Thursday, November 13, 2014


This is a handout that will be timely for some little while now, I think. 


The work of the UMC and UMCOR continues in South Texas. The Church has responded with centers for hospitality and church members and volunteers have helped new arrivals with us tickets, showers, clothing, food and other provisions for travel across the U.S. UMCOR has issued a $100,000 grant—money made available by your contributions—to the Southwest Texas Annual Conference to support that conference’s immigration ministries through June 2015. This funding will include the hiring of a director of UM immigration ministries, who will coordinate the church’s response to the crisis and will advocate for fair and humane treatment of immigrants. To continue your support to these people seeking safety in our country, make your check to U.S. Disaster Response, Advance #901670, and give it to your church to be forwarded.

EBOLA CRISIS. We do remain in a crisis situation with this virus, especially in West Africa. It has a disproportionate impact on women, both as sufferers and caregivers. Much of this crisis could have been prevented if medical personnel, resources and clinics had been in place to respond quickly, but the unjust sharing of resources has led to wanton impoverishment. And many Sub-Saharan African nations must service debts to global financial institutions to the direct detriment of their own citizens.

What can United Methodists do? We can pray!  We must lift up prayers seeking God’s grace for all those affected by the Ebola crisis. Pray for those suffering, their caregivers and loved ones. Pray for health-care workers. Pray for the work of humanitarian, development and health-related organizations. Pray for the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention; pray for the leaders of Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone.

The world’s nations must also practice life-saving generosity. Every resource must be made available to care for the ill and prevent the virus’s spread. United Methodists must advocate for significant funding for the fight against Ebola.

UM churches worldwide are called to care for the ill, the dying and those who grieve. We must support health-care workers and promote education about the facts and how to prevent the spread of Ebola.

We must mobilize for advocacy. Both abundant grace and sufficient resources are necessary to mobilize the political will and the resolve to address crises such as Ebola. Ebola knows no boundaries, and neither should our response be constrained by borders. The UMC must continue to join with other people of goodwill and faith to provide resources and be a voice of solidarity and accompaniment. Our prophetic call is to ensure that our eyes look beyond the present to achieve a better future.

Christ reminds us that we are accountable: “Even as ye have done it to the least of these who are members of my family, you have done it to me.” (Matt. 25:40)