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First Presbyterian Church
101 Bridgeboro Road, Moorestown, New Jersey
For if the message declared through the angels was valid, And every transgression or disobedience received a just penalty, How can we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?
Rick Richardson writes about a pastor named Dan, who realized he was getting stale. So with the approval of his pastoral team, he took a part-time job at a Starbucks coffee shop (like our friend Neal Stephens!). To his surprise, “all 21 people he worked with believed in God. Not one was an atheist. They were all very positive toward God and spirituality. And then Richardson said this: A second surprise was that all were interested in spiritual things, but not in Christians, Christianity, or the church. No one wanted to hear Dan’s proofs for God or invitations to come to church or ideas he may have had about salvation. Almost everyone thought they knew what Christianity was all about and had decided they wanted nothing to do with it. They were what many today call post Christian. At some point along the way, each of them had experienced a breach in trust related to Christianity. Maybe a Christian friend had been hypocritical or pushy. Maybe there was a death or some sexual misconduct that had occurred. May somebody didn’t say “hello” when they came to church. Dan wasn’t starting at ground zero, but rather at minus three or four. The biggest thing Dan learned at Starbucks is that people in his generation have a prior question of trust that must be addressed before we can have a meaningful spiritual conversation with them. I am very glad that our New Creation worship director works at Starbucks part-time. Why? Because if you meet Neal you meet an authentic Christ-follower who meets people where they are and welcomes them just as they are. But … the post-Christendom people need to watch out … if you get to close to Neal you get splashed with the love and presence of Jesus. What is it like where you go to school or where you work or at the parties you attend? Does any of this sound familiar? If it does I encourage you to stay near the fountain that looks like Jesus. I hope as people meet us they get “splashed” by the love, grace and truth of Jesus. People are dying of thirst for the only thing that really can quench a thirst. Have a great May – if you are married I hope you can join us on the couples’ retreat May 13-15 ~ it’s the best thing we do for married couples. See you in church,
Jonathan Miller, Pastor
ps ~ All 7 weeks of the radiation are completed and most of the 2nd degree burns are healed. I go in 3 months for the next battery of tests. I feel great and believe more than ever in the resurrection. You think about things like that – when you get sick! Thanks for your prayers.
May 2011 Sermon Schedule
8am in Fellowship Hall 8:30am in the Sanctuary 11 am in the Sanctuary MAY 1 GOD’S PURPOSE ~ SALVATION John 12:44-50 Kelly Hernandez MAY 8 LOVED ~ TO THE END John 13:1-11 Jonathan Miller MAY 15 BETRAYAL John 13:21-30 Martha Jordan MAY 22 READY FOR A NEW COMMANDMENT? John 13:31-38 Jonathan Miller MAY 29 GREATER WORKS ~ ANOTHER ADVOCATE John 14:8-17 Richard Herman
SUNDAY EVENINGS 5pm New Creation in the Commons
MAY 1 WRESTLING WITH GOD Genesis 32:22-32 Martha Jordan MAY 8 SARAI LAUGHED Genesis 18:1-15 Richard Herman MAY 15 FILLED WITH RAGE Luke 4:16-30 Wes Allen MAY 22 LOOKED WITH FAVOR Luke 7:11-17 Richard Herman MAY 29 GET UP AND GO Acts 22:6-16 Jonathan Miller
Upcoming Adult Education
IN MAY, Rev. Paul M. Asciutto Jr. will be leading an Adult Sunday School class on The Blessings of the Victorious Christian Life. Come and join Paul for four encouraging lessons that will explore prayer, but also finding strength and victory in times of discouragement. While we know Paul as the husband of our Children’s Ministry Director Holly, Paul comes to us with years of ministry experience. Paul is ordained as a Baptist minister to plant churches.
EAT AND GREET—An Old Fashioned Potluck Breakfast
Sunday, June 5 8:30am—9:45am in the Commons Everyone is invited to come and bring their “favorite: family recipe, egg casserole, pastry or even your favorite box of cereal! Drinks are on the house ~ the rest is a real “potluck”! Come for fellowship and video highlights of the Sunday School year. Plans are being made for Summer Sunday School. Pastor Martha will lead a discussion on the book Hole in the Gospel. Copies of the book will be available for sale in the church office for $10, please see Elizabeth.
