Eyeing ‘The Sound of Christmas’

Here are some beautiful photographs of the handbell concert on Sunday, December 4 at Princeton United Methodist Church, directed by Hyosang Park and featuring Duo Grazioso. Thanks to Robin Birkel for the photos. img_1871 img_1875 img_1879 img_1880 img_1884


img_1890 img_1898 img_1901 img_1870img_1908



Posted in Music | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Eyeing ‘The Sound of Christmas’

Celebrate with Chrismoms


The Chrismom Tree in the sanctuary

What are Chrismoms? The large white and gold symbols on the giant tree in the sanctuary?

Watch this episode of Church Knows Church to find out.

Not many of us know the meaning behind each symbol, but here are some clues. 

Special thanks to the John Vaccaro and his family for the tree. For many years they donated the tree that stands so tall on Christmas Eve. This year John has graciously offered to donate some of the gifts given in memory of his beloved wife, Robbie, for the purchase of a faux Chrismom tree that we can enjoy year after year.


Christmas Eve 2015. Photo by Charles Phillips.

Here is how the tree helps us celebrate the birth of Christ on Christmas Eve

Posted in History, Worship | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Celebrate with Chrismoms

Ringing for the Red Kettle

All hands are needed to ring the Salvation Army bells in the week before Christmas! Choose your location — Palmer Square, Hinds Plaza, or in front of the church — and sign up early to get the time slot you want. Days: Tuesday to Saturday, December 19 to 24.

These 2013 photos by photographer Edem Timpo show how much fun it is to help people donate to the Salvation Army. Fun — but dress warmly!  Ding aling aling aling!


Eileen and Michael Francisco Cabus in 2013, photo by Edem Timpo

These 2013 photos by photographer Edem Timpo show how much fun it is to help people donate to the Salvation Army. Fun — but dress warmly!  Ding aling aling aling!


Tim Ewer and Iona Harding ring the bell in Palmer Square



Edem Timpo, the photographer, captures her mom taking a donation to the Red Kettle in Palmer Square


Lula Crawford greets passersby in front of ‘the friendly church on the corner.’ Photo by Edem Timpo

Posted in Missions | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Ringing for the Red Kettle

Celebrate with Bells!


Celebrate the season with a free Christmas music concert every Sunday at 5 at Princeton United Methodist Church, corner of Nassau and Vandeventer. This Sunday (12/4) hear handbell choirs and a solo handbell artist — Hyosang Park of Duo Grazioso. It’s free! Questions? Call 609-924-2613 or office@PrincetonUMC.org or go to http://princetonumc.org/

On 12/11 enjoy a musical “Twas the Light Before Christmas directed by Tom Shelton plus a potluck dinner and carolilng. On  12/18 choirs and instrumentalists play Christmas carol favorites.   We hope you will join us!

Posted in Music | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Celebrate with Bells!

Longest Night Service: December 20

2015-12-24-20-15-55Our Longest Night service is a worship gathering — we commemorate the birth of Christ in a manner more subdued than the typically festive Christmas services.

This low-keyed service provides a spiritual and affective space for the grief that accompanies loss of any kind, loss most keenly felt around this time of year. Music, prayers, candles, bells, and rituals all come together in ways designed to support and nurture faith in the midst of loss.

This year’s theme is “The Gift of Love;” it highlights our need to give and to love, and the symbiotic relationship between the two, so beautifully demonstrated in the Christmas story.

We would be pleased to have you join us for this hour of worship and reflection on Tuesday December 20th at 7:30pm, the evening before the winter solstice, the longest night of the year.

Rev. Catherine Williams  Associate Pastor of Pastoral Care

Posted in Worship | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Longest Night Service: December 20

Singing Joy and Ringing Faith


Today, to illustrate “giving thanks” for 9:30 service at Children’s Time,  Tom Shelton presented five of the youngest choristers singing folk favorites like  “Kumbayah,” “I’ve Got the Joy in My Heart” and “This Little Light.” It was such a blessing to hear them. Here is the video — see and hear for yourself!

This choir rehearses on Wednesdays at 4:30 and is open to all at no cost. It will join the older children to sing at the 9:30 service on December 4 and to present “Twas the Light Before Christmas,” an Advent musical, on Sunday, December 11, at 5 p.m.  


Duo Grazioso: Hyosang Park, left, solo handbell artist, with pianist Akiko Hosaki

At both the 9:30 and 11 a.m. services, the congregation was blessed by hearing the handbell choir play two spirituals. Enjoy video,  taken from the balcony. Hyosang Park directs the ringers in arrangements by B,  Ingram of “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen” and “Swing Low.”

The next opportunity to hear handbells ring will be Sunday, December 4, at 5 p.m., when Park directs the Handbell Choir and the Handbell Ensemble. As a special delight, Park will play solo handbells, along with Akiko Hosaki, as part of Duo Grazioso.

It was a joyful time of giving thanks.

Posted in Children, Music | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Singing Joy and Ringing Faith

Some come for the food, some for the fellowship


This week a dozen children learned about dental health at Cornerstone Community Kitchen

Cornerstone Community Kitchen served 130 meals on china plates this week; founded in 2012, it is in it’s fifth year. In addition to nutritious meals CCK now offers a clothing closet, art classes, and English as a Second Language lessons.


Larry Apperson, who had b the vision and has the energy to lead the CCK mission. 

Just announced: Princeton Mayor Liz Lempert and the Princeton Council will present an award to our Princeton Cornerstone Community Kitchen for the work it is doing in doing in Princeton. 

