Massachusetts Conference Minister and President Jim Antal is calling on churches to take a special collection this Sunday for the people in Western Massachusetts who were affected by last week's tornadoes. He also is asking each church to create a card to accompany the donation, and to plan to bring those cards to the Conference Annual Meeting on June 18th.
Antal's full message:
June 8, 2011
Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
I write today to give you and your congregation an opportunity to respond prayerfully, compassionately and generously to the tornado ravaged towns and our churches. I’ll get to “the ask” in a moment.
First, I want to say thanks to so many of you who have already responded. Your Conference has been reaching out to the affected congregations and pastors in all kinds of ways. Examples can be found on our web site: http://www.macucc.org/pages/detail/2472 . Don Remick, who with Jim Tilbe, serve as Disaster Response Coordinators, has been in frequent contact with our affected pastors. And as I send this email, Peter Wells is preparing to join Governor Deval Patrick at a Worship Service of Prayer, Hope and Healing sponsored by the Council of Churches of Greater Springfield and the Interfaith Council of Western Massachusetts.
Here’s a specific way your congregation can help:
a) Communicate to your congregation that on Sunday, June 12, you will take a special collection for the towns in Mass. ravaged by the tornados.
b) Alert your delegates to the Conference Annual Meeting (being held on June 18) that you will be asking them to bring something with them to the Annual Meeting.
c) Between now and Sunday, create a card that expresses your congregation’s compassion and hope.
d) On Sunday, June 12, do two things:
i) take the collection. After you count it, issue a single check to the Mass. Conference UCC (earmarked: “Tornado Relief”) for the total amount given.
ii) Have everyone in your congregation sign the card that you created.
e) Be sure your delegate(s) bring the card and the check to the Conference Annual Meeting on June 18. We will distribute the cards to the delegates from the affected congregations, and we will receive your checks in a special collection that will go to the churches and communities affected by the tornados.
Later in the week I’ll send another email with additional information on how you can help.
With ongoing prayers of compassion and hope,
Minister and President
Massachusetts Conference, United Church of Christ
"Rooted in the grace of God, the mission of the Massachusetts Conference United Church of Christ
is to nurture local church vitality and the covenant among our churches to make God’s love and justice real "