Bishop William McAlilly (right) comforts the Rev. Judi Hoffman in the park outside East End United Methodist Church in Nashville, Tenn., while volunteers clean up debris from a tornado that heavily damaged the church's sanctuary and offices. (Photo: Mike DuBose, UM News.)

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA – In 1940, General Conference made a momentous decision to create a new organization for relief work among war refugees in Asia and Europe: the Methodist Committee on Overseas Relief, now the United Methodist Committee on Relief, or UMCOR. UMCOR is a vital part of Global Ministries’ work, bringing together the service and missional aspects of ministry.

Bishop Herbert Welch, who spearheaded the founding of UMCOR, called on General Conference to form this new body to distribute the proceeds of a special offering “for the relief of human suffering without distinction of race, color or creed.” Ever faithful to that commitment, UMCOR continues to meet the needs of vulnerable populations while maintaining the dignity of those with whom it works in relationship.

Early on, UMCOR was concerned primarily with the plight of war refugees and migrants, especially those impacted by the Second World War. Assistance for those impacted by war, along with natural disasters, has continued to be a priority for UMCOR. In 2022, when Russia invaded Ukraine, United Methodists responded with great generosity to help those displaced and otherwise affected by the war. UMCOR has also responded as best it can to the devastating situation in Palestine, despite little to no access to Gaza. As a Christian humanitarian organization, UMCOR asks that humanitarian organizations have full, immediate and safe access to Gaza, and calls on all in authority to establish an immediate ceasefire so that those who are starving can be fed and cared for.

UMCOR works as a part of Global Ministries to transform people and communities in ways that support holistic wellbeing. The four components of UMCOR’s work – providing disaster relief and recovery, assisting migrants, fostering environmental sustainability, and promoting sustainable agriculture – operate in holistic support of one another and other Global Ministries programs, such as Global Health, to support the wellbeing of the whole person.

But UMCOR isn’t just about sending help, and UMCOR does not do its work alone.

UMCOR is about helping one another through difficult times and circumstances through the power of partnership. UMCOR’s work is only possible because of the dedicated work on the ground of United Methodist episcopal areas and annual conferences, affiliated Methodist churches, and other partners. Together, we all share in the work of UMCOR.

In the video below, meet a few of our many amazing UMCOR partners.

As United Methodists, we can be proud of what we have accomplished together through UMCOR over the last 80-plus years.

But our work is not done.

UMCOR is committed to continue showing God’s love to those who are suffering.

Will you join us?