MS Conference Leaders Advocate for Hurricane Sandy Relief


Photo right: Don Howald (left) gives instructions to a United Methodist volunteer team from the California-Pacific Annual (regional) Conference as the group prepares to work on a home damaged by Hurricane Sandy in Long Beach, N.Y., a part of Long Island. UMNS file photo by Mike DuBose. 
Three Mississippi Conference leaders are reminding Mississippi United Methodists that the Greater New Jersey Conference is still in need of prayers and gifts since the late October 2012 storm-Hurricane Sandy. The following notice to the conference is from Rev. David Cumbest, Mississippi Conference United Methodist Committee on Relief coordinator, Rev. David Newton, Mississippi Conference United Methodist Volunteers in Mission coordinator and Rev. Eric Sanford, Mississippi Conference Missions chair.
On Aug. 29, 2005 everyone living in the state of Mississippi was inducted into a very special fellowship. We did not enter into membership at our own request, but were initiated into this group by the winds and waves of one of the most catastrophic natural disasters of our times, Hurricane Katrina. 
The initiation was devastating, but thanks to the compassionate response of God's people, we had the opportunity to live through the reality of God's promise in Romans 5: 3-5, "we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us." - NRSV
We have emerged from the wake of Hurricane Katrina a people who can endure, who have character, and are members of the Fellowship of Hope.
On Oct. 29, 2012 a new group of survivors were inducted into the Fellowship of Hope by Hurricane Sandy. While our struggle is over, they are still rebuilding hope in the lives of many who are still not back in their homes.

Bishop John Schol, Greater New Jersey Conference
Bishop John Schol of the Greater New Jersey Conference has given us an update on the recovery in their conference:
"Three years after the storm, through our nonprofit organization, A Future With Hope, we have:  
  • Repaired and rebuilt 183 homes. Currently, we are working on 32 more homes.
  • Provided case management for 421 families.
  • Engaged 10,411 volunteers for a quarter of a million hours of volunteer service.
  • Raised $14,324,140 toward our $17,000,000 goal.
We could not have done this without the grace of God, the prayers of the faithful, the donations of the generous, and the time of dedicated volunteers. You have been a future with hope. THANK YOU...We are committed to at least two more years of recovery ministry. We invite you to spread the news that we still need prayers, volunteers and donations," stated Schol.
Click here to read the Schol's full message.
The Greater New Jersey Conference was an active partner in the Mississippi recovery efforts after Katrina. Bishop Schol who was in another conference at the time was also very supportive and came to Mississippi on a work team.
Please remember Fellowship of Hope friends in New Jersey. If you would like to volunteer or contribute you can do so directly by going to their website    

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