Dear Friends,

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This past Monday was the 16th anniversary of 9/11. On that quiet Monday morning, I was sitting about a mile away from the Freedom Tower. My mind was preoccupied by the memories of that heart-breaking event which took place 16 years ago in our city. My heart was compelled to pray for God’s forgiveness, healing and peace.

Thus far, it has been another heart wrenching year. Two weeks ago, Hurricane Harvey pummeled a number of cities in Texas. Within the last week, Hurricane Irma slammed Florida after causing untold devastation throughout the Caribbean islands. These natural disasters have caused thousands and thousands of people to lose their homes and any sense of normalcy in their lives.  630,000 people were evacuated from their residences and now have no idea how long it will take to return to a normal life. Seeing the all-powerful Mother Nature cause the loss of human life and destruction in the environment, we feel powerless and out of control. Although we realize our vulnerability, we know that God is still in control.  

As a Christian community, we believe God’s redeeming grace through His people's acts of kindness and compassion can help to bring relief and healing to the world. You may wonder and ask yourself “what can we do to help?” 

Our Bishop, Thomas Bickerton, the New York Conference Episcopal Leader, has called upon the local churches to support the relief efforts in the following ways:

1)    Pray

2)    Donate online via https://cumc.nyc/giving (please reference “Harvey Relief”):

a.    100% of the donations will go directly to the relief projects
b.    Funds will also support Early Response Teams with their travel and supplies

3)    Assemble clean-up buckets and health kits 

We, as the faith community, will continue to pray for those who were hurt and/or otherwise impacted by Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma. We will do our best to support the volunteer teams. If needed, we might join the volunteer teams to go help the various areas in their recovery efforts. It will be a long-term task. But we know God is in this work as well. As we pray and make donations, we represent the love and compassion of Jesus Christ to those who are suffering and experiencing loss due to these recent natural disasters. 
 
If you have questions, please feel free to reach out to me at rev.he@cumc.nyc.

Blessings,
Rev. Huibing He