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Good News

January 2008


The annual meeting of the congregation will meet after a single service at 10:00 a.m. on January 20. The corporation meeting will be held after the congregation meeting and will be chaired by Don Wong, chairman of the corporation and first chairman of our newly formed board of trustees.

After the meeting we will meet in Madden Hall for our annual post meeting pizza lunch. Salads and desserts will be provided (by you?).

So plan on being at worship at 10:00 a.m. that day, staying for the meeting afterwards, and joining us for fellowship after the service in Madden Hall.



Attention all committee chairs, employees, organization leaders, and those who handle money : an annual report is to be a full disclosure of financial and other activities. Reports should include starting and ending balances, activities, new initiatives, “thank you” to helpers, and any other information to be recorded for posterity.



Newly elected elders will meet with the pastor for lunch and training on January 6 th . We will go over our system and the challenges of building a better church.


Many thanks go to all who participated in or helped with our Christmas programs. Broghan Brunner, Jennifer Thomas, Jan Cobb, Roger Wolcott, Jim McManus, Deb Wong, Dawn Duran, Jan Baker, Louise Speitel, Joe Marshall, and I had a great time working with the kids in order to perform The Flower of the Holy Night on December 16 th . Twenty-two members of the Sunday School performed in that lively musical. What fun we all had!

Also, thanks go to Tina Harvey for her leadership with the Christmas Eve Christmas pageant and to her able assistants: Barbara Hudak, Barbara Hughes, Deb Wong, and Sheila Mazzatta. The kids did a wonderful job on Christmas Eve. It's always a great way to tell the story of the birth of Jesus.

Attendance was great during December, perhaps because we had so much going on. One of our highlights was the birthday party for Jesus held on December 16 th with a luncheon. Dawn Duran did a terrific job organizing games for the kids. Thank you to all who donated hats, gloves, scarves, etc. to Sr. Jean's people. I'm sure they appreciate it.

Highlights and Up Coming Events

•  January 6 th is our 2nd Mission Sunday. We'll be making two large castles with figures to play in them along with some puzzles and tic-tac-toe boards to give to the Atlantic City Rescue Mission and local women's shelter. Both A Week and B Week aides should be present for this event as we give the teacher's a break.

•  Also starting on the 6 th at 10:20, Rob Perry will begin rehearsals with the kids in grades 1-6 in order to prepare for a January 20 th performance. He always has some creative songs that the kids enjoy.

•  Our schedule looks pretty normal for the month of January. Judy Stebbins continues to write awesome puppet shows for Isabelle, Tom Cat, Francois, Mrs. Moon as well as our new Matthews family consisting of Mr. and Mrs. Matthews, Mark, and Sarah. Our 5 th and 6 th graders continue to do a great job each week performing these skits for the 1 st -4 th graders.

We wrap up another year, and I'd like to thank everyone for being part of the Sunday School and for supporting our mission activities and causes. It takes a community to raise a child, and we are a community of believers. May you all be blessed in the New Year.

Yours in Christ,



As January begins a new year, so do we start a new Bible study. This year we will study the two short books of Jonah and Ruth. Many of us remember Ruth as a kind of Semitic Cinderella story. And our impressions of Jonah may make it seem like the biggest "fish story" of all time. One of the things Jonah and Ruth have to teach us is that God's steadfast love goes above and beyond anything we've ever imagined. What's more, that love calls us to respond.

If you haven't attended a Women's Circle yet, now would be a good time to start as this should be a very interesting Bible study. The Sarah Circle will meet in Cobb Lounge at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 2nd. Ruth Circle will meet at the home of Betsy Cunius at 1:30 p.m. Friday, January 4 th . The Martha Circle will meet at 10:00 a.m. Thursday, January 10 th , at the home of Ida Juhrs.

On Thursday, December 13 th , Carol Thomas and Gerry Reedell delivered an amazing amount of warm apparel to the H. Ashton March School in Absecon for children in grades kindergarten through 4 th grade. Thank you to all the ladies who brought in: 78 pairs of gloves, 28 hats, 1 earmuff & glove set, 1 pair of slippers, 5 hat, glove & scarf sets, 3 hat & glove sets, 43 pairs of socks, and 5 earmuffs. Special thanks to Kris Jenoriki and Alice Smith for providing 16 special hand knit scarves for some lucky little girls.



Our book selection for January is Held by Leslie Haskin. Leslie Haskin achieved great success at Kemper Insurance Company in New York City . She was one of only two African-Americans to hold an executive title within the corporation's eastern region. She lived a great life and achieved everything she ever dreamed of. But life can change directions in an instant. Her office was in Tower One of the World Trade Center , and on 9-11 her life exploded all around her. Haskin writes of the daily struggles she and others go through when their lives have been crushed by tragedy. This book is a message of hope, that no matter what devastating blows life delivers, God's love and mercy is always there for us. We will meet in Cobb Lounge on Wednesday, January 16 th , at 7:00 p.m. The Book Club is open to all people who like to read.



Church membership is a privilege and an opportunity to meet new people, get involved, and feel like you really belong. The process of joining is not difficult. There will be three classes on Sunday afternoons in Cobb Lounge at 4:00. We will explore our faith, our church system, and the various programs of our church. In February you will be received as members by the session, the ruling body of the church.

So come, learn about the church, find your place of belonging, and show your participation in the family of faith we call the church. Call the office or Pastor to sign up – 641-3759.



Our Christmas gathering in Mayberry was a success as usual. Despite so many other seasonal obligations, we had a great crowd, bringing great food to view and discuss a great episode.


The first “town meeting” of the new year will be on FRIDAY, JANUARY 18 th at 6pm in Madden Hall . We will enjoy a potluck supper, and then screen the episode THE SONG FESTERS which originally aired in February, 1964.


Sometimes Barney can carry a tune fairly well and in some episodes he can't sing a lick. In addition to “ Rafe Hollister Sings ” and “ Barney and the Choir ” this is one of those “he can't sing” episodes. Here, Barney's feelings of disappointment come into play more than in the others. In a way, Gomer is the one who pulls the rug out from under him, but he also makes an unselfish sacrifice to help pick Barney back up.

So come on out and join us on Friday, January 18 th , and remember….




As we begin a new year, I would like to thank everyone for their stewardship in 2007. The time, talents, and treasures of many make the Absecon Presbyterian Church a very special place to worship God. The challenge continues in 2008.  Our budget has increased 3% for this year.  As of this writing, the number of pledges we have received is down, along with the total pledged (compared to last year).  But I am confident that people will step up to the challenge and continue to give.  And it's not too late to return that pledge card if you haven't done so yet.

One extra thing that each member can do to help support the budget is to pay your portion of the per capita (that's the "tax" we have to pay to our Presbyterian government each year). This year's per capita apportionment is $35.17 for each member (NOT each couple).  The Stewardship and Finance Committees respectfully request that each member pay this amount (in addition to the amount you pledge each week) to help offset this huge expense. There is a special envelope in your offering box for this item.  You can pay it in installments if that would be easier for you.

This is my last month as Stewardship chairperson.  I want to thank everyone for their words of encouragement.  A special thanks to all those who have helped make Stewardship successful, especially the people who count the offerings each week and Anita Brown, our financial secretary.  They do a huge amount of behind the scenes work.  As a New Year's resolution, I would like everyone to commit to continuing to be faithful in their stewardship. Your time, talents, and treasures are all valued by God.  We all have been given so much, please give back!

Dianna H. Lease

Stewardship Committee Chairperson



2008 envelopes have been distributed. In order for me, your financial secretary, to keep a record of your giving and credit you with each donation or contribution there are a few things I would like to ask you to take note of:

•  PLEASE USE YOUR ENVELOPES, it's a help to the counters. If you don't, they have to record each check on a separate sheet – very time consuming. Also the envelopes are expensive so let's not waste them. If you forget your envelop use the visitors envelope in the pew and put your number on it.

