Friday, May 24, 2013

Tornadoes - a response from Bishop Park

Find rest, O my soul, in God alone;
My hope comes from him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress,
I will not be shaken.
My salvation and my honor depend on God;
He is my mighty rock, my refuge.
Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.
Psalm 62:5-8 NIV
Dear Brothers and Sisters of the Susquehanna Annual Conference:
I greet you in the name of the Risen Christ, Prince of Peace, Healer of our Brokenness and Hope of the World!

Once again we have been reminded how quickly life can be altered. In a matter of minutes the residents of the community of Moore, Oklahoma, and surrounding areas felt the devastating power of the tornadoes that hit this area. Homes were destroyed and a number of persons, including school age children, lost their lives. Our hearts break to see such an extensive and total devastation in the wake of one of the most destructive natural disasters.
Many of the first responders, civic leaders, and even the survivors spoke of how the people of this area are people of deep faith. They have experienced this destruction in the past; and they have pledged to rebuild their lives and their communities once again. They will depend upon God and each other as they move forward. We would like them to know that our God cares for them and we care for them.
On behalf of our oneness in Jesus Christ and with all humanity, I call upon the clergy and laity of the Susquehanna Annual Conference to especially include prayers for the residents of Oklahoma and other places where because of extreme weather these destructions have occurred. Please take time in your daily devotional life and in your church services to pray for them. One way that we can also respond as people of faith is to offer monetary gifts. Gifts can be made out to your local church; but please include on the memo line - Disaster Response, United States (#901670). Local congregations can then send a check made payable to the Susquehanna Annual Conference which will then direct the contributions to UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief).

For your generosity in the past and for your concern for this most recent tragedy, I offer my humble thanks.

In Grace and Peace,

Bishop Jeremiah J. Park

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