Absecon Presbyterian Church
VERSE OF THE MONTH: Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and he will make straight your paths.
~ Proverbs 3:5-6
Beginning with Palm Sunday, April 5, and concluding on Easter is the holiest week on the church calendar called “Holy Week”. This is a time to participate in our Savior’s final week of the triumphant entry, increasing opposition, the upper room, betrayal, crucifixion and resurrection on Easter. Please plan on attending as often as possible.
12:15 Agape Luncheon - Seder
9:30 & 11:00 Easter Worship
SUNDAY SCHOOL AND RELATED NEWS
By the time you read this we will have performed our Easter play, “When They Crucified My Lord”, performed by Mike McManus, Jeremy Wong, Janna Beth Cobb, Jason Imlay, Jack Cobb, Kendal McBrearty, Woody Duncan, Jan Cobb, and Jim McManus. Extra thanks go to Jim McManus for building the cubes and to cast members who painted those cubes and designed costumes for the characters. We will also have had our luncheon and Easter egg hunt. Thanks go to all who helped fill eggs, hide eggs, bring food, etc. Events are always more exciting with lots of people involved.
Up Coming Events
Excellent Sunday School Attendance Dec – Feb
Aiden Platt Sal Pinkney, Jr Abby Mazzatta Nicholas Sabo
Jade Petit Jackson Little William Little Aspen Mazzatta
Sarah Ramos Jacob Sabo Haley Gras Jackson Harvey
Libby Little Madison McElwee Alexis Mazzatta Annie McManus
Kassie Little Emma Cavage Elena Achanizo Franklin Nale
Courtney Gras Bud Burgess Terri Villegas Justin Hughes
Nick Hughes Mike McManus Chris Harvey Elisa Wong
Bob Hudak Sam Burgess Jeremy Wong Chris Hughes
Brittany Wooding Dana Nale Ally Hodgson Alex Wolff
SENIOR YOUTH NEWS
A big thank you to Gayle Ackerman. She did a great job teaching us how to sew. She went from threading and knotting to hems and buttons then to the sewing machine. By the end of the night Ally was ready to hem her school uniform, and Amber was ready to sew herself a coat.
Our mission project this year is a pretty big undertaking. We asked for a small piece of church property for a vegetable garden. What ever we grow will be donated to the food bank. We have to start from scratch - tilling the soil and then planting. If anyone has any gardening knowledge and would like to share it with us we would be very grateful!!!!!!!! Any and all help is appreciated.
Karen Muldoon/ co director
WOMEN'S CIRCLE MEETINGS
As we continue our Bible study of Luke this month we will read of two fear-inspiring miracles found in Luke 8:22-39. The account of the stilling of the storm is the first of the two miracles in these verses. This is followed by the healing of the demoniac, Legion, who recognizes Jesus.
The Sarah Circle will meet at 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, April 1st, in Cobb Lounge. The Ruth Circle will meet at the home of Betsy Cunius at 1:00 p.m. Friday, April 3rd. The Martha Circle will meet at 10:00 a.m. Thursday, April 9th, at the home of Ida Juhrs. Please join us at any of the circles that fit into your time schedule.
On Monday, March 23rd, several women from the circles packed the boxes full of goodies for the college students. Boxes were prepared for 23 college students and they should arrive by the end of the week. (I received a phone call that one of the students received the box on the very next day.) Many thanks to all the women of the circles for their contributions of good things and to the women who packed the boxes. Special thanks to the Deacons who generously pay for the postage and to Gay for designing a beautiful Easter card to enclose.
MEN’S CLUB TO MEET APRIL 18 AT 8:30 A.M.
The Doug Jablonski Men’s Fellowship will meet a week later this month so as not to interfere with the Easter weekend.
Come join us for food, fellowship, and spiritual growth. You’ll be glad you did.
Breakfast will be eggs, bacon, sausage, toast, orange juice and coffee – just $3.00.
NEWS FROM MAYBERRY
Andy and Opie’s housekeeper, Rose, is marrying Wilbur Pine and moving away. Andy’s Aunt Bee is coming to live with them and raise Opie, just as she raised Andy years before. Aunt Bee is thrilled to be needed. Opie pleads for Rose to stay, but Andy explains that she is leaving for good.
This is a wonderful story about Opie’s dealing with major changes in his life. While the changes may seem small to us as adults, I believe we can learn much about the way we handle changes in our own life to include expectations, acceptance and changes of heart.
