On June 23rd West Virginia was hit with a "1000 year" storm. A storm that has wreaked incredible damage throughout the state directly impacting 44 of the state's 55 counties. At least 25 people have lost their lives and more than 1200 homes have been destroyed or severely damaged.
In New Jersey we discovered the strength of our United Methodist connection through UMCOR. Thousands of volunteers poured in from throughout the United States to help New Jersey recover.
Our Bishop, Rev. John Schol, has written, "When people hurt, United Methodists help. After Superstorm Sandy, United Methodists from around the world sent donations for our recovery. One of the first and most generous United Methodist conferences to respond with financial gifts and volunteers was the West Virginia Conference. Bishop Sandra Steiner Ball brought a group of volunteers. I imagine you have already heard about the devastating floods in West Virginia that destroyed thousands of homes and devastated towns. I am also imagining a generous gift from GNJ to assist them in their recovery. They carried our burden in their heart after Sandy and now it is our opportunity to lift them up through our prayers and gifts."
Some of the first UMCOR volunteers who went to West Virginia came from the Greater New Jersey Annual Conference. Our people are already helping West Virginia rebuild. When all of the other groups leave a region impacted by terrible storms the United Methodist Church remains through UMCOR or here in NJ through A FUTURE WITH HOPE.
We are taking an ongoing special LOVE OFFERING for the people of West Virginia. Every dollar helps and St. Paul's has a rich history of stepping up in love with dollars and time whenever a need exists. A need exists so please make a contribution (If you can't give in church please send a check of support to St Paul's UMC, 74 Church Street, PO Box 125, West Deptford, NJ 08086 and make sure to designate the check West Virginia relief.).