2017 Hurricane Relief - Brethren Relief

As you may know, the South is experiencing incredible strain as a result of Hurricane Harvey, and the impending Hurricane Irma. Flooding, displacement, property damage and more are just a part of the disaster. As relief efforts mount, you can be a part of helping those affected by the storm. Give now to the Brethren Relief Fund, and support local relief efforts in the south. 

Donations will support immediate efforts, as well as long-term restoration and rebuilding initiatives in the wake of recent hurricane destruction. Give now, and give generously!





UPDATE 10-09-2017:

Brethren Relief Update from The Brethren Church on Vimeo.

UPDATE 09-14-2017:

As Brethren have continued to faithfully respond to the devastating Hurricanes in the southern U.S., we have been deeply humbled by your generosity. To date, Brethren Relief has received approximately $17,000 in donations from individuals and churches. Combined with the $4,000 BRF already sent to Houston with Children's Disaster Services, the Brethren Response up to this point has been $23,000. Many churches continue to take up offerings, and individuals continue to give. Thank you, in ways we cannot express, for your commitment to the Gospel and for your deep generosity. 

Plans to take relief teams to Houston grow closer in the arrangement, with a likely tentative date of the first week in December. Our physical response efforts are being coordinated by Pastor Miles Larson (Manteca, CA). Please, if your church is sending anyone, whether with the Brethren or not, let Miles (miles@northgatemanteca.com) know so that we might be more connected. 

We will continue to coordinate with our churches in Florida and make Brethren aware of opportunities to serve in FL as well. If you feel called to this response, please know that you are fully empowered and encouraged to respond in whatever way you feel led. Reach out to Pastor Miles for information on coordinating efforts. miles@northgatemanteca.com



UPDATE 09-09-2017:

When we woke up this morning, Hurricane Irma has shifted its path west toward the western coast of Florida. According to the experts, the hurricane eye wall has turned to pass directly over the Tampa Bay area where Brethren congregations are located as well as many of the retirees who have moved to Florida for its warmth!

I spoke briefly on Saturday morning with Dave Stone, pastor of First Brethren Church in Sarasota, Fl. He and his family are preparing for the storm and will be riding it out in their home along with millions of Floridians. 
Specifically, pray that the storm significantly weakened before it makes landfall. Pray that the damage is minimized and that lives are not lost.
Please spend some time during worship this Sunday praying for the people of Florida and our Brothers and Sisters in the Hurricane path.
Finally, in the wake of these disasters, please prayerfully consider donating to the Brethren Relief Fund. The need for response will be great. Many Brethren have already donated significant amounts toward relief after Harvey, and Brethren Churches are mobilizing nationwide to respond, using those dollars. Our need for response to Irma will be equally as great, so please give faithfully to care for those in need. 

Steven Cole
Executive Director
The Brethren Church

UPDATE 08-29-2017:

First, thank you all of you who have already given to support relief efforts!

Second, please join us in continued prayer, as the storm continues on, wreaking havoc on the region. 

Please know that with disaster relief, there are often a few phases to the effort. The first centers around rescue. This is primarily best left to professionals with proper training, though we continue to see wonderful stories of regular neighbors being a part of this effort.

Next, after the waters recede, efforts will move into a relief stage. Relief is centered around clearing damage, removing mold ridden drywall and carpet, debris and more. 

Last, and least glamorous, is the restoration stage. Rebuilding homes, neighborhoods and more. Restoring from the long-term effects a disaster can have on people's lives. 

The Brethren Relief Fund is helping with all three of these stages in the following ways:

1) BRF has made a $4,000 initial donation to The Church of The Brethren's Children's Disaster Services. CDS is already on the ground in San Antonio, serving at shelters. They're working further into the affected region and providing clean up buckets, care for kids and more. CDS, Church of The Brethren and their Emergency Disaster Fund work closely with national organizations, and well-equipped to do this work, and most importantly, already on the ground doing this work. 

2) Individuals and churches have asked about organizing teams to do a short-term mission and disaster relief. BRF encourages this, and we can connect you to other Brethren Churches and individuals interested in doing so. We encourage you to partner with each other to maximize efforts and consider partnering with our siblings from Church of The Brethren in this effort. To express interest and be connected to others interested, please email brethren@brethrenchurch.org. BRF monies are available for groups to go and do this work and can be applied for here. Please review the guidelines before applying.

3) We're encouraging individuals and churches to join in giving to BRF, to sustain efforts long after the storm passes. Join other Brethren Churches in a special offering this Sunday, or give online right now