From The North Georgia Conference:
"I know you are seeing and hearing news reports about the devastation and want to assist. … Do not self-deploy. Best practices in times of crises call for a collaborative response, so people who can help are directed to where that help and those skills are most needed and will be most effective,” wrote the Rev. Richard Norman, disaster response coordinator for the Oklahoma Conference.
The Oklahoma Conference Disaster Response Team sent this message outlining how best to help.
How to Give
Donations may be made through your local church by putting a check in the offering plate made out to the church with a note for "2013 May Tornado Relief" on the memo line. Donations may be made directly to the Conference Treasurer's Office by mail to:
Conference Treasurer's Office
PO Box 102417
Atlanta, GA 30368-2417
Note Fund number #4085 for May 2013 Tornado Relief
How to Help
At this time we can best help by offering prayers, beginning to collect and assemble UMCOR kits, and taking stock of the skills and gifts our Conference can offer if volunteer support is needed in Oklahoma, Texas and other U.S. states. As communities reel from the devastation of tornadoes, remember that The United Methodist Church has a system in place for responding. We emphasize that no volunteers are needed at this time.
How to Stay Informed
Here are a few of the places to check for information on United Methodist relief efforts:
How to Make Our Collaborative Effort Possible
Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) in Oklahoma has alerted us that many unsolicited volunteers are showing up at the Incident Command Center in Moore. Please instruct all volunteers associated with your church or other individual volunteers or groups you may come in contact with to NOT self-deploy. Best practices include a collaborative response, so people are directed when needed and where needed so their help and skills will be most effective.
We have a little over five weeks left together as congregation and pastor. Since I will be gone May 24-28 for my nephew's wedding in Nashville, we have four Sundays to share with one another. Winston will be preaching on the 26th in my absence.
I want to invite you to use this time to remember and let go. There is a lot to be thankful to God for: six years of getting to know each other, many shared tasks that brought us closer together as a church, numerous opportunities to reach out into the community and world in Christ's name, working through situations that were difficult, being together in grief as we lost some incredible saints.
You've put up with me and for that I will always be so thankful. I've grown as a disciple and human being because of your patience, partnership and prayers. Many of you will be counted among my dearest friends when we begin a different kind of relationship in a few weeks.
Your new pastor will be your PASTOR. I will be your former pastor. Let's not forget the problems caused when these new boundaries are violated. I will be ethical and respectful in helping your new pastor make the transition in this new role.
If there is an emergency, illness, death or other crisis, call your pastor first. If I am called first, I will defer to him/her. This does not mean that I will never come or respond. It does mean that I won't do it without your pastor being asked first. I will want to know when someone gets sick, has good news, bad news or dies. Leaving does not mean that I will stop caring about you. You will always be in my heart and prayers. If I am invited by your pastor, I will return for visits and/or special Sundays.
Allen-Lee will always bring a smile to my face ... because your faces will come to mind. God still has so many great adventures for you to enjoy ... so, go on!