Puerto Rico Benefit Concert

In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, plenty of us in Austin had family and friends that needed our help. Houston, Corpus Christi, Victoria, Port Arthur, Port Aransas, Beaumont, Rockport – these are places we know and love, and it was easy to justify spending our days in an emergency shelter for evacuees and planning day trips to help with clean-up. The need was real, and we felt it.

Hurricanes Maria and Irma, however, didn’t hit Texas. But even though the areas they hit are much further away, and even though far less of us in Austin have direct connections to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, those affected are no less our neighbors, and no less our family.

Scripture tells us that our neighbors aren’t restricted by location, political boundaries, ethnicities, or frankly, anything else (Colossians 3:11 and Galatians 3:28). Rather, our neighborhood includes the whole world. Puerto Rico may be an island, and they may not have voting rights in the legislative branch, but they are no less our family.

University Christian Church isn’t perfect by any means. But we have committed to live out as best we can our belief that all people are equal, worthy, and loved in God’s kingdom. With Puerto Rico facing extreme shortages of safe water, electricity, fuel, and hospital beds (source), we can’t but help think of Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37). When a man was beaten and robbed, left for dead on the side of the road, who was the neighbor to the man? The one who did something about it, bandaging wounds and paying for care. It’s time for us all to live that out.

The Texas coast is still recovering, and many of our own families and friends are dealing with the aftermath of Harvey. Supporting Puerto Rico doesn’t mean we’re forgetting about those in Houston and TX that need us, but just that we recognize that God has called us to be family to those near AND to those further away.

For more details on how UCC is raising support for Puerto Rico, including our benefit concert on Saturday, Oct. 28th, see our event page here.