Absecon Presbyterian Church
ANNUAL MEETING FINDS THINGS WELL FOR NOW
On January 18 a crowd of nearly 80 people gathered for our annual meeting. Pastor Cobb led the opening prayer and moderated the meeting.
The 25 pages of reports were received without exception. Deborah Wong, Janice Piccirilli, Nancy Sooy and Jill Williamson were elected to the Nominating Committee.
Pastor Cobb closed the meeting with prayer and passed the gavel to Louise Speitel, Chairman of the Corporation. The 15 pages of financial reports were received without exception. The following were noted:
The longest presentation of the meeting was by the Cemetery Committee. They have selected a contractor to install a columbarium in the back of the cemetery near the manse. Niches will cost $1,000 and will hold two urns. The $35,000 construction cost will be recovered after 35 of the 72 niches are sold. The congregation seemed very interested. Ron Pfeiffer prepared an excellent brochure which was passed out, and Roger Wolcott built a model which will be on display.
The meeting ended with prayer at 12:20 p.m., and everyone went to Madden Hall for an excellent luncheon prepared by Janice Piccirilli. The congregation seemed pleased with itself and looked forward to a great 150th year for our church.
SUNDAY SCHOOL AND RELATED NEWS
We continue to keep our young people involved. Grades 1-6 sang “Silent Night on December 28th. We held our 2nd mission project of the year on January 4th and were able to collect several thousand books, make book marks, and deliver these to a school and a number of nursing homes. Preschool and Kindergarteners presented the call to worship on January 11th, and Rob Perry led the 1st-6th graders in a rendition of Bob Dylan’s “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” on January 18th. About six new young people have recently found their way to our Prek-K class, and we are thrilled to meet them and their parents. We always like to make new friends.
Up Coming Events
Stay warm in His love,
SENIOR YOUTH NEWS
The new year has started and the Senior Youth Group is back in full swing. We are hoping to get a Movie night in before January ends. In February Mrs. Ackerman will be teaching us how to fix hems, zippers and other sewing techniques. Also in February the gang is planning a ski trip. The tentative date is Feb. 6-8.
If you are in high school and want to see what we are about come join us any Monday 6-8pm.
KFC PLANS SKI TRIP
Plans are in the making for a KFC trip to Cobb’s Cabin to go skiing. Tentative dates for the trip are Friday, February 13 – Sunday, February 15. See Jim Wooding for full details.
WOMEN'S CIRCLE MEETINGS
Last month as we began our study of the Gospel of Luke, we read how the people of Jesus' home town, Nazareth, tried to kill him after he preached his first sermon to them. Our scripture for this month will be Luke 7:1-17. We find that Jesus has left Nazareth and moved to Capernaum, a town on the northwest shore of the Sea of Galilee. While he is there, Jesus heals the servant of the Roman Centurion and brings back to life the son of the Widow of Nain.
The Sarah Circle will meet at 7:00 p.m. in Cobb Lounge Wednesday, February 4th. The Martha Circle will meet the home of Ida Juhrs at 10:00 a.m. Thursday, February 12. Please note the change of date and time for the Ruth Circle. We will meet at 1:00 p.m. Friday, February 13 at the home of Betsy Cunius.
Please look on the bulletin board across from the coat rack. There you will find pictures of the smiling children of the Charles L. Spragg School in Egg Harbor City wearing the hats, scarves and gloves that the Women's Circles delivered before Christmas.
We will be mailing out care packages to our college students in March. If there are any address changes for your children/grandchildren, please give them to Gay in the office as soon as possible.
MEN’S FELLOWSHIP TO MEET ON FEBRUARY 7
The Doug Jablonski Men’s Fellowship will meet on Saturday, February 7, at 8:30 a.m. in Madden hall. Breakfast will be eggs. Just $3.00.
Come hear about our Mississippi mission trip!
HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY COURSE TO BEGIN FEBRUARY 8
The pastor and Gerry Reedell will begin a six week Church History course at 7:00 p.m. on February 8 in the lounge.
