Hurricane Harvey Response

. 5 min read
Two letters follow, one from our Bishop and the other from our District Superintendent. The first provides information and an appeal for financial gifts, the second on collecting cleaning kits for the relief effort.
Bishop Jeremiah Park:
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God… He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we may set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the generous favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4, 10-11)
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!
We have watched and have been greatly stirred by the devastating effect of the deluge of historic proportion in Texas. The Houston area has received more than twenty inches of rain and it is still falling. Judge Robert Herbert, Fort Bend County, Texas, in his Monday press statement summarized the dire situation: “The flood of this magnitude is an eight hundred year event.” Bishop Scott Jones of the Texas Conference said, “Tropical Storm Harvey has unleashed the worst flooding in Houston’s history, with catastrophic damage.” Our hearts ache and go out to so many people who are suffering from the destruction of hurricane Harvey.
I call upon the people of our United Methodist Churches to pray for the protection and comfort of so many people directly affected by this overwhelming natural disaster, including safety for the rescue and relief personnel. We have observed the brokenness in their eyes and faces as they struggle to comprehend what has happened. Thus, we pray for strength, healing and hope that they might know that others are praying for them and are offering help to rebuild their lives and homes. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayers.
Knowing the generous hearts of the people of our beloved conference and the way they have answered the needs of others effected by past natural disasters, I urge our congregations to receive a special offering either this coming Sunday, September 2nd or one Sunday in September. I know that our people are compassionate and long to help those whose lives have been turned upside down. [Mark your checks for “Texas Flood”, or put cash in a special envelope labeled “Texas Flood” and 100% of those gifts will be sent to The United Methodist Committee on Relief for this purpose.]
Mission Central is also preparing to respond as needed. They have requested congregations to assemble cleaning buckets and hygiene kits. Further information about these items can be found on their website. You are also invited to attend their Noon prayer meeting on Thursday, August 31st. Following the prayer time, the participants will remain to assemble the necessary kits. Any individual or church which wants to provide gifts to support the transportation costs for these various kits should contribute directly to Mission Central.
Please be assured that our connectional church is already present and at work with the people in the flood affected area. Once again, I humbly ask for your prayerful and generous support for these our sisters and brothers in need. It is moments like this that we see a church alive in mission with Christ. I continue to be blessed to serve God in this place with so many saints of God.
With You in Christ’s Ministry, Jeremiah J. Park
District Superintendent Larry Leland: 
Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
“He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” 2 Corinthians 1:4 (NLT)
So many within our Lewisburg District know the anguish of living through floods and their devastating aftermath.  From Berwick to Selinsgrove, Shickshinny to Bloomsburg, and many other places, you have experienced returning home, not even sure where to begin.  Hopefully, you also received help and encouragement on that painful journey.
My heart is breaking at what we see happening along the Gulf Coast.  When our heart breaks for the plight of another, it is often when God wants to use us for a mighty purpose.
So I’m challenging us, as United Methodist Christians in the Lewisburg District, to shine the light of Christ in a powerful way by collecting Cleaning Kits (formerly known as Flood Buckets) to help replenish the supplies that will surely be decimated by the needs following Harvey.
Between now and our Cluster Charge Conferences (our date is Nov 19), I’m asking you to work together in your church or charge to compile as many Cleaning Kits as possible.  Place the attached list in bulletins and newsletters.  Contact businesses and other organizations for help. Then, bring them with you to Charge Conference, and we will pray over them together before seeing that they make their way to Mission Central for distribution through our UMCOR partners. 
Some of our churches may be able to pull together 2 or 3 buckets.  Some may be able to collect 10 times that, or more. What matters is that, when we all do our part, we’ll find that we are, indeed, better together!
In Christ’s service with you, Larry
Rev. Larry L. Leland, Jr., District Superintendent, Lewisburg District UMC
Cleaning Kit
Value: $65.00 per kit
Cleaning Kit Materials
  • 1 5-Gallon bucket with resealable lid
    • Buckets from fast-food restaurants or bakeries can be used if washed and cleaned
    • Do not use buckets that have stored chemicals such as paint or pool cleaner
    • Advertisements on the outside are acceptable
  • Liquid laundry detergent
    • One 50-oz. or two 25-oz. bottle(s) only
  • Liquid household cleaner
    • 1216 oz. liquid cleaner that can be mixed with water
    • No spray cleaners
  • Dish soap
    • 16-28 oz. bottle, any brand
  • 50 Clothespins
  • Clothesline
    • One 100-ft. or two 50-ft. lines
    • Cotton or plastic
  • 7 Sponges
    • No cellulose sponges due to mold issues
    • Remove from packaging
  • 24-Roll heavy-duty trash bags
    • 33-45 gallon sizes
    • Remove from the box
  • 18 Cleaning wipes
    • Handi-wipes or reusable wipes
    • No terry cleaning towels
    • Remove from packaging
  • 1 Can air freshener
    • Aerosol or pump
  • 1 Insect-repellant spray
    • 6-14 oz. aerosol or spray pump with protective cover
  • 2 Pairs kitchen dishwashing gloves
    • Should be durable enough for multiple uses
    • Remove from packaging
  • 1 Pair work gloves
    • All Cotton
    • All Leather
    • Cotton with Leather Palm
  • 5 Scouring pads
    • Remove from wrapper
    • No stainless steel, Brillo pads or SOS pads (nothing with soap built in)
  • 1 Scrub brush
    • Plastic or wood handle
  • 5 Dust masks

Assembly Directions: Place all liquid items in the bucket first. Place remaining items in the bucket fitting them around and between the liquid items. Sponges, scouring pads, clothespins and trash bags can be separated in order to fit all of the items in the bucket. Ensure the lid is closed securely.
Important Notes
  • All items must be new except for the actual bucket and lid.
  • All cleaning agents must be liquid and in plastic containers. No powders, please.
  • If you cannot find the requested size of a liquid item, use a smaller size. Including larger sizes of any item will prevent the lid from sealing.
  • If all of the items on the list are not included, please put a label on the bucket indicating what has been omitted.

Packing and Shipping Kits Instructions

  • Box weight: Each packed box cannot exceed 66 pounds.
  • Complete 2 packing lists: One for your records and one to put on the shipping box.
  • Paste the shipping label / packing list on the outside of each box you send. The shipping list helps the depot to quickly process kits.
  • Processing & Shipping Costs: Please enclose an envelope containing at least $1.50 for each Cleaning Bucket you send. This donation enables Cleaning Buckets to be sent to areas in need.