When disaster strikes anywhere on Earth, United Methodists provide safe harbor to their sisters and brothers in need.
Most disaster relief work and funding occur through ongoing ministries. The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) enters into a disaster at the request of the resident bishop or church partner. The request may be for financial or material resources, technical assistance or volunteers. An Advance number may be assigned to a specific project, so United Methodists may make “second-mile” (after the “first mile” World Service) donations.
God “quieted the wind down to a whisper, put a muzzle on all the big waves.” --Psalm 107:29, The Message
When typical methods of disaster-response funding are inadequate, special area or conference emergency appeals are issued. Resident bishops may call for any emergency appeal in their annual conference when a disaster affects a specific part of the United States.
In situations where the emergency in question is of catastrophic proportions, a churchwide appeal may be issued. This appeal process is explained in The Book of Discipline.
Special appeals are United Methodism’s way of putting “a muzzle on” whatever disaster—natural or human-caused—threatens the health and safety of God’s children.