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Pastor of Newtown UMC writes of ‘new normal’ after massacre

By Mel Kawakami One month ago, a young gunman walked into the Sandy Hook Elementary School just down the street from Newtown United Methodist Church and killed 20 precious children and six brave adults. It has been a long and difficult 30 days here in Sandy Hook, and we are just beginning to find our way […]

Church’s relief efforts continue at home, overseas

A late-season hurricane that swept the U.S. Northeast coast and a typhoon flooding the island of Mindanao in the southern Philippines capped disaster-response efforts by United Methodists during 2012. Although Typhoon Bopha made a deadly hit on Dec. 4—killing at least 600 and washing away entire villages—many people were better prepared because of disaster risk-reduction […]

Bees, snails, Moringa trees boost agriculture in Liberia

TUNUKUK PUYE, Liberia—The Rev. Joe Gatei pulls the baggy, mint-green net suit over his Sunday clothes. Knee-high black rubber boots, red heavyweight plastic gloves and a straw hat with an attached net veil make him look like a giant Gumby. With every inch of him protected, he is ready to visit the aggressive wild African […]

Sandy’s aftermath: Planning long-term relief in NYC, New Jersey

By Linda Unger and Susan Kim, Special Contributors… As big flakes of icy wet snow fell on streets still muddy from Hurricane Sandy’s devastating storm surge, Peter Vasquenz carried another black trash bag to the curb outside his mother’s home on Staten Island, N.Y. In it were pieces of ripped flooring and soggy drywall from […]

Churches aid storm relief effort

Staff Reports… United Methodists in New Jersey and New York are mobilizing to help residents in those areas affected by Hurricane Sandy. On Staten Island, Bethel United Methodist Church is serving as a staging area for relief efforts. Ten United Methodist congregations on Staten Island and their buildings all weathered the storm. “That’s a good […]

Bishop Schol shares details on UM-related ‘Sandy’ damage and relief efforts

  Bishop John Schol took time in the midst of an extraordinarily busy stretch to answer questions about how the Greater New Jersey Conference, which he oversees, is coping with Hurricane/Superstorm Sandy damage and relief efforts. Managing editor Sam Hodges posed the questions and the bishop responded by email. You reported Nov. 8 that seven […]

Relief work begins after East Coast hurricane

Entire coastal towns underwater. Millions without power. A paralyzed New York City. Days after Hurricane Sandy rolled across a huge swath of the eastern United States, United Methodists began springing into action. Churches opened their doors as shelters, community centers and recharging stations, and United Methodist disaster response coordinators began deploying teams of volunteers to […]

United Methodists in northeast brace for storm

United Methodists in the Northeast are bracing for the incoming Hurricane Sandy today, which is expected to make landfall in Central New Jersey. Forecasters say the “superstorm” threatens 50 million people in the nation’s most heavily populated area. UMCOR Assistant General Secretary for U.S. disaster response, the Rev. Tom Hazelwood, urged residents of the Northeast […]

Together in service – Three women connecting as relief leaders

When the earth is torn asunder, when famine, disease or war ravages some faraway, forgotten place, look for Nyamah Dunbar, Shannon Trilli or Melissa Crutchfield and know things will get better. If it sounds as if they should be wearing capes and leaping tall buildings, that’s because if it were possible, these three remarkable young […]

UMCOR assists Isaac victims in Louisiana

By Betty Backstrom, United Methodist News Service… MAUREPAS, La.—When the elementary school in Maurepas reopened on Sept. 6, nearly 60 area children showed up for classes. Many of the children live in homes flooded by Hurricane Isaac’s torrential rains that topped the bayous and lakes surrounding this low-lying area of Louisiana a week prior. “When […]