Absecon Presbyterian Church
Verse of the Month:“Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you.” ~ Psalm 63:3
The Unity Dinner was February 24. As always our church was well represented and we provided the bread pudding dessert.
The schedule for the Lenten Lunches is as follows:
March 3 – United Methodist Church at Absecon
March 10 – Reformation Lutheran Church
March 17 – St Mark’s and All Saints Episcopal Church
March 24 – Presbyterian Church at Absecon
There will be no Evergreens or Lunch Bunch in March. See you at the Lenten Lunches!
The schedule for Holy Week is as follows:
NEWS FROM THE CHRISTIAN EDUCATION COMMITTEE
The Christian Education Committee met in February to discuss our vision and goals for 2010. We are working on a range of efforts to keep our children engaged in the life of the church.
Despite the snow, our current youth (and adult) programs are going strong.
The Sunday School program is running smoothly despite missing a few weeks.
The Lions and Lambs program continues to meet after Sunday School on the first Sunday of each month leading right into the monthly Agape lunch. The program is a fun time for kids and parents too. If you haven’t checked it out yet, come on out and join us!
The A2J youth program has taken off quickly under the direction of Janna Beth Cobb and Jim McManus, and the Senior Youth Group, led by Karen Muldoon and Jack Cobb, has a lot planned in the upcoming months.
The Bible Study groups and Circles, led by Rev. Gerry Reedell, welcome adults to continue their spiritual growth.
Thanks to all for your continued efforts to provide these wonderful opportunities for Christian Education to the members of our church!
Yours in Christ,
Scott Sabo, Chair
SUNDAY SCHOOL AND RELATED NEWS
In February as our mission project we made magnetic hearts for the Red Cross to give to blood donors as our way of saying thanks. We also baked and sold 21 pans of brownies to raise money for Haiti relief.
Highlights and Up Coming Events
Thank you, parents, for bringing your kids to the Sunday School. Attendance continues to remain strong and that is really a reflection on you. Your message to them is important. You are telling your children that faith is real and church is important. Our church family bonds on special days like Family Worship Sundays and Easter Egg Hunts. Friends are always welcome and that’s how our church family grows. Thank you for your dedication and support of the Sunday School. May God continue to bless you.
See you on Sunday,
NEWS FROM A2J
During one of our first lessons, the junior highers created this mission statement to clarify their purpose: A2J exists to follow Jesus by praising him, helping others, treating everyone the way we want to be treated, and spreading God’s message of love. Hold them accountable! J
So far we’ve presented a Call to Worship to introduce A2J, worked on a mime song with the hope of eventually preparing it for a service, and cleaned our adopted road once. Our ski trip was cancelled due to the blizzard and will become a white-water rafting trip when the weather gets warmer.
Plans for the upcoming month include cleaning our adopted road again, coordinating with the deacons to deliver food to shut-ins, and a bowling trip with the Senior Highers. The date for the bowling trip is to be determined.
Everyone from the church is always invited to come to our meetings on Sundays from 11:00 to 1:00. When more adults come, we are better able to establish one-on-one relationships with the junior highers, so come on out!
Janna Beth Cobb (641-1102)
Jim McManus (204-0252)
LIONS AND LAMBS TO LEARN OF THE LENTEN JOURNEY
Come out and join us on Sunday, March 7, from 11:00-12:30 pm. We’ll be playing games, singing songs, and making crafts to learn about Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem and all the events of Easter week. What makes this program fun is how many kids come out. The more the merrier. Parents lend a hand and everyone has fun. Hope to see you on Sunday.
In Christ’s love,
SENIOR YOUTH GROUP NEWS
We would like to thank everyone for your support. The gang had a great time on their trip. They went skiing and tubing and took walks on the frozen lake. Special thanks to Denise Ott for going along to chaperone.
Our next trip will be this summer to the beach for a day of surfing lessons. I've already been in touch with our instructor Tom Forkin.
Our mission project will be the vegetable garden again. We are going to start the seeds soon.
If anyone has some suggestions or advise please, we would love to hear from you!
Karen Muldoon, Co-Director
PASTORS COBB & REEDELL TO OFFER LENTEN COURSE
On Sunday, March 7, a course entitled “Walk as Jesus Walked” will begin in the lounge at 7:00 p.m.
This five week course will follow the same format as many other courses with a 30 minute video followed by a discussion group.
This special Lenten course is offered to give you a first hand view of the places Jesus walked and to help you follow in the footsteps of Jesus.
