Absecon Presbyterian Church

Good News

December 2009

Verse of the Month:“For my eyes have seen your salvation, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.” ~ Luke 2:30, 32

 

By Chris Harvey

 

The Presbyterian Church at Absecon

 

208 New Jersey Avenue

Absecon, New Jersey 08201

Phone: 609-641-3759 Fax: 609-641-5125

 

Office email: absecon_presby@msn.com—Website: abseconpresby.org

 

 

ADVENT SCHEDULE

December is always a busy month with a lot of special activities to celebrate the joy of our Savior’s birth.  To make your planning easier, please take note of the dates and events below.

Dec. 2  11:30 – Lunch Bunch to Fred & Ethel’s, Smithville
6   12:15 – Agape Lunch
      13   10:00 – Christmas Musical and Birthday Party for Jesus (One Service)
                         Angel Tree Gifts due
16   12:00 – Evergreens Luncheon at Smithville Inn
21     5:30 – Christmas Caroling
24     5:00 – Family Worship
               7:00 – Traditional Worship
      27               Regular Schedule

 

 

ATTENTION 5TH THROUGH 8TH GRADERS AND PARENTS

Plans are in the works to begin a Jr. Youth Group in January.  This program would meet weekly on Sundays from 11:00 to 1:00.  There would be Bible study, mission projects, crafts, games, food and trips.

The 1st Sunday of each month the group would either take a trip or be involved in a mission project due to the fact that our Agape Luncheon and Lions and Lambs are held at the church.  The Jr. Youth Group would meet at church the remaining Sundays each month.

We are very excited about starting this program up again.  Janna Beth Cobb and Jim McManus have agreed to be co-directors and are busy developing a weekly program that will meet their developmental needs, help them grow spiritually, personally and socially and help them feel a part of God’s Kingdom through our church.  Parents and volunteers will be involved in planning monthly events and activities as well as cooking meals.

We plan to begin the program on January 10th and continue through May.  Please speak to your child/children about the Jr. Youth Group and plan on helping us with this special program.

Yours in Christ,
Gayle Ackerman,
Christian Ed. Chairman

SUNDAY SCHOOL AND RELATED NEWS

November was filled with several significant events.  We thank our 1st and 2nd graders for presenting their Call to Worship and the preschoolers who joined the 1st-6th graders in their special music led by Rob and Zach Perry.  Freedom USA was a very exciting event for all and many have requested that we do it again.  Congratulations to the Hughes-Harvey-Roesch team for accomplishing their mission first.  The KGB guards were plenty tough.  We collected many shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child and delivered them on November 22nd.  Thanks to all who contributed to this mission.  Finally, we held our first Family Worship Sunday on November 29th.  Now we gear up for our busiest season.

Highlights and Up Coming Events

 

May the magic of God’s love fill your heart this season, and may we reach out and share this love with others wherever we are.

In Christ’s love always,
Priscilla

SENIOR YOUTH GROUP AND KFC

We had a blast at the Haunted Junk Yard.  Piled high in the maze Jack found a Camaro he could use some parts off of.
 
Special thanks to Mrs. Gayle Ackerman who taught us how to make spaghetti pie.  They worked in groups, chopping and measuring, checking expiration dates and even had to figure out the cost of dinner per person.  It was a fun evening and a great dinner!

I believe we are bowling November 20th, and we will be planning a ski trip in the near future.  Grave blankets will be started the Monday after Thanksgiving.  DRESS WARM, we build the blankets in Pastor Cobb's garage.

If you have any questions please call me @ 926-8840.  

Thanks,
Karen, co-director

GRAVE BLANKET SALE

Senior youth and KFC will start making grave blankets the Monday after Thanksgiving.  If you would like to pre-order please call Karen @ 926-8440.  If you have a special request for the blankets (i.e. ribbon color, decoration, etc.) please let us know.  Anyone who has shopped for blankets knows that they can cost upward of $40.00.  We sell ours for $10.00 each and we will carry them to your car.  Thank you for supporting our youth programs!!!!

 

 MEN’S FELLOWSHIP TO MEET IN SANCTUARY DEC. 5 AT 8:30 A.M.

Our Doug Jablonski Men’s Fellowship will meet for communion in the sanctuary at 8:30 a.m. on December 5.  Our speaker will be Jack Heil who will speak about his experience following the loss of a daughter.