Well, I bet you can figure out how it ends, but we have some great food and fellowship as we come to that conclusion. We will be meeting in Madden Hall on Friday, April 17th, at 6 pm for a potluck supper as we screen “The New Housekeeper” the very first episode of the Andy Griffith Show.
So, join us in Madden Hall at 6 pm on FRIDAY, April 17th, for a wonderful night of food, entertainment and discussion.
Remember, the door is always unlocked and the lemonadeis always cold.
CONFIRMATION CLASS BEGINS APRIL 19 AT 4:00 P.M.
Confirmation is a six week long church membership process for young people aged 14-19. It is a time of growing in the knowledge of who we are in God’s world and seeking out our special place in the church.
Confirmands are required to attend six classes on faith, church history, Christian values, church government, etc. They also need to memorize certain verses, take some sermon notes, and do some service projects for the church. Classes are taught by Pastors Cobb and Reedell in the lounge.
The dates for the classes are April 19, 26, May 3, 24, 31, and June 7. Confirmands will be presented to session on June 9 and be confirmed on June 14 or 21. Please call the office to sign up.
Confirmation is a great time of Christian growth and development. We encourage this step for our young people.
NEW MEMBER’S CLASSES BEGIN APRIL 19 AT 7:00 P.M.
Membership classes for adults are a time of finding our place in God’s church. The three classes will deal with Christian faith, church history, and the life of our church here in Absecon. They will meet at 7:00 p.m. on April 19, 26, and May 3. New adult members will meet with session to be received on May 12.
REPORT FROM THE STEWARDSHIP COMMITTEE
Income to support our budget comes from three sources: Our giving, investments and rentals. Statistics for January and February are as follows:
Budget for 2009 $225,636.00
Budget through February 28 $ 34,720.00
Our giving through February 28 $ 27,361.15
Investment Income $ 2,719.70
Rental Income $ 6,047.76
Total $ 36,128.61
Amount over budget $ 1,408.61
We still enjoy the Good News that we are meeting our budgetary needs to support our personnel, programs and supplies. However, the amount over budget is $421.75 less than at the end of January.
Once again, you have generously used the envelope included in your box to donate your portion of the Per Capital expense. As you know this year we were assessed $37 per member for a total of $9,818.06. This was paid in January to West Jersey Presbytery. Last year, through your special donation, you "reimbursed" our Church $4,391.51 of the $9,636.58 expense. As of March 22, you have collectively "reimbursed" the Church $4,123.00, which is $268.51 shy of total per capita giving last year. During the year if you can manage it, you can still donate all or a portion of your share of the $37 fee. Just put your donation in an envelope marked per capita and your name or box number and it will be marked as received. If eight more members contribute to this fund, we will have equaled last years total.
Your continued financial support makes the job of the Stewardship Committee a rewarding experience!
Gerald W. Hoenes
THANK YOUS FOR MARCH GO TO ~
While you may have hardly noticed, March was a big month for our church workers. Special thanks go to the following:
FROM THE CHOIR LOFT….by Tom Sooy
Robert Lowry is credited with the beautiful hymn, “Christ Arose”. Based on Luke 24:6 says, "He is not here, but is risen," it tells the story of Christ’s resurrection. As a pastor and church musician, Lowry served in churches in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. In 1862, while having his daily devotion, the words to “Christ Arose” came to him during the Easter season. As a lifelong musician, he also wrote the tune as well.
Lowry once was quoted about his talents as a musician and song-writer, “My brain is sort of a spinning machine, for there is music running through it all the time.” He was also considered by many to be a Bible scholar and an excellent preacher, and today we regard him as the man behind one of our most beloved Easter hymns.
Low in the grave He lay, Jesus, my Savior!
Waiting the coming day Jesus, my Lord!
CHORUS: Up from the grave He arose, With a mighty triumph o'er His foes;
He arose a victor from the dark domain, And He lives forever with His saints to reign;
He arose! He arose! Hallelujah! Christ arose!
A happy and blessed Easter to you all and until next time…..see you in the Choir Loft!
BRING FLOWERS FOR OUR OUTDOOR CROSS ON EASTER, APRIL 12
The cross in the front yard of the church has only had a shroud during Lent. On Easter it will be covered with chicken wire so you can fill it in completely with flowers. Bring a flower or two with you on Easter so we can make this Easter tradition really beautiful. This is a great way to celebrate resurrection victory in Jesus.