Cost is only $5.00. You don’t have to register. Just show up.
CHRISTIAN READERS BOOK CLUB NEWS by Lucy Jerue
Our next book for discussion is the newest by Mitch Albom. Read the review below and plan on joining us on Wednesday, March 17th.
In Have a Little Faith, Mitch Albom offers a beautifully written story of a remarkable eight-year journey between two worlds, --- two men, two faiths, two communities --- that will inspire readers everywhere. His renewed relationship with his own 82 year old rabbi reconnects him with his own faith. His involvement with an African American pastor challenges him to see the Christian faith at work in a man who preaches to the poor and homeless in Detroit.
Albom and the two men of God explore issues of faith that perplex modern man and affirm the importance of faith in trying times. Have a Little Faith is a book about a life’s purpose; about losing belief and finding it again; about the divine spark inside us all. It is one man’s journey, but it is everyone’s story.
Please join us for our discussion of this unique book on Wednesday, March 17th, at 7 pm in Cobb Lounge. New members are welcome!
MEN’S FELLOWSHIP TO MEET MARCH 6 AT 8:30 A.M.
The Doug Jablonski Men’s Fellowship will meet at 8:30 a.m. for a breakfast of eggs, sausage, toast, etc. Let’s plan another great activity for the spring!
This month we will study chapters 3 to 5 in the book of Joshua. These chapters are full of symbolic acts that are meant to bring meaning to generations of God’s people. We will see that as soon as the Israelites crossed the Jordan into the Promised Land, they celebrated with a Passover Meal. This and the other symbolic acts were to form a people of faith. All people need to hear and reenact the significant stories of our faith to remind us who God is and who we are as God’s people. As we enter the season of Lent, the Lord’s Supper becomes even more important in our faith journeys.
The Sarah Circle will meet in Cobb Lounge Wednesday, March 3rd, at 7:00 p.m. The Ruth Circle will meet at 1:00 p.m. Friday, March 5th, at the home of Betsy Cunius. The Martha Circle will meet at the home of Carol Thomas at 10:00 a.m. Thursday, March 11th. Please bring your things for the college boxes to this meeting.
If you have never visited a circle before, please consider joining us for just one meeting a month for study and fellowship. Just choose the circle that best meets your time schedule and do drop in.
NEWS FROM MAYBERRY
We had another great crowd at our last “Mayberry Town Meeting.” There were over 30 people in attendance. The winter blues seem to make us all want to get out of this snow! Our next gathering will be on FRIDAY, MARCH 19th. As always, we will begin with a potluck supper and then screen an episode of the original Andy Griffith Show, and then engage in some great conversation about how even though this was a fictitious series from the 1960’s, they still have problems similar to ours today.
So, join us on Friday, MARCH 19th at 6pm in Madden Hall for a delicious potluck supper, a great show, and even better fellowship.
Remember, the door is always unlocked and the lemonadeis always cold.
WHAT DID WE LEARN FROM AI? by Lucy and Bob Jerue
How do you sum up forty interviews and a day of thinking about our church and what we value?
Our Visioning Team has had several meeting since the AI event. Here is our best summary.
Why did people come to this church?
Initial Impressions of our church:
Best Moment/ spiritual high point:
Core Factors we want to keep
Hopes + Wishes
Hopefully this provides a snapshot of who we are and what we value. Please pray God’s guidance for our Visioning Team as we continue our work in this new year.
LENTEN KEY TAGS AND BOOKLETS GIVEN OUT FEB. 21, 28
Ash Wednesday was February 17, and on February 21 we gave out a booklet entitled “Christ Our Hope” by Henri Nouwen, an outstanding theologian and Christian writer. This booklet is designed to cover the 40 days of Lent, and each day’s passage is less than a page. If you didn’t get one they are in the pew racks. Please, one to a family.
The key tags match the booklet and are a daily reminder of our Lenten Journey.
FROM THE CHOIR LOFT….by Tom SooyThe snow is melting – finally! I see green for the first time in a LONG time. I was told that grass is the most resilient of all plant life. You can flood over it, and it will come back to life. You can burn it, and it will come back to life. No matter what you do to it, it will come back. I guess that is kind of what winters like this do to us. We get buried under mounds of snow, we get claustrophobic in our own homes. Then comes the thaw, and we are free again. Just that hint of green grass, is enough to let us know that Spring is really on its way. The snow and cold is the Lenten season for us. Time to think; no time to do much outdoors. We plan our strategy for “when it’s warm again.” That “warm again” is the Easter in our lives. Rebirth. Resurrection. The choirs are busy preparing for our celebration of Easter, yet we still need to get through these 40 days of Lent. We all need to prepare, to rehearse and be ready for that day when the tomb is re-opened, and it is empty. Our Savior will have arisen just as he said he would. May God continue to bless us all and…………
Until next time…...see you in the Choir Loft!
