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Disaster Response: "When the Storms of Life are Raging"

. 3 min read
September 22, 2017
“I cry aloud to the
Lord; I lift up my voice to the Lord for mercy.”
(Psalm 142:1)
Dear
Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
Grace
to you in the name of Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace, Healer of our Brokenness
and Hope of the World!
The
great Afro-American Methodist pastor and gospel hymn writer, Charles Albert
Tindley was revered for his preaching and musical gifts. Recently, because of
the extent of the natural disasters experienced in Mexico, the Caribbean, the
United States, and throughout the world, I have found myself thinking of his
hymn, “Stand by Me.” The words of the first and second stanza read: 

“When the storms of life are raging, stand by me; when the storms of life
are raging, stand by me. When the world is tossing me, like a ship upon the
sea, thou who rulest wind and water, stand by me.
In
the midst of tribulation, stand by me; in the midst of tribulation, stand by
me. When the host of hell assail, and my strength begins to fail, thou who
never lost a battle, stand by me.”
Rev.
Dr. Tindley’s hymn is uplifting the desperate necessity of the presence of God
in the storms of life. Too many people in too many places, have experienced
overwhelming destruction from the recent natural disasters. Homes have been
destroyed, property has been ruined, and most tragically a number of people
have perished in these monstrous storms and earthquakes. Our hearts and prayers
go to those who are directly affected by the catastrophes, their families, and
communities.

We
have seen the witness of people who have responded in gracious and courageous
acts of kindness, sometimes risking their lives to aid and save lives. There
will come a time when the people of the Susquehanna Conference will be present
in these places to help people rebuild their lives and homes. In the meantime,
we extend our prayers and respond through the generosity of our gifts. The
needs are overwhelming, but one by one gifts added together can provide hope
and relief to many.  
A
few years ago, the Susquehanna Annual Conference was recognized by the United
Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) for the generous contributions this
conference has given. Over six million dollars have been donated by the members
and congregation
of
this conference over the period of ten years. Thanks be to God! It was a
remarkable testimony to the amazing generosity of our people and to a church
alive in mission.  
I
would like you to know that UMCOR is our United Methodist Church in mission at
its best and that it is already present in those affected areas. Please also
know that our Mission Central is a significant partner with UMCOR now.  
I
come to you once again. I realize that these extra requests have been more
numerous recently; but our mission is to be extended in response to the
emerging and dire needs of God’s children in these areas hit so hard by natural
disasters. Throughout the next several weeks, please prayerfully consider
continuing to take offerings to receive funds to be given to UMCOR. The church
treasurer can send those gifts directly to the conference office at 303
Mulberry Drive, Mechanicsburg, PA 17050-3179. Checks should be written payable to
the Susquehanna
Conference
and designated in the memo line with the number
2180 if the money is to be
used for
national relief or the number 2470 if the money is to be
used for
international relief. You may want to designate the money for both
causes by writing your wishes on the check or remittance report. (Church
Treasurers – please use Section A on the Remittance Report when sending in the
money).
I
am humbled by your generosity, heart for mission, and spirit of care. I am
privileged to partner with you in mission and ministry for such a time as this.
May God continue to bless your congregation in its mission to make disciples of
Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.  
Your
Partner in Mission,

Jeremiah
J. Park