From Our Executive Pastor
Dear Friends and Fellow-Disciples of Jesus: Not that long ago, Pastor Jonathan and I were talking about the past couple of months and noting how many funerals we’ve conducted and/or attended. Lots! Then, during my own devotional reading in the Scriptures, I came across these familiar words. Our days may come to seventy years, or eighty, if our strength endures; yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away. … Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. – Psalm 90;10, 12. Finally, I recently came across the following written Carolyn Arends in a magazine article: Many early Christian communities encouraged believers to engage in the spiritual discipline of considering their own deaths—not in order to create morbid fear, but to put this life in the proper per-spective. Memento mori, medieval monks would say to each other in the hallways. ‘Remember your mortality,’ or more literally, ‘Remember you will die.’ Death unaddressed is the bogeyman in the basement; it keeps us looking over our shoulders and holds us back from entering joyously into the days we are given. But death dragged from the shadows and held up to the light of the gospel not only loses its sting, it becomes an essential reminder to wisely use the life we have. – Carolyn Arends in “Going Down Singing,” Christianity Today, April 2011. In two days eleven of us head off to Kenya for twelve days in mission together; and it’s less than two weeks ‘til Christians around the world (including our friends in Kenya where we’ll be) shall celebrate the glorious Good News of Jesus’ Resurrection, and of our resurrection in Him. In his “resurrection chapter” – 1 Corinthians 15 –Paul proclaims the Gospel we celebrate saying: By this gospel you’re saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. … For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. … [Finally] I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed… . When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that’s written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory. “ “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Then, Paul concludes this great declaration with a charge: Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. In this season of resurrection, we’re reminded death does not have the last word. … However, death always precedes resurrection. The one does not mean we can ignore the reality of the other. So, in the light of both our death and resurrection – what shall we do? The psalmist and Arends, too, remind us that we pay attention to how we live in the light of our mortality. “Remember you will die” – and do not forget to live appropriately. “Teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Then, in the light of resurrection – stand firm! Live and work in the Lord, assured that what you are doing really makes a difference. Caroilyn Arends concludes: “When we remember the mortality of those around us, they become more valuable to us. … and remembering our own mortality helps reorder our priorities.” Trusting Christ’s love and grace,
From Our Associate Pastor for Families
Dear Friends, At the beginning of April, Rev. Katie Douglass came to our church to speak. I had been looking forward to hearing her since we made the arrangements in November. If you weren’t there, you missed an eye opening evening. Katie spoke about the book Almost Christian written by Kenda Creasy Dean. She came to speak about the faith of young people in America and her words were a warning for parents and for the church. The faith you hope they have may not be the faith they have. In the book, Dean says more American teenagers are embracing what she calls "moralistic therapeutic deism." “Moralistic Therapeutic Deism” believes that: A God exists who created and orders the world and watches over human life on earth. God wants people to be good, nice, and fair to each other, as taught in the Bible and most world religions. The central goal of life is to be happy and to feel good about oneself. God does not need to be involved in my life except when I need God to resolve a problem. Good people go to Heaven when they die. There is a trend for young people leaving the church and maybe parents and the church are part of the reason for that trend. Dean interviewed teens and their parents about their faith for a study called the National Study of Youth and Religion. The study, which included in-depth interviews with at least 3,300 American teenagers between 13 and 17, found that most American teens who called themselves Christian were indifferent and inarticulate about their faith. The study included Christians of all denominations. Though three out of four American teenagers claim to be Christian, fewer than half practice their faith, only half deem it important, and most can't talk coherently about their beliefs, the study found. The book argues that many parents and pastors are unwittingly passing on this self-serving strain of Christianity. So think about your faith. What are you sharing of your faith to our young people? Are you talking about what you believe? Do you ever let them know how you practice your faith? You don’t need to sit down and tell them, but let them know by example…..have they ever seen you read the Bible outside of opening it in worship? Is your faith one that challenges you, or does God just give you a boost to your self-esteem. Does God want you to simply be good and feel good or does God want something more from you? I know first hand as a parent and a pastor the struggles we can face when trying to make decisions. They aren’t always easy choices, but if we keep trying and rely on God, we can get there. A few years ago, I insisted that every night when it was time to read bed-time stories that one would be an one-page devotion from a children’s Bible. The other was a story of their choosing. At first there was some push back because it wasn’t what they wanted to do, but I have to say that I am glad I did it. Two years ago, KD spent the summer creating her own children’s Bible. She retold the stories and drew pictures to match. Spending a little bit of time each night reading the stories made an impact on her that she learned the stories on a child’s level. One mother told me that her 4th grade daughter is learning scripture for her Sunday School class. She has it taped to the canopy of her bed so that every night she can read it to learn the passages. What a wonderful gift that is to her daughter that the scripture is there for her while she relaxes and goes to sleep. If you would like to read the book Almost Christian Wes Allen has several copies available for sale. It is worth the price, when it helps you see what an impact you have on the faith journey of our young people. Blessings -