ONE GREAT HOUR OF SHARING OFFERING TO BEGIN IN MARCH
Our Palm Sunday/Easter offering is the One Great Hour of Sharing run in conjunction with Methodists and other main line denominations. This offering reaches out across the world to the desperately needy, including places like Haiti.
Fish banks will be passed out in the Sunday School on February 28. Envelopes will be in the pew racks starting March 7. There will be minutes for mission about this offering from our Mission/Evangelism Committee.
Contributions can be made at any time, but the bulk of this offering usually comes in between Palm Sunday and Easter. A special envelope for this purpose will be attached to your April Good News.
Pray about your part in this worthy effort.
UPDATE ON TRANSITIONAL HOUSING PROGRAM
There are now six women in our two houses on School Street. They are doing well.
Three of them, Pam, Louise and Pat, have been worshipping with us. Be sure to say “hello” when you see them. They are friendly people. They stayed for the Agape Lunch on Feb. 14.
REAL PARTNERS UGANDA
A special thank you to the people who came out to view the presentation on Real Partners Uganda. Because of your generosity, one teacher has been sponsored. The children who have been sponsored by people of this church are:
At least four more church members are in the process of sponsoring a child through Real Partners Uganda.
Anyone interested in knowing more about Real Partners Uganda and the wonderful ministry they do there can contact Gerry at 404-9271.
NEWS FROM THE DEACONS
Our Deacons had their reorganization meeting on January 30th. We welcomed Carol Jorgensen and Naida Burgess to our board.
The officers for 2010 are: Carol Thomas, Moderator; Naida Burgess, Vice Moderator; Jinny Wolcott, Secretary; Carol Jorgensen, Treasurer.
We will be filling Easter bags on Saturday, the 27th, at 10 AM in Madden Hall. They will be delivered Sunday, the 28th.
Our Bereavement Luncheon will be on Sunday, May 16th, at 1 PM in Madden Hall. Invitations will be sent the beginning of May to ones who have lost loved ones the last two years.
Our next regular meeting will be 10 AM May 1 in the lounge. Please mark you calendars.
In Christian Love,
Carol Thomas, Moderator
STEWARDSHIP COMMITTEE REPORT
As I sit here at my computer composing our report for January, it is snowing – again. The snow has affected our church because it mainly occurs on the weekend. The first three Sundays in January were ordinary from a financial point of view; however, the last two were not. The snow put a big dent into church attendance and that meant also in our collection. Even so, based upon our experience for December, when we actually had to close one Sunday because of the snow, I am confident that as the weather breaks and we all are able to return to church, missed pledged contributions will appear and our finances will be improved. This is why it is better to look at the financial picture over a period of time rather than a snapshot of one month.
One of the things the Stewardship Committee does is monitor the adopted budget to see where line items are being exceeded and why. This affects our budgeting for the next year. To date, we have two concerns. First, it is our practice to pay our insurance premiums at the beginning of each year. This year, we increased that line item by $200 over 2009, thinking that should be sufficient. However, when the bill came in, it was for $11,572.71, meaning we exceeded our budgeted amount by $372.71. We have no choice; this is one nondiscretionary line item that must be paid. The additional money will have to come from another line item or our reserves.
Secondly, we got hoodwinked by the previous mild winters. When can you remember having as much snow as we have had this winter? When can you recall having as many snowstorms of this intensity as this winter? As you know by now, this winter has been declared the snowiest in history. What do you have to do when you have measurable snow? Shovel and plow. Because of the depth and frequency of the snowfalls this year, we could not expect our members to volunteer each time. Consequently, we contracted several times (particularly those 16” snowfalls) to have our parking lots and driveways plowed so meetings could be held, the child care centers could open and operate and we could have Sunday services. These bills will be charged against our Maintenance account which has a budget of $4400. This is an unplanned expense against this account and is estimated to (so far) be in the range of $1,000. In all probability, we will spend more than is in this account.
So as you contemplate your offering, please keep these two items in mind.
