(UMNS) "Rebuilding churches and communities" reads the inscription on bracelets from the United Methodist Council of Bishops to encourage support of hurricane victims along the Gulf Coast.
Money from purchases of the maroon wristbands will be used for the bishops' Katrina Church Recovery Appeal.
The appeal focuses on the needs of clergy, church staff and mission personnel in the affected areas and on the United Methodist facilities - churches, retreat centers, urban ministries, retirement facilities and mission centers - that were severely damaged or destroyed. Many were underinsured, with insufficient coverage for damage due to rising water.
With members scattered and buildings destroyed, many churches in the affected areas still seek the assistance of caring United Methodists to restore their mission and ministries.
"The Katrina Recovery bracelet is a way of demonstrating your commitment to this shared work. It will be a sign of the covenant we embrace to restore the community in the coast," said Bishop Hope Morgan Ward of Mississippi.
"Your partnership is essential as we engage the long process of recovery and restoring our community," she said. "We continue to be grateful with your partnership. Every prayer is needed and every gift is welcome."
Wristbands are $2 each, with free shipping for orders of 50 or more. Orders can be made by calling toll free (888) 346-3862. Churches are encouraged to sell the bracelets as a local fundraiser.
"The bishops of the church have covenanted together to resurrect the Gulf Coast churches that were destroyed or severely damaged by Katrina," said Bishop William Oden, chairman of the appeal. "Anything that helps promote that process is important. That includes the bracelets."
General contributions to the Katrina Church Recovery Appeal may also be made online by credit card or through local church offerings labeled "Bishops' Appeal 818-001."