AGAPE LUNCH ON APRIL 5 TO FOLLOW SEDER
The Jewish Passover this year begins on April 8. Even nominal Jews will observe some part of Passover as it is an essential part of Jewish identity. Jesus used this meal which uses the Pascal lamb as the sign of God’s deliverance from bondage in Egypt to give his disciples a greater understanding of His role as the Lamb of God. What He did we now observe monthly as the Lord’s Supper or communion.
On April 5, Palm Sunday, we will observe communion and then move to Madden Hall to observe the Seder, which is the Passover meal. There will be a plate on each table with the elements of Seder – egg, parsley, mixed fruit (charoseth), unleavened bread, grape juice, bitter herbs, and a shank bone of a lamb. We will also ask the traditional four questions and look for Elijah. Your souvenir placemat will explain the significance of each part of the ceremony.
The main course will be marinated chicken with vegetables and roasted red potatoes which are still eaten by many Jews today.
We will view a five minute video of how the Seder points us toward Jesus and why messianic Jews see Jesus in the Seder today.
So please plan on staying for lunch on Palm Sunday, April 5, following the 11:00 worship service. Jews see this occasion as a time of happy thanksgiving, much like our Thanksgiving holiday today. Palm Sunday is also a time of joy, so these two events do go together, and this year Passover and Holy Week are at the same time.
Reservations are not needed. Cost is $5.00 to cover expenses.
MISSION AND EVANGELISM by Tom Sooy
The Committee is hard at work with our “One Great Hour of Sharing” which will come to a conclusion on Palm Sunday, April 5th. There is still time to make your contribution with the envelope on your Good News and in each pew in the sanctuary. Our next project will be our BLANKETS of HOPE. This has become a tradition in our congregation to use Mother’s Day as a chance to show our love around the world by providing blankets around the world that are used as shelter, coats, backpacks and many other things. We are so blessed in this country, even in our current national situation, and Blankets of Hope is a wonderful way to share our love with those whose lives may seem so hopeless.
We are also in the process of determining our next MISSION TRIP, whether back to the Gulf area or another part of the country. Information is being assessed and a decision will be made shortly. We look forward to your continued support in all areas of our congregation’s mission to our neighbors both near and far.
March 2009 Letter from TED AND SUE WRIGHT, our Missionaries in Africa
WHEN THINGS GO AWRY
Greetings from Ted on a gray, cloudy morning. Sue joins me in sending best wishes
I am sitting outdoors, writing this letter the old-fashioned way with pen and paper. For years I did sermon drafts like this (yep, dinosaur), so I haven't lost my touch. I hope to type it later on.
o Why a manuscript? -Need to conserve the battery.
o Why the great outdoors? -Too dark to see inside our house.
o Why not turn on a light? -Electricity went off again last night.
o At night? That's unusual. -Right. Utility poles collapsed.
o Why did that happen? -Heavy rains the last few days.
o When will power be restored? -Who knows? Zesco (power company) is using hand tools.
When Sue and I answered the call to mission service, our mentors said, "You just need two things: #1] patience, #2] flexibility." I believe we have grown in both departments.
Still, without electricity email becomes a problem. Without email it's hard to do our work. "Well, what about dial-up?" I can hear someone ask. Sorry; forgot to mention: the phone is dead as well. Since that situation has persisted nearly a month, we are kind of getting used to no ring and no fax.
Of course, even with email, we lack guarantees. Some of you have noticed: we use more than one address. This is called insurance. Backup systems are always good. When Zamnet goes down - as has been true for the last week - we can still get through on Gmail, and vice-versa. The fact that you are reading this at all would, in my mind, testify to the value of redundancy.
We learn to go with the flow and do our best. Rarely does anything move according to plan. Earlier today, when I saw we had no power, I realized I needed now to hand-deliver a letter which normally I could have emailed. Not wanting to waste fuel, I decided to stop also at the Mozambique embassy and get visas for our trip. When the guard looked at me strangely, I knew something was wrong. A polite man explained, "We haven't had stickers since October." (*) That was the previous occasion when I failed. Yet somehow we managed to go then.
