Helping West Virginia in this Time of Need

Helping West Virginia in this Time of Need

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A UMNS slideshow showing the damage in West Virginia is available for viewing. 

Dear Sisters and Brothers of the New York Annual Conference,
The news of flooding from West Virginia has shown great devastation to a part of our nation that is already economically vulnerable. We pray for those who have lost loved ones, all who have lost homes and all who face a long-term recovery effort. As United Methodists, we know that the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is already on the scene working with the West Virginia Annual Conference, local churches and partners.
Even as the events in West Virginia were unfolding, members of the New York Annual Conference were asking, “What can we do?” Following UMCOR’s recommendations and United Methodist disaster response protocols we will not deploy Early Response Teams (ERTs) or send supplies until they are requested by the West Virginia Annual Conference. Here is UMCOR’s list of “What you can do to help” (For more details about UMCOR’s response, please see the article here):

The New York Annual Conference is blessed to have the leadership of the Rev. Tom Vencuss as our Coordinator of Disaster Response Ministries. Under his leadership, and in preparation for an invitation from the West Virginia Annual Conference, we will:

  • Receive inquiries from ERT- trained persons willing to lead teams if requested. Interested and qualified persons may contact Tom Vencuss at
  • Begin a review of our current ERT list to determine the status of ERT-trained persons.
  • Set up several training events for ERT certification or re-certification.
  • Encourage churches to assemble cleaning buckets. Please see UMCOR’s list of supplies for buckets. Pick-up dates and locations will be determined shortly.
  • Encourage our churches and people to be in prayer, not only for the people of West Virginia, but for all who are survivors of disasters – both natural and human made.

As we prepare for our response, we can be confident that the most important assistance we can provide is our payer support and our willingness to ask the question, "What does the Lord require of us?"

In Christ's love,

Bishop Jane Allen Middleton