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Hurricane Harvey - OKUMC 8-29-17 Letter

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Dear Oklahoma United Methodist Friends,

I know we all are watching and listening with heavy hearts to the record setting and unprecedented disaster event which is happening to our neighbors in Texas. I know you are wondering:  What can I do?  What can my church do? What is our Annual Conference doing? 

Please let me address those questions. First, as your Disaster Response Coordinator for the Oklahoma Annual Conference I want to assure you that there is a “Process” in place which started long before Harvey formed in the Gulf.  That Process exists to assure that individuals and families receive as much assistance as possible when a natural disaster event occurs. Let me assure you that Process is now engaged with addressing those individuals and families impacted by Hurricane Harvey.

There are currently hundreds and hundreds of trained and equipped Federal, State, County, and Local government personnel on the ground in Texas doing their best to aid those in need during this Relief Phase of this devastating event. There are also hundreds of non-government agencies, corporations, and Churches joining in the Process at the request of and direction of those whose main goal right now is to save the lives of all those in need from the devastating effects of Hurricane Harvey.

Your Oklahoma Disaster Response Ministry serves year round connecting to and being a part of this “Bigger Disaster Process.” We are early in this record event, but be assured I have been in contact with many of those in that Process and also with our United Methodist contacts at UMCOR, the South Central Jurisdiction, and the Texas, the Rio Texas, the Central Texas and the Louisiana Annual Conferences.

As our Oklahoma Annual Conference joins other United Methodist Church conferences around the country to offer our prayers, our support, and await the invitation to assist with Early Response Teams and Long Term Disaster Recovery Teams, UMCOR suggests there are 5 things you can do:

“5 Things You Can Do”:

  1. Please continue to pray for those whose lives have been impacted by hurricane/tropical storm Harvey. Please also pray for the Early Response Teams, disaster coordinators, and many volunteers in The Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist ChurchLouisiana Conference of The United Methodist ChurchRío Texas Conference of The United Methodist Church and Central Texas Conference who are working tirelessly to provide relief after Harvey.
     
  2. Make relief kits http://www.umcor.org/…/Relief-S…/Relief-Supply-Kits/Cleaning     (Cleaning Buckets) 
    1. ​Kits will be collected at the Oklahoma United Methodist Conference Office, 1501 NW 24 Street, OKC.
    2. No deadline for collecting kits has been set.  We will receive your kits anytime.
       
  3. Give to UMCOR's relief and recovery efforts:  https://secure3.convio.net/…/SPageNaviga…/umcor_donate.html…
     
  4. Donate only those items requested.
     
  5. Please wait for an invitation to volunteer.

UMCOR - United Methodist Committee On Relief is grateful for your relentless prayers and support. 

To keep relief supplies in stock, give to Material Resources Advance #901440 (https://secure3.convio.net/gbgm/site/SPageNavigator/umcor_donate.html?type=1002&project=901440

One last note, while we are awaiting on the response and recovery needs from the aftermath of Harvey, I would ask that you PRAYERFULLY consider serving one of your 233+ Oklahoma Neighbors in Need who are still trying to Recover from Oklahoma’s 2015 Flooding Disaster where in areas of our state we received over 50 inches of rain.  Here is a link to a Channel 9 News Story done this past Sunday to shed light on these families who are facing their 3rdwinter without a safe, sanitary, and secure home:  http://www.news9.com/story/36227775/oklahoma-disaster-response-group-needs-volunteers

Blessings & "Good Fruit!",

Rev. Richard W. Norman

Associate Director / Disaster Response Coordinator

Oklahoma United Methodist Church

Volunteers In Mission

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