The Latest News from Presbyterian Women
On either side of the river is the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. Revelation 22:2 As Presbyterian Women we mourn the loss of three women in our midst as this new year is upon us. We give thanks for the life of Loudell Cole, Ann Nicholson Williams Fuss and Betty Skinner. They each were strong women in their belief of Jesus Christ and a role-model for us all. The Presbyterian Women have a busy Spring ahead of us. The Rummage Sale is the week of May 8-13 with the sale May 11, 6pm9pm and Bag Sale Thursday, May 12, 10am-12pm. We need a few good men and ladies of good will for set-up, sale and clean-up. Please contact Annette Emerson or Debbie Walker to offer your assistance. All of our proceeds go directly to our Mission funds and are used locally to benefit others. With your support we can make it the best year ever. Then we have the Strawberry Festival which is the first Friday in June. Presbyterian Women are always in charge of "the cakes". We need your baking skills shared that day for all to behold and enjoy. Please start thinking about which cake you would like to share. They will all be appreciated! And finally on June 13, the Spring Gathering will be upon us with Dinner, hearty salads to be enjoyed by all . The program is called Women of the Bible, Alive! and will portray in costume 6 women of Old and New Testament. Tickets are to be sold the last Sunday in May and the first two Sundays in June for $15. This will cover the cost of dinner provided by Michael Georgetti. Please join us. These Presbyterian Women come from Maryland and several of us have seen them before at the West Jersey Presbytery meeting. We are grateful to have them in our midst. Debbie Walker and I will be going to Stony Point in May to learn about next year's Study of the Beatitudes. We did this last year to be prepared for the Revelation Study and found it to be helpful with outlines to help the leaders of the study be more equipped to lead. And finally, Susan Bricker has just been inducted as Moderator of the West Jersey Presbytery which we are a part of and the largest church in the Presbytery. We are grateful for her leadership in the larger group. May I end with this prayer prompted by scripture found in Revelation. Holy, Holy, Holy, the Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come. You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and power. For You created all things: and by Your will, they existed and were created. To the One seated on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing, honor, glory and might forever and ever! The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Messiah: and He will reign forever and ever. Great and amazing are your deeds, the Lord God, the Almighty! Just and true are Your ways, King of the nations! Lord, who will not fear and glorify Your name? For You alone are Holy. All nations will come and worship before You, for Your judgments have been revealed. Praise our God, all you, His servants, and all who fear Him, small and great. Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice, exalt, and give Him the glory. Deborah Heller, Moderator
June 13th at 6pm
Women of the Bible, Alive!
$15/person Includes catered dinner
May 1….Registration due for Kingdom Kids, Crossing Zone end of the year parties. May 4….5:15pm-7pm Kingdom Kids End of the Year Party at Pump It Up May 11...Crossing Zone End of the Year Party at Funplex
Visit Youth Ministries online for more information or to register for an event: www.fpcmoorestown.org
Weekly Youth Breakfast
Tuesdays at 6:30am - 7am (May 24 will be the last gathering until the fall) Looking for Host Houses—call Jen: 235-1688 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kingdom Kids End of the Year Party at
May 3….6:30am Youth Breakfast May 4….8pm Flock information meeting about The Great Escape Junior High retreat in late July May 8….NO Wave Credo statement of faith due May 9….The Great Escape Junior High Retreat deposit due May 10...6:30amYouth Breakfast at Cauler’s
Wednesday May 4, 5:15pm - 7pm $15/Child
May 13...Balance due for Senior High Adirondack Mission Trip May 17...6:30am Youth Breakfast at Donahue’s May 18...Last Flock May 22...Last Wave May 24…6:30am Breakfast at Knowlton’s Credo Class presented to Session
Adirondack Mountains—Youth Mission June 26—July 1, 2011
for students in grades 9 thru 12 $400/person To contribute or sponsor the trip please visit: www.fpcmoorestown.org
The Great Escape Junior High Retreat July 25—July 30, 2011
9am Monday—1pm Saturday $450/person To contribute or sponsor the trip please visit: www.fpcmoorestown.org
Why is it called Stephen Ministry? Have you ever wondered about that? In 1975 a Lutheran pastor, who was also a clinical psychologist, recognized that his congregation had many different kinds of needs that he could not possibly fulfill. He remembered the passage in the book of Acts that offered a clear solution. It said: And the twelve called together the whole community of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should neglect the word of God in order to wait on tables. Therefore, friends, select from among yourselves seven men of good standing, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may appoint to this task, while we, for our part, will devote ourselves to prayer and to serving the word.” What they said pleased the whole community, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit… Acts 6:2-5a And so that pastor, Dr. Kenneth Hauck, developed a ministry that would train called-out members of the congregation to become compassionate, trustworthy, full of faith and skilled lay ministers for the purpose of serving those with expressed needs. This became Stephen Ministry which our church adopted several years ago and it has been a blessing to both our Stephen Ministers and their care receivers. For more information you may contact either Pastor Dick Herman or Jan Amos.
