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“Do not doubt, but believe.” John 20:27

Tuesday, September 24

The Presbytery of Susquehanna Valley

New York

First Presbyterian Union Church in Owego was among several congregations in the presbytery to set up relief centers to help the community.


During the last week of August 2011, Hurricane Irene made landfall and traveled through the eastern edge of New York State. Record rainfall and high winds produced widespread flooding of the Delaware River and power outages in several communities. Area congregation members joined other locals and denominational and governmental agencies as first responders in assisting their displaced neighbors. Food and clothing were donated at such levels that it seemed no one went without.

But that was only a prelude to Hurricane Lee, whose swath of destruction included the western half of Susquehanna Valley Presbytery. Lessons learned in the aftermath of Irene were put to use as the Susquehanna River flooded, swamping numerous towns, buildings, and farmland. The Presbyterian Disaster Assistance team was called in, joining other agencies in an area-wide helping effort. Everyone pitched in as before. Homeless persons were fed, clothed, and relocated. Debris was gathered and removed. When buildings were declared structurally sound, their cleanup began.

This is only the beginning of the story. Local economies, already shaken in these difficult times, will not rebound as quickly as people. Long-term support and assistance in rebuilding will be needed. The congregations of Susquehanna Valley Presbytery are in it for the long haul, joining hands with all who believe that the way of life in upstate New York is too valuable to neglect.

The Presbytery of Susquehanna Valley is made up of 48 congregations and their 5,123 members.

Let us join in prayer for:

Presbytery Staff
Rev. Dr. Cheryl Ann Elfond, interim executive presbyter for transition and transformation
Jim Martin, stated clerk
Patty Wolff, treasurer
Christine Rogalski, office administrator

PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Mary Ruth Phares, PMA
Rev. Ann Philbrick, PMA
Adam Phillip-Silver, BOP

Let us pray

Lord Jesus, we thank you for all the hands that respond when trouble strikes. Show us, in an age of sound-bites and 10-second videos, that life is a long-term project, that yesterday’s disasters will require attention for a whole lot of tomorrows. Bless all those who will not rest—who cannot rest—until our communities are fully restored. Their efforts will stand as a worthy expression of your love. Amen.

Daily Lectionary

Morning Psalms 54; 146
First Reading 2 Kings 5:19-27
Second Reading 1 Corinthians 5:1-8
Gospel Reading Matthew 5:27-37
Evening Psalms 28; 99

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