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Featured: UMCOR is ...

Photo by Toje Fujihara, courtesy UMCOR

The Methodist Committee on Relief assisted refugees from Cuba arriving in Florida in 1960.

Photo by James Rollins/UMCOR

Children from Syria line up for games in child-friendly space at a refugee camp near Kilis, Turkey. The United Methodist Committee on Relief worked with a Turkish non-governmental organization (NGO) to help provide services to children displced from Syri

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UMCOR is ...


Ask United Methodists what the United Methodist Committee on Relief, more often referred to as UMCOR, is and you get a variety of answers -- with "disaster relief agency" usually near the top of the list.

UMCOR is the humanitarian agency of The United Methodist Church that daily assists in the face of headline-making and silent disasters, that daily helps provide clean water and teaches sustainable agriculture programs, that daily provides a haven for children displaced by war, that daily helps make medical care available -- and so much more.

As UMCOR celebrates its 75th anniversary, Interpreter  asked several people who have been part of the agency's history to describe it. Here are their answes. Add yours in the comments section at the end of the article.

UMCOR is ... a movement of volunteers

"UMCOR is not a staff of employees in a far-away office. UMCOR is, instead, a movement with

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The Rev. Donald Cotrill

Courtesy Photo

volunteers who have a passion for doing God's work. That need might be around the globe, or near at hand. Thank God and the followers of Christ, even in the worst of times, we can find the best of times!"

The Rev. Donald C. Cottrill, provost, Louisiana Annual Conference, Baton Rouge, Louisiana:




UMCOR is ... about people

For 75 years, UMCOR has embraced, intervened and supported people. Through UMCOR, United

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Norma Kehrberg in Nepal in 1985

Phoro by Glenn Maddy, UMCOR

Methodists have welcomed refugees seeking asylum and sanctuary, healed women and children at maternal and child health clinics, improved tools and techniques for farmers, and brought hope for people affected by floods, tornados, fires and hurricanes."

Norma Kehrberg, former deputy general secretary, UMCOR




UMCOR is ... a ministry of presence

"When the initial disaster shock has worn off, UMCOR steps in to help folk begin to pick up the pieces. UMCOR guides people in putting together a new life plan. UMCOR becomes the light at the end of the tunnel. UMCOR is God's light, walking alongside survivors until they can walk on their own."

The Rev. John Moore, superintendent, New Albany District, Mississippi Annual Conference


UMCOR is ... hope

"Through vocational rehabilitation for former child soldiers, United Methodists live out the reality of

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Steve Taylor

Photo by Mike DuBose/UMNS

resurrection love. There are those who would have forgotten these children, who would have acted as if they never existed. But not UMCOR. Life in the face of death – this our story, the story of UMCOR – the story of resurrection."

Steve Taylor, outreach team coordinator, North Carolina Annual Conference




UMCOR is ... the hands and feet of Jesus

"When we journey through Lent, we come to a greater understanding of Christ's call to minister to the

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The Rev. J. Denise honeycutt

Photo courtesy of UMCOR

needs of our brothers and sisters in Christ's name. The support of congregations through the One Great Hour of Sharing is critical as UMCOR continues being with those in crisis in communities around the world. I'm excited to see how God will continue to use us as the hands and feet of Jesus in a hurting world."

The Rev. J. Denise Honeycutt, deputy general secretary, UMCOR


UMCOR is ... partnership

"The theme of working with neighbors to help neighbors is deeply rooted in every aspect of UMCOR

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Thomas G. Kemper

Photo courtesy of GBGM


The agency was founded with the understanding that it would work work with other organizations — partners and neighbors — to maximize efforts."

Thomas G. Kemper, general secretary, General Board of Global Ministries






UMCOR is us!'

"Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast on Aug. 29, 2005. As the recovery unfolded, we owned

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Bishop Hope Morgan Ward

Photo courtesy of Council of Bishops

the wise observation, ‘UMCOR is us!' UMCOR is the interwoven, creative response of United Methodist people after disaster. In times of overwhelming trouble, UMCOR connects, resources and abides."

Bishop Hope Morgan Ward, president, General Board of Global Ministries


UMCOR celebrates 75 years of compassionate response

At 75, UMCOR training extends church's reach in disasters

UMCOR staff executive the Rev, J. Denise Honeycutt reflects on the One Great Hour of Sharing.