You’ve seen the devastation in the news.  Our hearts are breaking for those who have lost loved ones and who have lost their homes.  Alan Blinder, a new member at Simpsonwood, works for the New York Times and has been on the ground in Houston and in the Florida Keys reporting.  Read his article on the shelters in Houston here and about the search and rescue teams in Florida here.
As you can see, several areas of our country have been devastated and they need our help.  The help will be needed for days, months, and quite possibly years to come.

Simpsonwood is here to help!

We are working closely with the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) to offer the most helpful support that we can.
Here is a brief synopsis of what we are currently doing/have done.  For more details on upcoming efforts, we will be updating this blog.

  1. We immediately sent $3725.00 to UMCOR within the first two weeks of the storms in Houston.  (100% goes toward relief efforts in the US)
  2. We have challenged the congregation to raise $100,000 by October 1st to go toward relief efforts. (As of 10/10/17 we have received $75,000.00 toward this effort!  Thank you!)
  3. We will be assembling Flood Buckets on October 1 at 12:15

To donate to any of these efforts, you may give cash or checks (marked with disaster relief) or donate online.

UPDATE 10/01

Flood Buckets Assembled: 50
Thank you!



Donations can be made to SUMC by indicating “Disaster Response”.


In worship on Sunday, September 10 a challenge was issued.  Watch the video below:




Good Friday Morning Simpsonwood,
A short parable you know well begins “… A man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho …”  The parable reflects both how we often cross over to the other side and what it looks like when we dare to roll up our sleeves to get involved in helping.   The ‘good’ Samaritan then reveals to us what the depth of involvement looks like.  To be blunt, it always leads to sacrifice.  Some of the hardest words to hear are related at the end of the story when the Samaritan pays the caregiver adding, “Whatever else it may cost, put it on my tab … I’ll be back!”
I am reminded of a truth in times like these, when God wants to draw close in situations of hurt and need, God sends people!  We go and give reflecting God’s own heart for presence, hope and healing.  To love Jesus is to love what Jesus loves, that always denotes our willingness to sacrifice and be ‘present with’ in times of crisis.
Here is what has been done through Simpsonwood UMC thus far.  $6650 has been released from budgeted monies, half going to UMCOR (the United Methodist Committee on Relief) for immediate need and half to purchase and prep 50 cleaning bucket kits ($65 value each – Click here for more info).  We will assemble the cleaning buckets together after church on Oct. 1st.  Additionally, $5000 has already been raised for UMCOR in the last week.
We will be taking up a special offering in church beginning this Sunday, Sept. 10th and through Oct. 1in response to hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
I hope you will join me in making a sacrificial gift to help those in need in the months ahead as they begin to rebuild lives.  As your pastor, I will never ask you to do something I won’t do joyfully as a part of loving Jesus with what I have been given.  Beth and I will be giving $1000 dollars beyond regular giving for disaster response in this unprecedented time of need, a gift representing significant sacrifice for our family.   I also know what it means to be on the receiving end of this kind of help – once you receive it, you never forget it!
A final word.  Our church leaders have been talking this week, and we are moved to respond and lead this great church together in sacrifice.  By the time Irma passes, there will hardly be an area on the Southern coast that isn’t materially affected by one of these two storms.
We believe Simpsonwood could raise 100,000 dollars to go directly to disaster response through the incredible hearts at Simpsonwood UMC.
While this is a huge goal, I think the heart of this church is even bigger!  But yes, it will take sacrifice.
We are proposing that half of what is raised through Oct. 1 be given immediately to UMCOR.  (  –  A reminder, 100% of moneys given to UMCOR go directly to aid and rebuild lives, none go to administrative costs.)  We would like to reserve the other half for the possibility of partnering with other churches to adopt a local community affected by the storm.  This is a possibility in its infancy stage of development.   Keith Willing will come talk about this in both of our services Sunday (8:45 & 11 AM) this Sunday.  Regardless, if that partnership is not achieved any and all monies would go and be released to UMCOR.  As we continue to develop a plan to respond to these hurricanes you can find updates on our church website:
Part of what it means to journey with Christ I believe is to be willing to stretch and grow as Christ nudges our hearts.  I believe God hopes for children to come alongside in partnership of the Spirit’s ministry amidst suffering, brokenness and need.
God’s peace, safety and love to us and our neighbors this day, see everyone Sunday,
John and Beth, Ian and Gracie.
Join John in a daily devotional at  The Philip Endeavor on Facebook or by sending an email to


Simpsonwood UMC is committed to partnering with the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) to respond to the destruction of Hurricane Harvey and other possible future storms. SAVE THE DATE: SUNDAY OCTOBER 1st RELIEF KITS PROJECT – ASSEMBLING FLOOD BUCKETS (details to come)