Oct 12, 2015

Bishop Peggy Johnson asks Eastern PA Conference churches to please offer generous prayers and donations to support our sisters and brothers in South Carolina who are trying to rebound from the recent catastrophic floods that have caused death and destruction there. You can donate to help them through UMCOR at:US Disaster Reponses

United States Disaster Response Advance #901670

As South Carolina slowly begins to recover from catastrophic rain flooding, much of it associated with Hurricane Joaquin, emergency response teams are assessing extensive damages and beginning the work of recovery. The magnitude of damages will no doubt require volunteer teams from other states as well.

The most devastating deluge there in a millennium submerged and swept away victims, reportedly leaving 19 dead, and overwhelmed roads, highways, bridges and dams. Yet, 40,000 people were without clean drinking last week. Columbia, the state’s capital city, Sunday told about 10 percent of its 375,000 water system customers they could stop boiling tap water to drink, according to ABC News.

South Carolina Flood, Canaan UMC

“As people of faith, we hold onto the promise that God is faithful in the midst of the storm and the flood,” South Carolina Bishop Jonathan Holston said last week. “God’s love will triumph in the midst of loss and destruction.”

Bishop Jonathon HolstonHolston urged prayer and generosity of compassion, financial resources and volunteerism, as residents begin slowly to regroup and heal. “When disaster strikes, The United Methodist Church is dedicated to helping people recover and get their lives back,” he wrote to his members. “From early response teams to long-term recovery, the people of … (our) Church are on the ground providing prayer, relief and resources. You are not alone. We are with you for the long haul.”

In addition to prayer, Holston urged people to refrain from donating unsolicited clothing, food and other items for now, but instead, to respond to identified needs. He also urged people to consider being trained to volunteer for recovery efforts through United Methodist Volunteers in Mission.

“Much effort will be required in the coming days and weeks to bring new life into devastated areas,” Holston said. ”Consider offering your time and talents to that effort.”

Read a story of recovery efforts posted Saturday, Oct. 10.

John W. Coleman
Eastern PA Conference Communications Director