Methodist leaders offer sympathy to American people

The President and Vice President of the Methodist Church inBritain have written to US Methodist leaders offering their prayersin the aftermath of yesterday's terrorist attacks.

In a letter today to Bishop Elias Galvan (President of theUnited Methodist Council of Bishops), the British MethodistConference President Rev Christina Le Moignan and Vice PresidentMrs Ann Leck expressed their sorrow over the loss of life in theattacks.

They said: "We write on behalf of the Methodist Church in GreatBritain to assure you and the Council of Bishops, and all yourpeople, of our solidarity with all those affected by the tragicevents of yesterday. Our hearts go out to you all. We are holdingyou all before God."

"We recognise that your government is now faced with the mostdifficult decisions in responding to these acts of terrorism. Wepray for much wisdom for them, and for all leaders in the Church asyou stand with your people in seeking a response that is true tothe gospel of Christ. May the God of all wisdom, and of allcomfort, guide and uphold you all."

Rev Christina Le Moignan echoed the call of US Methodist bishopsfor prayer vigils to be held around the world in the wake of theterrorist attacks on America. The bishops had called uponMethodists everywhere to "open churches for prayer for wisdom,comfort and healing".

She said: "Of course, we all feel the need to talk with othersabout our response to such a terrible tragedy. But, sometimes, ouronly response can be silence, the silence of prayer andcontemplation." Churches are starting to hold prayer services andopening books of condolence across Britain.

A statement from the United Methodist Council of Bishops said:"It is a time of national grief and sorrow. It is also a time forgathering, for strength and for prayer. Our hearts are open to allthose who have been personally affected by this national tragedy.United Methodist churches will be holding prayer vigils throughoutthe world tonight and tomorrow night. We invite you to join us inpraying for wisdom, comfort and healing in this difficulttime."

In the wake the terrorist attacks, people who wish to supportrelief efforts in New York and elsewhere in the US are encouragedto do so. Church and other agencies in the US are currently drawingup plans for pastoral care and trauma counselling when the time isright for volunteers to have access to those affected.

The manager of the Methodist Relief and Development Fund (MRDF)in Britain, Kirsty Smith, said that MRDF is "available to channelany money that people may want to give to support relief efforts".Contributions in the form of cheques made payable to MRDF will bepassed on to MRDF's US partner UMCOR (United Methodist Committee onRelief).

UMCOR is co-ordinating its efforts with the American Red Cross,the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other churchagencies.

Donations can be sent to MRDF, Methodist Church House, 25Marylebone Road, London NW1 5JR.



Note: the United Methodist Church is the largest MethodistChurch in the US, and is also a global denomination

More from the United Methodist Church on the USattacks