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    United Methodists of Upper New YorkLiving the Gospel. Being God's Love.

    news article

    Coming together to help those impacted by the ‘Blizzard of the Century’

    January 9, 2023 / By Shannon Hodson / .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

    After already experiencing a late-November blizzard that dropped over 50 inches of snow in the Buffalo region, an even more life-threatening storm swept through Christmas weekend. The blizzard began on Dec. 23, 2002, with heavy snowfall and up to 70 mph winds. The snow and wind kept falling relentlessly overnight. Snowbanks and drifts were up to seven feet high.

    Not only were people stranded in their homes, but thousands were trapped in their cars, tens of thousands without power, and the death count is nearly 50 people.

    Kristina Clark, Upper New York (UNY) Director of Missional Engagement went right to work.

    She said, “The storm in Buffalo has been absolutely devastating. It’s hard to not get emotional about it.”

    Kristina immediately learned of significant damage to Community Church Jehovah Jireh (one of UNY’s Hispanic ministries) and that an African American congregation, Lincoln Memorial UMC, had pipes burst.  By connecting with UMCOR, she was able to receive a $10,000 grant to start helping fund the many needs that will arise from this storm.

    Kristina also set up a link for folks across the UNY Conference to submit donations for disaster relief and to help with everything from cleanup needs to funeral expenses.

    On Jan. 4, after most people had returned from their holiday vacation, newly appointed Upper New York Area Resident Bishop, Héctor A. Burgos Núñez, sent a letter to the Conference addressing how they can come together to help support Buffalo and other communities in the Conference that were impacted by the Christmas weekend storm. He invited impacted church leaders to a Zoom call on Jan. 6, 2023.

    Stories of devastation and God sightings were shared. Click here to read about the stories shared.  Also, in the Zoom conversation, Kristina shared a form you can fill out if you are interested in helping with the relief efforts. Click here to read about next steps and to access the form that Kristina shared.

    TAGGED / Connectional Ministries

    With more than 100,000 members, United Methodists of Upper New York comprises of more than 675 local churches and New Faith Communities in 12 districts, covering 48,000 square miles in 49 of the 62 counties in New York state. Our vision is to “live the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to be God’s love with our neighbors in all places."