Gerald W. Hoenes
Statistical Report for January
Budget for 2010 $222,419.00
Budgetary needs through 1/31/10 $ 21,390.00
Our giving through 1/31/10 $ 16,307.45
Investment Income $ 1,598.70
Rental Income (net) $ 2,880.21
Total $ 20,886.36
Amount under budget $ 503.64
Average weekly giving by month
January $3261.49 $3689.44
FEBRUARY THANK YOUS
February was a stormy month, but that didn’t keep our helpers away. Many thanks to the following:
MELVIN WASHINGTON TO BE ELECTED TO SESSION
Melvin Washington has been nominated to fill a one year unexpired term on session. A special meeting of the congregation has been called for the sole purpose of this election on February 28. He is scheduled to be ordained and installed that same day.
We welcome Melvin to this new leadership role in our church.
PASTOR TO BE INSTALLED AS PRESBYTERY MODERATOR MAY 18
Pastor Cobb will be installed as moderator of our own West Jersey Presbytery at 7:00 p.m. May 18.
The meeting will take place in our church, and helpers are needed for refreshments, parking cars, giving directions, etc. Stay tuned.
WINTER FUND RAISER TOTALS $10,698 AS OF FEBRUARY 21
Our Winter Fund Raiser is doing well, but not as well as we had hoped. The house is being used for transitional housing through the Atlantic City Rescue Mission, and some of the women are now worshipping in our church.
But we still need to pay down the $38,300 debt remaining on this property. Over $10,000 has been raised, but we still need $27,602. The monthly loan payment of $754.85 will continue until this debt is retired.
This effort was mailed the same day as the Haiti earthquake occurred, and many of you gave to our special offering for disaster relief in January.
We hope that you will also give generously to our Winter Fund Raiser if you haven’t done so. Donations will continue to be received into the first weeks of March.
NEWS FROM THE FELLOWSHIP COMMITTEE
I would like to thank everyone for all their hard work to make the soup sales a success. Our February sale made close to $300. Great job!!!
The Lenten Lunch for our church will be March 24. Please consider volunteering to make soup, sandwiches or desserts. Sign up sheets will be posted.
Mark your calendars for the Bryan Popin concert April 24. Look for more details in this Good News.
Just a reminder for committee members – the next meeting will be March 9 at 7:00 p.m.
Tina Brown, Chair
EVERGREENS AND LUNCH BUNCH
The Evergreens and Lunch Bunch will not be meeting during the month of March. See you at the Lenten Lunches!
THE PRIME-TIMERS SATURDAY, MARCH 27 – 6:00 P.M.
The season of Lent is a time to remember and meditate on the sacred events that make up our Christian story. In Jerusalem, the Via Dolorosa is filled with Christian pilgrims following the path that our Lord took on Good Friday. The Stations of the Cross began as a way for Jesus’ disciples to honor and remember their Lord after his death and resurrection. Believers wanted to walk the Way of Sorrows, the same steps that their Lord had walked. They wanted to return to important places associated with Jesus’ life, death and resurrection.
On Saturday, March 27th, at 6:00 p.m. the Prime-Timers will have our annual Lenten soup and bread meal. Then we will go into the sanctuary and walk our own Stations of the Cross. Please join us and take this spiritual journey with us.
Daylight Savings Time begins March 14! Remember to turn your clocks ahead one hour before you go to sleep.
I wish to thank everyone for their prayers, cards, visits, phone calls, food, and gifts during these last few months. I especially want to thank Pastor Cobb for his visits and for Gerry Reedell's many faithful visits, phone calls and support. We are blessed to have her in our church. I believe I am finally on the mend and hope to see you all soon. Thanks again to so many of you who took the time to let me know you care.
In Christ's Love,
* * * * *
I have to say it again, many, many thanks for your prayers and all the other things many of you have done for me.
From July to December of ’09 it was kind of rough with the 4 operations and the recovery of each, but as of now all looks good and I’m up and about. We pray it will continue to improve. Bless you all.
Tina Brown – 609/992-5968
119 Sheridan Square FL 1
Brigantine, NJ 08203
2010 FLOWER CALENDAR HANGING IN VESTIBULE
Our 2010 flower calendar is now hanging in the vestibule. If you would like to purchase altar flowers for any particular Sunday of the year please sign up to reserve your date! The cost for a single urn is $25.00 or $40.00 or two for $40. Order forms are available in an envelope next to the chart to be filled in and returned to the church office with your payment. This will help the secretary know what you would like printed in the Sunday bulletin.
