by Rev. Kyland Dobbins* and Rev. Laraine Waughtal**
As people of God with compassionate hearts, the concern and prayers of our conference are quite naturally fixed on our brothers and sisters who have recently had their lives disrupted – and for some, devastated – by Hurricane Isaac. And those prayers will remain with those affected by the storm during these days of recovery ahead and on into the future of their “new normal.” Nothing is too hard for God!
Of course, the people of the Central Texas Conference (CTC) are also a people of action. The eagerness of our trained Early Response Teams, Long Term Recovery Teams and others is understood and most appreciated. However, before our teams can officially mobilize, an affected Annual Conference must invite others to help. At this point, the Mississippi, Louisiana and Florida Annual Conferences have barely begun to assess the damage from Hurricane Isaac and no official request for help has been issued. The Central Texas Conference Service Center will communicate how we will be responding to the needs of the hurricane victims via the conference website and other conference and district communications channels once the affected conferences request help.
Of course that doesn’t mean you have to sit idly by and just wait. There are a couple of ways for you to help right now – UMCOR cleaning buckets and financial support.
UMCOR Cleaning Buckets
Churches across the United States are preparing UMCOR cleaning buckets (you might know them better as flood buckets) for those immediately affected by Hurricane Isaac. If you and your church feel led to serve and help immediately, this is a great way to do just that. And since the more hands you have, the more buckets you can make, you might consider getting your entire community involved! Click here to view how to prepare the buckets.
These cleaning buckets will be loaded onto a disaster response trailer and taken to the UMCOR Sager-Brown Depot in Baldwin, La. The two collection locations within the Annual Conference are:
Ovilla UMC – 612 Taylor Street, Ovilla, Texas, 75154
Main Contact: Mo Johnson
St. Phillips UMC – 16321 Great Oaks Drive, Round Rock, Texas 78681
Main Contact: Pastor Mary Powell
You can also send buckets by mail using the UMCOR mailing labels found on the UMCOR website (scroll to the bottom of the page).
If you, your small group or church would like to financially support the recovery efforts and/or by helping UMCOR provide emergency grants to those affected, you can
- Mail your donation to the Central Texas Conference Service Center (464 Bailey Ave., Fort Worth Texas, 76107) – please reference U.S. Disaster Response, UMCOR Advance #901670;
- Call (800) 554-8583 to donate by telephone;
- Text RESPONSE to 80888 to give a $10 donation via your phone; and/or
- Click here to donate online.
Thank you for your commitment to Christ by serving with the Disaster Response Ministry of the Central Texas Conference. God bless you, your church and the people we have been called to serve in this time of disaster. For those who go to respond, go in God’s love, peace and strength. For those who prepare cleaning buckets, prepare with God’s love, peace and strength. For those who pray, pray that the victims experience God’s love, peace and strength!
*Kyland serves as the Central Texas Conference Mission Experience Coordinator.
**Laraine is the Central Texas Conference Disaster Response Coordinator and Pastor at Morgan Mill & Bluff Dale UMC.