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Responding to the Events of September 11 and the Aftermath

Dear United Methodist Women:

A woman stands in disbelief looking at the photos of missing loved ones after 9/11.Deep sorrow has touched all our lives in the tragic events of September 11, 2001. Countless United Methodist Women have directly experienced the loss of family and friends. All of us grieve. Our prayers at this time of crisis give support to each other and to all those who are suffering. We are so grateful for our supportive community in Christ.

The outpouring of help coming from all over the country and the world is amazing. The Advance UMCOR has received tremendous financial gifts and there has been an overabundance of relief material sent to New York. In true character, members of United Methodist Women are asking, "What is the most effective form of support we can give?"

If you want to make a gift to the relief efforts, this can be done through Supplementary Giving to the Advance "Love in the Midst of Tragedy." The relief workers have requested that no more material resource donations be given as that is not the current need.

Moreover, the most effective form of support United Methodist Women can give is the kind of support that members are known for -- ongoing commitment and action to make the world a better and safer place for everyone. We are committed to informed, prayerful action. Each year we study parts of the world of which we may have only heard. Annually we seek deeper spiritual understanding to not only prepare us for the events of the world, but to shape the events of the world. A few years ago, we studied Islam and are now better equipped to advocate for tolerance rather than violence based on racial profiling.

As we watched the World Trade Towers crumble, the shock and sense of powerlessness was overwhelming. But powerlessness is what we feel when we think we are alone and it all rests on our shoulders. The future of our world rests on all our shoulders together as we try to respond to God’s calling to us for peace and justice in the world. We have a long history of overcoming powerlessness by working together, and by creating programs that give the powerless hope and ease the burden of the oppressed. This spirit is calling us to come together. United Methodist Women are needed more than ever to come together through prayer, action, and financial support through Undesignated Giving for Mission.

Our response to this crisis both individually and collectively challenges us to live out our faith and the purpose of United Methodist Women. We are called as a community of women to participate in the global ministries of the church. Please share this challenge and how important their ongoing work is in the mission work of Jesus Christ with all the members of United Methodist Women with whom you come into contact.

If one member suffers all suffer together. (1 Corinthians 12:26)

In Faithful Service,
Joyce D. Sohl
Deputy General Secretary, Women's Division

(Photo above: Nancy Carter)

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