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  • Writer's picturePastor Bruce

First Blog in 2020

Updated: Jan 8, 2020

Dear Friends,

One of the great joys of serving as a pastor has been to engage with members in Bible study. Recently, here at First Pres, we have found a rich Bible study resource in the books and video presentations by pastor and author Adam Hamilton.

Hamilton’s latest offering is entitled The Walk - Five Essential Practices of the Christian Life. In it, he points to five spiritual practices or disciplines which are modeled by Jesus in his walk with God. And he encourages us to deepen our own walk with God as we explore the practices of worship, study, service, giving and sharing our faith.

As in past studies, this one will be offered twice a week at 6:00 p.m. on Mondays and 12:15 p.m. on Wednesdays. Pick the day and time that works best for you and join us.

Here’s the schedule:

January 13 & 15 Worship and Prayer: A Living Hallelujah

January 20 & 22 Study: The Importance of Listening and Paying Attention

January 27 & 29 Serve: Here I Am, Lord, Send Me

February 3 & 5 Give: Where Your Treasure Is

February 10 & 12 Share: Going Fishing, Reflecting Light

February 17 & 19 The Five Practices from the Cross

Cost of the book is $14. Pick up your copy in the office and join us in the Minnema Room for our first gathering on January 13 or 15. And one more thing: bring a friend!

Grace and peace,



Santa Songsters blended musical voices on Sat., Dec 7 to carol for residents of Dell Ridge Health Care Center in Paramus and later in the morning to residents of Sunrise Assisted Living in Woodcliff Lake. Many of the residents joined with us in singing the familiar carols, and happy smiles on their faces reflected the enjoyment of our visits.

A big "Thank You" to all of these Santa Songsters for helping to bring Christmas cheer to the residents of Dell Ridge and Sunrise:

Victoria Schnure with Amanda, Jill Critchley, Joe Suplicki, Peggy Norris, Bruce Ballantine, Jan Cross, Joanne Bonwick, Michael and Fay Reid, Christine and Kennedy, Jeanine Jamieson, Melissa and Clayton Davis with Olivia, Li Towt, Laurie Feltmann with Frankie, Susan Castaldi, Jan and Amanda Ax, and Mary and Dave Shaw.


Sunday School News

Happy New Year!

We will begin the 2020 church school year with rotation lessons on Moses and the burning bush and the Red Sea.

We NEED church school teachers!

Please sign up! It’s a two week rotation. We need your help!

We want to thank all who donated to TOYS FOR TOTS!!!

We brought the toys to the drop off location in time for them to be given out by Christmas!

Our celebration after worship on December 8th: Coffee hour and crafting.

In addition to planting white paper narcissus bulbs, we made Christmas crafts.

We enjoyed a special coffee hour with hot chocolate and cider!

This event was held in loving memory of Diana, Kristina and Jennifer Collentine.

CHRISTMAS MART was a success!

All church school students shopped on December 8th and the 15th.

They will have lovely gifts to present their family members for Christmas!

Christmas Pageant and worship service was held on Sunday, December 22 at 10:00am.

With our live “Manger of Animals” on the front lawn of our church.

Thank you to the following Students that participated in the pageant!

A BIG THANK YOU to Jill Critchley and Sue Fischer for your help to make this wonderful festive service run so smoothly!

Thank you to everyone who donated to our Mitten tree during the month of December!

Hats, scarves, mittens & gloves will surely bring great warmth and be a great comfort to many!

Supporting Center for Food action in Mahwah.

January 26th is DENIM DAY at First Pres! We invite everyone to come to church in your JEANS! For $10.00 you can sit in church and the congregational meeting in comfort! The High School

class will be at all church entrances collecting money before service and after the congregational meeting! Proceeds will go toward the FPC’s Senior High Youth group.


Endowment Corner

The birth of the Christ child was intended to change the world forever. It is not a birthday to be celebrated for a day and then forgotten. In the post-Christmas season we remember the message

He came to deliver. In John 21:15-17 (NIV) Jesus asks Simon Peter three times if he loves Him.

Each time Simon Peter replies …”You know that I love you.” Jesus responds simply the first time, “Feed my lambs.” The second time, He responds, “Take care of my sheep.” The third time, “Feed my sheep.” The message is clear. We are called to feed and take care of each other.

The Endowment Committee responds to needs local and distant. As a church committed to

following the teachings of Jesus it is our responsibility to seek where the needs are and respond.

Your gifts to Endowment are put to use by saving and investing for both present time and future.

Only the earned income from investment and earned interest are spent so the fund continues to grow.

The larger the fund the larger the impact we can have in helping those in need and in helping to sustain our own church and keep it viable in answering His call to us.

Three of the easiest ways to help build a healthy Endowment are:

1.Donations to our “Tree of Life” by purchasing a Leaf ($500) or Stone

($2000) in honor of or in memory of someone.

2.Donations to our “Green Umbrella” project by purchasing ($25)

Greeting card to send to someone in the congregation who you

would like to thank or remember in some other way.

Feel free to look over all the options of Greeting cards on the table

in the hallway across from the bulletin board.

3. Outright Cash donations in any amount large or small. Checks can

be made out to” First Presbyterian Church” with a memo to Endowment.

Please help us get off to a good start in 2020 and consider one of the above options.

Help us feed His sheep. He’ll be glad you did. (More options will be discussed in February)

Brochures for “Tree of Life” and Green Umbrella project can be found in the pews

and on tables in the hallway.

Endowment Committee members: Richard Davies (Chair) Joanne Bonwick, Don Dexter,

Laura Magrath, Al Schagen, David Shaw.


Annual Meeting of the Congregation

Mark your calendars the Annual Meeting of the Congregation will be held on Sunday, January 26th following Worship.

Church Phone (201) 652-2504

Pastor Bruce: (215) 337-5623 Please contact him directly for Pastoral Care

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