FROM THE BISHOP
R. LAWSON BRYAN
Thanks to you I was able to make a special presentation during the Council of Bishops meeting two weeks ago at Lake Junaluska. I gave Bishop Hector Ortiz, our Methodist bishop in Puerto Rico, a check for $30,000 for disaster relief in Puerto Rico. The check was made out to the Methodist Church of Puerto Rico. My heart is full of gratitude to the churches of South Georgia for this—for giving not just the gift of money, but also the gift of hope.
The devastation caused by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico is so severe that our brothers and sisters in Christ will be in recovery mode for years to come. These funds, which you have provided, will create a personal bond between South Georgia and Puerto Rican Methodists. No matter how long and difficult the road ahead, Bishop Ortiz and the churches of Puerto Rico will know they are not alone. Thank you, South Georgia, for demonstrating that we mean it when we say, “Alive Together in Christ.”
But wait; there is more. Lots more. You have been responding for months to disasters in Houston, Texas; the entire state of Florida; and in many areas of our own conference. Through Oct. 31, we have collected $212,974.85 from South Georgia churches for Hurricane Harvey relief. This has allowed us to send $30,000 each to the Texas Conference and the Rio Texas Conference; $32,000 to Chapelwood United Methodist Church in Houston, where South Georgia elder Dr. John Stephens serves as senior pastor (to support their ongoing response to their region); and now $30,000 to Puerto Rico. This leaves more than $90,000 we will send to UMCOR.
This doesn't even include $302,098.01 given so far this year for the South Georgia Storm Recovery Advance Offering and another $11,293.62 that has been contributed by individuals who have given online.
As Derek McAleer said when he gave us this report, “Pretty amazing, friends—pretty amazing!”
Alive Together in Christ is more than a slogan. It is a truthful statement about the South Georgia Conference. You are constantly teaching us just how alive we really are.
Bishop Bryan presented Bishop Hector Ortiz, bishop of the Methodist Church of Puerto Rico, with a check for $30,000 during the Council of Bishops meeting at Lake Junaluska. Click here to watch a video.