Like the previous two courses, we will begin with a 30 minute DVD program and conclude with discussion, scripture and a prayer. The topics of the six lessons are:
We picked this church history course because we are celebrating 150 years of our own church history and the last two sessions are about that period. But the course covers all of church history since New Testament times.
This is a great way to get to make friends and learn some history in the process. The last two courses were informative and a way to make some friends. This course will be no different. It will run until the beginning of Lent. Then you can come to the Lenten Lunches.
The cost is only $5.00 per person. Sign up with the pastor or Gerry.
NEWS FROM MAYBERRY
On Friday, February 20th we will be joining together in Madden Hall for a POTLUCK SUPPER and a screening of “Barney Fife, Realtor.” This is a great episode dealing with how we approach common situations in life with honesty and integrity. It’s a very pointed lesson on how easy it is to rationalize the practice of having different rules for different situations. It is also a good example of how important it is for us to provide a good example of the young people in our lives.
So, join us in Madden Hall at 6pm on FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 20th for a wonderful night of food, entertainment and discussion.
Remember, the door is always unlocked and the lemonade is always cold.
THANK YOUS FOR JANUARY GO TO:
WINTER FUNDRAISER APPEAL TO GO THROUGH FEBRUARY
On January 21 our annual winter fundraiser letters were sent out. Our goal is to realize $25,000 by the beginning of March so we can award a contract to have this work done by our 150th anniversary in May.
We will be increasing our capacity slightly from 8 to 10 tons (120,000 BTUs), and we will be upgrading from Freon to Puron which is environmentally safe.
The thermometer chart will be in the choir loft area during February to keep track of our progress. Envelopes with postage that are placed unsealed in the offering plate will be reused.
Please pray about this and make your gift in February. March is our Lenten emphasis so we would like to realize our goal before then.
From the Choir Loft……………………………….……….by TOM SOOY
Experts say that for something to become a habit, you have to do it for at least six to eight weeks. One habit that is worth developing is a joy for life as a Christian. This theme for our 150th Anniversary as a church is “Looking back in gratitude – Moving forward in faith.” This year, also, our Music Ministry is using the theme “Joyful songs to God we sing” to remind us of our call to live a joy-filled life.
We are asking you to join us at Absecon Presbyterian Church in sharing your gift and talent with us in the Choir. It doesn’t matter if you’ve sung in a choir for many years or never have sung in a choir before. Our Choir rehearses on Thursday evenings from 7:45-8:45PM. No prior experience is needed, just a willingness to learn.
So, come on out and join us as we sing joyful songs to God!
NEW OFFICERS ORDAINED AND INSTALLED JANUARY 25
As Presbyterians we elected new officers to lead us on November 30, 2007. They were ordained and installed on January 25. Their names and positions are as follows:
Elder, Class of 2011 – Tom Sooy, Scott Sabo, Janice Bond
Deacon, Class of 2011 – Cathy Follensbee
Deacon, Class of 2009 (to fill an unexpired term) – Carol Kleiner
Trustees Jan Jorgensen and Judy Stebbins and Deacons Irene Hunter and Carol Thomas will be ordained and/or installed at a later time.
Rev. Cobb includes in the weekly Presby Post email the reference for the next Sunday’s sermon. Look it up on BibleGateway.com in the different versions before coming to church each Sunday!
By the Way: BYOB
Bring your own Bible to church each Sunday – not so much for you, but let your neighbors and strangers see you carrying your Bible as a witness to your faith.
As I write this we are, once again, in the midst of planning & packing for Mississippi for the 4th time. Who would have thought??
As the Good News goes out, our Mission Team will be busy at work in Gulfport, MS. We greatly appreciate and thank all those who have supported this effort each and every year, as well as those who attended our fundraiser dinner in January, at which we raised $913. The Seasoned Singers were wonderful and surprised us by giving us the entire love offering.
The support both financially and through prayer that our congregation, friends, and family members have given over the last 3 trips has been so amazing! It has sustained us in so many ways and given us an opportunity to experience first hand the satisfaction of knowing we helped lessen the burden that Katrina placed upon so many families. Each time we have tried to share that with you through our photos and stories so that you may be a part of our experience, and we hope to do that again this year.
