On August 25, Hurricane Harvey made its way into Texas and Louisiana, causing massive amounts of wind damage and flooding. Our eyes could not turn away as the news continued to come in reporting the massive losses of property and human life. It is in these moments of darkness that the Church shines brightest. Countless churches in the city immediately began their relief efforts as others from around the world began sending in relief.

“My family and I were living less than 60 miles from the Mississippi Gulf Coast when Katrina hit. We were without power for several weeks and without water for almost six days,” said Christ Church Senior Pastor Dr. Shane Stanford. “And, we were part of the most fortunate communities. Some communities and churches never recovered or reopened from such a catastrophe. Those of us in the recovery efforts learned later that the fine line between those who came back and those who did not was the help they received from those who cared.”

At Christ Church, we decided to partner directly with the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) to provide direct financial and material support to their frontline work. Last Sunday, you were able to take and fill more than 125 disaster relief buckets as well as raise more than $10,000!

There is much still to raise and give, and it is not too late for you to stand up and provide hope for those in Texas and Louisiana — and now in Florida — who need hope the most! There are direct ways that you can both respond now and later.

Don’t let the church running out of buckets stop you from bringing your own back on Sunday! Home Depot and other hardware stores have their shelves stocked full of five-gallon buckets with lids, and you and your family can spend time tonight or on Saturday collecting all the supplies found on our Disaster Relief site. Christ Church Memphis is an official drop-off location for other Methodist churches in the area, and we are expecting our church to be filled with full buckets on Sunday! This is a great way to serve together as a family, small group, or Sunday school class. Remember, all buckets are due Sunday, Sept. 10.

In addition, all financial donations to Christ Church marked with UMCOR will go to the organization, or you can give directly to UMCOR; 100 percent of your gifts to UMCOR will go to work on the ground.

In the future, Christ Church will take teams to help provide relief, rehabilitation and development to areas affected by the flooding. We are looking now to get names of those who are interested in being part of these short-term teams. If you have interest and availability in leading or being part of a team, fill out this form.

Do you have more questions about ways to respond? Contact Bob Whitsitt or Grant Caldwell in the Serving and Outreach office.

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