A year after the Twin Tiers were hit by devastating floods, the Tioga Center United Methodist Church is still rebuilding. And as our Katie Husband tells us, they've faced challenges both with construction, and with parish attendance.
TIOGA CENTER, N.Y. -- One year ago this weekend the Tioga Center United Methodist Church took on 31 inches of water from the Susquehanna River.
"Virtually, everything was touched by the water, many things had to be taken out. Some things we have been able to sand, refinish and try to save," said Donna Taylor-Martin, pastor of the Tioga Center United Methodist Church.
But, the water didn't stop this parish from worshipping as they set some goals for their members.
"Fellowship Hall was opened in December. We made a goal of being in our Fellowship Hall so that we could do ministry by December 24," explained Taylor-Martin. "Our next goal which is this December 24, is to be worshipping in our sanctuary again."
But, throughout the past year as volunteers and parishioners try to rebuild their church, they've run into some road blocks.
"Not having enough funds, to not having enough people, to finding that it's an old structure, so you get started on something and then something else presents itself, so you have to restart," said Taylor-Martin.
Among the many challenges members of the church have had to face in the past year trying to rebuild, the parish is faced with a new problem.
"Probably a good twenty folks or more that we're not seeing, but more critically who we're not seeing is the small children," said Drew Griffin, Lay Leader for the Tioga Center United Methodist Church.
"I don't know if it's because the parents don't think that the church is finished being reconstructed, it's not clean enough yet, or what, but the net result is we're not seeing the children and that hurts," said Griffin.
But, the church is not giving up.
"We are here to serve the community and we are going to continue to serve the community until such time where as God says 'no,'" said Taylor-Martin.