Report to say 'thank you' to Katrina volunteers


Special to the Advocate

Hurricane Katrina roared into the Gulf Coast more than two years ago, and thousands of United Methodists responded with gifts of money and service.

Those folks will be thanked – and reminded that the recovery is not over – at the 2008 General Conference in Fort Worth, Texas.

The Council of Bishops' Katrina Church Recovery Appeal has been given 10 minutes on a crowded agenda at 9:20 a.m. April 28.

Bishop Hope Morgan Ward of the Mississippi Area and Bishop William Hutchinson of the Louisiana Area will narrate the presentation, that will also include a video produced by Lisa Michiels of the Mississippi Conference, Betty Backstrom of the Louisiana Conference and Anthony Thaxton of The United Methodist Hour in Hattiesburg. Also, Elizabeth Cumbest of Ocean Springs will sing a song she wrote for the conference.

Cumbest produced a CD of songs she wrote about the storm and used proceeds from the recording to support Seashore Mission, a ministry wiped out by the Katrina. One of her songs won a national United Methodist contest for young songwriters. She performed the song in July at Youth 2007 in Greensboro, N.C., and was featured on the front page of Devozine.

Copies of the DVD presentation will be given to each delegate, along with a four-page tabloid and small shards of broken things collected on the Gulf Coast and put in plastic bags with a note. The centerpiece of the presentation will be a cross made of materials broken in the storm.

The goal is to thank United Methodists for their prayers and gifts of time, service and money and remind them work remains.