By: Karla Hovde
On Oct. 23 and 24, United Methodist churches from across Minnesota joined together with a common goal of showing God's love in a practical way by donating urgently needed items to The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR).
Twenty-four congregations together donated 4,080 pounds of hygiene kits, household cleaning supplies, wheelchairs, tools, and other materials and gathered $150 in donations.
These supplies will go to the Midwest Mission Distribution Center in Illinois, one of UMCOR’s supply depots, and will eventually be distributed to people in either storm-ravaged areas in the Midwest and South or wildfire-affected areas in the West.
On a cold Saturday afternoon, Rev. Lee Miller, who pastors Hope UMC in Blue Earth, led more than a dozen confirmation students to transfer supplies from the statewide collection truck to the truck that took the materials to the Midwest Mission Distribution Center.
Once a month, Miller and the confirmation class participate in mission work instead of their regular class, and this was one such activity.
“That’s how we grow in love of God and neighbor,” he said. “We get out and help with things like UMCOR. For our class, we care more about acting like Christ than being able to recite things about Christ.”
Rev. Lyndy Zabel, director of community engagement for the Minnesota Conference, organized the collection, which followed a similar statewide collection effort in June. The Mission Promotion Action Team also helped coordinate the participating congregations.
UMCOR brings hope, healing, and renewal to those whose lives have been disrupted by natural and human-made disasters. UMCOR provides emergency supplies and shelter in the aftermath of disasters, and partners with communities for long-term recovery and development.
To learn how you can donate supplies or money, visit the Midwest Mission Distribution Center website. You can drop off completed kits and supplies to Rev. Judith Clark in Blue Earth (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Tanya Oberg in Rochester (email@example.com).
Zabel is also looking for two churches to be temporary collection sites in the Twin Cities and northern Minnesota. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org if your church is interested in being one.
Showing God’s love
The Midwest Mission Distribution Center extends its thanks to the following churches “for donating their time and treasures to show God's love in a practical way around the world and around the corner!”
Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church