Sunday Afternoon May 1st
Please join in this years’ CROP Walk (Communities Responding to Overcome Poverty). We walk to demonstrate our concern for the hungry and thirsty people around the world and seek contributions that will be given to them. Again this year we register at 1pm and start at 1:30pm in the First Methodist Church of Moorestown parking lot. You can select a one, three or five mile walk. You can register to walk, receive pledges, and make contributions over the internet. Just visit www.cropwalk.org Moorestown CROP walk forms are available in the church office. Please open your heart to the less fortunate, get some of your friends and family to sponsor you. Let’s demonstrate to our global brothers and sisters that we care about them. Questions? Call Tom Hottenstein (866-0827) Kathie Stone (273-8082) or Joe Scheideler (461-5475)
“He lives triumphant from the grave; He lives eternally to save; He live exalted enthroned above; he live to rule his church in love. He lives to bless me with his love; he lives to plead for me above; He lives my hungry soul to feed; he lives to help in time of need. He lives, my kind, wise heavenly friend; he lives to love me to the end; He lives, and while he lives, I’ll sing; he lives, my Prophet, Priest and King. He lives, all glory to his name! He lives, my Savior still the same; What joy this blest assurance gives: I know that my Redeemer lives!”
The Worshiping Church, # 239 vs. 2-5
Men’s Breakfast Saturday, May 21, 2011 8am
Please call the church office to RSVP: 235-1688
Kourtney Burris Missionary to Copan Ruinas, Honduras
Kourtney Burris credits the beginning of her faith journey to Joel Krott’s invitation to join Choristers when she was in 8th grade. Through the invitation came involvement in youth group and the saving knowledge and grace of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. During high school, Kourtney remained active in FPC choirs and youth groups and she also participated in local Young Life activities. In 2002, Kourtney joined an FPC short-term mission to Proyecto Amistad to Acuña, Mexico. She shares that the journey to Mexico was her first experience outside the US and that God used the experience to open her eyes and heart to the community of faith in Acuña. While physical poverty was very apparent, Christian fellowship and commitment to the church was abundant. This had a significant impact on Kourtney. Following the journey to Acuña, Kourtney continued to participate in short-term missions to Mexico every year until graduation from high school. During these journeys, God continued to grow her passion and desire to serve the Latino community. Throughout high school, Kourtney demonstrated her emerging leadership abilities and natural aptitude for working with children as a Senior High leader at First Presbyterian Church. Combined with her mission experiences in Mexico, God continued to make it clear that He was equipping Kourtney to work in missions, specifically with children in Latin America in the area of education. Kourtney recalls a specific journey to Piedres Negras, Mexico in her senior year of high school when a vision for ministry became focused: “The team was wrapping up for the day and playing with the children that lingered after Vacation Bible School. I posed a usual question to the children - ‘what do you want to be when you grow up?’ Answers came back in shouts of ...‘a teacher!’ ... ‘a police officer!...’ ‘a doctor!’ Later that day, our team visited a maquilladora (factory) where the majority of the people from the area worked --- primarily because it was the only place to work. While inside the maquilladora, it became very clear to me how privileged I was to have been born in the USA, with resources, opportunity, and many doors open for my future. I reflected on the dream occupations of the children at VBS and wanted to be a part of making those dreams a reality by equipping them with tools and resources to overcome discouraging circumstances with positive messages built on faith in Christ.” Kourtney entered The College of New Jersey the following fall to study Spanish and Elementary Education. While her academic track trained her as a Spanish teacher in the New Jersey public school system, Kourtney kept God’s vision in her heart and on her mind: to serve to equip children and youth through education and mentoring relations in Latin America. Kourtney graduated from TCNJ in May, 2008 with a BA in Spanish and Elementary Education. Following graduation, Kourtney served for a year as a Missionary Apprentice with Christian & Missionary Alliance in Ensenada, Mexico. She was supported in prayer and with resources by FPC, friends and family. While in Ensenada, Kourtney served as support staff in a struggling community Church, mentoring women, assisting to develop the children’s program and participating in the life of the Church in general. An additional part of her responsibility in Ensenada was to coordinate short-term mission trips, much like her experiences in high school. After the year in Ensenada, Kourtney returned home to prepare for a second experience, however this time to Honduras, Central America. Kourtney committed to a 2-month short-term internship with a newly founded ministry in Copan, Honduras with UrbanPromise International. Without much previous experience with the UrbanPromise model, she states she was anxious to serve while learning about holistic ministry to under-resourced communities. The time in Honduras was brief but proved to be a powerful way for God to draw Kourtney closer to a vision for ministry. Kourtney shares that she maintained close ties to mission partners in Mexico and Honduras, while spending a season at home. For the past year and a half Kourtney has worked in Philadelphia with the Center City Crime Victim Services to serve and facilitate outreach to the Latino community. On May 10, Kourtney will return to Copan Ruinas, Honduras in a full-time missionary position as the Director of a new After School Program. The vision that God began to reveal to her 10 years ago is being realized in this opportunity to serve in Honduras. In her words Kourtney shares her gratitude: “Thank you First Presbyterian Church Moorestown, the congregation and staff, for all your support from the very beginning up until now. God has used you to play a major role in my life and you have continued to show your love and encouragement in each season of life. Thank You!”