•  When giving other than your envelope , either use a plain envelope with your name and # and what you are giving to, or write on the memo part of your check what the giving is for.

•  Sunday School monies are recorded on your spreadsheet, but I have to know who the children belong to. Gay is a big help but it would be so much easier if you either put your envelope number or the child's last name and/or who their guardian is on their envelope.

•  Deacon giving is also recorded so to be credited you should include your name and/or envelope number on the deacons envelope, especially if you use cash.

Thank you and God Bless,

Anita Brown, Financial Secretary


As of December 31, 2007 we have received 101 Estimate of Giving cards for a total of $132,927 pledged. This is still under last year's total.

Do we have yours?




It's that time of the year – yes, it's “Winter Fund Raiser” time! At their last meeting, Session approved the plans for the kitchen renovations and upgrades. In our homes, the kitchen area seems to be the place we most often gather with our families and friends. Well, our church family is no different. So many of our church activities start or end with us breaking bread together. Our church's kitchen seems to be in constant use. Just think about it, breakfast on Sundays, Coffee Hour, Mayberry, all the Youth Groups, Prime-Timers, Evergreens, Sunday School, congregational events like Reverend Cobb's 25 th Anniversary, and the list goes on and on.

As promised last year, the committee presented a plan that includes improved work area/countertops, safety upgrades to the electrical system, plumbing upgrades, new sinks, cabinets, floor, backsplashes and range, and improvements to the “coffee area”. Work is scheduled to begin in the spring and be completed in the fall of 2008.

The costs of the renovations are estimated to be $45,000.00. Throughout the previous year, funds have been raised through Kitchen Koins, Souper Sunday, and the Apple Festival, Valentine's Dinner, Life of Christ bracelet sales, and wading through hundreds of pounds of cranberries. Thank you for your support so far, however, we still have a way to go to reach our goal.

We trust you will prayerfully consider your Winter Fundraiser gift and give generously to this much needed improvement to our wonderful church facility.



•  Elaine Risley, Carol Thomas, Jean Delesantro, Myrtle Leek, Alice Smith, Joyce Pfeiffer for decorating the inside of the church.

•  Jan Jorgensen, Steve Schwab and others for decorating the outside of the church.

•  Jim McManus for fixing the broken bricks on the front steps of the church.

•  Priscilla for a great production on Dec. 16, Jan Cobb for help with music, Roger Wolcott for props and Dawn Duran for costumes.

•  Tina Harvey for directing the Christmas pageant on Dec. 24, Barbara Hughes, Barbara Hudak, Deb Wong and Sheila Mazzatta for helping direct, handle costumes, etc.

•  Jan Cobb and the Bell Choir for great music on Dec. 8, 9 and Dec. 24. You had a busy month!

•  The Deacons for making fruit baskets for our shut-ins.

•  The 25+ people who went caroling with the pastor Sunday night, Dec. 23, in the rain. We had a great time in spite of the weather.


From the Choir Loft ……………………………… by TOM SOOY

Like millions and millions of Americans, I always try to think of something to change my life for my New Year's resolution. And like millions of other Americans, at the top of the list is to lose weight! The problem I share with those millions of other people is carrying out that resolution past the ‘good intention stage!'

Saint John's vision of the new earth is not a new earth built on good intentions. The new year is a time for new beginnings for each of us through the power and guidance of the Holy Spirit.

God truly is the beginning and the end. God understands all things. If we want to know how to make realistic resolutions that can effectively make a new beginning in our lives, then we have to listen for the guidance of the Holy Spirit. New beginnings for God's world begin with people reaching out and helping other people one person at a time.

Just as a beautiful, magnificent chord of music is the building of one note upon the other, so is God's world changed by helping one person and then another until a perfect harmony is created among the people of God.