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!
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
Articles are to be in writing and submitted to the office (via email preferred) by that day. Please keep in mind it may be necessary to edit due to space limitations.
7 9:30 Bill & Emma Cavage
11:00 Tom & Anita Brown
14 9:30 Dawn Lewis
11:00 Shirley Smith & Denise Ott
21 10:00 Barbara Hughes
28 9:30 Joan Nale
11:00 Frances Weir
7 9:30 Louise Speitel
11:00 Joanna Howell
14 9:30 Janice Bond
11:00 Janice Piccirilli
21 10:00 Scott Sabo
28 9:30 Bob Hunter
7 9:30 Greg & Elisa Hamaty
11:00 Joanna Howell
14 9:30 Vic & Rita Abelson
11:00 Mary Bew & Betty Lloyd
21 10:00 Toshie Legg & Olga Davies
28 9:30 Melvin & Ethel Washington
11:00 Mary Bew & Betty Lloyd
7 9:30 Dawn Lewis & Edith Budd
14 9:30 Jack & Dee Heil
21 10:00 David & Judy Stebbins
28 9:30 Isaac & Georgina Umoren
DEACONS GUEST BOOK
7 9:30 Pat Hudak
11:00 Mary Bew
14 9:30 Ginny Davenport
11:00 Mary Bew
21 10:00 Naida Burgess
28 9:30 Carol Thomas
11:00 Mary Bew
7 Alice Malfi
14 Bob Hudak
21 10:00 Jennifer Platt
28 Kira Greenlee
7 Russ Adkisson
14 Jose Achamizo
21 Russ Adkisson
28 Vic Abelson
7 Dawn Lewis
14 Carol Kleiner
21 Easter Luncheon
BREAKFAST CLUB KITCHEN CREW
7 Set-up – Jinny Wolcott
Cook – Richard & Doris Wood
14 Set-up –
Cook – Ed Little
Clean-up – Joe Marshall
21 Set-up – Carol Thomas
28 Set-up –
DIGGING OUT FOR LENT
“Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, enabling you both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” ~ Philippians 2:12b-13
The ancient Romans hated February so much they made it the shortest month of the year, and now I understand why. Even with only 28 days it seemed to go on forever this year. For the second time this winter we had to cancel church, and our Agape Lunch and Men’s Fellowship dinner had to be rescheduled. Our February communion never got rescheduled, and youth groups only met when they could. If you like changes in routine February was the month for you, but for those of us who have to deal with rescheduling nightmares it wasn’t fun. I felt as restricted as Mr. Nemo.
But the worst part was just digging out. Every time I went outside it seemed there was snow to be removed. And it wasn’t just sidewalks and steps. One thing led to another. The cemetery drive was closed for a week, and when it was finally opened (with heavy equipment!) we worked a long time to free the van. We didn’t get all of our parking spaces back until recently, and our cemetery roads are still blocked as I write. (There are a lot of branches and grave blankets that will take weeks to clean up once it’s open.)
At the manse the sidewalk to the street is finally bare, but the connecting sidewalk is still white. The impacted snow on the driveway has finally melted, but I still have to look around snow banks when I pull out. On February 22 I fell down the ice-covered steps coming out my study door, so I’m still cautious about black ice every time I come out in the morning. The ice has a way of coming back! Digging out is a long process, but hopefully by the time you read this we will be done with snowstorms this winter.
Lent is a lot like digging out. Over time our lives can get buried and impacted by a lot of laziness, bad habits, desires, and attitudes that leave us spiritually immobilized. Maybe when they were developing they looked attractive and exciting, but now that we have to clean them up they are not nearly as appealing. Whether we have piled on the pounds, harbored bad attitudes, or slept our way through the times we should have been disciplined, Lent is a time to dig out. Historically, Lent has been a time of fasting and abstaining from pleasures like chocolate. For Protestants it’s more a time of prayer and spiritual discipline. In either case the goal is the same – to “dig out” of sinfulness so that when Easter comes we are ready for the calling the resurrected Christ has for us.
I would encourage you to spiritually “dig out” this March. Take time daily to read the “Christ Our Hope” booklets given out in church. Join us for the Lenten Lunches and Holy Week services. Identify habits and areas of your life that are still snowed in, and commit to freeing yourself from that bondage. You can do it if you try.
Lent means “springtime” in Latin, and springtime is about new life. Let’s discipline our lives to be God’s resurrecting people in April. I can’t wait!
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