During my 18 months as your bishop, I have been impressed by the spirit of connectionalism and generosity of United Methodists in North Alabama. For instance, when disaster strikes in various places around the world, North Alabama United Methodists consistently send response teams and give financial gifts through the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR). Thank you for your past, current and future generosity of service and finances.
Today I particularly encourage you to consider making a financial contribution to UMCOR through the March 30th One Great Hour of Sharing offering. Unlike other benevolent efforts, UMCOR does not receive any funds from the regular United Methodist Church budget. Our generous One Great Hour of Sharing gifts help cover administrative costs so that 100% of all other UMCOR donations are used for specific relief projects – like rebuilding after the earthquake in Haiti, Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines and Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy in the U.S. For more than 70 years, UMCOR has often been on the scene responding to these kinds of disasters long after others have left. This includes aiding refugees and confronting the crippling challenges of world hunger and poverty.
We in North Alabama benefited greatly from the United Methodist Church’s generosity through UMCOR following the storms of 2011. UMCOR staff were on the ground within days to help us assess local damage and to prepare us for ministry and recovery as an Annual Conference. Their work and financial assistance were invaluable. I pray that our continued support of UMCOR’s efforts will result in this sort of blessing to other areas that experience disaster. May we pass on to others what has been a blessing to us. This is the essence of our being a connectional church.
This Sunday, March 30, we have the opportunity to again join with many other United Methodists around the world in participating in the One Great Hour of Sharing offering. Thank you for considering this giving opportunity. What a wonderful way to be a part of sharing God’s love both here and around the globe.
As always, it is a privilege to serve as your bishop.
Bishop Debbie Wallace-Padgett