurricane relief’ in the memo. We’ll get it there. (Keep up with the latest at: ucc.org/disaster)
And this is also a good time to remind you that churches are often crucial and pivotal in the recovery of their community following a disaster. Churches often have the physical resources (people and building) and certainly have the spiritual resources that are so essential in recovery and resilience. I hope you continue to be in conversation with your community leaders about ways to help your community and its people prepare for disasters. Whether Matthew comes our way or not disasters will continue to be prevalent in our lives.
And this is a good time to remind you that our MACUCC has an exceptional collection of resources and insights and guidance for churches and individuals as they learn about, prepare for, and recover from disasters. Visit those resources at http://www.macucc.org/disasterresource.
Your MACUCC Disaster Resource Team continues to be available to help.
Blessings in the storms
Rev. Don Remick
Associate Conference Minister for the South East Area and Church Development
Massachusetts Conference of the United Church of Christ
1 Badger Road, Framingham, Ma. 01702
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