LCMS World Relief/Human Care is giving a total of $45,000 in initial disaster grants to six east-coast Synod congregations with facilities or members affected by floods from record-breaking rains earlier this summer.
Of those, four are LCMS Southeastern District congregations. The other two are Eastern District congregations in Hop Bottom, Pa., and Vestal, N.Y.
Rev. Carlos Hernandez, director of Districts and Congregations with LCMS World Relief/Human Care, visited affected congregations, schools, and families in both areas, accompanied by pastors after contacts with the presidents’ offices in the Southeastern and Eastern Districts.
Grace Lutheran Church, Hop Bottom, and Grace Lutheran Church, Vestal, are located between Scranton, Pa., and Binghamton, N.Y., near the Susquehanna River, which flooded its banks and prompted the evacuation of about 200,000 people.
The Hop Bottom congregation is receiving an initial grant of $17,000 to assist member families whose homes or businesses were ravaged by flood waters, for a community project to help recovery in the borough of Hop Bottom, and for an emergency food pantry there.
Grace, Vestal’s $3,500 grant will help the congregation reach out to families in the community whose homes were flooded.
Southeastern District congregations receiving initial emergency disaster grants from LCMS World Relief/Human Care are:
- Immanuel Lutheran Church and School, Alexandria, Va., $7,500 for cleanup in three classrooms where mold had formed and where floors and carpeting would need to be replaced.
- Our Savior Lutheran Church and School, Arlington, Va., $7,500 to replace flood-ruined schoolbooks and to also deal with mold in school rooms. Hernandez reported that the congregation had already spent more than $160,000 to recover from flooding in years past.
- Bethany Lutheran Church, Salisbury, Md., $4,500 for drywall and carpet removal, from flooding in a lower level that also caused mold to form.
- Peace Lutheran Church, Washington, D.C., $5,000, where water from days of rain entered the building and soaked new carpeting. The building itself is also damaged from the deluge.
Hernandez said that St. John Lutheran Church, Alexandria, Va., Our Savior’s Way Lutheran Church, Ashburn, Va., and Baltimore Lutheran School, Towson, Md., also were affected by the recent storms.
St. John’s sanctuary, library, and early-childhood center were flooded. There was flood damage to two classrooms and the sanctuary at Our Savior’s Way. At Baltimore Lutheran School, the gym flooded and several staff member’s homes were damaged.
Damage and needs were still being assessed for the two congregation. Hernandez said that the principal of the Baltimore school indicated “they were doing OK with local resources,” Hernandez said.
Storms with winds exceeding 80 mph pounded the St. Louis area July 19 and 21, downing trees and limbs throughout the region, knocking out electrical service for more than half a million households, and causing several deaths and extensive property damage.
Among locations losing electrical service were the Synod’s International Center and “10733” building, as well as Concordia Seminary. As a result, offices were closed at all three locations July 20 and 21. Several trees were down at the International Center, with reports of many more toppled and damaged on the seminary campus.
Hernandez was assessing the damage in the St. Louis area as this Reporter went to press.
Posted July 28, 2006