October 14, 2017
Brothers and Sisters,
Grace and peace to you in the name of Christ Jesus! I have finally arrived home. I was delayed by almost a day because of airline mechanical problems, but I am home! I am grateful to Laura Roberson and Sandy Royall for their work to get me home, and the travel agency that worked with them.
What I most want to share with you, though, is that the last leg of my flight today was from Atlanta and it was full of Red Cross Volunteers from many places in the country who were coming to help. They wore Red Cross vests and T-Shirts. I went up to each one of them and thanked them for coming our way to share their service.
They were kind and expressed a deep commitment to do whatever they could to be caring of the suffering among us. They were retired business men, nurses, grandmothers, teachers, and plumbers. Most of all, they were a community of compassionate care-givers who by their own account, yearn for the day when compassionate care for each other is the way we always live.
One of the Red Cross volunteers pointed out that there was a FEMA staff person on our flight as well. I went over and introduced myself to him and thanked him too. When I told him I was a United Methodist he said, “You are UMCOR!” He expressed gratitude for the work of our United Methodist Church in response to disasters.
I am so very grateful for those of you who continue to respond in caring ways. Please continue to pray for the families and communities grieving because of so much loss, both of life and property. Living in the uncertainty caused by their loss is hard to fully understand, but we know that the Lord, our Good Shepherd, does understand and is holding them close.
Many of you are wanting to respond in concrete ways. We would ask that you would send monetary donations to the California-Nevada Conference. Mail your checks to our United Methodist Conference Center at P.O. Box 980250, West Sacramento, CA 95798-0250 in care of our Treasurer’s Office. Don’t forget to put “Disaster Response Fund” on the check memo line. Your monetary gifts help us to respond more quickly to the most critical and immediate needs and to leverage other funds.
I will spend the next few days striving to be a pastoral presence for our churches most affected by these fires and their communities. I will send you updates each day. Tomorrow I will begin my pastoral itineration worshipping and praying with those who will be gathering at First UMC in Santa Rosa UMC.
Keep praying, make a monetary donation to our California-Nevada Conference Disaster Response Fund, and reach out to those whom you may know who need a word of support.
Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño