Picking up the Pieces: Comfort, Demo, Food and Water

New York City

Associate Pastor Vicki Flippin reports: The Church of the Village and friends walked up food and water to the Lower East Side housing projects! Our quads are sore, but our hearts are warmed. There are many others who still need help, and we encourage you to volunteer, donate, and be God’s presence in your communities and beyond.

Long Island

Rev. Jeff Wells, pastor of Community UMC in Massapequa, N.Y., spent much of Saturday afternoon checking on parishioners who live south of Merrick Road. In this community on the Great South Bay, Wells estimated that the homes of about 20 congregation members had been severely damaged by Sandy’s winds and the storm surge. Some of them were ripping out renovations that had been made just a year earlier in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene. In addition to words of comfort, Wells was passing out a list of parishioners who had opened their homes for hot showers, laundry, phone and internet connections.

On Saturday, the community was buzzing with activity as homeowners, family and friends took advantage of the clear weather to work on the daunting task of cleanup. Volunteers from the church had already been dispatched to several homes to help in removing the waterlogged contents. As piles formed on every street, village trucks moved in to remove the storm debris.

When Wells returned to the church after several hours in the community there was good news: the power was back on in the church. He quickly went inside to check the phones and that there would be heat for Sunday worship. The pastor told me later that night that the church would be serving as one of the conference centers for the recovery work. He was expecting the arrival of the NYAC tool trailer on Monday or Tuesday.

Further east, the power may have been out at Grace UMC in Lindenhurst, N.Y., but they were still serving hot meals over the weekend thanks to a gas stove and willing volunteers. Six adults and a dozen teens were busy serving pasta and hotdogs, and sorting the donated clothing that was pouring in. Early on Saturday, a team had driven food and water down to the hardest hit area of town south of Montauk Highway.

On Saturday night, I found Pastor Lee Gangaware in the parsonage stoking a fire in preparation for worship. The parsonage had electricity so the regular Saturday night service was being moved next door.

– Rev. Joanne S. Utley, NYAC Communications


Like what you're reading? Support the ministry of UM News! Your support ensures the latest denominational news, dynamic stories and informative articles will continue to connect our global community. Make a tax-deductible donation at ResourceUMC.org/GiveUMCom.

Sign up for our newsletter!

UMNEWS-SUBSCRIPTION
Worship
Chase Crickenberger. Photo courtesy of the author. Mr. Crickenberger's commentary appears in the Blogs and Commentaries section of Untied Methodist News.

Online communion should not be here to stay

The church would risk further marginalizing shut-ins and others by denying them a physical experience of the Body of Christ.
Mission and Ministry
Tim Tanton (center, in red), chief news and information officer for United Methodist Communications, shares updates with African communicators and other UMCom staff during the 2019 General Conference. World Press Freedom Day, observed May 3, commemorates journalists and highlights the difficulties they face while reporting truth. File photo by Kathleen Barry, UM News

May 3 is World Press Freedom Day

Tim Tanton with United Methodist News talks about giving voice to the voiceless and why freedom of information is essential not only for society but for the church.
Social Concerns
The Rev. Josephine Whitely-Fields. Photo courtesy of the Rev. Josephine Whitely-Fields

Enduring racism, badgering, as a pastor

Black clergywoman persevered through obstacles at local church appointments.