Dear Friends, I am writing to call for a special offering to be taken in all of the local churches of the Central Texas Conference for flood relief efforts in our conference.
As you may be aware, significant flooding has occurred in Hood (Granbury) and Eastland County (Breckenridge and Cisco). As of the last report I’ve seen, more than 300 homes have been damaged – some completely - and that number is still rising. We have ERT teams already on the scene and actively working in Breckenridge and Granbury, and, as I write this letter, we are still in the accessing the situation phase in the Cisco area.
Rev. Laraine Waughtal, CTC Coordinator of Disaster Response/UMVIM, tells me that the majority of the damage has come from an unprecedented amount of torrential rainfall that affected a wide swath of Eastland and Hood counties, including areas that have never before flooded according to available records.
Given the urgency of the situation, I am requesting that this offering be received within the next month. While the immediate needs are primarily in and around the communities of Granbury, Breckenridge and Cisco, the Center for Mission support, through the office of Disaster Response, may use the money received for flood relief in other parts of the conference should the need arise in the next six months*.
The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) has also pledged a $100k grant for immediate aid in flood relief. The UMCOR grant and the donations received via this special offering will be administered by Rev. Waughtal and the CTC Center for Mission Support in partnership with local officials and the United Methodist Churches in the affected areas. As has been our long-standing practice, relief will be made available to all persons and families affected, not just United Methodists.
Please send the money** received in the offering to the Central Texas Conference Service Center, Attn: Laraine Waughtal, 3200 E. Rosedale Street, Fort Worth, Texas 76105. Checks should be made out to Central Texas Conference and please note CTC Flood Relief on the check.
As I compose this letter, the words of Jesus from the Gospel of Matthew come to mind, “I assure you that when you have done it for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you have done it for me.” (Matthew 25: 40 CEB). Thank you for your consideration of this special offering and I ask that you do as you so often have done and give generously.
Yours in Christ,
Bishop Mike Lowry
* All the money received will go directly to aid those affected by the flooding. No administration costs are deducted thanks to the One Great Hour of Sharing Special Offering traditionally received each March. The One Great Hour of Sharing offering goes to fund all of UMCORs administrative costs for the year, leaving 100 percent of monies donated to a particular relief effort free to help those in need.
**At this time, financial support is all that is being requested and received in support of the flood relief efforts. Please watch the conference website, Quick Notes and District-wide communications should a need for other items occur.
If you have questions or comments, please contact Laraine at firstname.lastname@example.org.