While churches and communities begin cleaning up in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, some Rio Texas Annual Conference churches have responded in creative ways. One church has been intentional in involving children in the response.
Cimarron Praise United Methodist Church, Converse wanted to involve children in the hurricane response. Rev. Dawn Baird invited the children to participate through art. During the children's portion of worship, Baird talked about Jesus calling the disciples in the Gospel of Matthew. She then asked the children how they could provide relief to those affected by the storms.
"The children talked about how they are too young, don’t have any money, and are not physically able to help with some of the recovery efforts because of their age and size," said Baird. "I asked them what could they do and they answered that they could pray and 'help some of the flood people be happy' by coloring the pictures and mailing them to the churches who are still dealing with damage."
The children colored pictures and prayed over them. The pictures are now in the mail to conference churches affected by the Hurricane and the children are prayerfully hoping they will “help some of the flood people be happy.”
Cimarron Praise UMC is also engaging in relief efforts with the students at the neighboring school Salinas Elementary. They will join together to assemble flood buckets. This project is part of an ongoing relationship between the church and school.
"When our church decided to assemble flood buckets (or cleaning kits), I thought this could be a project that would allow us to come together as a community and help others," said Baird.
Each grade level is collecting quantities of a specific item in the UMCOR Cleaning Kit assembly instructions. Cimarron Praise and Salinas Elementary will come together during the first weekend of October to assemble the buckets and deliver them to the annual conference office.
Principal of Salinas Elementary Martin Silverman is excited about the partnership.
“Salinas Elementary and Cimarron Praise UMC are two organizations working together to make our community better," said Salinas. "We have always been neighbors, but we became partners last school year. I see the common goal of service to our community, which will cause our partnership to grow."