January 10, 2017
To the South Georgia Conference:
I had the opportunity to go to Albany yesterday to see firsthand the widespread damage caused by the storms that hit the Southwest District last week. Thanks to Nita Crump, Thad Haygood, Leigh Ann Raynor and Debbie Cone for taking me through the area. Hundreds of trees were blown down, often onto the rooftops of houses. Many streets were impassable last week, and many residents, churches, and businesses are still without power.
But I also saw The United Methodist Church at work: church buildings became temporary residences for those forced to leave their homes and thousands of sandwiches and other meals have been provided by church members to sustain victims and early responders. I saw the recovery efforts of the Avalon UMC, FUMC Albany, and Porterfield churches. Those churches were quick to name many other churches whose members are working together devotedly. Thanks for the leadership of our churches, our pastors, the Superintendent of the Southwest District, Dr. Nita Crump, the Office of Connectional Ministries and those who have responded from throughout the conference.
(From this week’s Advocate: United Methodists work to bring relief, hope to storm victims)
The recovery and rebuilding effort will continue for months. Let's do all we can to stand with those most affected. In the midst of sudden devastation our church members are showing us what it means to be Alive Together in Christ. Thanks be to God.
All churches throughout the South Georgia Conference are encouraged to join the recovery process.
Luis Morales, Conference Disaster Coordinator, is currently working with several teams from South Georgia and surrounding conferences in partnership with the Dougherty County Emergency Management Agency to coordinate chainsaw and work teams needed in the Albany area. Early response teams and interested individuals should contact Luis at (478) 216-7729 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Conference and district funds have been released to the impacted areas. Special offerings to continue helping with long-term recovery needs may be sent to the South Georgia Conference Storm Recovery efforts. Please use Conference Advance Special #6796. Mail checks to PO Box 13145, Macon, GA 31208.