Over the last two weeks, the images from Texas have been difficult to grasp. People without heat or running water. Huge lines to get gasoline and groceries. Tales of people dying due to freezing temperatures. There are many charities and agencies responding to these needs, but the one I am most connected to is Week of Compassion. WoC is the Disciples of Christ special offering for disaster relief and refugee ministries. Here are some of the recipients of financial assistance from WoC funds in Texas:
Those Disciples congregation receive help from the funds we give to Week of Compassion each year.
We receive news on our phones, in our email and on TV about disasters striking people around the world, and we want to offer help, but it is not always easy to know how to do so. I’m certainly guilty of seeing a wildfire, hurricane, drought or tornado devastate a community and feeling like I want to help, but then I don’t invest time or effort to figure out where to give. When the news cycle moves on to other stories, I forget all about the need I once cared about.
With Week of Compassion, I can give to a trustworthy Christian organization that is always responding to disasters either directly or through partner agencies like Church World Service. When reporters and cameras leave a disaster zone, WoC and its partners remain behind and continue to serve. When I’m watching the latest disaster online, WoC staff are already calling churches and ministries in disaster-hit areas and asking how they can help.
I checked the Week of Compassion web site as I am writing this, and here are examples of where WoC is working right now:
In each case, funds are distributed directly to Disciples congregations or partner churches/ministries.
Most Disciples of Christ congregations take up six special offerings for ministry beyond the local church.
In my experience, I’ve had the easiest time getting congregations excited about the Week of Compassion offering. Most likely, people are drawn to WoC, because of its work responding to natural disasters. The need in such cases is readily apparent, and when people learn about the good work WoC does to help, people get excited about it.
A Disciples pastor in Dallas shared about the Week of Compassion response to her church just this last week. Rev. Virzola Law, Senior Minister of Northway Christian Church in Dallas, shares: “The DFW area is not built for this extreme weather. Yet with the resources of so many--like Week of Compassion and our neighbors--we were able show up and provide the basics. Shelter for some; water for others; food for many. Blankets for warmth. And even a shoulder (with a mask on). The distance was closed because so much love continues to be unmasked. Christ and Community have bridged the gaps in amazing ways as we continue to move through this time… We are stronger together as the body of Christ, and Week of Compassion makes that possible.”
We are emphasizing giving to Week of Compassion this week, but you can give to it anytime. Just make a contribution to Park Hill Christian Church the way you always do and indicate you wish your donation to go to Week of Compassion. We will send it on to Week of Compassion and ensure your gift goes to help people in need throughout the United States and the world.
Grace and Peace,
Rev. Chase Peeples
We're Park Hill Christian Church in KC MO. We seek to follow Jesus by praising God, loving those we meet and serving the vulnerable.
6601 Northwest 72nd Street, Kansas City, MO 64151 | 816-741-1851