Greetings from NJ 11.5.12

Continued Posting from Doug Macdonald, a member of Liberty Hill Presbyterian Church and PDA first responder deployed to New Jersey in the wake of Hurricane Sandy

Subject: Greetings from NJ 11.5.12

Sue is making things painless for me as she writes for our report appropriate things to pass on to you.  This is our church visit yesterday.  David and Mark went to churches south of us.

 

This morning First Pres, Manasquan had one 11 am service instead of its usual three. The sanctuary was filled with jacket-clad, scarf wrapped worshippers, all snuggling against their neighbors to ward off the chill. No power, no lights, no water (thus, no flushing). The “mucking team” was introduced and stood for a round of appreciative applause. These folks have been out helping neighbors tackle the initial dig out of sand and muck. They are a pretty sizable group. We learn that FPM also has — with some other churches — a well-established food bank. They distribute to about 500 people a month. During prayer/praise time we learned that schools are closed “indefinitely.” A former school teacher volunteered to help create a caring place for the kids to gather…that one woman’s neighbor needs help. A volunteer spoke up to take on the assignment. Clearly this is a can-do church committed to praising God and serving their neighbors.

After church the deacons met to divide the list of names of folks in the congregation who probably need visits and assistance. Then they left to check on the flock.

A group appears to be forming, as well, which will start meeting each morning at 9 to review lists of folks in the community in need. Then at 10 am volunteers will arrive and receive their assignments to go help as they are able.

IN ADDITION, the active youth group (The Liquid Church) gathered with their pastor for work assignments. They were anxious to hit the road and do stuff!

This is an engaged and energetic church, one which could probably be developed for Longterm work if that need becomes apparent down the road.

 

Just an aside about the sanctuary. As the pastor stands at the pulpit, he faces the back wall which is a beautiful stained glass mural, Jesus the centerpiece. In the dimness of the unlit church, Pastor Morrison urged us all to turn to the back. What did we see. The outside sun was pouring through the window, lighting the fact and robes of Jesus. Did anyone need any other reminder of our hope and our light?

 

We will move to the Best Western Motel today.  David and Mark will join us from their hotel in Philidelphia.  It will be good to have the team together.  I believe I will miss the comfort of Wendy and Dwayne Bailey’s home.  They are magnificent hosts.

 

We will begin the week meeting with more churches and pastors an quickly move toward getting the presbytery organized.

 

Things are progressing.  As of midnight Saturday/Sunday there were still 1,000,000+ locations with out power and 5000+ in shelters.

This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Doug

Douglas P. Macdonald
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance
National Response Team
2559 Kingston Drive
Florence, SC 29505-6424

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