Let’s see how well you know your UMC acronyms: UMC? UMCOR? GBGM? You don’t have to recognize these acronyms to understand the strength of being a connectional church. But just so I don’t leave you hanging: UMC (United Methodist Church); UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief); GBGM (General Board of Global Ministries).
As a connectional church (one in which all congregations work together throughout the world), the United Methodist Church is able to address needs that none of us could meet as local churches. I mention the above organizations because they embody the commandment to love our neighbors. The UMCOR is the first responder in times of need and works through the GBGM, our mission sending agency. Our own missionary, Elmira Sellu, is supported through the GBGM for her work in Sierra Leone, Africa. We’ll highlight Elmira’s work in a future segment.
One of the reasons that I’m proud to be a part of the United Methodist Church is because of the work of the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR). According to their website:
“...our goal is to assist the most vulnerable persons affected by crisis or chronic need without regard to their race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation. We believe all people have God-given worth and dignity…..UMCOR’s work reaches people in more than 80 countries, including the United States. We provide humanitarian relief when war, conflict, or natural disaster disrupt life to such an extent that communities are unable to recover on their own.
While UMCOR cooperates with other aid organizations to extend our reach, our most important partners are the people we serve. We are confident that successful solutions to emergency or chronic conditions begin with the affected population. UMCOR provides these survivors not only temporary relief but long-term education, training, and support.”
How does Calvary participate in the ministries of UMCOR? Each year, your Outreach Committee sends a donation for the One Great Hour of Sharing Offering (now UMCOR offering). These funds cover the cost of doing business. When a disaster strikes, people can make donations to UMCOR and 100% of those donations go to the disaster relief! From tornadoes in Washburn on Ash Wednesday to flooding in Colombia right now, UMCOR is involved in helping people in whatever ways possible.
Who is our neighbor? When it comes to disaster relief, our neighbor is anyone who needs shelter, food, medical supplies, flood buckets, or a plethora of other supplies in order to move forward after a crisis.
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Tomorrow on the Daily Connection: A Light to My Path
About the Author
Debbie Reese is the Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC