The senior population of New Jersey is rising every year, about 1% per year since 2010. Not all of these seniors have access to information that can help them decide where to live and how they can afford it. Senior Housing Net is looking to change that, with their new Guide to Senior Living in New Jersey. This online guide is a comprehensive look at cost, resources, and even COVID-19 rules for NJ senior living.
Hearing, Tasting, Touching, Smelling. Seeing. Where do you experience the signs of Christmas? This week, Pastor Kevin continues his series using a camera lens metaphor in a message titled: The Ultra Wide Lens: Do You See What I See? from Matthew 11:2-11. An imprisoned and isolated John the Baptizer asks his followers what they see. Like Homeland Security’s often repeated alert: If you see something, say something! Jesus helps John’s followers to see, and then say something.
What do you need to see this Christmas? Where do you see Jesus’ restoration, reconciliation, and healing in your life and in the world? How can you share this good news with those who have not yet experienced it? If you haven’t seen signs of Christmas, keep looking! Maybe in the quiet places you may begin to see the work of God. In the most unexpected encounters you may sense God’s presence no matter how desolate the desert, or dismal the view.
The best way we can experience the signs of Christmas is to receive its healing power firsthand. What are you patiently waiting for this Advent? How do we participate in strengthening our hearts and hands and those of others?
Listen to this message of hope! Come to worship on Sunday and experience the full, ultra wide view of Jesus and the whole life wholeness that he offers now.
As Jesus connected with Zacchaeus, he was transformed by thankfulness for his experience of God’s love. We, too, having experienced the transformative power of meeting the Son of God, can put our thanksgiving out there through tangible expressions of loving kindness, justice, and live into a future of possibilities. We, like Zacchaeus, can choose to express the joy that comes in recognizing our mutual dependence and God-created connections in community. Gratitude fuels our mission as we invite others to participate in genuine reconciliation, restoration, and renewal.
Spiritual experiences, like religion, can be both private and communal. In Jesus’ life, you see private expressions of faith (Luke 5:16, Matthew 6:5-6), but there are decidedly more public expressions of faith, faith in action, obvious, measurable, and expressed in justice and mercy.
For many of us, calling religion private is convenient. Easy. We can put faith into a box or a small compartment in our life and no one pays attention to it. Including us. It is not challenged, exercised, or strengthened. While a solely private faith can bring personal comfort, its impact is limited. A so-called private faith can may result in unwanted behaviors like pride, hypocrisy, judgement, and a kind of spiritual phoniness that becomes boring and unremarkable. We can do better.
God created us to live an authentic, amazing life. Pastor Kevin’s message this week about Jesus and his new friend Zacchaeus describes what happen when faith becomes public, obvious, and community-facing. While everyone else saw a “sinner,” a corrupt tax collector in a tree, Jesus saw an incredible person who could experience God’s grace, give thanks, and actually do good! An entire community was transformed. That’s transformation!
We should expect others to notice our faith in action and want to join in. When we do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with God in obvious, public, ways, all of us can live authentic, amazing lives.
Thanks to a special community-directed $5,000 mission grant from the Presbytery of West Jersey, the session approved and has begun to implement our very exciting two-part mission initiative. Here is a summary of our project.
- Podcasts and Streaming Videos: As part of our mission we will develop new ways to engage those who find it difficult or impossible to attend worship services, and those who are homebound, remote members, by delivering the worship experience as a video livestream, with post-worship video download as a podcast/online via our website. Anyone with a computer, tablet, or smart phone can participate. Eventually, we may take realtime prayer requests, as well. This initiative is expected to incur costs of under $4500.
- Conquering the Opioid Abuse Epidemic: As part of our mission, we will support families affected by addictions, especially affected by the opioid crisis, through group ministry of spiritual resources, small groups. Last year, more than 35 attended our Opioid Abuse and Prevention training in partnership with Rutgers University and Youth Advocate Program. Our new initiative, Thriving Families, will be implemented in 2020 and is not expected to incur costs over $500.
Getting Started—Campus Online Access: To extend our reach into the community, we encourage you to use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or other social media share the good news with your friends and followers. Post photos or maybe a inspirational Bible verse or something you heard in the message, or song.
We want our WiFi network to enhance your experience while attending worship or another event, you may use our networks as listed below:
Price Hall Network Name: ColdSpringChurchWiFi Guest (no password required).
Red Brick Church Network Name: CSPCRedBrickWifi Password: See the password printed isn’t he weekly bulletin.
We are grateful for our friends in West Jersey Presbytery for their commitment to community mission and investing in our mission! Get connected and share your experience!