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
150th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION
The time and date for our BIG weekend is coming near. On Sat. the 16th we will have our Meet and Greet Gourmet Dessert Reception with Fred and George, the organists from Radio City Music Hall. Joanie has been handling the tickets and seating for this affair. Make sure you have your tickets as they are going FAST. The times for that are -- First Seating 6-6:30 -- Second Seating 6:45-7:15. The concert is at 7:30.
On Sunday, May 17th, there will be a beautiful Church Service at 10:00 a.m. Previous pastors Walter Dosch, Henk Vigeveno and Dave Hodgson as well as our current pastor will have opportunities to speak. Special music will include our Bell Choir, Chime Choir, and the Chancel Choir.
After the service, we will head to Renault Winery for a fabulous dinner and entertainment. Appetizers will be served from 12:45 to 1:30. There will be background music by 5 musicians during this time. Dinner will be served at 1:30. Our own Tom Sooy will serve as our MC for the occasion. It will be a fantastic time. You need to be there to be a part of this exciting day in the history of our church. Even our own Dr. Jonathan Pitney will be with us from the grave.
Reservation forms are still in the foyer and office if you have misplaced yours. DON’T WAIT. The deadline is May 3rd, but we may be able to take extras up to May 11th. All reservations must be paid in advance. There can be no “walk-ins” that day.
Don’t waste time---get that reservation form in NOW. For any questions, call Elaine Risley (646-2859) or Carol Thomas (641-4089).
MOMS TO BE HONORED WITH SPECIAL GIFT ON MAY 10
May 10 is Mother’s Day and as always we will be honoring our mothers at both services. This year the first 100 moms will receive a special gift of appreciation. Mom, we love you!
(These recognition gifts are for mothers who are present at church that day.)
PASTOR TO BE INSTALLED AS MODERATOR ELECT MAY 19
Our pastor has been elected as moderator elect of West Jersey Presbytery and will be installed at the May 19 meeting of Presbytery.
A year from now he will be installed as the moderator of the Presbytery.
The moderator’s duties include moderating the meetings, officiating at ordinations and installations, serving on certain committees and commissions, and meeting with the executive, clerk and other officers of the Presbytery from time to time.
The session has offered its support of our pastor in this honored position. It will require that Pastor Cobb will be away from us at certain times to fulfill his duties to the Presbytery.
SUNDAY SCHOOL AND RELATED NEWS
A wonderful Easter play was performed on March 29 by a cast of nine dedicated actors and actresses. Many people were deeply touched by the words and emotions each character presented in their story. Many appreciated how much each character had to memorize! Impressive! The luncheon and Easter egg hunt went very well as a result of so many contributions of eggs, candy, and food for the luncheon. We had quite the feast! It never ceases to amaze me how it takes many hands and about 25 minutes to hide all the eggs. Then the kids find them all in 5 minutes flat. Guinness book record! Ripley’s Believe It or Not! We held the egg hunt inside because it had rained all night and into the morning. The sanctuary and Christian Ed. building looked really neat with hundreds of eggs everywhere. Talk about a transformation! Finally thanks to all who filled their fish banks with coins to help with the One Great Hour of Sharing. See…we have become fishers of men!
Up Coming Events
WOMEN'S CIRCLE MEETINGS
As we continue to follow Jesus' journey in Luke's gospel, we come to a story within a story (Luke 8:40-56). It reveals two desperate people: Jairus, a father kneeling at Jesus' feet begging him to come heal his only daughter, and an un-named woman who has been ill for twelve years. Both the father and the woman reach out to Jesus because there is no other hope. Because of the faith of the father and the faith of the woman, Jesus brings two people back to life.
The Sarah Circlewill meet at 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, May 6th, in Cobb Lounge. The Ruth Circle will meet at the home of Betsy Cunius at 1:00 p.m. Friday, May 8. (Note change of date.) The Martha Circle will meet at the home of Ida Juhrs on Thursday, May 14, at 10:00 a.m.
