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August 28, 2017
As flooding and destruction from Hurricane Harvey in South Texas continue to grow, United Methodists across the nation are waiting to assist in clean up and recovery. Meanwhile, there's much you can do.

Hurricane Harvey hit hard. While storm-related deaths have been few so far, communities are devastated, and the rains, winds and floods will get worse over the next several days. This catastrophe is leaving its mark on the state of Texas with nearby states on watch. Recovery and rebuilding will be a long process.

Bishop Peggy Johnson reminds us to "Please keep all those affected in our prayers. Safety for those still in the storm areas, travel mercies for first responders going to the area, hope for those starting their recovery efforts. There will be at least three more flood crests in the Houston area!

"Harvey is causing record flooding in areas that also experienced severe flooding last year," she writes. "The extent of the damage will not be known for months, but we know recovery will takes years to complete."

Early Response Teams, Disaster Ministry Coordinators and UMCOR (UM Committee on Relief) are leading relief and recovery efforts. Meanwhile, our conference Disaster Ministry Coordinator (& UM Volunteers in Ministry Coordinator), the Rev Greg Ellis, says there are at least  Five Things You Can Do:
  1. Please continue to pray for those whose lives have been impacted by hurricane/tropical storm Harvey. Please also pray for the Early Response Teams, disaster coordinators, and the many staff and volunteers in:
         - The Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church,
         - Río Texas Conference of The United Methodist Church
         - Louisiana Conference of The United Methodist Church and
         - Central Texas Conference
    who are working tirelessly to provide relief after Harvey.
  2. Make flood buckets, relief kits and health kits. - Info on Supply Kits. UMCOR has warehouses across the country stocked with Relief Kits and other supplies ready for the next truck headed to an area of immediate need. Putting together Relief Kits can be done by a family or small group or as a larger church effort. For details about specific immediate needs and instructions for Relief Kits and Health Kits, visit Mission Central.
  3. Give to UMCOR's relief and recovery efforts.  Donate Here (100% of your donation goes to the cause). You can give online to UMCOR's Domestic Disaster Advance #901670; or send a check for UMCOR, with the Advance number in the notation line, to our Conference Treasurer, Eastern PA Conference, United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 820, Valley Forge, PA 19482. Contributions support the personnel, supplies and equipment needed to organize disaster response and a long-term rebuilding.
  4. Wait to donate only those items requested. As needs become known in Texas and neighboring states, the affected conferences will reach out. Please do not send "stuff" to the damaged areas. Wait for specific requests from UMCOR or local governments.
  5. Please wait for an invitation to volunteer.
The Eastern PA Conference is pleased to announce the  Rev. William A. Brawner will be our new part-time coordinator of Urban Ministries. He will report to the Director of Connectional Ministries, the Rev. Anita Powell, and work closely with The Urban Commission and Metro Ministries.

Rev. Brawner is a certified ordained ministry candidate, earning a Master of Divinity degree from United Lutheran Seminary (formerly Lutheran Theological Seminary) in Philadelphia. He serves half-time as the pastor of Haven Peniel UMC in Philadelphia.  Additionally, he is the founder and exiting Executive Director of Haven Youth Center, Inc., a nonprofit organization in Philadelphia that provides educational, career and other support services to youth infected with HIV and AIDS.

Rev. Brawner is a passionate advocate for ministries that reach out to unchurched, inactive and new residents of the community. He enjoys working with neighborhood organizations to create and implement community-building strategies that engage residents and anchor institutions to take action in neighborhood revitalization efforts.

Rev. Brawner will begin this new ministry with the conference on Monday, September 11.
Eastern Pennsylvania Conference of The United Methodist Church
(800) 828-9093 |  |
980 Madison Avenue, Norristown, PA 19403
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