Visit this page regularly for the latest on UCC Disaster Ministries' response following Hurricane Harvey.
This page indexes our latest information, resources and ways to help survivors of hurricanes with international impact, including Irma and Maria.
Even before the winds die down and the flood waters recede, UCC Disaster Ministries is already reaching out to hurricane survivors and laying groundwork for long-term recovery. Staff are making a second pastoral and long-term recovery planning visit to Texas right now, and will continue on to Florida. A recovery work site is open in Florida. And several grants have been dispatched to the Caribbean, Florida and Texas.
In Mexico, more than 200 people are already confirmed dead as the result of a powerful 7.1 earthquake that hit on Sept. 19, the 32nd anniversary of the largest quake to ever hit Mexico City. It's Mexico's second deadly earthquake in 11 days; the first killed dozens. At the same time, Hurricane Maria is raking the Caribbean.
UCC Disaster Ministries has just contributed $10,000 toward a proactive program to prevent cholera and malnutrition in Haiti in the wake of Hurricane Irma, and to treat any instances that occur. The implementing partner is IMA World Health, which has had a significant presence in Haiti since 1998, including relationships with government and communities.
A Category 4 hurricane in Texas, followed by flooding that brought raging water halfway up their front doors, didn't wash out a small congregation 25 miles northwest of Houston for long. Christ United UCC in Cypress returned to their fellowship hall for worship on Sunday. "If you look past the water, you see God's hands at work doing marvelous things in people's hearts – wonderful," Christ United Pastor the Rev. Jeffrey Willey told his congregation on Sept. 10.
Melinda Webster followed the news of Hurricane Irma closely as the storm approached the Southern Florida shores. Faced with the decision to evacuate, Webster and her 97-year-old mother left Tallahassee and drove north to Ohio to avoid Irma's path of destruction. Webster and her mother are staying with family in the small town of Tiffin, Ohio, for the week. And at least for one Sunday, they were welcomed guests at Trinity UCC.
United Church of Disaster Ministries teams are reaching out to pastors and congregations across the entire peninsula of South Florida, as all involved try to assess the damage left behind by Hurricane Irma. "Our denomination helps those nobody else is going to help. That process takes time to identify," said the Rev. Alan Coe, UCC Florida Conference disaster coordinator.
Here are resources for prayer and giving as we gather in our faith communities this weekend and seek to respond to the call to love our neighbor in the midst of multiple disasters: Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, with Tropical Storms Jose and Katia right behind and gathering strength; wildfires in the U.S. Northwest; floods in Northeast India, Nepal and Bangladesh, and mudslides in Sierra Leone, and even this long list is not inclusive.
“Bent and Whole” - The UCC commissions a communion set to be used for each General Synod and beyond. This past summer’s synod chalice had a bent stem looking as though it was a kiln mistake. The bent chalice stem, though, was quite intentional.... There is an underlying reality of brokenness, of body and blood poured out. ~ Reflections 9/8/17, Rev. Dr. James Moos, UCC National Officer