Here is my prayer for 2008: Here we stand Lord, at the beginning of a new year. May we use this year to share with your people in whatever way you lead us. Help us to always be open to your guidance that we may begin to create harmony not only in our music, but in our friendships and fellowships in our church, our homes, and our work. We pray always in Jesus' name. Amen.

A happy, healthy and blessed New Year to us all ! Until next time………





January will see a concentrated effort by our Mississippi Volunteers to get Team sponsors for our February 16 th Mission Trip to Diamond Head , MS . This will be our third trip to the Gulf area and we are all anticipating what God has in store for us this time. Each trip has brought a special meaning to each of us as we experience first hand the giving of our time, our talents and our treasure. We have a possible 31 volunteers at this time and those from our congregation will be displaying their volunteer badges throughout the month so that you will be able to recognize them. Please consider being a Team Sponsor. All of the funds will go toward making it possible for our team to travel to MS and support the rebuilding effort by supplying work materials and supplies, preparing of our meals by our volunteers, and individual support of victims whose homes we will be working in. Your reward will be great, knowing that you are very much a part of our team and of directly helping the Katrina effort, first hand. Every “Katrina Team Sponsor' will receive a name badge to be displayed during our worship service the first part of February.

A meeting is scheduled for Tuesday evening, January 8 th , at 7pm for all volunteers planning on going to Diamond Head , MS . There is still time to join us if you haven't done so.

Our Christmas Eve offering went toward the Heifer project and we thank you for your generous response.

Thank you to all who have served on this year's Mission & Evangelism Committee and to the congregation for responding in such a positive way to each of our projects. We are truly a church on a Mission !

A Happy and Peaceful New Year to All!

Alice Smith, M & E Chair


As the holiday festivities begin to wind down, the Fellowship Committee looks forward to having a Soup Sale on Sunday, January 13 th , and Sunday, February 3 rd .  Some types of soups that will be made are Split Pea, Sweet and Sour Cabbage, Chili, Beef Barley, Lentil with ham, chowder, etc. We will also be selling some cranberry cakes and all profits go towards the Kitchen Renovation project.

We also need people to sign up for refreshment hour as all of January and February are open.  We ask that whoever signs up brings enough snacks for approximately 50 people and one gallon of juice.  The sign up sheet is in the hallway across from the Cobb Lounge or in Madden Hall between services on Sunday.  We hope people will sign up so refreshment hour may continue.

Anyone who may be interested in serving on the Fellowship Committee can contact Kris Jenoriki or any current member of the committee.  Come join us in planning for future activities for our church.  Our next meeting is Tuesday, January 22nd.

Serving in faith,

Kris Jenoriki



The Doug Jablonski Men's Fellowship will meet on Saturday, January 12, for breakfast and our meeting. Come help us figure out how to hang the Lexan and to plan for future events.



This month we will be taking a cruise around the British Isles with Dr. Edgar Bristow.  This should be a welcome respite from the winter doldrums, so let's have a good turnout for Dr. Bristow and his program.  Bring your sandwich, dessert and beverage will be served as usual, and enjoy the fellowship.




Lunch Bunch will meet in Smithville at noon on Wednesday, January 9, at Fred & Ethel's Lantern Light Tavern. The van will leave the church at 11:30.

Why not make it a New Year's resolution to join us for good food and fellowship the second Wednesday of each month? It's a great way to get out, meet people and have a relaxing lunch. We usually return about 2:30.



The Prime-Timers will meet Saturday, January 5 th , at 6:00 p.m. for a night of BINGO. Notice that the date has been changed. Please bring a white elephant gift from home. They will be used as BINGO prizes. It should be interesting to see what people bring to use as prizes. Also bring a covered dish to share with others.

On Saturday, February 9 th , at 6:00 p.m. the Prime-Timers will have a Goofy Night. You don't know what Goofy Night is? Come and find out!



