Shield in the Storm: Week of September 16


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

Dear Friends,

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.  As promised, here is the third in an installment of four messages to help you and your congregation be prepared for disasters.  You will continue to 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.



September is National Disaster Preparedness Month. Episcopal Relief & Development’s US Disaster Program recommends the following activities to ensure that your church can respond effectively after a disaster:

Create a congregational disaster preparedness plan

If a disaster strikes your community, how will your church ensure that it can continue its ministries and help meet the needs of vulnerable people who might be affected? Episcopal Relief and Development’s Preparedness Planning Guide for Congregations is a free, downloadable workbook that walks congregational leaders through the main tasks of disaster preparedness, including:
Assessing the kinds of disasters or emergencies for which your community might be at risk;
Inventorying physical property and assets that must be protected;
Determining the resources a congregation already has to respond, including its people and its physical and financial assets;
 Assembling contact information for effective communication after a disaster; and
Activities for testing a plan under various disaster scenarios.

The comprehensive version of the Preparedness Planning Guide is accompanied by a Facilitator’s Guide to help a congregational team develop a plan over four meetings, as well as test it and keep it up to date over time.

For congregations that would like to begin planning but do not have the capacity for a comprehensive planning process, more abbreviated “silver” and “bronze” versions of the guide are also available from Episcopal Relief & Development.

All resources can be downloaded for free from Episcopal Relief & Development’s Resource Library,

Episcopal Relief & Development’s US Disaster Program inspires, connects and equips Episcopal Church leaders around the country to prepare for hazards that might affect their communities. Activities focus on mitigating the impact of those disasters and helping the vulnerable to make a full and sustained recovery. For more information on our work visit


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.  We would appreciate hearing from all of you as soon as possible.  


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   newsletter for 

Contact Us

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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