2009 Gulf Coast Mission Team
Russell Adkisson, III Pastor Cobb John Harvey Bob Hudak
Norman Johnson Jan Jorgensen Drew Malfi Loretta Metz
Richard & Doris Wood Jim & Barbara Maurer Bill & Lori Miller Alice Smith
Frank Mohr, III (Dave’s son-in-law)
From Pleasantville Presbyterian Church
Gary & Sharon Cresse Paul & Louella Rose Ken Groome Leni Savell
This will be my last Good News article as chair of M & E and I look forward to not having to meet that deadline each month, but I do wish to thank Gay for the gentle reminders! Tom Sooy, as new chair, will now have yet another literary challenge each month besides the Choir Loft, Mayberry News and the Travel Group. Keep it up, Tom, and you’ll make editor-in-chief yet!
I appreciate the opportunity to serve on Session. It has truly been a learning experience for me.
In His Service,
BOOK DRIVE A SUCCESS!
Many thanks to all who donated books for our book drive on January 4. We collected thousands of books and delivered them to Absecon Manor, Arcadia Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, Eastern Pines, Linwood Convalescent Center, Ocean View Facility, and Our Lady’s Residence. Everyone loved the books. Eastern Pines was opening a library and were willing to take all the books we could give them. The facilities were making special requests for books on tape and large print editions. If anyone ever wishes to bring these in, we’ll make sure they find a good home. The children’s books went to Arthur Rann School and were distributed amongst the children, and the bookmarks made by the Sunday School were a big hit.
Thank you again,
The Sunday School
Thank you to all who worked and supported our soup sale -- $298 was made. Our next soup sale will be February 22nd and will feature vegetable, chicken noodle, corn chowder, chili, vegetable beef barley, split pea and turkey noodle. If there us anyone who would like to make soup to add to this list, please contact Kris Jenoriki at 748-1214.
Seventy-five people attended the annual luncheon which was prepared by Tom and Janice Piccirilli. They made an awesome stew and apple spice cake. They will also be preparing a chicken and wild rice dinner for the kitchen dedication dinner which will be held Saturday, February 21st at 5:30 pm. Sign-ups for that dinner is being held between services in Madden Hall. Adults are $5, children 6-12 years are $3 and under 6 are free. Please come and join us as we dedicate our new kitchen.
Tickets will be going on sale February 4th for the second in our Sesquicentennial Concert series. The King’s Choraliers Concert will be Saturday, March 14th with a ham and cabbage dinner preceding the concert from 5:00-6:30 pm. More details can be found in another section of this Good News.
Please join us for an Agape Lunch following the communion service February 1st in Madden Hall. February birthdays and anniversaries will be celebrated.
Serving through Christ,
CHURCH’S 150TH YEAR ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION
Our committee has been diligently working on our church celebration which is schedule for the weekend of May 16 & 17. MARK your calendar NOW. You will be receiving a mailing the beginning of March concerning the Saturday night concert and the reservations for our CELEBRATION DINNER at Renaults.
We still have the Christmas Ornaments. If you didn't have the opportunity to purchase one yet and would like to do so, contact Carol Thomas--641-4089 and she will see you get one.
CHURCH CORNERSTONE REVEALED – TAKE A LOOK!
The original cornerstone on the front corner of the narthex (outside) has been revealed with a circular crawl space enclosure. It is under plastic on the parking lot side of the narthex.
While the church was organized in 1859, the first structure was built and opened in 1865, six years later. The congregation met in the Odd Fellows Hall and later in the school house on the end lot while the church was being built. Heat was provided by pot bellied stoves and there was no plumbing – only an out house out back. But we’re sure they were very proud to have their own church with a steeple 100 feet high! We’ve come a long way since then.
Boston & Vermont
5 Days / 4 Nights
Trip Protection insurance is available for an additional fee.
The Travel Adventure Group of
PRIME - TIMERS SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 28 – 12 NOON
It is easy to be in a group for years with people you think you know quite well. But the truth is we may not know each other as well as we think we do. The Prime-Timers program for February is "Hey, Who Are You?" Before you come to this event, please write 3 true things and one made up thing about you on a piece of paper. We will then see if we can guess who wrote those things and which thing is not true. Just bring a covered dish to share and join us at noon on Saturday, February 28. The afternoon may be quite revealing.