As you may have heard, the 2008 “big” trip to Portugal that was scheduled for April has been cancelled. As disappointing as this may be to some, there is good news for others! We now have TWO trips planned for 2008!

The first will be a 7 day, 6 night trip to beautiful ATLANTA and SAVANNAH , May 3 rd - 9 th . Some of the highlights are:

A guided tour of Atlanta

Visit to “Underground Atlanta

Visit “The World of Coca Cola”

Ride the SKYLIFT at Stone Mountain Park

Tour of the historic city of Savannah

Visit to Savannah 's Riverfront

The Southern Buffet at Paula Deen's

‘Lady and Sons' Restaurant


The brochure will be out soon, so be sure to get your name on the list for this exciting and relaxing trip right here in the “good ole US of A !”

We will also be taking a few day trips throughout the year and on Monday, SEPTEMBER 1 st , we will be sailing away on 5 night cruise from New York to Nova Scotia !

Keep watching for more details for these and all our other 2008 trips.



The church does not generally close for snowfalls under five inches. The pastor lives on the property so he can always walk if need be. Tom lives in Cologne , but he has always made it.

If roads are treacherous please call the church if you have questions. We will leave messages on the answering machine.

Youth programs generally do not meet if schools are closed or if they close early due to the weather. Again, call the office or your youth leader to find out for sure.

If information is available and passed on to Gay she will send an email. Our church does not use radio or TV to publicize closings.

If you are really uncertain, or you are afraid of falling, please stay home. We understand. We don't want to have to worry about you, either.

If you are willing to come in early on a snowy Sunday and help shovel call the pastor. We have no custodial care on Sundays so things like shoveling snow are done by volunteers or the pastor. (But he is really hired to preach!)



The Doug Jablonski Men's Fellowship has now purchased Lexan for the Jesus Mural. They will be hanging it soon. This material will cover the mural up to six feet off the floor. The top three feet will still be exposed, but we have never had any damage to the top of the mural.



Rev. and Mrs. Cobb and family would like to express their heartfelt thanks for all the wonderful gifts of books, candy, and holiday items given to them this year.

They would also like to express thanks for the cash given to them at the Christmas Eve service and in Christmas cards. It added up to over $1,300. Wow!

Many thanks to all for this generous expression of love. We love you all, too. We are very happy here and continue to look for God's leading in our midst.



Many, many thanks to the Christmas Carolers for bringing such a joyous sound to our living room on Sunday night before Christmas.  It was wonderful to have 30 (or more!) happy, smiling people jammed into our living room on such a rainy, stormy night.  Many thanks, too, to the Deacons for the gift of "light", and for delivering a fruit basket to us.  You all are wonderful. 

May God bless you all as you go about doing His work.

Marjorie and Paul Hamer


Hi to All at this Wonderful Church,

Just a little letter to say thanks for being here for my family. It really means more then you will ever know to me. Thanks to all the deacons and Pastor Cobb who stop by now and then just to check up on us and say Hi, and for all the little things you have done. I will never be able to give back as much as you all have given me, but will do what I can when I can for you when I am asked.

Please let the whole congregation know we appreciate all the prayers and good thoughts.

God Bless,

Mark McCabe and Family


Gracias!  Danke!  Komapsamnida!  Merci!  Thank You! for the phone calls, prayers and cards. It's a nice feeling to be remembered.

Jack Hanlon


I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for your prayers, cards, and get well wishes as I recover from double knee surgery.

A special thank you to Barbara Morgan for the delicious dinner and to Dave for his many visits and the use of the medical equipment that the church has available for anyone who has a need for handicap equipment.

I am truly blessed to be a member of a caring and compassionate church.


Doris Wood


Do we have your email address? If not, email the church office (absecon_presby@msn.com) and ask to be added to our list of contacts to get weekly updates, announcements and information. You don't know what you're missing!


Remember, Deadlines are Important!


