This past weekend Cyclone Winston the largest storm in recorded history to hit the South Pacific impacted both Tonga and Fiji with winds reaching 177 miles per hour. Fiji was the hardest hit. Currently, the death toll from this powerful cyclone stands at 29 people in Fiji, with major devastation to communities.
We have been in contact with our mission partner in Fiji, the Rev. Tevita Nawadra Banivanua, President of the Methodist Church in Fiji. Rev. Tevita asks for our continued prayers as an annual conference as they assess damage, and aid in the recovery efforts.
In addition to prayers, I am asking for your congregation to consider taking an offering to benefit Fiji this Sunday through the United Methodist Committee On Relief (UMCOR). Folks can donate directly to UMCOR (Advance #982450), by clicking here. Checks can be made payable to the “California-Nevada Conference” with “Fiji Disaster” in the memo line and mailed to the Conference Center, P.O. Box 980250, West Sacramento, CA 95798-0250.
Fiji has more than 100 inhabited islands with 900,000 people. News reports say authorities are having difficulty communicating with some of the more remote islands in the wake of the cyclone. Please hold our brothers and sisters in the South Pacific in prayer during this difficult time.
Grace and Peace,
Warner H. Brown, Jr.
Local Ways You Can Help
There are many ways that we can all help our church, our community and our world. Here are a few to start, with more coming soon.
|•||Volunteer at the Interfaith Food Pantry|
|•||Donate to the Interfaith Food Pantry|
The Interfaith Food Pantry needs paper bags with handles, as well as donations to provide the food distributed to hundreds of families during the year. Please make checks payable to Petaluma United Methodist Church and write “Food Pantry” in the memo line. Checks may be dropped off at the church office or mailed to PUMC at 410 D Street, Petaluma CA 94952.
Do you have an hour and a half to spare each month? Join us as servers for the Interfaith Food Pantry. Volunteers are needed from 5:00 – 6:30 for set up, distribution and take down, although the actual time for the public to access this service is from 5:30 to 6 pm. It is on the second Thursday of each month, in the park opposite Elim Lutheran at 504 Baker Street. It provides an opportunity to meet, talk, and share with others whom you might not otherwise connect with. For more information, call the church office.
|•||Volunteer for Petaluma People Services iRide|
Petaluma People Services Center is looking for individuals willing to pick up clients at their home, drive them to an appointment or activity, and drive them home afterward. Hours are flexible, based on availability. If you are interested, please call (707) 765-8488. For more information, please visit their website.
The UMC humanitarian relief and development agency, the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) monitors developing situations and responds to them. Donations to International Disaster Response, Advance #982450, will be used to respond to worldwide emergencies. 100% of each donation goes directly to the disaster.
To donate, click here.