Coffee With The Pastors

Got questions? If you would like to know more about Princeton UMC, you are invited to Coffee with the Pastors in Room 204 on Sunday, June 23, 2019, after worship service at 11:30 a.m. We also want to get to know you better.  Psalm 34:3 says, “O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.”

If you want to explore joining this congregation, a small group will meet starting in the Fall.

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Princeton UMC’s Confirmation Class 2019

On Sunday June 9, 2019 Princeton UMC celebrated the confirmation of Kasey Angello, Leanne Griffiths, Rachel Hoffman, Andre Penn, Robin Roth, William Wong, and Davita Wrone. All seven confirmands stood before the congregation with their parents and mentors and professed their intention to live as faithful disciples of Jesus Christ. The pastors and others put their hands on each of them while Pastor Jenny said a blessing. We congratulate them on this important step in their faith journey.

Seven young people were confirmed into membership of Princeton United Methodist Church on Pentecost, June 9, 2019. From left, they are  Leanne Taylor Griffiths, Robin Mary Roth, Kasey Elizabeth Angello, Davita Elizabeth Wrone, Rachel Lynn Hoffman, Andrea Mutayoba Penn,  and William KunHee Wong.

Phoebe Quaynor, Director of Christian Education, far left, and Paige Allen, far right, taught the class.

Each confirmand had a mentor. On the left, Christine Shungu and Ulanda Frisbee. On the right, Theresa Cann, Susan Victor, and Helen Curtis. Not pictured, Karin and Bernhard Brouwer.

Rev. Ginny Cetuk and Rev. Skitch Matson (left) and Rev. Jenny Smith Walz (far right) congratulated the seven confirmands.

Confirmands and their parents. Photos by Norman Cetuk

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Sermon “Revealing Resurrection:A Surprising Party”

On Sunday, June 9, 2019, Pastor Jenny Smith Walz preached on the topic “Revealing Resurrection: A Surprising Party.” Her sermon is based on the scripture reading ‘The Coming of the Holy Spirit’ from Acts 2: 1-21

She reminded us that the first Pentecost happened 50 days after the Resurrection and 10 days after the Ascension of Jesus Christ. The Jews were gathered from all over the land for the Festival of the Harvest and the Torah. The party was powerful and wild. While they were praying, the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus’ apostles and others, and they found themselves speaking in different languages.  The entire community of Christians was made up of 120 people, but all present received the Holy Spirit without discrimination. Although everyone would have spoken Greek, the Galilean Jews found themselves speaking languages they didn’t know – those of the immigrant Jews.  Every language was made available to all. You could see the bewildered look on their faces. The native language was the language of the heart.        

In illustrating the scripture,  Pastor Jenny used  Brennan Manning‘s famous quotation, “The gospel is absurd, and the life of Jesus is meaningless unless we believe. . . .  This, my friend, is what it means to be a real Christian.” She stated that it was time for our own Pentecost. We need to hear and understand each other across all divides. The Holy Spirit is calling for inclusiveness, and diversity, especially now in the midst of the most segregated time in our country. 

Listen to Pastor Jenny as she calls us to attention: “The Holy Spirit is moving here. Can you feel it?” The Holy Spirit wants to do more, to show God’s mighty deeds, power, and love inside and beyond Princeton UMC. What are we doing to allow Pentecost to happen in us today?

The sermon will be podcast soon on this webpage under the category “worship.” Here is the link

For the complete video of the June 9 service, found on Princeton United Methodist Church Facebook page, click here.  

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Celebrating PrincetonUMC’s Larry — and Cornerstone Community Kitchen

 

Seven Junes ago, Larry Apperson launched Princeton Cornerstone Community Kitchen at Princeton UMC, partnering with the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen (TASK) to serve over 100 meals weekly, on an unconditional, no-questions asked basis. Larry plants the “Free Meals” banner on the lawn every Wednesday.

Cornerstone Community Kitchen served its first meal on June 6, 2012. Some come for the free food, some for the fellowship, all are graciously served a hot meal complete with a decorated table and a piano player in the background. TASK delivers the main dish but CCK supplies vegetables, salad, bread, and a drink, plus sandwiches, children’s breakfast bags, and produce to take home.

For the first two years meals were served on paper plates with plastic utensils in the Sanford Davis Room, the church “parlor” with stained glass windows, because the kitchen — which did not meet health codes — was being constructed. Now the meals are prepared in an up-too-date catering kitchen and served on china plates in the renovated Fellowship Hall. 

“The greatest unexpected pleasure that’s come from our service has been the coming together of people from throughout the community to serve,” says Larry Apperson. Five teams from Princeton United Methodist Church alternate serving the meals, one week a month.

