UMCOR / News Room / News & Features / Archives 2008 / 0916-President of Bishops Issues Statement on Cuba Relief

President of Bishops Issues Statement on Cuba Relief

September 16, 2008

The Pastors and People of the United Methodist Church in the United States

Storms continue to leave tragedy and challenging rebuilding across the United States and in other nations. Through UMCOR, and other denominational and ecumenical partnerships, efforts are being made to offer assistance immediately and in the long term.

The Methodist Church of Cuba, its leaders and people, and their fellow citizens, are the focus of this letter to you. They have been devastated by the recent storms named Gustav and Ike. The 243 congregations with nearly 20,000 members are engaged in cooperative relief efforts.

Because of U.S. government policies, in particular the 2006 year action of non-renewal of a license to the General Board of Global Ministries, reported recently in our church press, we have not been able to send funds into Cuba. Other denominations have also lost their licenses.

As President of the Council of Bishops, I write to you asking:

With my gratitude for the many ways that your lives and stewardship bring relief and reconciliation across the globe, in the name of Jesus Christ,

Gregory V. Palmer
The Council of Bishops