Bishop Schol asks for relief funds for New Jersey

Bishop Schol

Editor’s note: Here’s a new message from Bishop John Schol:

Dear Friends of the Greater New Jersey Conference of The United Methodist Church,

Superintendent Paul Maliel, assistant Nicola Mulligan, my wife Beverly and daughter Kristen met with our clergy in the Cape Atlantic District today (Thursday) and heard the stories of damage to parsonages, church buildings, and communities. We have at least two parsonages in the Cape Atlantic District that are not usable and as people are allowed into some of the barrier islands, we believe there may be more. We have different types of church damage ranging from minor repairs to major repairs. This is a serious matter because our churches do not have flood insurance. We will need to explore together how we will assist with rebuilding parsonages and churches where they may not be covered by insurance.

We met Deanna and Tony, newlyweds, and Nicole, Sara, and Pastor Hector Burgos, all United Methodists from four of our churches, who were volunteering at a shelter outside of Atlantic City. This shelter has had as many as 900 people. It was amazing to watch our fellow disciples interact with the guests and hear how grateful the shelter staff was for their ministry. We had prayer with kitchen workers and other staff and we listened to the stories of people who are trying to figure out how to put their lives together. The night before, Pastor Burgos and the disciples of Oasis Church held a Halloween Party at the shelter for 150 children.

We prayed with disciples from St. Peter’s Church who were cleaning up from the flooding in their building and we stopped by our United Methodist Homes properties in Ocean City as they were welcoming home residents after the evacuation.

People everywhere we went wanted me to thank you, and all United Methodists, for what we are doing and what we will do to make a powerful witness that the work of Christ redeems, heals and renews people and communities.

People have been asking where they can send contributions. A denominational Advance number has been established and we have also been encouraged to establish a fund for the relief efforts. Churches and individuals may send contributions to:

GNJ Sandy Relief Fund
1001 Wickapecko Drive
Ocean, NJ 07712-4733

Checks may be made to GNJ Sandy Relief Fund and 100 percent of church and individual gifts will go directly to the relief work. The devastation in the New Jersey area is significant and will require several year of relief work. Your contributions are critical.

I invite all of our churches to take an offering over the next two weeks. You know best when to take the offering and how to promote the offering.

Our initial ministry continues with churches all across the conference by offering radical hospitality to the community for meals, recharging stations, internet connections and to provide warm places for people to sleep. We also have volunteers that are working across the Conference with Red Cross Shelters and other organizations. We have individuals helping neighbors to clean up debris and fallen trees. Children are making cards for families and individuals in shelters and others are preparing flood buckets. You are a gift from God. Thank you.

John Schol, Bishop
The United Methodist Church
Greater New Jersey Conference

Special Contributor to UMR

Special Contributor

This story was written by a special contributor to The United Methodist Reporter. You may send your article submissions to

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