June 17, 2008
UCC Disaster Response Coordinators and Conference are gathering information about our churches and families.
These last months, weeks and days have brought and continue to bring news of destructive tornadoes, floods and storms across the mid section of the United States. As flood waters recede in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, they rise in Des Moines; and the rivers continue to rise in Illinois and Missouri. Indiana, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan have also had record flooding this Spring.
The United Church of Christ, National Disaster Ministries is seeking $200,000 for the current response and long term recovery efforts. Donations should be sent to the One Great Hour of Sharing special fund, Emergency USA marked for "2008 Spring Tornadoes and Floods."
Steve Gray, Indiana/Kentucky Conference Minister, reports that elder church members believe this years' wide-spread flooding is worse than the historic floods of 1913. Gayle Strickler, UCC Iowa Conference Disaster Coordinator, reports that many farm families have lost their homes and livelihoods as crops have been decimated by the wind and flood waters. One Great Hour of Sharing solidarity grants are now being shared with Conferences and local UCC congregations to support immediate relief efforts.
Information that has been received in our offices informs us that many UCC families have minor to major damage to their homes; and that some have lost their homes to tornadoes and flood waters. Indiana reports that Salem UCC, Westphalia has water damage; Iowa water damage reported at: Eden UCC, Cedar Rapids; Immanuel UCC, Clarksville; Immanuel UCC, Alden; Immanuel Reformed UCC, Klemme; and Peace UCC, Waverly; Wisconsin reports water damage at: Trinity UCC, LaCrosse; Church of Peace and Pilgrim, Fond du Lac; First Congregational and Emmanuel, Oshkosh.
Local volunteer opportunities for assisting with clean up and rebuild are now available. Check out the UCC web at:
HOW YOU CAN HELP
1. Pray for people who live in communities affected by tornadoes and floods.
2. To help those affected by disasters you may, send gifts payable to your congregation marked for "Emergency USA" with the request they be sent through your Conference office on to Wider Church Ministries.
3. Send gifts, made out to Wider Church Ministries and marked in the memo portion "Emergency USA" to the Office for Global Sharing of Resources; Wider Church Ministries; 700 Prospect Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44115.
4. Make a secure on-line donation here: Donate Now