As previously announced, the Alabama-West Florida Conference is planning intentional time to remember the devastation caused by Hurricane Michael, which made landfall on October 10, 2018.
Multiple resources are now available to assist your local church to appropriately remember this disaster in our conference
. Details may be found below.
“We will never forget the fear of watching a category five hurricane descend on our conference,” said Bishop David Graves. “The residents of Panama City, Port St. Joe, Mexico Beach, Marianna and many surrounding inland communities suffered significant property loss and experienced trauma that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. Sadly, these communities continue to lose neighbors when the trauma becomes too much for some to handle. As a conference, it is imperative we all recognize and remember this catastrophic event. This conference continues to walk alongside residents of the gulf coast through the Hurricane Michael Recovery program. I am so grateful for a talented team that is dedicated to helping those impacted by the storm rebuild their homes and lives. Despite all of our denominational heartache, our disaster response program, with the help of UMCOR, exhibits what is best in our connection.”
The conference will remember the historic event in the following ways:
- We invite all churches in the Alabama-West Florida Conference and the global connection to ring their church bells at noon on October 10, 2019;
- Prayers written by pastors of churches in the impacted areas may be found here. We ask that you select one to be used in your worship services on the weekend of October 6, 2019;
- A brief video is available to share in your weekend worship services on October 6 for those churches who have audio visual capabilities. Click here to access video;
- Bishop Graves has written a guest column that our churches can use in place of the regular letter from the pastor in church newsletters. Click here for document;
- We have supplied a bulletin insert you may use the weekend of October 6 highlighting the ongoing disaster response work. Click here for file;
- Bishop Graves will offer a video prayer on our conference social media pages on October 10 – we invite you to share this on your local church social media pages;
- October 10 will serve as a Hurricane Michael Remembrance Day of Giving with all donations going to UMCOR to honor the partnership and significant grants we have received from them. Specials offerings in worship services on October 6 are also welcome and encouraged. All UMCOR donations received from this day of giving will be designated for the US Disaster Response and Recovery fund. Click here to give;
- Bishop Graves will be present in churches in the impacted areas in September and October where he will preach and participate in worship.
Thank you for acting as a testament to God's love and the strength of our connection.