Now, each week,  Cornerstone’s opening on Wednesday night and its related offerings depend on some 30 volunteers and approximately 75 hours of volunteer time.

Cleanup is done almost exclusively by church members. Every week PUMC member jobs include playing the piano, setting and decorating tables, running the clothes closet, and washing the pots. One school-age girl helps, with her grandmother, before and after her PUMC choir practice. Judy Miller works Tuesday and Wednesdays — she runs the Clothes Closet with the help of two PUMC volunteers. She also decorates the tables with flowers and props from her personal trove.

Community members can also sign up online for ‘one-time’ service. “I wanted to create a place where people could go to do the good things they deep down feel they should be doing anyway,” says Apperson. “Volunteering would be easy, no homework, just come and do it.”

PUMC members supporting CCK include Pam and Tim Ewer, Charles Phillips, Karen Longo-Baldwin, Karin and Bernhard Brouwer (just moved to Florida), Susan Davelman, Joan and Bob Nuse, Judy Miller, Ed Sproles, Lula Crawford, Francia Francisco, Doug Fullman, Larry and Emily Gordinier, Lori Pantaleo, Valerie Newhall, Lorie Roth, Yvonne Macdonald, Joan Klass, Larry and Helen Curtis, Karen Johnson, Bruce Henry, Chris Cox, Kate Lasko, Ichen Mei, and some young new arrivals, Alex and Izzy DiStase.

In addition, the Clothing Store operates in a spacious, dedicated room and shares the same Wednesday 5 – 6:30 PM hours of operation.  Supervised by Judy Miller, the store is filled with a wide variety of neatly organized and displayed clothing and household items, where guests take turns shopping in small groups. Store volunteers manage seasonal programs for the children — selecting back to school backpacks, Halloween costumes, and Christmas gifts – carefully selected to match the child’s age and gender.

A significant number of the guests are Hispanic and some speak little if any English. Three years ago, PrincetonUMC member Karen Longo Baldwin, a certified ESL teacher, began teaching English as a Second Language classes that now meet four times weekly.

Judy Miller at the launch of the Period Project

Cornerstone’s newest offering is Princeton Period Project, a community program to help girls and women who don’t have an easy, reliable, affordable access to feminine hygiene products.  These products often take second seat to providing food at the family table. “We have already provided more than 51,000 feminine hygiene products to girls and women in the area,” says Gil Gordon, a member of the Jewish Center of Princeton and member of the board.

Judy Miller, Gil Gordon, and Larry Apperson at the TASK awards.

Earlier this year, the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen (TASK) presented Larry Apperson with the Chuck Inman Memorial Award, honoring an individual who has made a significant impact in feeding hungry people in Mercer County.

Pastor Ginny Cetuk, who chairs the CCK board, points out that — for a  minimum wage job in Mercer County, one would need to work 130 hours per week in order to make ends meet.

As a 501c3 nonprofit organization, Cornerstone does not aim to deliver a religious message. “We are witnessing to our faith through our actions,” says Larry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sermon “Revealing Resurrection: An Ironic Escape”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Sunday, June 2, 2019, Pastor Jenny Smith Walz preached on the theme “Revealing Resurrection: An Ironic Escape.” Her sermon is based on the scripture reading ‘Paul and Silas in Prison’ from Acts 16:16-34. 

To illustrate the scripture,  she asked the children during Children’s Time if they had opened doors before: “What happened when you opened doors? What did you see on the other side?” Listen to their answers as you watch the video of the service on Princeton UMC Facebook page.

Pastor Jenny is captivated by this compelling story, told in the scripture, of a demon-possessed fortune-telling slave girl, possessed by her slave owners with their wealth and power, healing, exorcism, mobs, state jailer’s duty, midnight hymn-singing from the prison stocks, earthquakes, doors opening, prison break-ups, conversion, and finally baptism. At the end of it all, we are left with many questions and healthy skepticism.

As part of her message, she tells us that revealing resurrection is all about freedom – personal freedom, freedom of the mind. Yet there are different understandings of freedom, many of which are about seeking for self without regard for the impact on others. What then does freedom mean for us Christians?

How have you experienced doors opening, being unchained, unbound, be who you were created to be?  How have you overcome systems of oppression, poverty, sin, shame, addiction, cycles of abuse, or fear?

Looking at the broad sweep of the scripture as it relates to the life of Christ, freedom is big, complex, subversive, and world-changing. It is good news to the poor, release to captives, sight to the blind, resisting evil and injustice, deliverance from sin.

