Shield in the Midst of Life’s Storms: Week of August 26, 2013


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A Shield….
in the midst of life’s storms  

August 26, 2013

Dear Friends,

In my role as representative to Episcopal Relief & Development for the Diocese of Bethlehem, I may be more attuned to the severe weather and natural disasters that happen here and around the world, but it seems every newscast brings word of new devastation somewhere.  Right now, areas of our country are threatened by flooding and wildfires, while many areas still struggle with the effects of last year’s tornados, flooding, and the Superstorm that hit last October.

Not only that, but people can struggle with the aftermath of storms for much longer than a year, as we have seen in my home neighborhood of West Pittston, where residents still work to put their homes back together nearly two years after flooding struck.  I’ve seen first-hand how important it is for us to be prepared to protect our families and churches and to help our parishioners and neighbors when disaster strikes.

September is National Disaster Preparedness Month, and Episcopal Relief & Development has provided some resources to help keep preparedness on the minds of our churches throughout the month.  Starting next week and for the next four weeks, you will receive a newsletter each Monday with a bulletin announcement focused on some aspect of preparedness.  These announcements are valuable for us as individuals and to encourage others in our parishes to become aware of the need to be prepared for the next time disaster strikes.  For those of you who are clergy and/or responsible for bulletin content for your congregations, I ask that you please copy and paste the preparedness message into your printed parish announcements, and, if you have a electronic newsletter or similar
message that you send out regularly, that you consider copying and pasting the text into that as well.  Each message includes links to many helpful resources that will help your congregation be ready when disaster strikes.  You can also use the jpg image above in support of preparedness awareness.

Please take this opportunity to also consider where your parish stands in your preparedness efforts.   Only a few months remain to meet the requirements of the resolution passed at last year’s convention, which called for each parish to have a preparedness plan on file in the diocesan office by the end of the year.  Episcopal Relief & Development has provided an easy to follow form that can guide you in creating this plan and provide a place to record your efforts for submission to the diocese, which can be accessed from the web page. To help you get started, we will have one more parish preparedness training session on October 26, which will help respresentatives from your parish learn how to guide the preparedness process in your parish.  Registrations for that final session can be made by emailing


For the parishes that have completed the training, it is important that we hear from you with your progress and any questions. We will be making a report at Diocesan Convention about the progress of parishes towards meeting the resolution passed at last year’s convention requiring all parishes to have a disaster preparedness plan in place, and we will begin personally contacting parishes  to gather this information from any parishes that have completed the training but not submitted their reports.

Thank you for all you do to help our neighbors know that the Episcopal Church is their Shield in the Midst of Life’s Storms.


Rev. John C. Major
Interim Representative to Episcopal Relief Development for the Diocese of Bethlehem   e newsletter for 

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The Rev. John C. Major
Diocese of Bethlehem Representative
to Episcopal Relief & Development

Prayer of the Diocese of Bethlehem
Disaster Relief & Community Resiliency Committe

God of love and hope, you have called us to serve you in ministering to those affected by
the storms and trials of this world.  Grant us courage to persevere through the challenges
of this task, grace to bring your healing and hope to the suffering and afflicted, and sincere
and faithful hearts to share the good news that you are always near.  Grant this through your
Son, Jesus Christ, who calms the wind, stills the waves, and brings peace in the midst of storms.

Diocesan Disaster and Community Resiliency Committee

Canon Andrew Gerns            Canon Charles Cesaretti           Rev. Charles Warwick         Rev. Timothy Alleman
Rev. Jane Williams       Rev. Eddie Lopez        Rev. John Major        Janine Ungvarsky
Rt. Rev. Paul V. Marshall, Convener

This email was sent by Diobeth Episcopal Relief and Development at St. George’s Regional Disaster Recovery & Outreach Center.408 East Main Street  |  Nanticoke, PA 18634  |  570-335-7875www.episcopalreliefnepa.orgUnsubscribe immediately with SureRemove
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