Please join us at any of the circles that fit into your schedule.
MEN’S FELLOWSHIP “CAR SHOW” 8:30 A.M. MAY 9
The Doug Jablonski Men’s Fellowship will meet for breakfast at 8:30 on May 9. Breakfast will be pancakes, and we will show off some classic and antique cars in the cemetery drive afterwards.
NEWS FROM MAYBERRY
The Mayberry jail has a celebrity visitor, Gentleman Dan Caldwell. Mr. Caldwell has a reputation and has spent time in all the well- known prisons and is spending a short time in Mayberry before they move him to another location. Barney is beside himself making preparations for their famous visitor and is so impressed that Mr. Caldwell calls him by name. As a matter fact, Mr. Caldwell has a gift for connecting with people and winning them over. But is he really a gentleman?
That question will be answered on Friday, May 8th, at 6pm. Our get-together is being moved up one week this month to leave the next weekend free for our 150th Anniversary Celebration. And, as in years past, this will be the last “town meeting” until the fall. Come on out and join us for a screening of “The Gentleman Crook.”
So join us in Madden Hall at 6pm on FRIDAY, MAY 8thth, for a wonderful night of food, entertainment and discussion.
Remember, the door is always unlocked and the lemonadeis always cold.
CHRISTIAN READERS BOOK CLUB - WEDNESDAY, MAY 13, 7:00 P.M.
The Christian Readers will meet in Cobb Lounge at 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, May 13, to discuss our current book selection, The Wednesday Letters by Jason F. Wright. Their story began with one letter on their wedding night. "I made a promise today at the church and I'm making another promise here tonight. I'm going to write to you every week... And Laurel, I will always standby you. No matter what. We're in everything together. No secrets. No surprises. And I will always be true. In every way. Jack"
Jack and Laurel have been married for 39 years. They've lived a good life and appear to have had the perfect marriage. With his wife cradled in his arms, and before Jack takes his final breath he scribbles his last "Wednesday Letter."
When their adult children arrive to arrange the funeral, they discover boxes and boxes full of love letters that their father wrote to their mother each week on Wednesday. As they begin to open and read the letters, the children uncover the shocking truth about their past. The Wednesday Letters has a powerful message about forgiveness. Please join us as we discuss this compelling book of fiction.
BUDGETARY STATISTICS FROM THE STEWARDSHIP COMMITTEE
The status of meeting our budgetary requirements for the year through March 29 is as follows:
Budget for 2009 $225,636.00
Budget through March 29 $ 56,420.00
Our giving through March 29 $ 42,639.39
Investment Income $ 4,386.98
Rental Income (net) $ 6,798.78
Total $ 53,825.15
Amount under budget $ 2,594.85
A major expense against rental income since the last report was for real estate taxes on our two rental properties. This totaled $2,198.98. As we property owners know, these taxes are due four times a year. Also, it is noteworthy that our average weekly giving declined in March when compared to January and February. Average weekly giving in January was $3,689.44; in February, $3150.85; and in March, $3055.65.
These statistics on meeting our budgetary needs reflect the fact that things can change from month to month: our reports in the Good News each of the past two months had us over budget. As we approach the summer months, when giving traditionally drops a bit, it is important that we do all we can to keep up with our pledges and contribute to our church on a regular basis.
Gerald W. Hoenes
APRIL THANK YOUS
April was a busy month with special services for Holy Thursday, Easter Sunrise, etc. We thank the choir and bell choir for their special music and our special helpers for the Seder on Palm Sunday.
April was also a time of spring repairs and adjustments. We give special thanks to the following:
FROM THE CHOIR LOFT….by Tom Sooy
It seems the big thing on everyone’s mind these days is our 150th Anniversary, and rightly so. Such a milestone is no small feat. Churches come and churches go, and it is a testament to the commitment of the congregation, past and present.
At the Anniversary Service on Sunday, May 17th, there will be wonderful special music from our Bell Choir, our Choir Chimes Ringers , and our Choir. One very exciting thing for me is that former choir members who have moved to other places of the country are coming back and would like to sing in the choir for the service. What a glorious day it will be!
This past Sunday we introduced our Anniversary hymn, #449, Find Us Faithful. The words of this contemporary hymn sum up our obligation as a congregation:
O may all who come behind us find us faithful;
may the fire of our devotion light their way.
May the footprints that we leave lead them to believe,
And the lives we live inspire them to obey.
O may all who come behind us find us faithful.
Happy Anniversary, Absecon Presbyterian Church, and until next time…..see you in the Choir Loft!
MISSION/EVANGELISM by Tom Sooy
Our “One Great Hour of Sharing” ended on Palm Sunday. The final total has not been determined yet, but we thank all those who gave so generously to this annual appeal of the Church.
The next project is our BLANKETS of HOPE campaign. 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 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. So honor YOUR mother or anyone, for that matter, with a $10.00 gift to BLANKETS of HOPE.
NEWS FROM THE CEMETERY
First, let me tell everyone how happy Barbara and I were to get back to cold and rainy New Jersey from sunny and dry Florida. (Ha-Ha) Really it was so nice to see all those smiling faces and receive the warm greetings. We did miss Absecon Presbyterian Church, there’s no place like home.
Well let’s catch everyone up with the latest news from the Cemetery Committee. We have signed a contract with Cold Springs Memorial Group for the purchase of a 72 niche columbarium. We expect to have the columbarium delivered sometime between July and September. A lot depends on the weather. In the next few weeks we will have a contractor working in the cemetery building the foundation for the columbarium.
I hoped everyone noticed how pretty the 3 new Cherry trees looked a few weeks ago. It is a shame that the flowers do not last longer. We do get a second chance though because the other 3 trees flower later in the spring.
We now have the cemetery posted with signs stating “No Admittance Dusk to Dawn” thanks to the craftsmanship of Roger Wolcott. This is our cemetery and I am asking for everyone’s help. If you see any unauthorized activity in the cemetery please notify the police. Now that we have it posted, they will enforce our rules. Let’s start protecting our investment.
Speaking of protecting our investment, in the past year we had vandals damage about a dozen headstones. Well, Peterson Monuments will be repairing the damaged headstones in May and/or June. I would encourage anyone who needs a headstone for a loved one, please purchase from a friend of the cemetery, Peterson Monuments.
Jim Maurer, Chairman
Our annual Strawberry Festival will be held on Friday, June 5th, from 6-8 pm. We are hoping that John Channell and friends will be able to provide music for that evening. If you are interested in picking strawberries, preparing them or bringing baked goods, ice cream or cool whip, please sign up on the board in the foyer to help. Tickets will be sold at the door-- $4 for adults and $2 for children. Hope you all can join us in a fun evening!!
Many weeks are empty on the refreshment board for the months of May, June, July, etc. Please find it in your heart to sign up one week to bring cookies, donut holes, etc. so that we may carry on this tradition. Thank you for your help!
The Fellowship Committee members have been very busy each month with dinners, soup sales, luncheons, etc. so they deserve a month off to rest and gear up for the next eleven months! So we will not have any events planned for the month of July, but we are planning a Dinner Cruise in August--date TBA, a Yard Sale in conjunction with Absecon Fall Days on Saturday, September 26th, a church dinner with a concert by Tom Sooy, Tom Piccirilli, and Tom Venafro in October, and a church bazaar for November. Watch for more information in future editions of the Good News.
Again a huge thank you goes out to everyone who makes this committee so successful. I am so very appreciative!!
Serving you through Christ,
LUNCH BUNCH TO UNCLE BILL’S IN OCEAN CITY
On Wednesday, May 13, we will meet at 11:30 to travel to Uncle Bill’s in Ocean City. Meet us at the church or at Uncle Bill’s located at 212 Asbury Avenue (north end) at noon.
EVERGREENS PLANNING ANNUAL SPRING LUNCHEON
Plans for the May spring luncheon at Crab Trap are in the works. For more information and to make your reservation see Marjorie Hamer.
TRAVEL ADVENTURE GROUP NEWS by Tom Sooy
I am excited to say that plans are being explored for a 2010 trip to “THE OTHER IRELAND.” The 9 day trip would fly us into Belfast. From there we travel through the Glens of Antrim to Giant’s Causeway (called the Eighth Wonder of the World), touring and staying in the city of Derry, a visit to the Ulster American Folk Park, through Donegal and Sligo and staying in a 14th Century Castle. As we tour through Connemara, we board a catamaran for a cruise on the 9 mile Killary Harbor (the only fjord in Ireland). We wind up in the City of Tribes, Galway for two more nights.
More information will be coming as we are just outside the date when early airfares can be secured for that time period. Once things are firmed up, we will be having a meeting (late May or early June) to provide the entire itinerary as well as pricing. So watch for more info about this exciting trip for next year.
THE PRIME - TIMERS – SATURDAY, MAY 9, AT 6:00 P.M.
The Prime-Timers will celebrate Cinco de Mayo at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 9th, even if it is a few days later. Come and find out why Cinco de Mayo is celebrated. Please join us as we make our own tacos from different fixings. Our dessert will be Tres Leches Cake, a traditional Mexican favorite. A prize will be given to the first person to complete the Mexican Word Search puzzle. Join us for an evening of fun, food and fellowship.
107 Golden Wheat Court
Hammonton, NJ 08037
Our prayer chain has expanded to the internet. If you are willing to commit to praying for members of our church family and would like to join our Email Prayer Chain please notify the office. Email blasts are sent out as requests are received in the office. No forwarding or phone calls are necessary – just a willingness to pray.
The telephone chain is still active and always willing to add a “link” or two. If you would like to become a part of the phone chain contact the office.
Many thanks to our friends on the Board of Deacons, Pastor Cobb and Assoc. Pastor Reedell for the good Easter treats which were delivered to us. What a nice surprise. We ate everything!! The Board of Deacons works very diligently at caring for the members of our congregation. We appreciate that very much.
Paul and Marjorie Hamer
* * * *
THANK YOU so very much for thinking of me at this time of my surgery. I sure felt all the prayers - they do help. I want to thank everyone who sent me cards and all those phone calls. It sure meant so much to me. I want to thank the Deacons also for the beautiful basket of fruit which I am enjoying. My recovery is going great because of all the love and caring from everyone. I’ll be back soon.
Do we have your email address? If not, email the church office (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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) – 20th of the month (note change)
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.
