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Letter: Neighbors Helping Neighbors

The story of Christmas is not one in which a mighty emperor arrives on a mighty steed but rather one in which God identifies fully with ordinary people huddling in the dark: a young mother in labor, an anxious father, a baby born in a barn. Many of us recently huddled together in the dark when a storm took away the lights, phones, and warm homes we took for granted.

In the wake of the Superstorm Sandy, Long Islanders rallied to help one another. Neighbors checked in on each other, lent tools and shoulders to cry on, and took in friends and relatives who needed shelter. A church in Massapequa offered their sanctuary to a synagogue that was badly damaged and hauled 94 bags of groceries to our Freeport pantry, knowing that many people lost food due to flood and power outages. Church World Service quickly delivered a truckload of disaster response kits—packed by churches across the nation—to our Riverhead office. The United Church of Christ had clean-up suits, gloves, goggles, and masks delivered to us in Freeport to help folks muck out homes. The Islamic Center of Long Island collected food and blankets for the LICC to distribute in Hempstead. All sorts of people did everything they could to help.

Long ago the prophet Isaiah said that the worship God most wants us to offer is the work of defending “the widow, the orphan, and the sojourners among you”—in other words, the most vulnerable members of our society, the people the LICC helps every day, those whose lives were a disaster even before the storm. Jesus taught that nations will be judged on the basis of how we care for “the least of these” brothers and sisters.

Thank you for everything you have done this year to help your neighbors in need.

The Rev. Thomas W. Goodhue

Executive Director

Long Island Council of Churches

http://www.liccny.org


News

The smell of pine, wood and scented candles greet customers with a sense of home as they cross the wooden threshold to the Amish Craft Barn in Seaford. There they will find dolls, birdhouses, quilts, ceramic turkeys, hand-painted Christmas trees, oak furniture and other seasonal and holiday tchotchkes.

 

Massapequa natives Frank and Pam Hoerauf started The Amish Craft Barn & Gift Shoppe 20 years ago after an inspiring visit to Pennsylvania.

Holidays increase daily congestion 

While parking around LIRR train stations is typically a challenge, even on a regular work day, the holidays create more of a struggle for commuters in search of parking spots. LIRR spokesman Salvatore Arena said that ridership between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day increases by at least 10 percent; last year it was by 12 percent. Though the MTA is adding more trains to the schedule, that doesn’t ease the parking situation, which is operated not by the LIRR, but by individual municipalities in each town. 

 

“Every station is different,” Arena said. “A good part of our parking is in the hands of the locality. They set the rules essentially.”


Sports

The Island Trees Cross Country teams continue their improvement in 2014. This year the girls’ team has a record of 8-2 and with their victories over Clarke and Wheatley High Schools, they clinched the Division Championship for the first time in Island Trees High School history.

 

The girls are led by senior Captain Angela Brocco who has been rewriting the girl’s record boards. Brocco set the school record for the Warwick Valley 5000 meter course on Sept. 20. 

This season the Girls’ Varsity Soccer Team at Division Avenue has the rare ability to fill every position on the field with a member of the senior class. All 11 seniors have made contributions to the success of this year’s squad.


Calendar

Turkey Cookie - November 21

Lost Nights - November 22

Town of Hempstead Meeting - November 25


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com