Page 9 Employment Assistance
For the past two years, our ROCK Ministry has supported over 50 people who were in need of career support.
Some have found new positions and many in our congregation have been very helpful in counseling and providing placement help. Others are still searching and utilizing ROCK for support in resume writing, interview skills, networking and prayer.
There are other programs in South Jersey; many, like ours are faith based. One such program is through the Haddonfield United Methodist Church (HUMC), which is circulating the following announcement through churches in the area. If you know of firms with openings, who are looking for candidates with these skills, please contact our church office with appropriate contact information. Those seeking employment opportunities may be FPCM members, as well as those involved in other faith-based programs. In addition, if you are in need of Career-Employment support, please contact our office to make an appointment with a member of the ROCK Ministry. Thank you for your interest.
A support group for people seeking work meets at HUMC on Thursday mornings. The members all have a strong work ethic and desirable skills. They have all been told they are overqualified, made too much money in the past, are not quite the exact fit, or have been passed over for internal candidates. Their skills are: Accounting Administration Architecture Senior Project Coordinator/Customer Service Rep Law Practice Professional Marketing and Advertising Professional Human Resources Professional Customer Service Management Document Specialist Independent International Trade and Development Professional
Project Architect/Manager Consumer Product Sales Management Bank Loan and Lease Documentation Analyst Customer Relations Professional Financial/Marketing Professional Program and Project Leader Contact Center Business Management Operations Sales/Marketing Consulting Warehouse and Distribution Operations Management Paralegal IT Project Manager Construction Project Manager/Property Development for Commercial, Industrial and Retail Projects
In Loving Memory of Ned Gillece
Ten years of gratefulness for all prayers, kind gestures and scholarship donations Richard, Susan and Marly
The 93rd Annual
Knitting Network Saturday, June 4* 10am to 12pm at the church
Wednesday, May 11 6pm-9pm Thursday, May 12 (bag sale) 10am-12pm
Contact Debbie Walker (856) 234-6404 or Annette Emerson (856) 234-0717 If you would like to help out!
Stop in for a brief visit or spend the whole two hours depending on your weekend schedule! For more information call Betsy Gildehaus: (856) 234-5414
*Note date change from May 21—June 4 will be the last workshop until October 1
Dear Friends, I’d like to thank all of you who have sent me cards and notes, made phone calls and visited me to wish me well during my recent rehabilitation center stay and current illness. It has been totally wonderful to be the recipient of such an outpouring of love and kindness. Fondly, Doreen Clark
MARK YOUR CALENDARS! Strawberry Festival
Friday, June 3rd
6pm—9pm Call Joyce Wenzke to find out how you can help:
You’re Invited to a Mystery Meal!
Come for an enjoyable evening of fellowship and feasting on Saturday, May 21st at the home of one of our church members where there will be about eight people dining. Both singles and couples are present. The host will provide the main dish and beverages and the guests bring a side dish. The Mystery is...WHO you will be dining with! ...you won’t know until you arrive! These dinners have been great fun and a wonderful way to get better acquainted with your church family Please call Christine Scheideler at: (856) 461-5475 to reserve a place at the table! We are also looking for those interested in hosting such a fun evening. Call Christine!
May 2011 List of Events
First Presbyterian Church 101 Bridgeboro Road Moorestown, NJ 08057
Return Receipt Requested
Do you want to help the church “GO GREEN?” Call the church office to let us know you would like to read the Weathervane online each month. Give us your email address and we will send you a reminder to log on each month rather than receive a paper copy of the newsletter. To read the Weathervane online: Go to fpcmoorestown.org/weathervane Click on Weathervane
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