Most congregations in the Rio Texas Conference may not know the extent to which United Methodist Committee of Relief (UMCOR) supports disaster response and immigration programs in the conference. During the past six years, UMCOR has made 17 grants through the conferences formerly known as the Southwest Texas Conference and Rio Grande Conference totaling $502,500. In addition, they have made a grant to the Austin Chapter of Justice for Our Neighbor (JFON) for $100,000, bringing the total to $602,000.
UMCOR has important international disaster response programs as well as international development programs that work alongside communities to develop water sanitation and hygiene, sustainable agriculture, and community-based primary health care.
Grants from UMCOR provide many additional services to the Rio Texas Conference at no cost.
UMCOR has provided expert consultants to work with Disaster Response leadership as well as pastors and congregations in areas devastated by disasters. They send experts to teach courses needed to carry out our disaster relief ministry.
UMCOR Academy at Sager Brown, LA is held each year and offers advanced training to Disaster Response leadership in the conference. UMCOR provides assistance to the South Central Jurisdiction to offer an annual Disaster Response academy. Dozens of United Methodists from the Rio Texas Conference have attended these workshops. UMCOR has developed tools to assist local churches as they develop their own disaster response plans, such as coaches to help start these programs.
UMCOR supplies flood buckets and health kits when the supply in the Conference is insufficient to meet the demand during a disaster. They also help certify Early Response Trainers within the conference so that more than 500 ERT team members have been trained and credentialed under UMCOR guidelines.
During the past six years, UMCOR has offered Spiritual and Emotional Care workshops to people within the conference on four occasions. They have even offered Case Management Training nine times.
The Rio Texas Conference’s relationship with UMCOR is also enhanced by our cooperative relationship through the Martinez Disaster Response Center in Kerrville, TX. It is one of six warehouses that are part of the UMCOR Relief Supply Network.
UMCOR is celebrating 75 years of being with those in crises around the world this month. The One Great Hour of Sharing Special will take place on Sunday, Mar. 15. Proceeds will benefit UMCOR’s administrative costs.
For information on UMCOR’s work in the Rio Texas Conference, you can contact Eugene Hileman, Conference Disaster Coordinator at email@example.com, 210-557-8698.