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Puerto Rico and Caribbean Recovery

The Episcopal Diocese
of New York

1047 Amsterdam Avenue
New York, NY 10025
Tel: (212) 316-7400

Liaison for Global Mission

The Rev. Yamily Bass-Choate
Liaison for Global Mission

Office: 212-316-7432
Fax: 212-932-7345

Join the Diocesan Community in Supporting the Recovery in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean

January, 2018

Since shortly after the September storms, members of our Bishop’s staff have been in conversation with Bishop Rafael Morales and his staff in Puerto Rico, not only to offer prayer and immediate assistance, but to ascertain specific long-term recovery and mission projects that can be implemented in partnership with the people of our diocese.  Bishop Rafael is looking forward to the immense possibilities for shared ministry and mission, and to strengthening the long-standing bonds between the people of the Diocese of New York and the people of the Diocese of Puerto Rico. 

In the Diocese of New York, we have moved through the initial period of immediate help, during which many of us have donated money to Episcopal Relief and Development. Now the time has come to move into a second stage of help and to begin sustained and sustainable support.

“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger who announces peace, who brings good news, who announces salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.”” (Isa. 52:7)

Bishop Rafael has expressed a specific need for long-term involvement by those offering assistance, and for focusing on particular projects in need.

One Project is Already Ongoing

Already underway is an immediate short-term project working with four specific mountain churches in the coffee and mountainous regions of Maricao and Lares, where household water filtration systems were provided and a joyous Epiphany was celebrated. This is an initiative of five cousins, including the Rev. Carla E. Roland Guzmán from the Church of Saint Matthew and Saint Timothy here in our diocese.  It is our hope and goal that we as a diocese can continue the work begun here under the title “Meeting God on the Mountain Top.”

More Projects Are to Come

As relationships deepen and partnerships are created, we anticipate the development of additional projects that will offer a variety of medium- and long-term (3 to 5-year) opportunities for individuals, specific congregations, and the whole diocese. Depending on the circumstances, this may take the form of the provision of money, expertise, or volunteers. In all cases, however, we will do these things together as a diocesan community. Current needs include cisterns and solar panels for the four churches and adjacent retreat center, so that the work of mission and evangelism can spring forth into the larger community.

Donations Are Invited

The Episcopal Diocese of New York has now created its own “Caribbean Recovery Fund” to pay for the work that we propose to do and/or support in this region. This is distinct in nature and purpose from the activities of Episcopal Relief & Development, which directs funds toward the Episcopal Church’s broader efforts in recovery. The Caribbean Recovery Fund will be available for individuals and churches in partnership to make requests for specific infrastructure and ministry projects, partnerships, and mission with the Diocese of Puerto Rico and other areas in the Caribbean. You may contribute to the fund online at [LINK], or by sending a check payable to the Episcopal Diocese of New York with a designation of “Caribbean Recovery Fund.”  The diocese’s Liaison for Global Mission, the Rev. Yamily Bass-Choate, will serve as liaison between the two dioceses, help identify projects, and disburse monies for specific projects.  The fund is not intended for, and will not be used for, administration.

1 I lift up my eyes to the hills; *
from where is my help to come?
2 My help comes from the LORD, *
the maker of heaven and earth.  (Ps. 121:1-2, BCP)