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    The Upper New York Conference of The United Methodist Church


    news article

    My second day in Puerto Rico for humanitarian relief

    January 16, 2018 / By Thaddeus Pinckney

    Not, how much of my money will I give to God, but how much of God's money will I keep for myself. -John Wesley

    On the second day of a trip to Puerto Rico to witness the humanitarian and disaster relief efforts by the United Methodist Church of Puerto Rico and UMCOR after Hurricane Maria, Pastor Carmelo Tosado Moya, Jr. graciously volunteered to not only show the gorgeous charm and splendid wonder of San Juan, the capital of Puerto Rico, but also, to show the simple beauty of serving others through even the smallest of actions.

    Is it really true that the meek shall inherit the earth? The word meek puzzles many because the meek aren't always portrayed in a positive light. Have you also heard that being recognized or being the loudest can earn the most attention (and the largest reward as well)?

    Yet, Pastor Carmelo does enjoy being meek, with a gentle, and humble spirit. He uses it to fervently serve his community in San Juan, putting a huge emphasis in his life upon that serving word. “He understands,” Pastor Carmelo stated, “Many people might have a hesitation to serve themselves, especially to serve people so far away from them in Puerto Rico. In fact, many people may feel that their talents and actions maybe just too small to help those affected by a major hurricane.”

    This is why Pastor Carmelo emphasized not worrying about personally knowing the ABCs of disaster relief, and spoke about simple ways to help Puerto Rico get back on its feet. Some of his suggestions, included: remembering Puerto Rico in your prayers, setting aside needed supplies that can be shipped to churches, or making direct donations to UMCOR, all would make a huge difference. He cited other simple actions, such as contacting UMC Churches to offer encouragement, or even visiting Puerto Rico on your next vacation to boost the economy and get Puerto Ricans back to work. Old San Juan, where his church is located is rich in Spanish-style architecture and quaint cobblestone streets. He welcomes you to come, serve, and worship with his church.

    Serving is oftentimes seen as giving a lot of money through a large, ground-breaking donation or giving a great deal of time and physical strength, and while these methods are helpful, serving can also be accomplished though the smallest of acts of kindness. There are so many small ways that you can help the people of Puerto Rico (beginning with prayer).

    Yes, The United Methodist Church and UMCOR are prominent parts of the restoration of Puerto Rico, and so also are YOU! You too can serve.

    Editor’s Note:  You can help support relief efforts in Puerto Rico, by making out a check to Upper New York Conference with FUND # 483 - "2017 Hurricane Maria Disaster Relief" on the memo line.


    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."