A pancake breakfast will follow in Madden Hall.  

 

WOMEN’S CIRCLES

As the circles meet in December, we will conclude our year-long study of Luke’s Gospel by examining Luke 18:9-14 and Luke 19:1-10.  These well-known stories both concern a tax collector.  The one tax collector is praying in the temple beside a Pharisee.  The Pharisee is bragging about all his good works and is glad he is not like other people.  The tax collector is well aware of his sins and can not even lift up his eyes.  The second story is about Zacchaeus.  In both these lessons Jesus forces the reader to see something positive about the hated tax collectors.

The Sarah Circle will meet in Cobb Lounge at 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, December 2nd.  The Ruth Circle will meet at the home of Betsy Cunius on Friday, December 11th at 1:00 p.m.  The Martha Circle will meet at 10:00 a.m. Thursday, December 10th, at the home of Ida Juhrs.  All women of the church are encouraged to attend the circle that best meets their time schedule for study and fellowship.

 

NEWS FROM MAYBERRY

On Friday, December 11th, we invite you to what has become quite a tradition around here:  The Andy Griffith Show “Christmas Story”.  This is the only Christmas episode in the eight years of the show.  This traditional “Christmas Carol” deals with store owner Ben Weaver’s transformation from a heartless Scrooge to a more humble man who realizes the true meaning of Christmas.

So join us on Friday, DECEMBER 11th, at 6pm in Madden Hall for a joyous potluck supper and our annual Christmas show.  This is always a wonderful night of food, entertainment and discussion.  Merry Christmas from the whole Mayberry gang!!!

Remember, the door is always unlocked and the lemonadeis always cold.

NEWS FROM THE VISIONING TEAM, by Lucy Jerue - Thanks for a Great AI Event!

Our Visioning Team wishes to thank everyone who came out to Appreciative Inquiry on Nov. 14th to participate in a day of celebrating who we are as a community of faith and helping to create a vision for the future. 

What do our people think is important?  They want to see our church grow.  That was the top vote-getter.  They also want spirit-filled, free flowing worship.  People feel that fellowship is important.  So too is reaching out to those in our congregation who need our support.  Finally too, there were a number of votes for more Bible studies and mini-courses.

The interviews that were conducted revealed a genuine love for our church, our God, and for the relationships formed here.  One person expressed that “church is home.”  That says it all.

The Visioning Team had a marathon meeting only two days after AI.  We are hard at work to help our church carry out the vision you have set before us.  THANK YOU TO ALL OF YOU.

 

 

OUR WORSHIP COMMITTEE NEEDS YOUR HELP

Lay Assistants are needed for Sunday worship services.  If you would like to help lead worship by assisting with the readings, etc. please contact Karen Muldoon (926-8440) or Ron Pfeiffer (625-1950).

Also needed are ordained officers (elders or deacons) to serve communion.  Call Loretta Metz (641-0587) or Ron Pfeiffer.

FROM THE CHOIR LOFT….by Tom Sooy

Here we are, “jingling all the way,” as we rush from store to store and catalog to catalog.  Thank God our choir takes the time to be dedicated in rehearsals to try to bring the best gift of music possible as an offering to the newborn baby King on Christmas Eve as well as throughout the rest of the year.  With so many plans, so much music and so little time, our singers and ringers give so much, that it is impossible for me to thank them all enough.

“Good Christian friends, rejoice with heart and hand and voice;
Now ye need not fear the grave; Jesus Christ was born to save;
Calls you one and calls you all to gain his everlasting hall.
Christ was born to save!  Christ was born to save!”

MERRY CHRISTMAS
 
Until next year....see you in the Choir Loft!

TOM

 


MISSION AND EVANGELISM by Tom Sooy

As we come to the end of another calendar year, we take time to reflect on the work of the past year.  In our mission work here at APC, the list would be endless (well sort of endless).  Support of missionaries in Africa and around the world, the departure of the Wrights as our sponsored missionaries and our choosing of Dr. Sal De la Torre and his wife, Irma, as they work with over 20,000 HIV/AIDS victims in Kenya.  Our own Mission Team to Gulfport, $72 to sponsor a family of 5 for emergency food for a month, sponsorship of Presbytery related causes, the Atlantic City Rescue Mission, Lisa Whitaker, Sister Jean’s Kitchen, Cornerstone Academy in Philadelphia, Prison Fellowship, Habitat for Humanity, Cents-Ability offerings, and the Bakely Mission House are just SOME of what is done in the Lord’s name with the help of your Benevolence Offerings.

