“Do not be afraid, for I am with you:” Isaiah 43:5a
The people in western New York continue to dig out from last week’s tremendous amounts of snow with help from people and organizations not only from across New York state but from across the nation and from Canada. In grateful appreciation to the many volunteers who are reaching out to help, driveways are being cleared, sidewalks shoveled to ensure that mothers awaiting delivery of newborn babies are able to be reached by local emergency responders to transport them to hospitals, and food is being delivered to those stranded in homes, where provisions have been depleted. Congregations have mobilized work crews to help with shoveling, to prepare soup, cookies and other food items to nourish emergency responders, and are partnering to help each other. Sunday worship services have been cancelled in some locations and members invited to worship with a neighbor. Pastor Laurie Carson, Holy Cross – Farnham, will hold a conference call prayer service for her members on Sunday morning. What a creative way to share God’s presence!
The Western NY VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster) has been mobilized. Pastor John Klatt represents us in this group and is working closely with other ecumenical partners as well as local and state government representatives. All are preparing for the anticipated transition of the snow event to a significant flood event early next week as temperatures warm and rain and melting snow combine. LDR in Upstate NY has been in conversation with Rev. Michael Stadie, LDR Program Director at our Churchwide offices in Chicago.
Many are asking how to help. Please do not travel to the affected areas without first connecting with those coordinating help. If you wish to volunteer please call the volunteer coordination line at 716-677-3812. As we move from snow to rain and possible flooding the needs may change. We will do our best to keep you informed as to the best ways to help.
Merciful Father, we command to your loving keeping all who work to bring rescue and relief especially the firefighter, police, paramedics, medical personnel, and volunteers, all who are helping, Give them courage in danger, skill in difficulty, and compassion in service. Sustain them with bodily strength and calmness of mind that they may perform their work to the well-being of those in need so that lives may be saved and communities restored. Amen.
- Pray individually and as a community for those who have been affected and continue to be affected, for all those who are responding including emergency service workers, utility crews, government and non-profit organizations and many, many others.
- It is anticipated that flood buckets will be needed. Instructions for assembling “Flood Buckets” are available on the synod website.
- If you have congregational teams willing to volunteer, please call the volunteer coordination number or be in touch with Rev. John Klatt or email information to LDR at firstname.lastname@example.org providing type of assistance you can provide, # of volunteers, possible availability dates, and contact name, phone and email.
- Join Bishop Macholz in making a financial donation to Lutheran Disaster Response. If you wish to make a donation specifically to be used in upstate New York please send your donation to, LDR in Upstate NY, c/o Lutheran Homes Foundation, 108 Utica Rd., Clinton, NY 13323 (Checks made payable to “Lutheran Homes Foundation” – please note LDR-Upstate NY in the memo line). Donations support the LDR volunteers working locally in the wake of disasters here in our territory to share information, train and coordinate volunteers and to support recovery efforts.