United Methodist Committee on Relief

Advent Begins

Bishop Hee-Soo Jung provides the first of a series of UMCOR Advent reflections.
Bishop Hee-Soo Jung of the Wisconsin Annual Conference recently became president of UMCOR’s board of directors.
Courtesy Wisconsin Annual Conference

By Bishop Hee-Soo Jung* 

The season of Advent is upon us again.  Wait. Hope. Pray.

As we enter Advent, we are reminded again of the powerful connection God provides to all of us who share in responding to those who experience unexpected and devastating disasters. Our United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is always at work connecting those who wait in need, hoping for help, with those who are expecting the invitation to share and to respond in faith. 

In this way, our faith and generosity flow from the heart of who we are as United Methodists out into the world. We are a dynamic community seeking to be neighbors to those in need, whether close to where we live or in the far reaches of our world.  Through UMCOR, we pour out God’s unlimited love and care for humankind wherever the need takes us.

So, in this season of Advent we are once again invited to wait for the reign of Christ, the “coming soon” Christ, to relieve the suffering in our world.  We hope for the “Prince of Peace,” even in the midst of hurricanes, bombs, death, and destruction.  And, while we wait expectantly, we offer the world relief from suffering by being the hands of the “coming soon” Christ, present and involved in the lives of those who suffer and require help.

And in Advent we pray as we wait for the reign of peace to be complete in our world.  We pray for Christ’s love to be manifest in and through us.  We pray for the end to the violence of God’s children toward each other.

We wait, we hope, we pray—and we continue in our untiring efforts to make a difference, so the people of the world know that through our actions, God does respond.

*Bishop Hee-Soo Jung, who heads the Wisconsin Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church, is also president of the board of directors of the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR).