Traces of Grace
Thoughts from Pastor Scott
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I want to thank all of you who made it a priority to come out last night to participate in our first (of two) congregational conversation. We heard an update from Steve Schoch about where we are now and the options that lay before us and took time to share thoughts, opinions, and questions with the group. Over 60 people were present to take part in this important discussion regarding the future of our church.
As a reminder, we will be meeting for the second conversation this Saturday morning from 10am-12noon. I would love to encourage you to make the time to come and participate on Saturday, especially if you weren't able to be present on Wednesday. You do not have to be a member to attend or to share with the group that gathers. This meeting is for everyone who cares about the future of our congregation.
It is never easy to have difficult discussion, but it is also difficult to not have those conversations and allow issues to grow unaddressed. Thank you for choosing your hard. Thank you for being willing to engage these conversations. Thank you for seeking to be faithful to all that God has called us to be as part of His Church.
Grace & Peace,
Sermon Series - Digital Babylon
This week we continue our sermon series entitled, "Digital Babylon: Developing Resilient Faith in Exile." In this series we will be looking at what we can learn from Scripture about how to form followers of Jesus who are able to stand firm in the midst of a foreign culture that seeks to assimilate us into its worldview.
This series finds us in some familiar stories from the Old Testament and will use research from the Barna Group, which was presented in the book Faith For Exiles, to help us see the five formative influences resilient disciples experience. My hope is that this series of sermons will help us evaluate our own level of resilience in our faith and what God is asking us to give ourselves to for the sake of creating resilient faith in the generations following us.
***Don't forget Saturday!***
In order to take the pulse of the congregation on the future direction of our church and denomination, we will hold the second of two sessions of congregational conversation on September 17th from 10am-12pm. We are providing two sessions in hopes that most of our congregation will be able to attend one of the options, but the information that will be presented by Steve Schoch (who led our conversations in 2020) will be the same.
These are important conversations in the life of our congregation and I encourage each of you to make it a priority to attend and participate in these sessions. As your pastor, the decisions ahead of us are not decisions that I can make for the church or on your behalf. Your involvement in these conversations will help to inform the conversations the leaders of the congregation will have.
Above all, I encourage you to be in prayer for these conversations, but also for the wider process and all those involved in it; Bishop Schol, our District Superintendent Glenn Conaway, the Conference Board of Trustees, and the leaders here at First Methodist. Pray for wisdom, discernment, grace, and truth. Pray that we would be faithful to be who God has called the Church to be in the world.
Pastor Jeremy is back on the podcast! Join us for this conversation based on the sermon "Hope in Exile" as we talk about Wicked, what "Post-Christian" culture is, and building resilience as The Church during times where everything is changing so quickly.
You can listen and subscribe to the podcast on:
We would really love for you to be a part of this conversation, so email your questions to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll do our absolute best to answer those questions or, if we can't answer it, we'll at least have a conversation about it.
Habitat for Humanity Unity Build
Habitat for Humanity Unity Build - On October 1, local houses of worship are putting their faith into action and joining Habitat SCNJ & The First Presbyterian Church of Hamilton for a Unity Build! Together, volunteers will spend the day constructing the frames for a new home in Hightstown, one piece at a time. No skills necessary! Breakfast and lunch will be provided. 3550 Nottingham Way, Hamilton Square, NJ. Talk to Brian Coffey with any questions or mark your connect card to sign up.
Followers Bible Study
Bible Study is held on Tuesday mornings in the Parlor. You can arrive at 9:30 for coffee, tea, and fellowship. Study begins at 10:00. The first six week series, which will look at the book of Jude, will be led by Pastor Scott . We look forward to seeing you!
Kids Church in the Great Room
Kids from 1st-5th grades will be dismissed from the worship service prior to the sermon to participate in Kid's Church. This program will take place in the Great Room.
Moses @ Sight and Sound!!
The spectacular show "Moses" will be at Sight and Sound on Tuesday, May 10, 2023, in Lancaster, PA. The cost of the show and the meal at Shady Maple is $130.00. The bus has limited capacity and seats are being filled quickly. A deposit of $30.00 must be paid to hold your spot (cash or check). If you have any questions, please contact Marva Wallace or Pat Gunning.
Operation Christmas Child
We know it's early, but it's time to think about Operation Christmas Child in conjunction with Samaritans Purse.
In the next 2 weeks, the boxes will be available at both doors and you can take them, fill them, return them, but please include the $10.00 handling charge - OR:
Like last year, you can use the envelope in the Sanctuary pew marked "Operation Christmas Child". Place $20.00 CASH in the envelope and place in offering plate or give to Pat Gunning. Pat will fill a box or boxes for you. The $20.00 includes the $10.00 handling fee.
Let's get moving on those boxes. Christmas isn't that far away! Thank you.
Our Traditional Sunday Morning Worship Service begins at 9am in our sanctuary. This service incorporates the great hymns of our faith, creeds, responsive readings, prayers, Scripture readings, and a sermon, among other things.