LUNCH BUNCH TO RED LOBSTER FEBRUARY 11
Lunch Bunch will meet at the church at 11:30 on Wednesday, February 11, to travel to Red Lobster at the Hamilton Mall. We will meet at the restaurant at noon if you want to go direct.
RUTH BIRD WINS FIRST PRIZE IN STATE ART CONTEST
Congratulations to Ruth bird, 91 years young and a member of our church since 1954. Ruth won first prize for a drawing by a non professional titled “Old Man” at the September 2008 New Jersey State Senior Citizens Art Contest and Exhibition.
Ruth is a lifelong resident of Absecon who has won several other awards at the Atlantic City Art Center and previous New Jersey Senior Citizen shows.
Submitted by Joanna Howell
CHURCH RECEIVES “WORLD CHILDREN” WALL HANGING
We now have a wall hanging representing the children of the world in the stairway to the Christian Education building. Cut out of the metal from the lid of an oil barrel, a Haitian craftsman cut and painted this piece of art to support his family and to represent the children of the world.
Alice Smith, our outgoing mission chair, purchased this for our church. Alice is currently leading our mission team in Gulfport.
Alice, we thank you for your leadership in mission and the legacy you leave represented in this work of art that will always remind our children and all of us that we are part of a world community of need.
THANKS FOR YOUR INPUT
After compiling all the information from your responses to the survey to reduce mailing costs, the Trustees have decided to table the proposed changes using email or picking up communications. The savings did not justify making the change since 200 pieces are needed for the bulk mailing rate. All mailings will resume until further notice.
MANSE GETS NEW STOVE
Our “new” manse is now 20 years old. It’s not new anymore. In the last three years we have replaced the dishwasher, water heater, and clothes dryer.
On January 21 we replaced the stove. This was included in the budget under Manse Maintenance. The cost to the church was about $450.00. It’s a Maytag stove. (No, it will not do laundry – just cook.)
SNOW CLOSINGS – CALL THE OFFICE
Virtually all church activities have gone on uninterrupted by snow the last few years, but there is always the possibility.
Our church does not advertise on the radio, but we do make every effort to put information on the answering machine and in The Presby Post. Please note the following:
CHURCH FAMILY DIRECTORY UPDATE
29 Wexton Drive
Petersberg, New Jersey 08270
To the Absecon Presbyterian Church,
We thank you for the books on tape.
The Residents of Absecon Manor
HAVE YOU VISITED OUR WEBSITE RECENTLY?
Did you know that the Good News and monthly calendar is available each month on our website? Louise Speitel and Ken Marshall are great at updating our information. Check it out at absecon.presbychurch.org and follow the links to Good News and Calendar. Occasionally it has become necessary to edit articles to fit in the paper copy. With the “wonders of the internet” we are able to provide more information and even full color! If you would prefer to read and/or print it from the website while helping us save paper and postage please let the church office know. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call the office at 641-3759 if you would like to stop receiving a paper copy in the mail.
Do we have your email address? If not, email the church office (email@example.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. 4th Monday of the month
Articles and information should be in writing and emailed or left (photo ready preferred) in the office. Please keep in mind it may be necessary to edit due to space or other limitations.
1 9:30 Bob & Pat Hudak
11:00 Tom & Anita Brown
8 9:30 Ruth Champion
11:00 Dianna Lease
15 9:30 Bill & Ginny Davenport
11:00 Betty Lloyd
22 9:30 Grade 3-4
11:00 Frances Weir
1 9:30 Janice Bond
8 9:30 Janet Gee
15 9:30 Louise Speitel
11:00 Tina Brown
22 9:30 Grade 5-6 & 9-12
1 9:30 Bob & Irene Hunter
11:00 Mary Bew & Betty Lloyd
8 9:30 Al & Ilsa Smith
11:00 Paul & Marjorie Hamer
15 9:30 Carol Thomas & Elaine Risley
11:00 Mary Bew & Betty Lloyd
11:00 Jerry & Joan Hoenes
1 9:30 Melvin & Ethel Washington
8 9:30 Scott Sabo & Bob Hudak, Sr.
