Early this morning, an outbreak of at least five tornadoes was reported across three states – Tennessee, Kentucky and Missouri – with the worst destruction occurring in Nashville, TN, and the surrounding counties. Though assessments are still being made, authorities now say that 19 people were killed, and multiple homes and buildings have been damaged or destroyed. Included among the properties damaged were two United Methodist churches, East End UMC in Nashville and Dodson Chapel UMC in Hermitage, just east of Nashville.
During this time of heartbreak and devastation, let us keep those affected by the Tennessee tornadoes in our prayers, especially those who have lost people they know and love. Keep in your hearts our United Methodist congregations, particularly those damaged in the storms, but also the churches who will be responding to the pain and loss in the communities around them.
In addition to prayer, the best way to assist those who have experienced devastation is by supporting UMCOR, the United Methodist Committee on Relief. As always, UMCOR helps communities in the immediate aftermath of natural disasters but is also committed to staying until the work is done – sometimes years down the road. There are several ways in which you can support UMCOR’s work in the coming weeks:
-GIVE to UMCOR’s U.S. Disaster Response Fund online.
-You may also send a check to The Advance, 458 Ponce de Leon Ave. NE, Atlanta, GA 30308, with ‘U.S. Disaster Response #901670’ in the Memo line.
-SUPPORT UMCOR Sunday on March 22 by collecting a special offering at your church.
-These funds go toward UMCOR’s operating expenses so that 100% of all money given to UMCOR Disaster Response goes to disaster response ministries. More information can be found here.
-BE TRAINED as an UMCOR Early Response Team volunteer.
-In the aftermath of a disaster, ERT’s may be called upon to provide disaster relief support. Upcoming trainings can be found here.
Thank you, West Ohio, for your generous hearts and giving spirits.
Yours in Christ,
+Bishop Gregory V. Palmer