Our Christmas Eve offering will benefit the Community Food Bank of South Jersey.  We are hoping your overwhelming response to our Harvest Home Sunday will continue with your cash offerings during our 5:00 and 7:00 Christmas Eve services.

One of the exciting things for the upcoming year is REAL PARTNERS UGANDA, a project started through the Brigantine Church.  We will be supporting the Mustard Seed Academy, a school for children in the village of Lukaya in Uganda.  Just $140 per child can pay the fees for school, provide uniforms, serve at least one daily meal and provide health care FOR A YEAR!  We trust this local based project will be well supported by our congregation.

The response to our “van appeal” has been overwhelming.  Not only for our Mission Trip in February, but for getting drivers to provide rides for our members on Sunday mornings.  Thanks to all who stepped up to the plate; or is that stepped on the pedal; to get this program “rolling.”

The one thing that continues to plague us is our treatment of visitors.  It is our duties as members of the church to be welcoming to all.    If you sit near, or spot someone you do not recognize, introduce yourself, invite them to Coffee Hour, introduce them to the Pastor and most importantly, introduce them to others in the congregation.  In general make them feel WELCOMED!

The Mission work of the church never stops, so listen in church, read the Good News, but most of all listen to the voice of God as He directs each of us on our personal missions for His glory.

ANGEL TREE

It's time once again for our Salvation Army Angel Tree to be up in the vestibule on November 29. On it will be tags with children's names and wishes for Christmas. There will be wishes for toys and clothing sizes. You may purchase either or both. Several people may go together to buy one gift.

This year there is a special need for our gifts since many more children would not have gifts under their tree if it were not for your thoughtfulness.

Please attach the tag securely to the gift and return it to the church no later than December 13. The gifts will be delivered to the Salvation Army on Dec.14.

Thank you for your support of this project.

Carol Kleiner for the Mission Committee

THANKS FOR GENEROUS HARVEST HOME DONATIONS!

THANK YOU!     THANK YOU!    THANK YOU!  for the response we received for our Food Drive for the Community Food Bank this year.  We are overwhelmed with your generosity.  A truck from the Food Bank was here first thing Monday morning for pick up.  I thank everyone who helped carry ALL THAT FOOD to the game room on Sunday.  Many hands made our job much easier.  We also collected lots of winter coats and blankets.  If anyone still wants to contribute let me know and bring it in as Ruth Carmon (Karen's Little's mother), who works for the Food Bank, will be glad to get it there for us at any time.   My heartfelt THANKS to everyone for helping others have a better Thanksgiving this year.  God Bless you all.  

Carol Thomas, Moderator

 

 

FINAL STEWARDSHIP MESSAGE FOR 2009

This message has several parts.  First, our annual Stewardship Commitment Campaign is in progress as I write this.  Hopefully, you returned your completed pledge card and Talent Bank Questionnaire on Commitment Sunday, November 22.  If you did not, you can put it in the collection plate on subsequent Sundays or mail/bring it to the office.  We are hoping to match or exceed last year’s pledge total and increase the number of members volunteering to assist in the church.  An update will be in the January Good News.

Second, as we end the year we need to review our 2009 contributions in case we missed an envelope or two and have unintentionally fallen behind in meeting our pledge commitment.  The more contributed this year puts less pressure on the 2010 budget.

Thirdly, as Stewardship Chair, I was struck by an ad in the recent Clipper Magazine.  It is an ad replicated on billboards I see as I travel to and from visiting my grandchild, daughter and son-in-law in Pennington.  The ad was asking the reader to Donate Your Car to Kars4Kids, a charitable organization.  It proclaimed this to be your “Last chance to Donate for 2009 Tax Deduction”.  Additional incentives were “Free Pickup”, “Hassle Free”, “Express Service Available” and a “Free Vacation Voucher”.  The last incentive had written in fine print that restrictions applied and you had to visit the website for terms and conditions.

Well, as you review your 2009 Tax situation and find it advantageous to increase your charitable contributions, don’t forget your church.  A number of our members do give an additional contribution over and above their pledge at this time of the year because of the tax deduction advantage.  We can offer some of the enticements listed above such as being “Hassle Free” and “Express Service” (just put it in the collection plate).  We can even provide “Free Pickup” if you desire (just call the office).  However, we are sadly unable to offer the enticement of a “Free Vacation”.  You will just have to have the satisfaction of helping your church and being spiritually inspired.

