News and Resources from the Upstate New York Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.


September is National Disaster Preparedness Month

By Gary Roller, Upstate New York Lutheran Disaster Response Chairperson

What better way for us to celebrate than to announce the new Congregational Disaster Preparedness Guidebook.

The purpose of this guidebook is to help congregations take some basic and important steps toward resiliency and intentionality in response to disaster so that they will be better able to serve their communities when disaster strike.

This guidebook is a valuable resource for all congregations, even those who have not experienced a disaster first hand. It is never known when a natural or human-caused disaster could impact your community, but people will turn to the church for answers, whether you are ready or not.

Download the guidebook now. Questions can also be directed to Gary Roller, Upstate New York Synod, Lutheran Disaster Response, Volunteer Coordinator at LDRUNYTEAM@GMAIL.COM.

Camp Noah

by Patsy Glista, AIM, Assistant to the Bishop for Operations

Noah and a few animals from his ark showed up in Fort Plain this week to be part of Camp Noah, a day camp for children whose communities have been impacted by disaster. Noah shares a ‘wise saying’ each day with the children. Tuesday’s saying was “When a storm comes, I am not scared. Want to know why? Because I am prepared!” Children begin each day with a large group gathering full of songs, skits and fun. Mornings are spent in groups for discussion, art projects, journaling, recreation and snacks. Following a nutritious lunch, children spend the afternoon hearing stories, playing games, watching puppet shows and doing arts and crafts. Each day ends with more songs, skits and fun in a large group.

Gary Roller and Pr. Zach Labagh

Over 50 elementary age children from Montgomery and Herkimer counties are participating in this week-long program. Screened and trained, caring volunteers provide a safe, fun atmosphere for children to tell their stories, grieve their losses, build resiliency skills and find hope for the future. The Fort Plain Camp Noah volunteer staff came from the Northeast Pennsylvania Synod. Adults from the Fort Plain community and some from across our synod join them. Trinity Lutheran Church, Herkimer, is providing bus transportation for children attending from Herkimer County. Rev. Zach Labagh (St. John’s/St. Mark’s, Canajoharie and Trinity, Stone Arabia) is the local coordinator for Camp Noah.