Monday, September 2
New York, Vermont
In August 2011, Tropical Storm Irene dumped a tremendous amount of rain in the Catskill Mountains and caused devastation in many communities. Within 24 hours, volunteers rallied, among them hundreds of Presbyterians. At the time, Schoharie United Presbyterian Church was writing a mission study in preparation for a pastoral search. Six months later they completed their mission study. This is an excerpt:
“Five to six feet of water swept through the village, including three buildings belonging to the Presbyterian church, and affected 80 percent of homes in the village. Our interim pastor, who lived in the manse next door to the church, found herself homeless, as did several members of the congregation. In all, 23 adults and children of the congregation were affected by flood damage.
“At this writing, six months later, these people are still struggling to repair their homes or start afresh elsewhere. Rebuilding has begun with the help of God and many ‘angels’ on earth! To date, there have been some 30,000 volunteer hours logged in the village. Volunteers have come from far and wide to lift a shovel or swing a hammer.
“For many members of the church and the community, this crisis has served as a catalyst for rededicating themselves to the service of God, the church, and the community, and has mobilized many to take an active part in the reconstruction process. The leaders and members of the church feel an even greater sense of commitment and ownership for what happens here and are working very hard to make their church the best it can be and to serve God by serving their community in the aftermath of the disaster.”
Albany Presbytery’s 69 congregations have 6,925 total members.
Let us join in prayer for:
Let us pray
God of mercy, we are grateful that new life can arise from loss. We give thanks for those who give of themselves so that others might have hope. Amen.