Financial Statistics as of October

October collections were down this month as reflected in the second lowest average weekly giving by month.  In addition, the effects of the 19 School Street house being empty is reflected in a reduced rental income in comparison to last month.  As we are in the final two months of this budget year, typically income increases as members reflect on their giving.

 

Budget for 2009

 $225,636.00

Budgetary needs through 10/25/09

 $186,620.00

 

 

Our giving through October 25

 $130,615.05

Investment Income

 $  14,549.64

Rental Income (net)

 $  17,900.73

Total

 $163,065.42

 

 

Amount under budget

 $  23,554.58

 

Average weekly giving by month

January

 $    3,689.44

 

July

 $2,941.21

February

 $    3,150.85

 

August

 $2,482.40

March

 $    3,055.65

 

September

 $3,117.45

April

 $    3,355.50

 

October

 $2,787.92

May

 $    2,950.76

 

 

 

June

 $    3,001.70

 

 

 

 

Gerald W. Hoenes,
Stewardship Chairman

NOVEMBER THANK YOUS

November turned out to be a very busy month, and some of us are glad to see it coming to an end.  One of the biggest happenings was on November 17 when the house at 19 School Street got a CCO (Certificate of Continuing Occupancy).  For those who worked on the house it was the completion of a big project.  The following deserve special recognition:

The following are jobs done around the Leek House:

There were many other tasks done around the church:

 

NEWS FROM THE FELLOWSHIP COMMITTEE

There were many satisfied people after our two Cranberry Bake Sales, and we are very thankful to all of you who supported this endeavor.  $347 was raised during this two day event.  Our committee works very hard throughout the year with dinners, soup sales, festivals, yard sales, etc. and is fortunate to have raised $2500 from these endeavors.  This year our committee has decided to distribute this money in the following way:

          $800     General Fund
          $800     Gulfport Mission Trip
          $144     $72 x 2 for Emergency Family and Food Program
          $140     Real Partners Uganda
          $200     Fred Davies Memorial Fund
          $200     Community Food Bank
          $220     Local Charity

On January 10th and February 14th we will be having our Soup Sale, and on Saturday, February 10th, there will be a church dinner from 5 - 6 pm with a program to follow.  Byran Popin will be making a return appearance on Saturday, April 24th, after a Ham Diner beginning at 5 pm.  Tickets will be $10.

On Saturday, December 18, 2010, the Holland Family will present a concert featuring piano, violin, viola, cello, base violin, flute and euphonium along with plenty of singing.  So mark your calendar for these great future events.

Again, many thanks to all my hard working committee members and to those of you who support our work.

Gratefully submitted,
Kris Jenoriki

AGAPE LUNCHEON FOLLOWING 2ND SERVICE ON DECEMBER 6

Join us for our next Agape Lunch on December 6.  The menu will consist of a chicken/stuffing casserole, salad and dessert.

As a special holiday celebration we will talk about our own holiday traditions.  Bring your special stories and ways of celebrating our most beautiful of seasons, Christmas!

See you in Madden Hall after second service.

EVERGREENS ANNUAL CHRISTMAS LUNCHEON AT SMITHVILLE INN

Please join us for this festive fellowship.  Lisa Whitaker will be the guest speaker telling us about her latest travels and mission work.  She always has some uplifting stories to relate.  Fill in the reservation form below, making sure to indicate your menu choice.  The cost is $22.00 and cash would be appreciated.  If you need to write a check, make it out to Marjorie Hamer not the church.  We always have a good time at this luncheon, so please join us.  Everyone is welcome, even your friends.  

Marjorie

 

Evergreens Holiday Luncheon
The Smithville Inn, Smithville, NJ
Wednesday, December 16, 2009  12 Noon

Choose One:                                                                                        Cost:  $22.00

Chicken Franchaise                      Maryland Crab Cake
Prime Rib of Beef

 

Name ________________________________________________________________________

Menu Choice __________________________________________________________________

Number of People _______________________________________ Paid _____________

 

Please RSVP by December 8 to Marjorie Hamer (646-3152)

 

LUNCH BUNCH TO FRED & ETHEL’S IN SMITHVILLE ON DECEMBER 2

Lunch Bunch will begin December with a Christmas get together at Fred and Ethel’s in Smithville.  Begin the season right with Christian friends in a great place.  Meet at the church at 11:30 or at the restaurant at noon.