15 9:30 Bill & Ginny Davenport
22 9:30 Grade 1-2
DEACONS GUEST BOOK
1 9:30 Pat Hudak
11:00 Mary Bew
8 9:30 Barbara Miller
11:00 Jean Delesantro
11:00 Mary Bew
22 9:30 Jinny Wolcott
11:00 Jean Delesantro
1 Kira Greenlee
8 Dawn Lewis
15 Alice Malfi
22 Bob Hudak, Jr.
1 Denise Ott
8 Vic & Rita Abelson
15 Dawn Lewis
22 Carol Kleiner
BREAKFAST CLUB KITCHEN CREW
1 Set-up – Roger & Jinny Wolcott
Cook – Shirley Smith & Denise Ott
Clean-up – Paul & Marjorie Hamer
8 Set-up – (open)
Cook – Jean Delesantro
Clean-up – (open)
15 Set-up – (open)
Cook – John Harvey
Clean-up – Scott Sabo
22 Set-up – Bob & Pat Hudak
Cook – Dick & Doris Wood
Clean-up – Joe Marshall
MOVING YOUR LEGACY
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth…and the one who was seated on the throne said, ‘See, I am making all things new.’” ~ Revelation 21:1, 5
It’s truly sad how difficult it is to put aside a bad past. People who have been abused or neglected carry those feelings all their lives. People who have failed in a career, a marriage, or in their finances seem to loose the initiative to try again. Change is hard. We fear it.
Countries and ethnic groups are no better. The stresses between Muslims and Christians have gone on for centuries. Hostilities may stop for a while, but only until one side has enough time and money to rearm. Look at Palestine, Darfur, or Pakistan. We seem resigned to it. I’m a little taken back when people say things like “Those people have hated each other for thousands of years. Even if you make them stop, they will only start fighting again when you go away.” What a hopeless outlook for the future!
Well, last Tuesday at noon we may just have made a systemic difference that will last. Part of Dr. King’s dream became reality when Barack Obama took the oath of office as president. In spite of a sobering speech, the country couldn’t help but celebrate something many thought was still a hundred years away – a black president. But the joy went beyond even that. We are moving beyond a legacy to a future where our children will be judged not “by the color of their skin but by the content of their character”. It’s not easy, especially around here. Did you know New Jersey was the last northern state to abolish slavery, and even after the Civil War our state had many unpaid “permanent apprentices” who were black? Even today 78% of minorities feel they are discriminated against. Systemic change is hard.
Did you know that churches are one of the hardest places to bring about systemic change? Our denomination has only ordained women for 50 years, and many church people carry negative baggage. The young don’t trust the old. The old don’t trust the young. We have economic divisions, geographical divisions, political divisions (you notice we don’t discuss politics much), and theological divisions. Yes, we Presbyterians still tend to look down on Baptists, Catholics and Independents. Sad.
This is our 150th anniversary. Our founder, Allen Brown, started 13 churches in South Jersey. Last year Jethro, our black sister church, celebrated it’s 100th year. When I asked them if Allen Brown had helped start their church they said, “Heck no! He didn’t do anything for black churches. We had to wait until he was gone to found Jethro.” I wonder how he would feel to know that two of the churches he founded are 100% racial ethnic now? (Victory First and Chelsea)
But before we become too critical let’s remember that our Presbytery had no interest in black churches in the 1800’s either. Even today Sunday morning is the most segregated time in America.
It’s not easy to move past your legacy. Whether that legacy is racism, classism, political correctness, sexism, or theological snobbery makes little difference. We need to learn from the past without getting locked into the mistakes of the past. It is just hard to overcome our legacy.
On January 20 our nation began to move beyond some of the darkness in our national legacy. Whether we like it or not, there is darkness in our religious legacy as well. One of the functions of our 150th anniversary is to sort out the wheat and chaff. In a good anniversary celebration we keep the wheat and discard the chaff, not the other way around.
Sorting out the past is the first step in facing our future. Happy 150th to us!
Looking Back in Gratitude – Moving Forward in Faith
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