A Moment for Mission
"But I tell you, look around you, and see how the fields are ripe for harvesting." — John 5:36, NRSV
In the moments after a disaster strikes or after crisis hits locally or globally, it can feel paralyzing. Many feel compelled to act but are uncertain how to respond in a meaningful way.
As the body of Christ, we are called to welcome the stranger, feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, and visit the sick and imprisoned. It is through the leadership of the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), a ministry through the General Board of Global Ministries, that the church is empowered to act in these moments, in the midst of conflict, war and natural disaster. The work of UMCOR reaches 80 countries including the United States.
UMCOR focuses on relief work with the aim of restoring communities to stability. While UMCOR does not send in the first response teams, UMCOR is committed to staying until communities are able to return to a sense of normalcy. UMCOR also supports global health initiatives that include hygiene, sanitation and clean water projects, as well as working in communities to assist with developing sustainable agriculture.
UMCOR recently earned a 4-star rating by Charity Navigator, an organization that rates charities, for its strong financial health and commitment to accountability and transparency. That is in part because of the UMCOR Sunday offering next week in which 100 percent of the offering directly supports the overhead costs of UMCOR.
God of Grace and Love, give us generous hearts that are open to the stranger, the hungry, the sick and the thirsty. Give us courage to act in ways that demonstrate justice and mercy so that we, your church, will do the work of the harvest that has been prepared for us to do. Amen.
From Discipleship Resources: Third Sunday in Lent - God, our provider, in Christ you give us a spring of pure water that overflows to eternal life. Your love and hope fill our hearts, so we want to worship you in spirit and truth. Open our eyes to see the places in this neighborhood where our church's ministries could reach new people. Direct our gifts and offerings for your purposes, so that our community will become like a field ripe for harvest. We ask this through Christ our risen Lord. Amen. (John 4:5-42)
Clean water is life. One in five children who die under age 5 die from diseases related to contaminated water sources. One in nine people do not have access to clean water every day.
Jesus calls us to give drink to the thirsty. This is the aim of the United Methodist Committee on Relief through the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene or WASH program. UMCOR works in communities and in partnerships to rehabilitate or create new water sources in communities without access to clean water. UMCOR then offers training to ensure that the communities will be able to maintain their own water sources. UMCOR also is involved in global education and training programs that build appropriate toilets and teach proper handwashing practices.
On Sunday, March 26, we will observe UMCOR Sunday in order to lift up and financially support the important work of UMCOR. It is one of the six special offerings observed across The United Methodist Church.