CHRISTMAS CAROLING TO LEAVE AT 5:30 P.M. MONDAY, DEC. 21

One of the great Christmas traditions is delivering fruit baskets and caroling.  Plan on being with us for a great evening.  After caroling we will meet for refreshments at the manse.
 
THE PRIME – TIMERS

The Prime-Timers will not meet in December.  For our January 23rd get-together we have invited Dr. Joseph Griswold, President of Real Partners Uganda.  Dr. Griswold will speak and show slides of the work being done there.  Real Partners Uganda is a non-profit charitable organization that began after Joe and Elaine Griswold visited the poor village of Kalungi in 2003.  That visit made a lasting and haunting impression, and they felt they must do something.  Real Partners Uganda receives support from 150 individuals and families, 5 schools and 5 different churches.  Many, but not all, are local contributors from Atlantic County.  The students in one of the schools, Eastern Christian High School in North Haledon, N.J. have raised thousands of dollars to feed and clothe poor children and provide them with mosquito nets as protection against malaria.  Some of the projects that Real Partners Uganda supports are: Mustard Seed Academy, Tree of Life Organic Farm, Lukaya Artisans Guild and Sponsor-A-Child Program.

Please mark 6:00 p.m. Saturday, January 23rd on your calendars.  Come and learn more about these projects and how we can help.  Everyone age 45 and over are invited to come to this special program by the Prime-Timers.  Next month’s newsletter will have more information about Real Partners Uganda.

SESQUICENTENNIAL DVD SET AND SUNDAY SCHOOL GROUP PHOTO ON SALE
 
Starting Sunday, November 29th, a commemorative Absecon Presbyterian Church Sesquicentennial DVD set will be available to purchase between church services. The set includes 5 DVDs for a price of $15.00 per set:

DVD 1) Sunday Service May 17, 2009: Including multiple chapters and the sermons of the former pastors and the present pastor.

DVD 2 and 3) Renault Winery Reception and Luncheon May 17, 2009: Contains multiple chapters: Highlights the reception attendees and the Program. The program includes the Video: "The Absecon Presbyterian Church: 150 Years in Pictures", The former pastor's recollections, Sharon Neff , The Skit "As It Was , So It Will Be", and The Lyric Chambers Winds Quintet.

DVD 4) The Desert Reception and Concert featuring the Radio City Music Hall Organists: This DVD includes animated photos of the desert reception and the attendees, and features the performance of the Radio City Music Hall Organists. This was their last concert together.

DVD 5) JPEG photos from the church archives: 150 years to present, and mpg audio files of the 4 Absecon Presbyterian Church's present and former pastors sermons from the May 17 Sunday Service. You can download these to your audio mp3 players!

Also, 8" x 10" 2009 Commemorative Sunday School Photos taken in front of the Church will be available at the same time and place for $2.00 each.

Respectfully submitted,
Louise Speitel

CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS TO GO UP WEEK OF DEC. 1-5

If you have time to decorate bushes, hang wreaths, etc. we will be decorating the first week of December.  We hope to have it all up and ready by Dec. 6 which is a communion Sunday and Agape Lunch.  Our Christmas play is December 13.

MAILBOX SYSTEM TO BE IN PLACE BEGINNING OF DECEMBER

Once again this year we will have a Christmas mailbox system in place for you to exchange cards, greetings, etc.  We will also have your offering envelopes in them by mid-month and a new church directory listing by Christmas.  Our pastor will also be leaving his annual Christmas letter in your box. 

SANTA AT THE SHORE MALL

Our own Dirk Williamson is behind the beard and Santa suit at the Shore Mall on special days.  According to the elves that assist him with the children he is the “best” Santa they have had over the years.  Great job, Dirk!

CHURCH CHRISTMAS ORNAMENTS STILL AVAILABLE

The beautiful hanging ornaments of our church are still available at a cost of $15.00 each.  If you haven’t gotten yours, now’s the time!  These also make lovely holiday gifts.  See Carol Thomas to make your purchase!

PRINTER INK AVAILABLE

Due to the recent death of our office printer there is a supply of Epson ink cartridges # T044220 Cyan (1), T044320 Magenta (2) and T044420 Yellow (3) available for $13.00 each.  Also available are one HP 20 black cartridge and one HP 49 tri-color at $35.00 each.

If you can use any of these please call the church office!

 


To All My Presbyterian Friends:

I would like to personally thank everyone who helped in the services of my daughter Barbara Gras in late August.  Also, to those who delivered meals to our home during the days of her sickness, it was such a comfort in knowing we have wonderful caring Church friends.

I truly appreciate all the cards and those who donated their time to assist with the services at the Presbyterian Church.  I am grateful to the dear Lord above I have a family of caring friends who helped when my family needed it the most.

Regards,

Grace Gras & Family

* * * * *

Many thanks to my church family for all the prayers, cards, well wishes, meals and offers of help.  The Deacons actions are also greatly appreciated.  You are a dedicated group.  Thank you, Dave & Gerry Reedell for your spiritual visitations and John Harvey for being there at the drop of a hat!

Update on me – All treatments seem to be on schedule with a new and hopefully final hip on December 30.  Great Christmas present.

God bless you all,
Roger Wolcott

* * * * *

Marge & I would like to express our appreciation for all the prayers, phone calls and other communications supporting us through this recent cluster of events.

Our heartfelt thanks go out to you.

Frank & Marge Loeb

 


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) – 20th 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.

 


 

GREETERS

6     9:30 Bill & Christina Cavage
     11:00 Barbara Miller
13 10:00 Joan Nale
20   9:30 Ruth Champion
     11:00 Joanna Howell
24   5:00 The Sabo Family
       7:00 Jack & Dee Heil
27   9:30 Bob & Pat Hudak
     11:00 Jean Delesantro

LAY ASSISTANTS

6     9:30 Janice Bond
     11:00 Betty Lloyd
13 10:00 Louise Speitel
20   9:30 Gayle Ackerman
     11:00 Jerry Hoenes
24   5:00
       7:00
27   9:30
     11:00 Tina Brown

HEAD USHERS

6     9:30 Bob & Irene Hunter
     11:00 Jerry & Joan Hoenes
13 10:00 Jan & Carol Jorgensen
20   9:30 Elaine Risley & Carol Thomas
     11:00 Olga Davies & Shirley Smith
24   5:00
       7:00 Melvin & Ethel Washington
27   9:30 Joe Marshall & Amos Bhagwandeen
     11:00 Paul & Marjorie Hamer

COLLECTION

6   9:30 Vic & Rita Abelson    
13 9:30 Bill & Ginny Davenport
20 9:30 Richard & Doris Wood
24 5:00
     7:00 Jack & Dottie Hanlon
27 9:30 Edith Budd & Barbara Miller  

DEACONS GUEST BOOK

6     9:30 Barbara Miller
     11:00 Mary Bew
13 10:00 Irene Hunter
20   9:30 Jo-ann Weller
     11:00 Mary Bew
27   9:30 Jinny Wolcott
     11:00 Mary Bew

NURSERY (9:30)

6     Jennifer Platt
13   Kira Greenlee
20   Dawn Lewis
27   Alice Malfi

VAN DRIVERS

6   John Harvey
13 Jose Achamizo
20 Russ Adkisson
27 Kevin Kelly

REFRESHMENT HOSTS

6   Betty Price
     (open)    
13 Join us for our Birthday Party for Jesus!
20 Dawn Lewis
     (open) 
27 (open)
     (open)

BREAKFAST CLUB KITCHEN CREW

6   Set-up –
     Cook –
     Clean-up –
13 Set-up – Carol Thomas
     Cook – John Harvey
     Clean-up – Jose Achamizo
20 Set-up – Jinny Wolcott
     Cook – Jack Heil
     Clean-up –
27 Set-up –
     Cook – John Harvey
     Clean-up –

 

 

“O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; His steadfast love endures forever.” ~ Psalm 118:1

I’m writing this having just returned from the moderator’s conference, plus we are wrapping up our Stewardship drive and now are getting ready for Thanksgiving.  At the conference we were warned that the denomination is in financial crisis and churches are closing.  Many are laying off staff because stewardship is faltering.  But we are not experiencing that.  In fact, our church is healthy and ready to face the future after celebrating 150 years of history.  As vice moderator I’ve seen some really dysfunctional churches, so I’m really thankful for some things about our church that to me are signs of health and continuing success.  To me they are also reasons why I need to be optimistic about the future and continue to support the church.  (I increased my pledge.  Did you?)  I wrote down fourteen things I am thankful for in Absecon Presbyterian Church:
 

  1. We are a mainline church honoring the Lordship of Jesus Christ as Savior and the Bible as God’s authoritative word to us.  Yet we have avoided the extremism so common in our society.  This is a place to experience and develop faith in a loving God.
  1. We are a great place to meet friends and fellowship with good people.  Agape Lunches, congregational events, Lunch Bunch, special groups for circles, Christian Readers, Bible study, adult ed., etc.

