The bishop and Cabinet responded quickly to the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, sending a letter on Friday (March 11) expressing shock and sorrow – and ultimately, hope – to the Conference's email mailing list.
"As pictures unfold of losses almost impossible to imagine, we can confidently proclaim that we United Methodists are and will continue to be part of the recovery after the devastation of these natural disasters," the letter read. "We have created a structure of support and outreach through UMCOR, and through our missionaries and local churches – a structure that has already released ministry action. Today or tomorrow somebody's mother will find a listening ear, somebody's child will be fed, somebody's brother will pray with a stranger through the work of our United Methodist Church."
The Cabinet letter uplifts the United Methodist connection and reminds that through God's grace, "together we are a blessing in powerful ways." It calls on United Methodists to pray for the suffering, and gives the United Methodist Commission on Relief (UMCOR) Advance number for those who would like to donate: It is Pacific Emergency Advance #3021317.
Some traffic problems reported on UMCOR website
We have received reports that some people have had difficulty connecting to the UMCOR website to make a donation. This undoubtedly is due to the high traffic the website is experiencing – which is a positive sign. Connectivity seems better today, but if you do have problems connecting, please be patient and continue trying. The Cabinet expressed it well: "May the love in our hearts reach around the world in wave upon wave of care and ministry in Christ's name."
Read entire letter here. It also is located under "Bishop's Articles" on the California-Nevada Annual Conference website at cnumc.org.
RESOURCE: Sandy Hansen, communicator at First United Methodist Church of Dinuba, designed a bulletin insert which any California-Nevada church may download and use to highlight the Japan emergency. It includes an excerpt from the Cabinet's letter and information about the Advance.
(Please note that Conference Treasurer Diane Knudsen recommends checks be made out to the Conference instead of to a local church, with the Advance number noted on the memo line.)