Wednesday, October 10, 2018
Dear Members and Friends of the West Virginia Conference,
Today as Florida, Alabama, and the Carolinas await the arrival of yet another U.S. Hurricane, I invite you to be in prayer. There are a number of people who have been, are, and will be impacted once again by the wind, water, energy of this storm. Please be in prayer for those who have been evacuated, those who refused to evacuate, our law enforcement and emergency response teams. Be in prayer for those who have opened their doors to be shelters – places of physical, emotional, and spiritual help and hope. Be in prayer for the volunteers who will give of their time, talent, and treasure to meet the needs of others.
Here in West Virginia, we know about storms and flooding. In our time of need it was the Conferences in the Carolinas and Florida who sent West Virginia some of the very first funding and work teams for our Disaster Response and Recovery. It is now our time to respond to these Conferences time of need.
To that end, I invite every Congregation in the West Virginia Conference to take an offering for Hurricane recovery efforts in the Carolinas and the Alabama – West Florida Conferences before Thanksgiving. While today, the news is full of reports on the newest Hurricane’s fury, we all know that in a couple of days, the Hurricane and its aftermath will disappear from the news, but there will be 100s of families who need help and communities that will be in the process of recovering for years. Please take an offering now – but also remember the need in these recovery areas over the next year. Plan work teams and other times of offering. Here in West Virginia, we could not have done the overwhelming amount of recovery work that has been accomplished without the financial gifts and work teams that came to us from places and communities outside West Virginia.
God is speaking and will continue to speak in the midst of this storm that will spin off to create other storms in the lives of individuals and communities. I invite you in the midst of these storms to connect with God. Ask for yourself and others where is it that you hear and see God at work in the midst of these storms! Ask for Christ’s direction in how you can join God’s life and hope giving work. Seek the courage to reach out beyond yourselves to risk acts and actions that bring the cup of cold water, food, shelter, clothing, help, and Christ’s presence in the midst of panic, worry, fear, and grief.
I hope you will join me in prayer and in action in order that Christ’s love, presence, hope and life might be better and more greatly known in the midst of the unknown that is part of disaster response and recovery efforts.
Grace and Peace,
Sandra L. Steiner Ball
Resident Bishop, West Virginia Conference
PLEASE NOTE: If you wish to donate to help those affected by Hurricane Florence, Hurricane Michael, or the recent earthquake in Indonesia, you may do so through your local church. The church should then send the money along with their church remittance form, earmarked for “Hurricane Florence #115,” “Hurricane Michael #116,” or “Disaster Response/International #93” (Indonesia). Make checks payable to Conference Treasurer and mail to PO Box 2469, Charleston, WV 25329. Gifts made outside the local church may be sent directly to the Conference Office making sure to note the above-referenced fund numbers on your check.