The presentation will take place on Monday, November 28th, during the Princeton Council meeting. The meeting starts at 7 PM, Municipal Building, 400 Witherspoon Street.

Says Larry Apperson, founder of CCK: “It will be my pleasure and honor to attend and accept the award on behalf of all volunteers that have worked with tireless love to make Cornerstone successful, and on behalf of our financial donors who support our expanding programs so generously.”

Some come for the food, some for the fellowship, all are served on china plates with table decor and live music.  In it’s fifth year it’s fulfilling a real need.


Posted in Community, Cornerstone Community Kitchen | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Some come for the food, some for the fellowship

Sunday November 13 – Rev. Jana Purkis-Brash: Where Is Your Power? Isaiah 40:27-31, Ephesians 3:14-21

img_2202What a week this has been. I’ve spent a great deal of time listening to and caring for people. I have encouraged people to sit in and feel their despair, anger, sadness, hopelessness, fear, and uncertainty. We must allow ourselves to feel what we are feeling before moving ahead to action.

It has prompted me to think about times in my life when all seemed lost, and how I was able to claim God’s strength and power. As I think about difficult times in my life I think of a church burning down, a parsonage burning down, miscarriages, losing my mom over the course of 10 years to dementia, and in those same years my dad dying of cancer. My daughter eloping with a man she barely knew and moving halfway around the world. There were times in each of these personal situations that I didn’t see a way forward, I was hopeless and angry, fearful and despairing. One way that I was able to move forward was claiming God’s power and strength through scripture.

I grew up in the northeast when memorizing scripture was passé, thankfully as an adult I have learned scripture that sustains me. It was in the midst of a breast cancer scare a few years ago that I held tight to scripture and this week I’ve found myself doing same. (David/Ulanda has read two of those scriptures for us this morning)

For me these scriptures and some others strengthen me and help me to claim the power I need to move forward in faith and hope. Today I’m going to bring more scripture passages to play than usual; I hope you will hear the assurance these passages offer.

This morning I want to share with you a story that I hope will help us to think about where our power lies.

Once upon a time a man found the egg of an eagle. It had been abandoned for some reason by its mother, but as it was still warm the man took it and put it in the nest of one of his backyard chickens along with the other eggs that were there being brooded upon. After a period of time the eaglet was hatched, and along with the other chicks from his nest began to go about the backyard doing what the other chicks did. He scratched the earth for worms and insects. He looked for the corn that the man would throw into the yard. He clucked and cackled as best as he could, and as he grew, he would, like the other chickens, thrash his wings and fly a few feet in the air.

Years passed in this way and the eagle grew very old. thOne day he saw a magnificent bird far above him in the cloudless sky. It glided majestically among the powerful wind currents, soaring and swooping, scarcely beating its long golden wings. The old eagle looked at it in awe and asked “what is that?” “That is the eagle, the king of the birds”, said one of his neighbors. “He belongs to the sky and to the high places. We belong to the earth, we are chickens.” The old eagle knew this was true, and so it was he lived and died as a chicken, for that is what he believed he was.

Do you think the eagle/chicken had the power to change? What held him back?

Think with me for a moment about the verses at the end of Ephesians chapter three: 20-21.”Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine; to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever.”

Do you have the power to change? What holds you back?

If you drew your power from God what could you accomplish that you aren’t doing now?

Can we believe in new possibilities for ourselves? Continue reading

Posted in Sermon, Worship | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Sunday November 13 – Rev. Jana Purkis-Brash: Where Is Your Power? Isaiah 40:27-31, Ephesians 3:14-21

All Saints Sunday

imgp2056Here are some videos of the very inspiring worship on Sunday, November 6, at 9:30 a.m. It was All Saints Sunday, and the Children’s Choir sang the introit. 

For the opening hymn, the camera focuses on the Durrell window, picturing Saint George.

Cindy Gordon tells stories for the Children’s Sermon 

More videos to come…



Posted in Music, Sermon, stained glass, Worship | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on All Saints Sunday

Brown Bag It on November 20

2016-november-cropped-brown-bagOnce again the children of our Sunday School will decorate shopping bags for the church family to fill, with gratitude, for those who are insecure in providing food for themselves and their families.

On November 20 our sanctuary will be filled with Brown Bags to care for the families and individuals served through Arm in Arm (formerly Crisis Ministry).
Through its three Client Choice Food Pantries, and delivery to the elderly and homebound, Arm in Arm has served more than 4,000 households with high-quality food, nutrition education, and health screening during the last year. More than 40% of its clients are below the age of 17, and 25% are 55 and above. These house-holds have intermittent food insecurity and can “slip between the cracks” of government supports.

Princeton UMC has been walking alongside Arm in Arm since it was formed more than 30 years ago. In addi-tion to providing healthy food to our neighbors in Mercer County, Arm in Arm has stabilized the housing of nearly 700 struggling families by helping with back rent or mortgage, rapid rehousing, security deposit help, utilities back payment, and case management. It also provides job skills and employment readiness
So, be part of the hope and join with your congregation in walking “Arm in Arm” with your community. Pack up your bag, fill it with love, gratitude and non-perishable food (especially heart-healthy, low-fat and sugar free varieties). Bring your Brown Bags of Gratitude to the Sanctuary on November 20 and celebrate the grace of God and the generosity of our church family.
Would your committee or small group like to sponsor its own “Brown Bag” meeting? Great idea! For more information and encouragement, contact LaVerna Albury at 609-658-3830.

Posted in Community, social justice, Sunday School | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Brown Bag It on November 20