 

  1. We have a great heritage and history with a great track record.  We deserved a great 150th anniversary celebration.  We are not stuck in the past.  We build on the past.
  1. We serve all generations with well rounded programs and ministry.  This is a great place to raise children and a great place to grow older with support and dignity.

 

  1. We seek to be faithful in worship.  We have two services and a choir at each.  We also have seasonal programs, a bell choir, and special music.  We are working on new avenues of drama, special music, etc.
  1. We seek to be faithful in mission.  We take a mission trip each year and twice a month we serve at Sister Jean’s.  Once a month we provide peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  We are leaders in the CROP Walk, and are well known for projects like Angel Tree, Harvest Home Sunday, college care packages, One Great Hour of Sharing, etc.  Our Harvest Home Sunday was the biggest ever.  The Circles sent out more boxes than ever, and the shoebox project was big.

 

  1. We are financially responsible and self supporting.  We are proud that we have taken no financial aid since the 1940’s.  Our buildings are well maintained and staff well supported.  We are financially accountable and have a financial plan including endowments, rentals and fundraisers, but 75% of our giving comes from our members.  We need you.
  1. We are willing to critically look at ourselves and to dream for the future.  That’s what 40 of us did on November 14th at our Appreciative Inquiry event.  We see ourselves growing and reaching out in the future.

 

  1. We are responding in new ways to our own needs.  The van is running again to bring people to church.  We are taking casseroles and extra food to those we think could use them.  Jim McManus and Janna Beth are beginning their ministry with KFC.  We can adapt to change.
  1. We are learning to appreciate diversity.  Not that we have ever been homogeneous, but now we are more diverse than ever – from professional people to unemployed, from functioning to challenged, from young to old, from healthy to unhealthy, from liberal to conservative, white to black, rich to poor, and all shades in between.  Rodney King (“can’t we all just get along?”) would be proud of us.

 

  1. We are connectional and ecumenical.  We gather as a community of churches the night before Thanksgiving, and we are more a part of our denomination.  In May I will become moderator of our Presbytery, and I appreciate your support in this because it will take a lot of my time over the next two years.
  1. We have a great staff.  Priscilla is doing a great job with Christian Education, Tom is doing a great job with music, Gerry is doing a great job with circles, Christian Readers, and visitations and our youth directors are keeping youth groups going well.  Our administrative assistant, Gay Channell, keeps my life in order and Marge Chapman is an excellent treasurer.  My life has become easier and better because of them.

 

  1. Our committee leadership is very good.  Most of you have no idea what goes into leading groups like Fellowship, Property, Stewardship, Christian Education, Cemetery, Mission/Evangelism, Worship, etc.  Non-profits succeed only to the degree that the membership takes control of leadership direction.
  1. Volunteerism is up.  It takes a lot of people to put on a craft show.  It takes more to run a Sunday School.  We have whole teams of volunteers who usher, make breakfast, count the offering, drive the van, play bells, assemble mailings, greet, watch nursery, work on the buildings, sing in choir, get the Christmas program together, work on Agape Lunches, expand the cemetery, serve at Sister Jean’s, make pb & j sandwiches, and go on mission trips.  And that doesn’t include a lot of individuals who have worked on the School Street houses, developed our cemetery, and worked behind the scenes to do Home Touch mailings, etc.  (If I overlooked you, I’m sorry.  If you are not involved, do so.)

 

Churches are people – loving, caring, helping, worshipping and supportive people.  So most of all I am thankful for each of you.  God bless us all as we gather this Thanksgiving.

Thankfully Yours,

 

 


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Welcome

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Welcome

Worship

Sermons

Sunday School

Bible Study

Programs

Mission

Youth Groups

Seniors Groups

Other Groups

Music Program

Staff

The Session

Calendar

The Good News

Presby Post

Christian Links