We went up to the church today and cleared the branches from the walks and parking lot. There are some big branches around the parking lot that we will need to have someone take away – but that can wait for a while. As I mentioned in my earlier email, other damage was minimal. Thanks to all – especially Matt Wells – who worked to prepare our buildings ahead of the storm.
This whole area is still without power. The office will remain closed until power comes back. We pray for a restoration of power before Sunday. PSEG keeps saying Monday, but that is for full restoration of power to the whole area.
WE WILL HAVE WORSHIP AT 9AM AND 10:30AM ON SUNDAY NO MATTER WHAT. We may not have bulletins if we can’t get the computer and copier working and it may be chilly, but we will gather to pray for those still in need and give thanks for our good fortune. We will decide about Sunday School later.
I realize that many of you can not read this because your power is out, but for those with power or smart phones please let me know if you need assistance. I have heard that there is a cell phone charging station at Paramus High School and PSEG is distributing water and ice at Garden State Plaza. The Hess station on Route 17 south in Paramus had gas as of Wednesday. The line for cars was about 40 minutes, but if you just need gas cans filled, drive past the station and park next door – there are separate pumps for those walking in.
I have tried to contact some in the congregation who I felt might be in need of assistance, with limited success. I am hoping that all all well and are being cared for. Please reach out to those around you and contact me if assistance is needed.
Many congregations in south Jersey – especially;l;y along the shore – have experienced severe damage. I anticipate that volunteers will be needed to help with clean up and that donations of money and supplies will be appreciated. I will pass on information about all of those opportunities to help as I receive it.
In church on Sunday, one of the Sunday school children asked “does God send the storm?” The short answer is no. God has created a world in which weather is a part, and sometimes the weather conditions can be severe. That is the nature of the world we live in. God does not send destruction, but God does respond to the pain and suffering of God’s people. Our Lord, and Christ’s church is here with us and for us. Fred Rogers once said that if you want to see God in the midst of a crisis, look to those who come to the rescue. God provides rescue in our need, and God provides the opportunity for us to be part of God’s work as we are rescuers as well.