“Good Morning” (Sunday bulletin announcements) – Noon Thursday

“The Presby Post” (That Friday email thing) – 9:00 a.m. Friday

“Good News” (Monthly newsletter) – 9:00 a.m. 4 th Monday of the month

Articles and information should be in writing and emailed or left in the office. Please keep in mind it may be necessary to edit due to space or other limitations.



6 9:30 David & Judy Stebbins

11:00 Norman Johnson

13 9:30 Edith Budd

11:00 Jessie Klickovich

20 10:00 Toshie Legg

27 9:30 Janice Bond

11:00 Betty Lloyd



6 9:30 Janet Gee


13 9:30 Alice Smith


20 10:00 Dianna Lease

27 9:30




6 9:30 Bob & Irene Hunter

11:00 Grace Gras & May Clay

13 9:30 Carol Thomas & Elaine Risley

11:00 Jean Delesantro & Olga Davies

20 10:00 Steve & Ginny Schwab

27 9:30 Bob & Elaine Wilkenloh

11:00 Betty Lloyd & Mary Bew


6 Erin Nassif

13 Samantha Adams

20 Ally Hodgson

27 Kristin Hudak



6 9:30 Pat Hudak

11:00 Jean Delesantro

13 9:30 Barbara Morgan

11:00 Jean Delesantro

20 10:00 Barbara Miller

27 9:30 Sue Pantalone

11:00 Jean Delesantro



6 Kira Greenlee

13 Sheila Mazzatta

20 Craig Thomas

27 Bob Hudak



6 Dawn Duran



27 Dawn Lewis




“ Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God , which he hath purchased with his own blood. ” ~ Acts 20:28 (KJV)

It's been over ten years since we have done any major construction/renovation so I'm looking forward to our new kitchen to be built this summer. Our kitchen committee has spent a year on this, and if you haven't seen the floor plan please take a look.

In many ways a new kitchen reminds me of several good goals for our church. There are certain things we will need to do in 2008.

•  Cook more. Some of the nicest kitchens I have seen are in the homes of people who rarely cook. We have seen some of those tendencies as well. Youth groups ordering out, meals being catered, pizza for luncheons, etc. A new kitchen tells the world we are not too lazy to cook. We are a church that cooks up lots of new programs, too. Maybe senior lunches, family suppers, meals after church, etc.

•  Try new recipes. We have not been able to do much with our old stove and equipment. Now we will be able to try newer things with a greater variety. We could use more variety in worship, holiday events, etc. as well. New recipes are good. Any ideas?

•  Look a little more contemporary. The pumpkin colored counters and older styles dated our old kitchen. If you look relevant, “new and improved”, you will feel new and improved. A new kitchen is a moral booster. Any program that gets a face lift is a morale booster, too.

•  Keep the good – get rid of the worn out. Some things like the convection oven, range hood system, etc. are in fine shape. Other things no longer serve a useful purpose. At the beginning of every year and planning stage we need to separate the good from the worn out. Keeping the good and replacing the out dated or worn out is an ongoing task.

•  Trash disposal and storage are important. For the first time we will have built in trash cans and a pantry. When there is no place to keep trash out of sight and no place for the things you need, you are in a tail spin. The new kitchen will help keep what we need convenient and the trash out of sight. That's a good goal for all of life. It's a necessary goal for a church to work well.

•  Work efficiently. A new kitchen won't cook anything by itself or wash any dishes, etc. A new kitchen will just set us up to get the job done right and quickly. It will never remove all the work. We need to keep that in mind for every good project we attempt. Every good meal reflects work. For some crazy reason we get the idea that if we set something up well other people will come along and do the work. To the contrary, a new kitchen only sets us up to do more work more efficiently.

2008 will be a year of cooking up new programs, trying out new recipes for success, and being the best church we have ever been. I can feel it in my bones, and our new kitchen is a symbol and sign of what we are cooking up for our future together.

God is so good to us! We need to be good stewards and planners in response.

Happy New Year. See you in His kitchen. We can take the heat.