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    The Upper New York Conference of The United Methodist Church

    news article

    Central United Methodist Church delivers dozens of Packets of Love

    May 13, 2020 / By Shannon Hodson / .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

    Central United Methodist Church in Endicott, NY, has always been missionally-focused. They have a clothing center that their neighbors rely on. Due to COVID-19, they had to close it and only open it during emergency situations (like house fires). Their Sheppard Supper every Thursday night is an opportunity for neighbors to come in and connect over warm meals; it has now been converted to take-out meals following social distancing guidelines.

    As soon as the church was forced to close because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Central UMC Pastor, the Rev. Michelle Bogue-Trost, developed phone lists and had groups consistently check in on people and maintain connections. Church members started making masks for the community.

    Central UMC church member Joe Frega reached out to UNY Director of Missional Engagement, Mike Block, to see what more they could do to keep connected with their members and let them know they are cared about. Mike mentioned packets that could be delivered to homes with items to help people know they are loved.

    The Central UMC missions team got to work. Two CVS pharmacies offered them many items for their packets at a reduced cost. The missions team efficiently put together the packets using social distancing guidelines. Some familial groups assembled the packets, which they called “Packets of Love,” while other familial groups delivered the packets to homes.

    Items that were included in each packet were:

    • Easter Cross lapel pin
    • Kind handwritten note of encouragement (livestream worship service viewers were asked to write these letters that could be applicable to anyone and dozens of people did this)
    • Upper Room devotional book
    • Central UMC magnet
    • Pen
    • Word Search puzzle book
    • 1-2 masks depending on address
    • Blank “Just a note” card
    • Stamped envelope
    • Post-It notepad
    • Hand sanitizer
    • Hand moisturizer

    Joe said, “All of it was simply to share ‘Love from Central.’”

    And Central UMC received love back as many of the stamped envelopes were used to send thank you notes to the church.

    Joe said, “This was such an incredible group effort of not only our Missions Council; it truly took a village!”

    With more than 144,000 members, the Upper New York Annual (Regional) Conference of The United Methodist Church comprises 865 local churches and 91 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."