When disaster strikes, the United Methodist connection comes alive. The South Georgia Conference has seen this over and over again in the past month as people have responded to our needs here in South Georgia following the devastation caused by Hurricane Michael. Our connection is at work thanks to your overwhelming generosity.
Even as we continue down our own path of recovery in the southwest pocket of our conference, we also want to extend a helping hand to our brothers and sisters in the Alabama-West Florida Conference who will feel Michael’s impact for years to come. Bishop Lawson Bryan is encouraging South Georgia Conference churches to collect a special Christmas offering for our neighbors in South Georgia, Alabama, and Florida.
“I want to thank all those who already have contributed to the South Georgia Conference Storm Recovery Fund,” said Bishop Bryan. “Hurricane Michael did significant damage to a large sector of our conference. Thanks to your generosity we have been able to make an immediate initial response to those churches and communities. This special Christmas Offering for Storm Relief will give us the funds needed to sustain the long-term recovery effort. Also, through this Christmas Offering our conference will be able to continue doing what you have done so well in the past: reach out to help our brothers and sisters in need in the neighboring conferences of Alabama-West Florida and Florida. Those in Mexico Beach and the greater Panama City area are looking at a recovery period that will extend at least 10 years. While taking care of our own churches and communities we will also be able to give tangible support to our neighbors. Thank you for joining in this special Christmas Offering for Storm Relief.”
Hurricane Michael was one of the most powerful storms ever recorded in the United States and struck last month with 155 mph winds. It raged ashore leaving miles and miles of devastation along the Gulf Coast.
The Alabama-West Florida Conference has established formal partnerships with 28 pastors and churches that were damaged by Hurricane Michael. Financial offerings are already being distributed to support staff salaries at those churches that currently are not operational on a day-to-day basis. Our Christmas Special Offering will allow us to come alongside these neighboring churches with additional financial support as they pick up the pieces and begin to rebuild. And in southwest Georgia, impacted congregations and communities are being and will continue to be supported by the generous donations of supplies, food, and home repair case management from within and beyond our conference.
A Christmas Offering Storm Relief Fund #6849 has been established specifically for our support of the recovery efforts. This will be a Lane 6 offering.
There are two ways to give: