Jan. 24, 2005
|A UMNS photo by Mike DuBose
The Rev. Paul Dirdak (left) and Bishop Joel Martinez survey a damaged Methodist church in Indonesia after the tsunami.
By J. Richard Peck*
DIEGO (UMNS) — United Methodists in Indiana and Missouri will be
raising money to reconstruct churches, community centers and clinics in
Indonesia following the Dec. 26 tsunami.
response followed a report on a recent visit to Indonesia by the Rev.
R. Randy Day, top staff executive of the United Methodist Board of
Global Ministries, to members of the Connectional Table, which met Jan.
Day told of the need to rebuild churches in Banda Aceh and Meulaboh,
Bishop Michael Coyner of the Indiana Area pledged $150,000 to rebuild a
church/community center/clinic in Banda Aceh, where more than 92,000
people were killed by the Dec. 26 tsunami.
Rev. Carl Schenck, pastor of the 3,500-member Manchester (Missouri)
United Methodist Church, and a member of the Connectional Table,
followed suit by pledging $50,000 of the $100,000 needed to build a
similar facility in Meulaboh where 80 percent of the town was destroyed
and the same percentage of the 50,000 residents were killed.
Asked if he had
contacted leaders of the North and South Indiana Annual (regional)
conferences before making the pledge, Bishop Coyner told United
Methodist News Service that he made contact by e-mail. "I knew our
conferences had a long history of supporting missions, but I told them I
was sticking my neck out." Kevin McKinney, dean of the South Indiana
Conference, wrote back, "We won’t let you stick your neck out alone."
|A UMNS photo by Mike DuBose
United Methodist Bishop Joel Martinez leaves the sanctuary of the Methodist Church of Banda Aceh, Indonesia.
increased his initial pledge from $50,000 to $150,000 to cover the
entire cost of rebuilding the facility. He noted that St. Luke’s United
Methodist Church in Indianapolis had already raised $50,000 to aid
said his congregation had already raised $37,000 and he was confident
the congregation would raise the additional $13,000. He hoped another
congregation would pledge the additional $50,000 needed to complete the
building in Meulaboh. He said the church already has a relationship with
a congregation in Mozambique and has given $8,000 to dig a well for the
said the building of the two structures provides a way to address the
medical needs of the two communities and the buildings will become
centers of hope and direct services. He further hopes the churches will
provide an open environment for Muslim-Christian dialogue.
Day also urged
churches to provide medicine boxes for 8,600 people living in
displaced-persons camps (contents and process are online at
gbgm-umc.org/health/medbox/). "Our goal is to supply these camps with
medicines as long as the camps are in use," Day said.
|A UMNS photo by Elaine Hopkins
The Rev. R. Randy Day (left) discusses tsunami relief with Bishop Michael Coyner.
fuller assessments are done, (the Board of Global Ministries) and the
UM Committee on Relief will share multiple opportunities for the wider
church," said Bishop Joel Martinez, president of the Board of Global
Ministries and a member of the Connectional Table.
a clergy member of the United Methodist Church’s New York Annual
(regional) Conference, is a correspondent for United Methodist News
Service. He served as the staff person for the General Council on
Ministries’ writing team that prepared the Connectional Table
legislation for the 2004 General Conference.
News media contact: Tim Tanton, Nashville, Tenn., (615) 742-5470 or firstname.lastname@example.org.