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Church event to raise funds for storm relief

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Bob Goff

matt seaton
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BY JENNY WHITE
Staff Writer

Thursday, September 12, 2019

There is a flood forecast for the area Friday night.

First United Methodist Church in Rocky Mount has scheduled “A Flood of Love” to be held at 7 p.m. at the Rocky Mount Event Center.

Christian speaker and humanitarian Bob Goff will be the keynote speaker for the event planned by church staff and members for the past four months. The event will raise money for hurricane relief efforts led by the United Methodist Church.

Goff is the author of two N.Y. Times best-selling books, “Love Does” and “Everybody, Always.”

“When we were planning this event and hoping to raise money for disaster relief, hurricane season seemed far away,” said the Rev. Matt Seaton, associate pastor at First United Methodist Church. “Now with Dorian just coming through and leaving a path of destruction from the Bahamas to Ocracoke Island, the need for us to help our neighbors, near and far, is great.”

Seaton said the theme of the event will be loving your neighbors and he hopes it serves as a balm to the local community and some of the feelings of division felt by residents.

Goff emphasizes loving people always, especially those you might not agree with or particularly like.

Goff’s speaking presentations usually consist of scripture, stories from the Bible and humorous anecdotal stories.

“We wanted to do something to strengthen the faith of all our brothers and sisters in Rocky Mount. A message of love and the importance of loving all of our neighbors is something we believe our community, every community, can benefit from,” Seaton said.

Seaton said people who attend other churches or those who do not attend any church are welcome to attend.

“It is an event for everyone,” he said.

Tickets for the event are $20. Proceeds for the event will go to the N.C. Disaster Response Fund. The fund was developed by a group of youth attending the annual United Methodist Pilgrimage event last year and is an ongoing relief fund for areas affected by hurricane damage in North Carolina.

“We are still helping our neighbors in eastern North Carolina recover from last year’s hurricane damage from Matthew and Florence,” Seaton said. “We will now be praying for and raising money to offer relief and money to rebuild to victims from last week’s Hurricane Dorian.”

Last fall, First United Methodist Church donated about 200 flood clean-up buckets to flood victims and the church youth group assisted in North Carolina clean-up efforts organized by Samaritan’s Purse.

Seaton said no solid plans have been made, but he expects the church will put together flood buckets again this fall.

“It’s something we do that offers immediate help to those cleaning up from disasters and is just a way for us to feel helpful and invite others in the community to join us in helping others,” he said.

Michelle Bachelor is a member of FUMC and a fan of Bob Goff, his books and his humanitarian work. She thinks Goff’s message of love is contagious and hopes people in Rocky Mount — and even those from far away — get to hear Goff speak of how to love their neighbors.

“Loving others is not necessarily easy, but Jesus did make it simple,” Batchelor said. “Bob has a way of sharing love with others that makes you want to show love to everyone also. Having more love going around our town, or any town, is such a good thing, especially in the wake of disaster or devastation like the recent hurricanes.”

Tickets will be available at the door or are available for $20 each plus a processing fee via etix or on the church’s website, www.fumcrm.org. For more information, call 252-977-0400.

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