October 12, 2011
From: Jane Lang, Interim Associate Executive Minister
I want to update people on what is happening here in New York State as a result of Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. There have been four ABC/NYS churches with moderate to severe damage.
1. Community Baptist Church in Wappingers Falls had moderate damage which will be covered by insurance.
2 Central Baptist Church in Greene had flooding in the lower level of the church, used by Head Start and the youth, and in the lower level of the parsonage. Head Start has decided to not return to the church as this is the second time in five years this area has been flooded. The church has spent approximately $ 22,000 for clean-up and sanitizing the areas. They are still thinking about how they will use the church space in the future, and the parsonage repairs will be done by some local volunteers in the near future.
3 First United Church of Waterford had damage to their slate roof and is awaiting an estimate. Other building damage was minimal, but they have been very busy in helping the poor neighborhood in the Village which suffered severe damage; many people have been displaced.
4. First Baptist Church of Owego had severe damage. They have spent approximately $ 50,000 in clean-up and sanitization of their buildings. They are currently meeting in the Nazarene Church for worship. They are probably going to wait until spring to begin the rebuilding process. They will be using this time to think through how to best reconstruct the interior of their building.
The clean-up work continues in the Waverly/Sayre/Athens area, and the American Baptist Men’s disaster trailer is still in Waverly. In this community volunteers are needed, and those who are there are getting very tired. Volunteers will be needed in the future in Owego when they are ready to do the repairing of the building next spring. Money is needed and can be sent directly to the churches affected as God leads. You can send money to the Region or through One Great Hour of Sharing marked for New York Flood Relief. One Great Hour of Sharing funds have been released but, in speaking with coordinator Victoria Goff, more requests have been received than there are current resources.
I would encourage you to share this with the members of your congregation and other groups and trust that God’s Spirit will direct each of us in the distribution of our resources so that God will indeed be glorified.