Issue 10 | October 1, 2022

“On The Way” is a play on the word “synod,” which comes from two Biblical Greek words, syn and hodos. These can mean “on the road with” and also “walking with” – since most people in Bible times (and around the world still today) got from place to place on foot.


“God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear,
though the earth be moved,
and though the mountains shake
in the depths of the sea;
though the waters rage and foam,
and though the mountains tremble
with its tumult.” (Psalm 46:1-3)

Heartbreaking images and stories continue to come to us, from the media and from friends and family who are suffering in the aftermath of these two devastating storms. Only two weeks back, Fiona made landfall in Puerto Rico, overwhelming our siblings in Christ – and fellow U.S. citizens – who were still in recovery from Hurricane Maria five years ago. And in the past week, Ian has hit with historic fury in Florida, and then again in South Carolina. Too many have died, too many made homeless with little or no possessions, without power, food, clean water or clothing. And the days, weeks and months ahead, will be a hard road to travel.

Thanks be to God, they do not go that road alone. We will be praying with them, in our congregations and homes, schools and workplaces. And we will surely go TO them, as soon as the ways have been organized and made possible. As the Northeastern PA Synod, we will stay in contact with our three synods in the region – South Carolina Synod; Florida-Bahamas Synod; and the Caribbean Synod – to follow their lead and instructions, for how we can be the most helpful. Stay tuned for more information in the weeks and months to come. In the meantime, Lutheran Disaster Response is our best way to send relief dollars that make a difference, straight away. Let us also be in constant prayer:

We pray to you, almighty God, in this time of great need after and in the midst of these terrible storms. You are our refuge and strength, a very present help in times of trouble. Do not let us fail in the face of these events. Uphold us in your love, and give us the strength we need. Help us in our confusion, and guide our actions. Heal the hurt, teach us how to better love the land and all its people and creatures, console the bereaved and afflicted, protect the innocent and helpless, and deliver any who are still in peril; for the sake of your great mercy in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. *

On the Way of Jesus together,
Bishop Christopher deForest


*Prayer adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship Pastoral Care, 2008: Augsburg Fortress, page 386