Statement from Bishop Gwinn

Friends,

Sat­ur­day, April 16, 2011, will be a day that will linger long in our mem­o­ries. Such a large num­ber of severe storms and tor­na­does moved through our con­fer­ence wreak­ing hav­oc in such a short peri­od of time! Our hearts are cer­tain­ly sad­dened by the loss of so many lives. I am con­fi­dent that our Unit­ed Methodist broth­ers and sis­ters in those com­mu­ni­ties are already reach­ing out to those griev­ing fam­i­ly and friends.

You can be assured that our Dis­as­ter Team is already at work! At this time, we know that many, many homes have been lost. I have spo­ken with Tom Hazel­wood of UMCOR and they have released an emer­gency grant to assist us as we move into action with our ini­tial response.

You may report any infor­ma­tion you have regard­ing needs to tornadorelief@nccumc.org and you may check updates on our web­site. The MERCI Cen­ter will coor­di­nate all requests for assis­tance as well as requests from vol­un­teer teams to come and assist.

Our Dis­as­ter Relief Coor­di­na­tor, Bud Budzin­s­ki, will meet tomor­row with all dis­trict coor­di­na­tors. In the mean­time, Steve Tay­lor, Con­fer­ence Out­reach Min­istry Team coor­di­na­tor, is work­ing with Bud and oth­er lead­ers to set into action sev­er­al plans that are already underway. 

Every sin­gle dis­trict, save the Burling­ton Dis­trict, has pock­ets of great dam­age. We are thank­ful that we have no reports of any dam­age to our church build­ings. With­in our cler­gy fam­i­lies, we are only aware of two res­i­dences that have been dam­aged. Rev­erend and Mrs. Den­nis Lamb’s (Hoke Charge, FA) home sus­tained great dam­age. Rev­erend Pam Watkins’ (Oak Grove, DU) par­son­age sus­tained minor damage.

I know you have already been pray­ing much as well as reach­ing out to those near you. May our hearts now lead our hands and our feet to action!

Blessed Holy Week,
Bish­op Al Gwinn 

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