Shield in the Storm: Week of September 23

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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 fourth and final message to help you and your congregation be prepared for disasters.  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.

Thank you to those of you who are clergy and/or responsible for bulletin content and have been copying these preparedness messages for printed and electronic newsletters.  As fourteen Episcopal parishes directly affected by the Colorado flooding learned recently and as many of us here have learned in the past, disasters happen whether we are ready or not, and any step towards preparedness is a good one.



September 29, 2013

September is National Disaster Preparedness Month. Episcopal Relief & Development’s US Disaster Program recommends the following activities to help you respond to a disaster:

Sign up to volunteer in disaster recovery

Episcopal Relief & Development’s Ready to Serve database maintains information about individuals willing to serve in future disaster response programs. In addition to basic contact details, it gathers information about volunteer skills and training. After a local disaster, a Diocesan Disaster Coordinator uses the information to find out what human resources are available locally and regionally to use in implementing programs.

Volunteers who sign up for Ready to Serve also receive  Lamplight, a monthly e-newsletter that features articles on how Episcopal dioceses and congregations are responding to disasters, and lists programs that are currently accepting volunteers.

Sign up for Ready to Serve at

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   e 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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