On Saturday, June 16 our first house blessing took place. This is the first home completely rebuilt by volunteers working with the South Central Conference Disaster Ministry in New Orleans. The homeowner, Jenise Green is a member of Beecher Memorial UCC. This is first of God only knows how many homes will be completed by this ministry. As normally happens, the week prior to the house blessing there was a punch list of things that needed to be completed. God gave us a wonderful group of people from northwestern Minnesota and eastern North Dakota that week. One man in the group had the skills needed to complete the punch list so all was in order for the house blessing. He worked with three other people in the group instructing them so they were able to assist in the process. Time and time again, this ministry witnesses the power of God giving us the people we need at the right time to do what is needed. Jenise moved back into her home at the end of June with her mother, grandmother and brother.
Pictured below: Rev. Bernice Powell Jackson, interim pastor of Beecher Memorial UCC is on the left and homeowner, Jenise Green is near center in the picture.
Ways to Help
Pray – Please pray for this ministry, the people we serve, the volunteers who arrive each week to work and the city of New Orleans.
Work groups – As rebuilding work increases, skilled groups are needed any time of the year. One person in eight should be able to lead a crew and be skilled in home rehabilitation and rebuilding. Please see the new UCC website.’
Gift Cards - to Home Depot or Lowe’s to be used for supplies and equipment as needed. We also allow crew leaders of volunteer groups to use these for small purchases as they work.
Donate Funds – Donations of funds may be made payable to: “South Central Conference Disaster Ministry Fund” and sent to the address below.
O gracious loving Lord, strengthen me as a partner in ministry seeking to be in your service. Fix my feet so that I may serve faithfully right where I am today. Help me to be…
Humble enough to recognize my need for others as well as the needs of others;
Confident enough to share my abilities from you as gifts multiplied when I share ministry for and with others;
Honest enough to know that I am not perfect but that you are perfect and love me as I am.
With each ministry partnership may I love, trust, learn, accept value, and grow with others. Make known, whatever holds me back from sharing ministry with another, whatever makes me want to do this work all by myself, whatever choices take me away from community by me need to control, whatever prevents me from honoring your will in this time and place. Allow me to cooperate with others so that you are glorified in all we do and so that your will for this world may be made known in the way we relate as your church in this community. Give me courage to be your faithful disciple who desires nothing more than to make a difference in your name. Amen.*
*“Partnersteps: Developing Cooperative Ministries Today” Kail Edward A. & Wallace, Julia Kuhn Discipleship Resources
Enjoying a well deserved break from insulating Central Congregational’s parsonage.
To register with this office to come to New Orleans and work with the South Central Conference Disaster Ministry in the recovery/rebuilding effort please log on to ucc.org. To access the online application for a work group or as an individual, from the UCC home page select the drop down ‘Change the World’ then click on ‘volunteer ministries,’ then click on ‘hurricane volunteers.’ The link to the online application will be on the left of that page. Families, couples or individuals are encouraged to register.
Gifts and talents being utilized in a UCC church member home rebuild.
Hillary Moore, member of Beecher Memorial UCC in New Orleans retired last year after thirty years of service as a bus driver in the city of New Orleans. Shortly before he retired he said to Rev. Coe, “Alan I see what you and the United Church of Christ are doing for the city and our church members and I want to give you the first two weeks of my retirement.”
Hillary did, and worked with us for two weeks helping to coordinate and work with volunteer groups in early summer of 2006. Later in the summer when we were short staffed, Hillary was asked if he would be able to help again, just for one week. Without hesitation he said, “Yes.”
As our schedule this spring took shape we realized we would be a little short staffed in May. Hillary was asked again to work with this office. His response was the same, without hesitation, “Yes.”
Hillary’s knowledge of local building construction and his spirit work well with the volunteer groups. It is this type of humble servant attitude we should all express as Christians when we are asked to serve.