I was recently archiving some files and came across some info from 2005. That year, Hurricane Rita followed Hurricane Katrina by just a month to the day and devastated New Orleans. Many of our UBA churches—large and small—were heavily involved in helping those who had fled New Orleans. We’re deeply thankful for the action of churches when disaster strikes and proud of a legacy of innovative collaboration in our association. Join us as we reminisce and celebrate some ways we've been better together.
‘Tis the season that no one wants to talk about: hurricane season. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)—pronounced “Noah,” ironically enough—issued its 2019 major storm forecast, calling for an average year. That means 2-4 major hurricanes. Of course, we’re praying that none of those of major storms make landfall in our beloved Houston area, but if they do, we want to capitalize on some of the lessons we learned from Harvey. And we're asking all our churches to join us.
In an age where we're easily divided into camps, churches must fight to remember our common purpose. We must make an effort to be counter-cultural, not only in what we believe but also in the way we live it out. At UBA, we're proud to have several examples of churches doing innovative collaboration, pooling resources, and working together to advance the gospel of Jesus Christ. Here are just a few of those stories:
If I were to ask the people of your church, “Why do you do what you do?” I’m sure I would get a gospel-related response. But the true litmus test of the Great Commission motivation in a church is less about whether or not we make disciples as a matter of obedience—which is good. Instead, it's more about if we're making disciples out of genuine urgency and concern that a person's life be radically transformed by the grace and mercy of their Savior—which is better. I have been challenged by this idea in recent months, and this experience has helped me firm up my “why” for UBA and our churches.
2018 has brought a lot of things our way: heavy losses, exciting possibilities, and hard discussions. Likewise, our blog also had a lot of fascinating and pertinent articles for the year. As we prepare for what God has in store for 2019, we'll first pause to remember and celebrate the top 10 articles of 2018.
If you ask me today, “What do you do all week?” and then again next week, the answers will probably be different. It’s just one of the many reasons I love working for UBA. Like everyone else on the team, I love churches. I love bringing them together, and I love helping them share the love of Jesus effectively. It takes all of us working together to reach our city. It’s why we’re better together.
Ever feel like the ongoing task of disaster relief is too much for your church? It probably is, but Houston Responds provides a way for churches to be more—together. Come to the Disaster Response Summit October 11, 1-9 p.m. at Chapelwood United Methodist Church. Get acquainted with Houston responds, hear what other churches are doing, and connect with potential partners in disaster recovery ministry. The Summit is free of charge. To register or find out more go to https://www.houstonresponds.org/summit.
To say that Hurricane Harvey shook the region of Houston seems like an understatement. Amidst the chaos, stories of human generosity began popping up everywhere. But the story in the media was consistent: the response to Harvey was led by generous churches, and we have a lot of generous churches. Hurricane or not, it's past time for us to begin sharing some of those beautiful stories of generosity. Here are just a few.
There's no denying Hurricane Harvey was devastating. Many people lost everything and for months, the trash and debris along the side of the roads was a reminder of the devastation this city had experienced. But, those first rays of sunshine after days of rain brought a glimmer of hope. For disasters, though terrible, often bring out the best in humanity.
What are the little things we let divide the church? As small differences carve deeper divides in the church, we must be careful not to turn our eyes and weapons against our brothers as the Israelites were tempted to do. We must fight not to look at those who have been in the trench with us and wonder if they, too, are just a little too dangerously different.