Harvey Assistance

A Presbytery of New Covenant Harvey Recovery Update (9-15)

We are grateful for the outpouring of love and compassion we are experiencing across the country.  The needs in this region are huge and will continue to be for some time.

20 of our 88 churches sustained some level of damage.  Some of these are pretty minor, but four churches (FPC, Orange; FPC, Dickinson; St. Andrews, Beaumont and New Hope, Katy) had significant to catastrophic flooding in their buildings and surrounding community.   Several other churches had damages in the tens of thousands of dollars.

The homes of at least 10 of our pastors and retired pastors flooded, as did many of our church members. Even churches that did not sustain damage to their property have reported large losses to their members’ homes. A total of 40 congregations had at least two families impacted by flooding, with many counting at 20 – 40 families. We estimate that as much as 60% of FPC Orange congregation, including its pastor and musician, experienced significant house flooding in addition to flooding of the church property.

Communities impacted were both rich and poor.  Some neighborhoods emerged practically untouched while others were devastated.  There are amazing stories of resilience and of the ways neighbors are helping neighbors.  We are seeing the connectional church at work as “muck and gut” crews are volunteering their services to assist other congregations.  We have been touched by the prayers and concern expressed across the country.

While much progress has been made, the rebuilding of lives takes time and physical, emotional and spiritual energy.  Some survivors are fortunate to have a strong support system and readily available financial assets to rebuild.  Others have support systems but limited finances. Still others have nothing.

We have been grateful for the presence of PDA workers in our midst as we begin a journey toward full recovery which we are told will probably take 10 – 12 years.  We are grateful to see different faith communities working across denominational and faith tradition lines.

People are champing at the bit to bring work crews – the infrastructure to offer housing is still evolving even as five of our congregations have opened their facilities to house short term recovery volunteers.

We are beginning to receive direct financial gifts restricted to Harvey recovery, notes of encouragement, clean up buckets and hygiene kits.  Your kindness matters.  Your prayers are felt.  Your financial gifts are enormously important.  We pray for your attention span to hold us in your heart on this long journey.

Remember, too, the folks to our west in Mission Presbytery whose coastal communities were blown off the map, as well as those communities so impacted by hurricane Irma.

In the first Sunday after the waters receded, these words from the prophet Isaiah were the assurance preached and clung to:

Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
    I have called you by name, you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
    and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
    and the flame shall not consume you.
For I am the Lord your God,
    the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. (43:1-4)

May we never forget God’s presence with us in both the storms and the gentle breezes of life. 

We trust Christ’s love and light and healing mercies prevail.Resources have been posted on the Presbytery of New Covenant Facebook page.  There will others added to our website as they are available.  Please watch for announcements in Tuesday Connect, also.

New job opportunity:
Download Disaster Recovery Coordinator Job Description

Download the Presbyterian Disaster Recovery Brochure

Peace to all!  Now the hard work of recovery begins ...

Lynn Hargrove (713-816-7051)  |  Mary Marcottte (832-691-2475)

Supplies Needed for muck and gut teams

 Water bottles – drink lots of water
 Towels
 Change of clothes
 First aid supplies
 Sturdy gloves
 Masks (N95 rated – paint masks will not be enough with the rate of mold)
 Garbage bags – as you may be carrying out soaked and muddy furniture and
belongings
 Bleach or mold killing spray
 Tools –if you have any
  • Pails
  • Buckets
  • Shovels
  • Crow bars

Reformation Challenge

Get ready!

This year marks the 500th anniversary of the legendary posting of Luther’s 95 theses, an act that galvanized the Reformation. Consider, if you will, participating in a presbytery wide study challenge to have 500 participants complete the Opening Doors to Discipleship 12 unit study on Reformed Theology. This FREE online study was developed by the PC(USA) in conjunction with some of our partner denominations. Opening Doors to Discipleship (odtd.net) offers solid, accessible study resources that could easily be adapted for a variety of settings.
  • Participating congregations would choose their own format and would sign up their own people. (This is a flexible program that congregations could use in many ways – individual students, midweek or Sunday morning classes, officer training, new member classes, etc.)
  • Congregations would notify the presbytery (via Mary Marcotte) how they are using the program and provide us with lists of those who have completed the study
  • We will celebrate participation at the November 18 Presbytery Meeting where we would announce results and provide certificates of completion to all whose names were submitted


Consider becoming part of the 500

The study features 12 interactive sessions which could each easily be completed within a one hour time frame. The course could be done by individuals online or could provide a structure for a group class. Churches might encourage folks to read and then post reactions to the reflection questions via a church Facebook page. To register, all that is needed for access is the denominational code (31627). Topics are:

Who is God?
Who is Jesus Christ?
The Holy Spirit
How We View the Bible
Reformed View of Sin and Salvation (How Jesus Saves Us)
Discipleship
Who is the Church?
Governing Ourselves in the Reformed Tradition
Worship and Sacraments
Mystery, Faith and Doubt
Our Hope
Major Threads in Reformed Theology
It is our hope that this initiative will
  • Connect congregations across the presbytery in a study that involves common language around core beliefs
  • Positively address the struggle many members have expressing what makes Presbyterians unique
  • It will connect congregations with tools that they can use in the future

Presbytery Meetings

2017 Presbytery Meetings

Stated Presbytery Meeting:  Saturday, July 15, 2017
First Presbyterian Church Sugarland, 502 Eldridge Rd, Sugarland, TX 77487

Call to Meeting
Info Letter
Map
Meeting Toolkit
Minutes of March 18, 2017
Registration
Packet
Addendum

Postlude

2017 Stated Meeting Dates and Information

Saturday, March 18 @ Clear Lake PC
Saturday, July 15 @ First PC in Sugar Land
Saturday, November 189 @ Northwoods PC in Houston

Materials for each meeting are posted HERE two weeks prior to each meeting. Prior to the meeting, Commissioners should study the documents. It is important to have access to these materials during the meeting, either through an electronic device or having paper printouts.

New Business (which is posted at least 3 days before meeting date) must be submitted to the Office of the Stated Clerk no later than 4 days prior to the meeting.

Postlude, a post-meeting publication, is emailed to commissioners after each meeting to assist in reporting to their sessions.

The Packet is in pdf format - you must have an updated version of Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer in order to access it. For information, systems requirements, and a free download of this invaluable web software click here


Past Meeting Materials

Read more: Presbytery Meetings

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