A massive earthquake.
A devastating tsunami.
An evolving nuclear crisis.
Any one of these is enough to make my heart skip a beat and push a lump into my thought. Japan is in the midst of all three. What has your reaction been?
One response is prayer. In prayer we acknowledge the presence of God and plead for mercy and grace and comfort and wisdom for all those struck by this triple disaster and those working to relieve the suffering.
Another response to disaster is to give from our financial resources. Below are two methods for giving through the United Church of Christ. All dollar amounts are welcome. At the end of this email are three reasons for giving through the UCC, rather than any other of the many very effective aid organizations that offer help in the face of natural disasters.
- Write a check payable to Old First Reformed Church and write “Pacific earthquake/tsunami” in the memo. Check can be mailed to Old First or brought to worship on Sunday. These contributions will be forwarded directly to the UCC.
- Contribute on-line directly to the UCC international disaster relief. Both credit card and PayPal are accepted. The payment form includes a line to specify your congregation. Please enter “Old First Reformed Church (Philadelphia)”
May our prayers and our generous giving bring God’s love to Japan’s people.
Karen Winey, Stewardship Director
Why make humanitarian contributions through the UCC denomination?
i) Other aid organizations have a much larger potential donating public, and as UCC members, working through our church is one way we support our particular church family—it’s charitable work, it’s witnessing and, it reflects our specific justice commitments coming from our understanding of the Gospel. For instance, after 9/11, the UCC was able to help undocumented and LGBT families affected in ways that other organizations would not.
ii) All the administrative costs are already covered through “Our Church’s Wider Mission.” Thus, 100% of the contributions made will go to direct relief. There are no administrative costs taken out of your gifts.
iii) The UCC is a U.S. church and doesn’t have operations overseas, because we recognize the pejorative aspects that can come of overseas mission work. Thus, we only work through local partners. All the money that the UCC raises will be dispersed in Japan through our Japanese ecclesial and charitable partners.