Blizzard of the century response
January 4, 2023 / By Upper New York Area Resident Bishop, Héctor A. Burgos Núñez,
Editor's Note: On Jan. 4, Upper New York Area Resident Bishop, Héctor A. Burgos Núñez, sent the following letter to the Upper New York Conference about the recent winter storm that impacted the Niagara Frontier and Northern Flow Districts.
Dear partners in ministry,
Like you, my thoughts and prayers have been with all the communities affected by the blizzard, the residents of the City of Buffalo, and neighboring communities as they have endured what many are calling the “Blizzard of the Century.” I grieve the loss of life even as I give thanks for the many stories of heroism emerging from these difficult days.
People have shown up for each other in remarkable ways in the critical stages of the storm. As the recovery phase from the blizzard begins, we know of immediate needs calling us into action. In addition to damage to homes, two United Methodist churches in the Niagara Frontier District, Lincoln Memorial United Methodist Church and Community Church Jehovah Jireh, suffered significant water damage from burst pipes.
Other community needs at this time include replenishing food pantries and other emergency services as well as assisting low-income families with funeral expenses. We are staying connected to the recovery efforts and anticipate learning more in the coming days.
I invite all United Methodists of Upper New York to:
- Pray – for those impacted by the storm and its aftermath.
- Give – through the UNYAC website here. Your congregation can also collect a special offering and send it to the Conference treasurer’s office, attention “2022 Blizzard Response.” Your generosity will empower the UNY disaster response and missional engagement teams to offer relief and recovery to impacted individuals, families, and congregations in impacted areas.
- Serve – There is a need for skilled teams to help with flood cleanup and recovery. If you are able to serve, please contact the UNY Director of Missional Engagement, Kristina Clark, at email@example.com.
I also invite all pastors serving in the Niagara Frontier District and other impacted communities to join me for a special Zoom meeting this Friday, Jan. 6, 2023, at 10 a.m. a time of prayer, learning about the needs emerging, and discussing next steps. You can join the Zoom here.
When one part of the body hurts, the entire body hurts. May the Holy Spirit continue to embolden us to be God’s healing presence in our communities and the world.