United Methodists Respond

Montcoal Mine Disaster Fund
The West Virginia Council of Churches has established the Montcoal Mine Disaster Fund.  All contributions will go to the families of miners impacted by the April 5 explosion at the Upper Big Branch mine in Raleigh County.  Click here to make a contribution online.

If your church would like to take up a special offering for the fund, please follow these guidelines from the Conference Treasurer's Office.

Bishop calls for prayer for miners, families

8:30 a.m. April 10, 2010
29 miners are confirmed dead after Monday's explosion near Montcoal, W.Va.  Four miners who had been unaccounted for were found by resuce workers late last night.  The Montcoal Disaster Relief Fund has been established by The West Virginia Council of Churches to assist the families of the miners killed this week.  Visit wvcc.org for information and to make a donation.

6:30a.m. update, April 8, 2010
Rescue workers have entered the mine in Montcoal, W.Va., site of Monday's explosion that left 25 miners dead.   They hope to reach the location where 4 miners are believed to be.  "We have a sliver of hope," said governor Joe Manchin, referring to the miners, who may have been able to reach airtight chambers with supplies of food and water after the explosion.  Governor Manchin acknowledged Wednesday the size of the explosion means that the odds "are not in their favor."

United Methodist News Service wrote this story yesterday on the ministry of presence several United Methodist pastors are providing.

12 noon update, April 6, 2010
7 United Methodist pastors have been to Montcoal, W.Va., site of yesterday’s mine explosion that’s left 25 miners dead. Rescue efforts to determine the fate of 4 miners still unaccounted for were halted early this morning due to dangerous levels of methane gas in the mine. Reports say it could take up to 2 days to get to the area where the miners are believed to be. The explosion occurred during a shift change, abou
t 3p.m. yesterday, officials reported. The mine is operated by Massey Energy subsidiary Performance Coal Co.  The Upper Big Branch Mine-South is near Whitesville, W.Va. in Raleigh County.

6:30 a.m. April 6, 2010
25 miners are now confirmed dead after yesterday's explosion aImage courtesy of Reuterst a coal mine operation in Montcoal, W.Va. near Whitesville in Raleigh County.  Two miners survived the blast as the rode a vehicle out of the site during a shift change.  4 miners remain unaccounted for, but rescue efforts have been suspended due to high levels of toxic gas in the mine. Please keep the miners and their families in prayer.

Original Story, 9:30 p.m. April 5, 2010
7 miners are confirmed dead and 19 remain missing after an explosion at Massey Energy’s Performance Coal Co. Upper Big Branch Mine-South near Whitesville, W.Va. in Raleigh County.  An injured miner is in intensive care at Charleston Area Medical Center says spokeswoman Elizabeth Pellegrin. 

Resident Bishop Ernest Lyght issued this statement of prayer: “God of all creation, we are distressed by the news of a mine explosion in the Southern coalfields of West Virginia. Please surround us with a sense of calm in the midst of our distress. We ask that your Holy presence might bring comfort to all the families touched by this incident, especially the families of those miners who lost their life in the explosion. We ask that your healing presence might tarry with those miners who have been injured, so that healing might abound. We pray for the safety of those miners who are yet unaccounted for in this mishap. Place your arms of protection around them and the members of the rescue teams that have been deployed to the scene. God of grace, we pray for the safety of all miners, around the world, who work to provide vital resources for humankind. We pray in the name of Jesus, our Risen Lord and Savior. Amen.”

The Latest

Extensive coverage is available from a variety of local and national news sources:

The Charleston Gazette
West Virginia Public Broadcasting


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