Speaking of flow, Leslie Weatherhead has written that the will of God is like a stream, flowing down a mountain. It follows the most direct, natural course unless something intervenes to block its path. God's "intentional will," God's straightforward desire, is for people to love God and love each other. God's "permissive will" allows human beings to make decisions, granting us freedom to thwart His command. But God's "ultimate will" prevails at last. In the end it cannot be denied. As the mountain stream seeks its course over, under, around, and through every obstacle, so God's purpose finds fulfillment in human history, notwithstanding all our evil and neglect.
When things go awry, God still succeeds. Thank you for helping us do likewise.
Ted & Sue
(*) The visa for Mozambique consists of a page-size sticker pasted into one's passport. Last time, after the local embassy couldn't help, we were fortunate to be successful in Malawi.
NEWS FROM LISA WHITAKER
“We want to make a difference in the world”. One of the children at Emma C. Attales School answered the guest speaker when she asked what was the purpose of our Ambassador Club. It was music to my ears. This last year, I have had the privilege of starting a club at Absecon Schools along with a few teachers. It is similar to some of the programs and things I do when I live overseas and I thought, since I am stateside a bit more, I should try it out here. I am glad to say that the children are really rising to the occasion. We meet each month and do activities and teaching on how we can make a difference. In April, we are putting on a benefit basketball game that will raise money to purchase bedding nets for places in Africa where malaria is rampant. The kids have designed a t-shirt, are getting donations for prizes and are truly learning about making a difference. We also have made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for Sister Jean’s kitchen and donated peanut butter and jelly to the local food bank.
The month of March I have been in New York City several weeks gathering together and teaching Discipleship Training School students in the areas of justice and the character of God as well as how to study the Bible. April I will be attending leadership meetings for YWAM in Colorado and also speaking at a women’s retreat in Pennsylvania. I am very grateful for all the opportunities that come my way to teach, minister and continue to be involved in the Discipleship Training Schools internationally.
I wanted to thank you all for your continued support this year. It is a privilege to represent you and more importantly to represent Christ in so many arenas both local and foreign. I will be in and out throughout the summer and will participate in the VBS program here in Absecon again.
Enjoy the awakenings of spring and I hope to see you –
ONE GREAT HOUR OF SHARING EMPHASIS
We have had three Minutes for Mission, bulletin inserts, and articles in our publications so we should all be aware of the work of O.G.H.S.
Now it’s time to demonstrate how much we care. Envelopes are in your pew racks and attached to this issue of the Good News. Please give your generous gift by Palm Sunday, April 5.
The need is greater than ever.
WORK DAY TO TAKE PLACE APRIL 4 AT 9:00 A.M.
Bring Windex, rakes and gloves on Saturday, April 4. We will clean gutters, windows and the yard. We will also be cleaning and hanging screens, etc. If time allows we will fertilize the yard, change filters, etc.
LUNCH BUNCH TO MILL STREET PUB APRIL 15
Lunch Bunch will resume their monthly excursions by traveling to Mill Street Pub on Wednesday, April 15 (three days after Easter). Meet at the church at 11:30 or at the restaurant at noon.
Mill Street Pub is in Mays Landing a few doors down from the Presbyterian Church.
Please note that the April meeting is scheduled for April 29, 12:00 Noon. This is one week later than our regular fourth Wednesday. The program will be a "Show and Tell" so bring along all of your handwork, paintings, sewings, plants, anything at all that is a hobby and tell us all about it. I know we have a lot of talented people among our group, and it is nice to share with each other some of the things that take our interest. Ruth Bird will be bringing some of her drawings (I know some of them are prize winners), but even if you don't have a prize winner it will be fun to see what you do. Bring along your sandwich, too; as usual dessert and beverage will be served.
PRIME - TIMERS SATURDAY, APRIL 18 - 6:00 P.M.
Our April Prime - Timers should be a lot of fun. Jim and Barbara Maurer will be back from Florida and will bring their Wii game console. We will take turns competing against one another in the carnival horse race game. Everyone 45 and over is invited to come at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 18th for an entertaining evening. Just bring a covered dish to share and join us in Madden Hall for an evening of food, fun and fellowship.
DON’T FORGET TO PURCHASE TICKETS FOR OUR 150TH CELEBRATION!
You should all have received a mailing by now for the 150th anniversary celebration on May 16-17. Tickets for the Saturday, May 16th concert by Wesner and Davies and the preceding Gourmet Dessert and “Meet and Greet,” are only available from Joan Hoenes (609-641-1839). These are time specific tickets, so please be prepared to make your choice of seatings. All tickets are $10.00 each.
