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    The Upper New York Conference of The United Methodist Church


    Upcoming VIM Events

    Volunteers in Mission Team Leader Training

    Trained team leaders for Volunteer in Mission and Early Response Teams are essential. The conference Volunteers in Mission Coordinators, Roger and Donna Cullen, are offering team leader training on June 17 from 9 am - 2 pm at the Conference Office in Liverpool (7481 Henry Clay Blvd., Liverpool, NY 13088).  Grants to support mission journeys are contingent on teams having a trained leader. If you are interested in leading teams of adults or youth in taking mission trips or interested in supporting your team member, registration and details are on the Upper New York Volunteers in Mission Facebook page, or go to

    ERT Training and ERT Recertification Class – May 20

    UMCOR’s Early Response Team (ERT) training equips United Methodists to prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters. When disaster strikes, Early Response Teams (ERTs) fill a specific need to clean out flood-damaged homes, remove debris, place tarps on homes, and otherwise help to prevent further damage. The work provides a caring Christian presence in times of disaster.

    ERTs are not a first-response group of emergency workers, nor are they recovery, rebuild, or repair teams. Under very specific guidelines, ERTs assist survivors, without causing further harm or being a burden to the affected community.

    On May 20, two Early Response Team classes are being offered at First UMC of Fredonia. Early Response Team (ERT) training, is being taught by Tom & Linda Cooper. This basic ERT course is 8-hours. For current ERT members whose UMCOR badges are expiring (badge dated before 2014), a 4-hour recertification class is being taught by Brian Greenwald. All three trainers have been approved by UMCOR and are experienced ERT responders.

    Registration and request for information should be directed to Linda Cooper at or Brian Greenwald at

    Early Response Team (ERT) Training

    Host your own VIM training event. Just provide a classroom and lunch service, either free or paid, your option.

    Presented by UMCOR certified trainers.
    Contact Donna and Roger Cullen at or 585-398-1282 to request a class in your church or at a District event. This 8-hour class is offered for as few as 12 people. We will help with advertising.

    What do UMCOR Early Response Teams Do?

    1. Provide a Christian presence. This does not sound like a task… and is NOT, however, it can be the MOST important thing a team can do.
    2. Take steps to prevent further damage to a family’s personal property (stabilize): Tarping, Debris removal, Cleaning out of flooded homes
    3. Teams may be asked to manage donated materials, gather information or other perform other tasks as deemed necessary by the community.
    4. Observe survivor’s needs and report these to the local operations.
    5. Be a part of the caring ministry of “listeners” who will help the survivor being to heal.

    What will you learn in an ERT class?

    • The Who, What, When, and Why of Early Response Teams
    • Working with survivors
    • Seven important things to know about disaster spiritual and emotional care
    • Organizational structure for the relief stage
    • Team safety
    • ERT protocols
    • Safe sanctuaries
    • Equipping an ERT

    With more than 168,000 members, the Upper New York Annual (Regional) Conference of The United Methodist Church comprises 867 local churches and 65 new faith communities in 12 districts, covering 48,000 square miles in 49 of the 62 counties in New York state. Our mission is to “live the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to be God’s love with our neighbors in all places."