Dear Union Church Family,
In the wake of the devastation caused by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, we may be struggling with terrible sadness or with feeling overwhelmed. We may feel guilty that we remain unaffected while so many are suffering. Or we may be questioning “What should I do? What can I do?” Whatever the constellation of feelings we may be having, let us remember that even though we are a world of many languages and cultures, we are also one global human community. The Apostle Paul tells us that what affects one member of the body affects the whole body. When one member suffers, all members suffer. And so let us pray for the people of Japan and all who are working tirelessly to tend to the injured, to find the missing, to comfort those who mourn. Let us hold our brothers and sister in this our global human community in our prayers. May our hearts be open to absorb some of the pain that they are feeling so that, through the grace of God, their burden may be lightened.
Let us pray: Holy and Merciful God, we ask that you draw especially close to the people of Japan in this time of devastation. May they feel through your presence the love and care that is on our hearts. Please give them strength when they feel they cannot go on. Please give comfort when they feel their hearts may break. Please give them vision when all they see are dead ends. Please give them hope when despair over shadows them. And God we ask that your Spirit be at work in us guiding us as we seek to be of service to you and to the world. We ask all of this in the name of Jesus of Christ. Amen.
If you are looking for ways to help financially, Mission/Outreach recommends:
· The United Church of Christ Global Ministries is receiving contributions to help with emergency relief and rebuilding efforts. To donate online go to http://www.ucc.org/disaster/japan-earthquake-2011/. Contributions can also be mailed to the UCC headquarters. Please write “Japan earthquake tsunami relief” in the memo line and mail your check to Wider Church Ministries, UCC, 700 Prospect Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44115.
· Save the Children is mobilizing its global resources to respond to the needs of children and families affected by the earthquake and its aftermath, and an international emergency team has been dispatched to assist staff in Japan. To donate on line go to http://savethechildren.org. Contributions can also be mailed to Save the Children. Please place Japan earthquake tsunami relief” in the memo line and mail your check to Save the Children, 54 Wilton Road, Westport, CT 06880.