During the 9:00 hour, we also have Sunday school available for children, youth, and adults.
Our Contemporary Sunday Morning Worship Service begins at 10:30am in our sanctuary. This service incorporates new and old songs, most often led on guitar, as well as Scripture readings, prayers, and other worship elements. Nursery is available during the 10:30 service for children birth-Kindergarten and all children are welcome in the worship service. There is also an adult Sunday school class that meets in the parlor during the 10:30 time slot. Our 10:30 service will also be livestreamed for those who are unable to attend in-person. Anyone can access this livestream, but if you'd like to chat with others throughout the service, you must have a Faithlife account and become of member of our Faithlife Group. If you aren't already a member of our group, and would like to become one, please email the church office at email@example.com and we will reply with an invitation.
Here are all the links you'll need for the full Sunday Morning experience...
Join our Live Stream Service - https://www.faithlife.com/fumccollingswood/livestream
Access our Digital Bulletin - https://fumccollingswood.org/bulletins Online Giving - https://fumccollingswood.org/giving
All of our past morning worship services can be viewed on our website by visiting https://fumccollingswood.org.
You can also view the services on our YouTube Channel.
Verse of the Month
We praise God and thank Him for all the prayers that have been answered throughout this challenging time and also:
- For all God is doing, even in the smallest of details!
- For our freedom to worship together in person.
- For members of our church family who have recovered from surgeries, treatments and illnesses.
Prayers in the Junior Dining Room
Prayers in the Parlor has moved to the Junior Dining Room (room off of the Gym). This is a time to gather and pray over the requests of our congregation and happens every Monday at 8:30am and Tuesday through Thursday 9am.
"Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours."
"Prayers in the Junior Dining Room (room off of the Gym)" is a time to gather and pray over the requests of our congregation and happens every Monday at 8:30am and Tuesday through Thursday, 9:00am. Feel free to come and join us!
Please continue to pray for...our homebound members; our church members who are in need of spiritual, emotional and financial care; any families and relationships that have been strained during this time, our Troops and our Missionaries. The list is long, but God is BIG!
Please pray for the following:
- Pastor Scott & Meg - for the Lord's guidance & direction in all matters and decisions.
- Pastor Jeremy & Rebecca as they begin serving at FUMC and adjust to their new reality together with their beautiful newborn son Theo.
- Linda Adam's - daughter-in-law's brother Ed - cancer
- Bob Alber- recovering from recent hospitalization and Barb Alber is recovering from recent surgery - missionary
- Karen Alexander (& family) - in the passing of her Mom, Carol
- The Berryhill's friend Melinda Johnson diagnosed with brain cancer
- Kathy & Phil Boswell (Phil - recovery from surgery) health problems & medical concerns
- Dave Cahilly - health issues
- Mary Emily Cameron - total hearing loss in 1 ear
- Connie Cline's longtime friend has cancer/is steps from eternity and needs to get into a relationship with God.
- The Cluelow's friend Liz for keeping the house & new job
- Coffey's family friend Daniel Bowler recovering from medical procedures
- Jim Craig - broken collarbone and Parkinson complications
- Susan Dallegro - friend Jennifer sick on ventilator and her mother Maryann
- The Edwards Family
- Maryilyn Ellis's friends Julie and Dorothy both have cancer
- Harry Ellis - Blood Pressure
- The Imm's Family, friends of Dotti Escuti
- Dick, Peggy and Janel Esher
- Charles Ferrara - in rehab
- Ken Franck's cousin Regina Gebka - ovarian cancer - recovery from surgery September 1st.
- Maria Gianfrancesco - continued recovery from knee surgery
- Carol Harding - home from the hospital
- James Jungclaus (& family) in the passing of his wife Donna
- Klimczak's daughter Kim - hit by a car at high speed - suffered many injuries
- Karen Kline and family in the passing of her son Craig
- Dick McCloy - permanent remission from 6 months of chemo treatments
- Mary Ann McCloy - shortness of breath and autoimmune condition Myasthenia Gravis which has caused eye lid drooping
- David & Katie McDevitt's son
- Kathy McGuarn's - daughter Jenny DePaul's recovery from surgery September 12th
- Dawn Molloy's lifelong friend Ellen - hospitalized more than a month - needs prayers and encouragement for healing. Doctors need wisdom to find root cause of her medical issues.
- Gus Mondatsos - recovery from hip surgery
- Ella Patterson's brother - seizures
- Jaime Frost, daughter of Harry & Linda Rameriz - serious health issues
- Rameriz's - as they settle into their new home in SC
- Kay Shannon's husband's cousin Lynne - in the hospital with cancer and pneumonia
- Joan Stecher's friends Denise Young and Danielle Catling
- Michael Zee
- Our Missionaries
If you have any other prayer concerns or ways we can serve you please let us know. We desire to journey with you.
Remember, you are loved!
In His Grace,
The FUMC Staff