WEST PITTSTON -- A group of worshipers assembled at the First Presbyterian Church on Sunday to observe the one year anniversary of the flood that ravaged the church along with a portion of the community in 2011.
The cavernous assembly hall showed the signs of the recent inundation with solid-wood pews set askew on bare unfinished floors and 3 feet of wainscoting removed along the sanctuary‚??s perimeter revealing rows of long-hidden framing and studs.
Church officials provided temporary seating and power for the hour-long worship service.
‚??This building can be made whole again for a price,‚?Ě Pastor James Thyren told his congregation, which, since the flood, has been meeting at the former St. Cecilia‚??s Church in Exeter. ‚??We are taking our time in this ‚??Season of Discernment‚?? to decide how we will proceed with our plans for the structure and if, in fact, it is worth the price of rehabilitation.‚?Ě
Thyren said representatives from A. Pickett Construction have toured the facility and information on the proposed reconstruction project would be made to the congregation in the near future.
‚??The testing of our faith produces endurance,‚?Ě he said. ‚??The river has tested our faith here both in 1972 and again in 2011. We need to decide if it‚??s worth fixing a structure which may again be ravaged by the waters of the Susquehanna.‚?Ě
Thyren wanted to express his gratitude to the pastor and people at St. Barbara‚??s Parish in Exeter for opening the doors of the former St. Cecilia‚??s Church to their congregation.
Part of West Pittston flooded last September when the Susquehanna River rose to a record 42.66 feet after being swollen by rains from the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee.