Saturday, January 17
Presbytery of Florida
W hen the Presbytery of Florida met in Tallahassee on April 28, 2014, many ruling and teaching elders were unable to make it because of weather conditions and closed roads. Rain fell all day and into the night.
The Florida panhandle received more than 26 inches of rain in 24 hours. Roads were washed away. Homes were flooded. Some of the worst flooding was on Piedmont Road in Pensacola, home of Trinity Presbyterian Church. Many refer to what happened in that area as the Piedmont Road flood. Two feet of water slammed against the church’s buildings and turned its parking lot into a sandbar. Slabs of pavement from the road broke loose and floated on the floodwaters. Homes were left without electricity, water, or sewer. Two ruptured water mains added insult to injury.
How did Trinity Presbyterian respond to the flooding? Church staff and members, assisted by over 30 volunteers from the Pensacola Naval Air Station, began stripping carpet, vacuuming water, mopping, and moving furniture. The church parking lot became a distribution center for water, ice, meals, and portable toilets.
Two days later, plans had already been laid for “Prayers and Potluck for Piedmont” on the church grounds. Pastor Hugh Hamilton and other folks from Trinity went out into the neighborhood on foot, house to house, inviting their neighbors to come to church on Sunday, or at least to the home-cooked potluck lunch afterward and to take home extra meals.
On Sunday, May 4, amid the debris and ruin from the flood, Trinity Presbyterian in Pensacola demonstrated compassionate discipleship by worshiping God and feeding its neighbors.
The Presbytery of Florida is home to 44 congregations.
—Rev. Dr. Ted W. Land, coordinating presbyter
Let us join in prayer for
Rev. Dr. Ted W. Land, coordinating presbyter
Melissa Morgan, administrator
Joy Gilbert, hunger action enabler
Pam McVety, stewardship of creation enabler
Elder Jeannie Dixon, stated clerk
Rev. Dr. Jonas Georges, director, Dogwood Acres Camp and Retreat Center
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Let us pray
Creator God, we give thanks for the gift of compassion shown amid turmoil. We pray for comfort for those affected by floods and other disasters. Amen.