6:00 – 6:30 pm seating
6:45 – 7:15 pm seating
Please use the RSVP form for tickets to the May 17th dinner at Renault’s only. The deadline for dinner reservations is May 3rd.
John Harvey, Jr. who wrestled his way to the state finals for Absegami High School.
Ken & Nancy Tompkins whose daughter, Hilary, was nominated by President Barack Obama for Solicitor, Dept. of Interior.
Join us in welcoming Kayla Mae Achanizo, daughter of Jose and Gloria and sister of Elena and Joseph, born Friday, March 20, weighing 7 lb 15 oz. Everyone is doing fine.
Thank you so much for visiting Sunrise and giving us those colorful handcrafted Valentines. They added much color to our room, and the cookies were delicious.
You put a lot of time & effort into making us so happy. Thank you.
Dick & June Waters
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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.
One of our members, Lucy Jerue, will be presenting a free program/slide show entitled “Escape to Giverny, France and Monet’s Garden.” This program, presented by the Galloway Township Women’s Club and the Galloway Cultural Arts Center, will be presented on Monday, April 6th at the Galloway Branch of the Atlantic County Library at 7pm. The public in invited!
5 9:30 Bill & Ginny Davenport
11:00 Loretta Metz
12 9:30 Jan & Carol Jorgensen
11:00 Paul & Marjorie Hamer
19 9:30 Richard & Doris Wood
11:00 David & Judy Stebbins
26 9:30 Grade 3-4
11:00 Shirley Smith & Denise Ott
5 9:30 Dianna Lease
11:00 Jerry Hoenes
12 9:30 Scott Sabo
11:00 Loretta Metz
19 9:30 Louise Speitel
11:00 Alice Malfi
26 9:30 Grades 7-8 & 9-12
11:00 Tina Brown
5 9:30 Bob & Irene Hunter
11:00 Mary Bew, Betty Lloyd
12 9:30 Eric & Essie Newell
11:00 Tina Brown, Joe Marshall
5 9:30 Jan & Carol Jorgensen
12 9:30 Bill & Ginny Davenport
26 9:30 Grade 1-2
DEACONS GUEST BOOK
5 9:30 Irene Hunter
11:00 Mary Bew
12 9:30 Cathy Follansbee
11:00 Jean Delesantro
19 9:30 Jinny Wolcott
11:00 Mary Bew
26 9:30 Pat Hudak
11:00 Jean Delesantro
5 9:30 Jennifer Platt
12 9:30 Kira Greenlee
19 9:30 Dawn Lewis
26 9:30 Alice Malfi
5 JoAnn Sabo
12 Eddie Haldeman
19 Kirk & Melissa Sutton
26 June Waters
BREAKFAST CLUB KITCHEN CREW
5 Set-up – Bob & Pat Hudak
Cook – Richard & Doris Wood
Clean-up – Paul & Marjorie Hamer
12 No Breakfast – Happy Easter!
19 Set-up – Jo-ann Weller
Cook – John Harvey, Ed Little
Clean-up – Shirley Smith, Denise Ott
26 Set-up – Bob & Pat Hudak
Cook – Richard & Doris Wood
HAVING A FORM OF GODLINESS, BUT DENYING THE POWER THEREOF
Holding to the outward form of godliness but denying its power. ~ 2 Timothy 3:5
Americans are big on holidays. We try to outdo last year’s Christmas lights, Thanksgiving dinner, Fourth of July fireworks, etc. And if there is no particular customary observance, we at least have a sale on Presidents Day, Veterans Day, or even Groundhog Day. It seems we really know how to make these events bigger every year.
But not Easter. Most churches report that attendance peaks on Palm Sunday or the week before. Easter Sunday attendance is average. The “C&E” (Christmas & Easter) crowd has dropped to just “C”. They don’t want to get dressed up in Easter finery. Some say they just don’t feel comfortable. There are some disturbing reasons why this is so.
But Easter is the high point of the Christian year. Sin, death, and evil are conquered. God shows His power in His only Son. Jesus’ life and ministry are vindicated, and we partake in Jesus’ victory for it is ours as well.
I believe that, and Easter is a time for me to live and celebrate the greatest gift I ever got – hope in Jesus.
If the world is offended, that’s just too bad. I’m offended at what the world has done to Easter.
So I’ll see you in church on Easter, right?
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