3 9:30 Richard & Doris Wood
11:00 Grace Gras
10 9:30 Jo-ann Weller
11:00 Jean Delesantro
17 10:00 Edith Budd
24 9:30 Ginny Davenport
11:00 Olga Davies
31 9:30 JoAnn Sabo
11:00 Shirley Smith
3 9:30 Joe Marshall
11:00 Joe Marshall
10 9:30 Don Wong
11:00 Alice Malfi
17 10:00 Louise Speitel
24 9:30 Janice Bond
11:00 Tina Brown
31 9:30 Ron Pfeiffer
11:00 Karen Muldoon
3 9:30 Bob & Irene Hunter
11:00 Jean Delesantro, Olga Davies
10 9:30 Carol Thomas, Elaine Risley
11:00 Mary Bew, Betty Lloyd
17 10:00 Drew & Alice Malfi
24 9:30 Melvin & Ethel Washington
11:00 Jean Delesantro, Olga Davies
3 9:30 Scott Sabo, Jack Heil
10 9:30 Bill & Ginny Davenport
17 10:00 Joe Marshall, Edith Budd
24 9:30 Jack & Dottie Hanlon
DEACONS GUEST BOOK
3 9:30 Irene Hunter
11:00 Mary Bew
10 9:30 Ginny Davenport
11:00 Jean Delesantro
17 10:00 Carol Kleiner
24 9:30 Carol Thomas
11:00 Jean Delesantro
31 9:30 Barbara Miller
11:00 Mary Bew
3 9:30 Bob Hudak
10 9:30 Jennifer Platt
17 9:30 Kira Greenlee
24 9:30 Dawn Lewis
31 9:30 Alice Malfi
3 Elaine Risley, Toshie Legg
10 Maria Carreno
Jim & Barbara Maurer
17 No Refreshments – Anniversary Banquet
31 JoAnn Sabo
BREAKFAST CLUB KITCHEN CREW
3 Set-up –
Cook – Jo-ann Weller, Bob Wilkenloh
Clean-up – Paul & Marjorie Hamer
10 Set-up –
Cook – John Harvey
Clean-up – Ginny Davenport
17 No Breakfast
24 Set-up –
Cook – Jean Delesantro, Bob Wilkenloh
31 Set-up – Roger & Jinny Wolcott
Cook – John Harvey
Clean-up – Joe Marshall
INFECTION BY ASSOCIATION
“Who then is the faithful and wise slave, whom his master has put in charge of his household? – Blessed is that slave whom his master will find at work when he arrives. Truly I tell you, he will put that one in charge of all his possessions.” ~ Matthew 24:45-47
One of our historical documents that gets little attention is the deed of transfer of the church’s property in the years preceding the Civil War. It seems that besides all the problems Rev. Charles McMullin had in raising money and finding members for our new church there was another problem that was overtaking the entire country – the prospect of war. Even while our church was under construction the Presbyterian denomination broke up under the stress of the national debate over slavery and states rights. You may not know it, but Absecon is actually south of the Mason/Dixon Line, and our congregation was fearful of being absorbed into the southern branch of the Presbyterian denomination. Southern Presbyterians had already cast their lot with Jefferson Davis and the Confederate cause, and many in South Jersey wondered if the southern church would try to claim our fledgling church as one of its own. Some people wanted to do nothing. They did not think the war would affect the church (but one of our elders would eventually become a captain in the Union Army). Others thought the church needed to make a strong move of identity with the north.
But how? The solution was to deed the property to one of the trustees, Absalom Cordery, who immediately deeded it back to the “Trustees of the Presbyterian Church at Absecon, NJ in connection with the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the United States commonly called ‘Old School’. The deeds were executed on December 21, 1866, four months before the sanctuary was finished”1. Thus our church cemetery, yard and partially built sanctuary have the distinction of being owned for a few hours by one of our members.
But more importantly, the church took a stand on an issue that eventually sent the nation to war. The people who built our church were that kind of people. Vision and identity were crucial. Their lives were testimony to their beliefs and commitments. They would bend over backwards to stand up for what they believed in.
On April 27 the Mexican government discovered the source of the swine flu outbreak – a four year old boy who got too close to pigs. His whole town was built next to a pig farm. Now thousands of people are sick.
If you kiss a pig, you can expect to get sick. If you associate with that which you know to be wrong, the evil will infect you, too. The world is blessed or suffers from the things we associate with.
Our anniversary hymn has the refrain “May those who go behind us find us faithful.” We have benefitted from the principles and stand of our founders. They had a clear vision and identity. We look at them and find they were faithful. May our descendents find we had vision and identity, too.
Now, 150 years later, we are the ones holding the deed to this property. We will one day be known for our associations. Let’s not be known for kissing pigs. Let’s stand for God’s Word. That’s the rock our founding fathers built upon.
1 Lois MacFarland, Worthy of Cultivation: The Presbyterian Church at Absecon, New Jersey, 1859-1989 (Vineland, NJ: Standard Publishing Co., 1988) p. 12
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