written by Phil Shea
As we watch the devastation being wrought by Hurricane Harvey we join with many of our fellow Americans who are praying for and extending their concerns to those affected. Events of this scale are accompanied with immediate shock. But, it will be many days before we will begin to comprehend the full extent of loss of life and property damage (both personal and real). We assure you we will keep you informed about our UCC congregations impacted and how you can assist them and their communities. Phil Shea is your point of contact for the Southwest Conference, firstname.lastname@example.org or 602-663-5065.
While first responders do their courageous work in the immediate aftermath, we are asking for your daily and continuing prayers for those communities and individuals who are suffering and for the first responders. We also encourage you to visit the UCC Hurricane Harvey website to make a donation to the "USA Emergency Fund" marked for "Hurricane Harvey". Your gift will help lay the groundwork for the UCC effort in the long-term recovery ahead.
We have been in touch with Zach Wolgemuth, Executive of Disaster Ministries, and over the next few days we will also reach out to the South Central Conference Disaster Coordinator in Texas. We expect to assist with building and sending "clean up buckets". Matching grant funds are available for donations to clean up buckets. Please watch for more information about this in the next couple days.
The real work of disaster recovery, for which the UCC is well-known, will begin in the months ahead and will likely last for more than 2 years. We will have the opportunity then to send work teams to help clean and rebuild.
Use Phil Shea as your primary point of contact regarding questions and to learn about how you or your church can help. In addition to the link above you can find us on Facebook to stay abreast of the situation.