The UMC is at work in Japan

[Pretty much every week, I write a…something…for my church‘s weekly eNewsletter. Way back when, it was my take on a pastoral letter. Then some time along the way, I started thinking of it more like a newspaper’s opinion column. Now I suppose I think of it as a blog post. Whatever I write for eNews usually ends up here too. Though usually in a slightly different form, edited for the more general audience that I hope is (could be someday?) reading here. Over there it’s called The View from the Dance Floor.]

First a massive, record-setting earthquake that triggered devastating tsunamis. Now a damaged nuclear plant forces us to consider the terrifying damage of radiation as well as forcing us to face the very real limits of nuclear power as “safe energy.”

Needless to say, the people of Japan need our prayers and our support.

Here’s a letter from Northern IL Conference Bishop, Hee-Soo Jung:

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Northern Illinois:

In this humble time of Lenten self-reflection and spiritual journeying we are reminded that our world aches for hope and comfort.  The suffering of others, the tragedies and pain that abound in our midst, all call us to extend a hand to those who need to know Christ’s love for their lives.

My prayers and concern have been with the people of Japan and the Pacific area in these hours of devastation, uncertainty and fear following one of the most powerful earthquakes in history and the resulting tsunami.  As loved ones are accounted for we give thanks.  As the death toll mounts we mourn.  As the magnitude of the devastation slowly sinks in we extend our resources.

The United Methodist Church has nine missionaries, six full time volunteers and several mission associates in Japan.  Most have been accounted for.  Over the next few days our United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) will be working with partner agencies in organizing relief efforts for those in need.  Please hold those affected by this natural disaster in your prayers while extending aide through our agencies.

Your Brother in Christ,
Bishop Hee-Soo Jung

One big advantage to giving through UMCOR (the humanitarian aid arm of The UMC): 100% of gifts go to the relief effort. That’s right. 100%

This is made possible by The One Great Hour of Sharing, an offering taken each year to fund the administration of UMCOR. Apportionment dollars are not used to fund UMCOR, only One Great Hour of Sharing funds.

Here’s the latest on the UMC’s work in Japan from the Board of Global Ministries.

But this is just a glimpse into relief work in Japan. Let’s broaden the picture: What are you (or an organization you associate with) doing in Japan?

I give thanks for all the ways God is at work in and through and with people and agencies from all over the globe, including the United Methodist Church, bringing healing and hope to so many!

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