Haiti relief efforts continue in the Pacific Northwest Conference of The United Methodist Church. Our efforts have grown out of a local desire to respond, and they are in conversation with the Western Jurisdiction's call to response entitled "Operation Resurrection." While I was excited to see that the bishops and other leaders of the Western Jurisdiction devised a hoped-for response for us, I believed they set their sites too low. People are compassionate. And, I am glad to say that we in the PNW have already surpassed the overall financial goal for the jurisdiction. The jurisdiction's goal was $100,000 to be met by Easter. As of last week, the PNW had surpassed $100,000 right here in Washington State and Idaho! God is good.
Need continues to be great, however. And, Operation Resurrection concerns much more than raising money. It is a four point plan designed to engage our congregations, connect them with the people and place of Haiti, and utilize our connectional system to keep the United Methodist Committee on Relief agile enough to respond to other emerging and ongoing needs across the globe.
Goal #1-Plan to learn about Haiti’s history, culture, and ecnonomy.
Goal #2-Gifts totaling $100,000 for recovery and relief through UMCOR
How can I help?
- Remember the people of Haiti in worship and receive a special offering
- Encourage a discipline of Lenten giving
- Make a personal contribution
- Host a Haiti relief fundraiser with your neighbors
For more information or to give on-line go to www.umcor.org. Gifts through your local church should be marked for “UMCOR Advance #418325.”
Goal #3-25 Volunteers in Mission (VIM) trips to Haiti over the next 5 years
How can I help?
- Schedule and organize a team from your local church, district or conference
- Join a group that someone else is planning
- Sponsor a young person to join a VIM team
Contact Heather Wilson, Western Jurisdiction UMVIM Coordinator at www.umvimwj.blogspot.com/
Goal #4-Replace 23,000 Health Kits that have already been shipped from UMCOR West Depot
How can I help?
- Ask members of your Sunday School Class, Youth Group, or UMW to assemble health kits and drop off at Woodland Park UMC (302 N 78th St, Seattle, WA 98103) or send directly to UMCOR West (1479S 700 W, Salt Lake City, UT, 84104). You can also send $12 per kit to UMCOR West marked #901440 for Health Kits
- Schedule a VIM team to travel to Salt Lake City to help assemble kits
1005 of gifts through UMCOR go directly to relief. To track progress and for more resources go to www.westernjurisdictionumc.org.
We at Woodland Park UMC have set goals for ourselves. We plan to assemble 500 health kits between now and Easter. We are reaching out to other faith communities inviting them to also make health kits. Mennonites, several LDS wards, Quakers (Friends), Roman Catholics, and ELCA Lutherans have responded to this call. Each day I hear from another community interested in making health kits. We have received over 100 kits from other faith communities.
We are also reaching out to our local neighborhood and to organizations who utilize our facility inviting them to join us. And, it is our hope to organize a kids' work party for United Methodist congregations in the north end of Seattle. Little churches can make big differences; that is our belief.
And, even as make 500 kits and receive kits from others, we challenge the Pacific Northwest Conference to complete 5,000 health kits in an effort to replenish the 23,000 kits sent to Haiti and to equip UMCOR to send kits to all places in need.
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