Buckets, buckets and more buckets!!!
When you come to worship this weekend there will be blue buckets and lids in the Sanctuary narthex and in the Family Life Center as well for you to pick up and fill with cleaning supplies during the week.
Why the bucket brigade?
Because we are responding to a call that has gone out through the Florida Conference of the UMC to help our sisters and brothers in the Louisiana conference who experienced so much devastation from the flooding there earlier this month.
Last week Bishop Ken Carter encouraged every church in the Florida Conference to take up an offering for UMCOR - the United Methodist Committee on Relief - to help the flooding victims in Louisiana. UMCOR is our Methodist connection's "hands and feet" of first response in disaster situations. UMCOR's overhead expenses are covered through special church offerings during the year, so that in the case of a disaster, 100% of what is donated to that disaster appeal goes to where it is needed! We put out the word on Sunday in worship and on the spot with no prior notice, received $700 towards UMCOR's efforts!!
And his wife, the Rev. Pam Carter who serves as the director of missions at First UMC in Lakeland, began challenging the churches of the Florida Conference to fill a semi-trailer full of "flood buckets" to help in the relief efforts as well. A semi-trailer will hold 1,850 flood buckets. There will be a semi-trailer making four stops around the conference on Tuesday September 13 to pickup flood buckets and then head to Louisiana.
An UMCOR flood bucket is packed to include many things to supply families with much needed cleaning supplies, things like laundry detergent, dish soap, household cleaner, air freshener, scrub brush, bug spray, sponges, scouring pads, clothesline with clothespins, trash bags, dust masks and work gloves.
We mentioned the flood bucket challenge in worship on Sunday first at the 8am service. It was a tremendous God moment. Because one of the folks who was serving as the liturgist in worship at that service works for Lowe's. She was able to talk to her manager on Monday morning and secure a donation of 150 5-gallon buckets and lids! That's amazing!! She's also in the choir and was talking to Robbie, our Minister of Music about it after the service. The choir raised some funds towards helping folks in Louisiana and put that towards buying another 150 buckets and lids at cost through Lowe's. So now we have 300 blue buckets available to fill!!!!
You are invited this Sunday to pickup a bucket with a lid, and a list from UMCOR with the specific items and sizes needed to fill the buckets. According to UMCOR's website the approximate value of a flood bucket is about $60. (You may be able to bring that cost down with some good bargain shopping!!) Folks can bring their buckets back to worship with them on September 11th and we will make sure that all the filled buckets get to the pickup point in Gainesville.
I hope you will join us in supporting our brothers and sisters in Louisiana!