Aug. 16—UMCOR COVID-19 Response Fund

A Moment for Mission

“Then Jesus answered her, ‘Woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.’ And her daughter was healed instantly.” —Matthew 15:28, NRSV

EIn Louisiana, a United Methodist congregation converted its food pantry to a drive-thru operation after the coronavirus pandemic disrupted vital food assistance when the local school closed.

In Ecuador, Methodists are assisting quarantined families in two hard-hit low-income neighborhoods where the church has had a presence for more than eight years.

In the Philippines, church workers, as well as some front-line workers, were excluded from the list of Filipinos receiving government-provided cash assistance because of the pandemic. In the Baguio area, United Methodists have stepped in to help.

All three emergency projects are among those approved for grants from the UMCOR COVID-19 Response Fund of the denomination’s relief agency, launched in late April. The Board of Global Ministries is the parent organization of the United Methodist Committee on Relief.

After four weeks of grant request reviews, $966,069 in grants had been approved by May 28. The total amount raised by that date was $1,148,249, from nearly 6,500 unique donors. The mission agency supplemented those funds, raising the total available for COVID-19 assistance to $1.3 million.

Hundreds of grant applications for the COVID-19 Response Fund were received, said Thomas Kemper, top executive for Global Ministries. The application process is now closed.

The UMCOR COVID-19 Relief Fund was established by the mission agency to provide grants to help churches and partners assist vulnerable populations dealing with food security and other needs related to the pandemic. Please give generously.

—Adapted from “COVID-19 Fund Grants Help Fill the Gaps,” Linda Bloom, UM News, May 28, 2020

Offertory Prayer
Loving God, we come to you in faith for healing, both from physical illness and from the sickness of arrogance and selfishness. Open our hearts. In your name, we pray. Amen.

From Discipleship Ministries: Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost – God of love and mercy, we give you thanks that the compassion of Christ was challenged to move beyond the people of one community. May it be a reminder to us, his disciples, to follow this example in our living and our giving. Help us to see beyond our walls, beyond our communities, and across the divides of nation, race and creed, and to be generous as we share our blessings that have their source in you, God of us all. We pray in the name of our rock and redeemer; in Christ, we pray, Amen.  (Matthew 15: 21-28)

From United Methodist Men: Dear Lord, We ask You to bring us to the table so we might see that we are more alike than we are different. Mend the scars and heal the wounds of racial injustice and reunite our souls. In Jesus name we ask this. Amen. — Wayne Custer, Bethlehem, W.Va.

Newsletter Nugget
UMCOR—the United Methodist Committee on Relief—was established to respond to global disasters. In 1940, the largest human migration in recorded history (until now) prompted Methodists to act. Care and compassion motivated people to alleviate suffering.

And, UMCOR, through people like you, continues to respond in times of disaster.

We have been able to provide tangible assistance to people in need in the United States and around the world. Global Ministries’ first response was a Global Health grant to a longtime partner in Wuhan, China. Thanks to generous donors, by May 30, we had provided $1.3 million in direct aid for food and grocery cards, hygiene products, PPE, and water and sanitation support.

Yet, more requests for assistance from local churches, annual conferences and nonprofit agencies are received each week. The majority seek food assistance for vulnerable communities.

One hundred percent of every gift to the UMCOR COVID-19 Response Fund will be used to meet basic needs. Please give today. Thank you!

—Adapted from “Sheltering in Love,” May 30, 2020, UMCOR website