The Rev. Sam Dixon, executive officer of the United Methodist Committee on Relief, gave his life for a cause he truly believed in, according to Bishop Warner H. Brown, Jr., Resident Bishop of the California-Nevada Annual Conference.
Bishop Brown reacted today to the news that Dixon died before he could be rescued from the rubble of Hotel Montana in Port au Prince, Haiti. Initial reports that he and two other UMCOR executives had been safely rescued proved to be incorrect. The others were pulled to safety yesterday after being trapped for more than 55 hours.
The three were meeting at the hotel, making plans to improve medical services in Haiti, when a massive earthquake struck, demolishing much of the city.
"I had the privilege of working with Rev. Dixon and will miss him," Bishop Brown said. "He gave his life as an example of how our church is on the ground, working with people in all kinds of circumstances, and especially in times of disaster."
Dixon headed UMCOR in his role as a deputy general secretary of Global Ministries.
"The work Rev Dixon was engaged in, in Haiti," the bishop said, "is an example of the way our Church, through UMCOR, has been building partnerships in communities of need so that we can respond - in ways that ensure every dollar you give, goes to the cause for which it is intended. While we will mourn Sam, I hope we can honor his memory by giving through our Church to help bind up the wounds of those devastated by this earthquake.
"Rev. Dixon has given his life for a cause he truly believed in. I join you in praying for his family and the families of all those who have lost loved ones in this disaster."
A number of California-Nevada churches are planning to take a special offering for Haiti this Sunday, January 17. It is the day designated for the Human Relations Day offering, although the Special Sunday may be observed at another time. Bishop Brown today joined the president of the Council of Bishops, Bishop Gregory V. Palmer, in urging United Methodists not to view the two giving opportunities as competing interests.
"I know I've recently called the Human Relations Day offering to your attention, and that is important," Bishop Brown said, "but I realize many of you will want to postpone it as you respond to Haiti. However," he added, "I hope that you will receive a Human Relations Day offering in the near future."
Click here to make an online donation to Haiti relief through UMCOR Advance #418325. You may also phone 800-554-8583.
Your church will receive credit for your donation if you select your church's name from the dropdown list.
If you prefer to write a check and want your church to receive credit on its Apportionments statement, do not make the check payable to Haiti Relief:
Make checks PAYABLE to CA-NV Annual Conference and note "Haiti Relief, Advance # 418325" on the MEMO LINE.
You may drop your check in the offering plate at church or mail to CA-NV Treasurer, P.O. Box 980250, West Sacramento, CA 95798.
(Checks made payable to Haiti Relief should be mailed directly to Advance GCFA, P.O. Box 9068, GPO New York, NY 10087-9068.)
The entire amount of each gift will be used to help the people of Haiti.