The jailer asked, “What must I do to be saved?” Paul and Simon replied,  Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” He was speaking about Jesus, who helped others and gave them hope. Their response permits us to open doors, to see beyond this moment, beyond oneself to something only God can make happen.

Listen to Pastor Jenny as she invites us to hear for ourselves how God is opening doors for us. She reminds us that we too are capable of doing that.  Where is God freeing us? Where is he inviting us to walk through an open door? How are we opening doors for others? What now? Take some time to tell others how God has opened doors for you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The sermon will be podcast soon on this webpage under the category “worship.” Here is the link

For the complete video of the June 2 service, found on Princeton United Methodist Church Facebook page, click here.  

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Congratulations To Pastor Ginny Cetuk

Congratulations to Pastor Ginny on her 45 years of service in the body of Christ. It is the life she is called to live.

Congratulatios also to Princeton UMC for getting Pastor Ginny to stay on in the category of ‘retired pastor’ for one more year. We pray for God’s guidance and strength for her.

During Coffee Hour, after the worship service on Sunday June 2, 2019, SPRC Chair Iona Harding joyfully told her”We are thankful that at this time in your career you are here with us.” She thanked Norman Cetuk for bringing the cake for his lovely wife.

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Sermon “Revealing Resurrection: An Amazing Detour”.

On Sunday, May 12, 2019, Pastor Jenny Smith Walz and  Youth Choir Director Tom Shelton presented a worship service with the theme “Revealing Resurrection: An Amazing Detour.” Selections from Broadway musicals by Stephen Schwartz illustrated the sermon. 

To illustrate the scripture from Acts 16:9-15, the Youth Choir sang “God Help the Outcasts.” Here is the song, not from the youth choir, but the movie “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.”

As part of her message, Pastor Jenny tells us that, “God has given me a vision and has brought resurrection in me. I have experienced renewal and healing and a new opening to God’s spirit. I have been able to see, and I hope that together, we can learn to see even more how God is giving us a vision.  We can  see how God is helping us to perceive a new reality, not only to see the outcasts among us, but also to see how we too are outcasts in need of God’s grace, how God is blessing us over and over.” 

She hopes, “God is giving each of us a vision that helps to move us from places of fear to places of trust.”

Listen to Pastor Jenny as she encourages us to be open to the miracles and the visions that are right here before us. 

Here is a link to the podcast of Pastor Jenny’s sermon

For the complete video of the May 12 service, found on Princeton United Methodist Church Facebook page,  click here.  

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Princeton United Methodist Church Seeking Director of Children’s Ministries

Princeton United Methodist Church BuildingPrinceton United Methodist Church in Princeton, NJ is seeking a part-time Director of Children Ministries to plan and lead the children’s programs, including the Sunday School program that helps the children of our diverse and welcoming congregation grow together in faith, fellowship, and discipleship.  The successful candidate for this position must be able to articulate her/his spiritual journey in the Christian faith, be able to teach and assist both children and teachers in doing the same, and help our children begin the quest for continued spiritual growth across their lifespan.

Requirements for this position include a minimum of a Bachelors’ Degree in an education or ministry-related field, active involvement in a church for at least ten years, present or previous participation in a United Methodist congregation, and a minimum of three years involvement with or leadership of children’s ministry.  At least one year of seminary is preferred.  Interested candidates will submit a cover letter and resume to jobs@princetonumc.org with Director of Children’s Ministries in the subject line.

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Farewell to Phoebe Quaynor, Director of Children’s Ministries at Princeton UMC

Congratulations to Phoebe Quaynor, who has been accepted at  Penn State to pursue a Ph.D. program in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Postcolonial Children’s Literacy. She says, “her doctoral program would allow her to present and produce literature as a tool in restoring identity and dignity in places where there has been none, or there has been a deformation.”  

Phoebe has been Director Of Children’s Ministries here in Princeton UMC and will be leaving at the end of June. She has been such a blessing to our Children’s Ministries, Sunday School, our teachers and, most of all, our children.  She believes that any classroom is a site for transformation, not just for giving information, while adding, “My prayer is that parents and volunteer Sunday School teachers know that what they do each day, though not celebrated enough, is a response to God’s call to accompany a child on their spiritual journey.”  

Phoebe has also served as a seminary intern, confirmation instructor, worship leader, and guest preacher. She received her Master’s Degree in Divinity and Master of Arts in Christian Education from Princeton Theological Seminary.

We express our sincerest gratitude to her for the valuable skills and positive qualities she brought to Princeton UMC.

As we say farewell to Phoebe, we are proud that she has decided to pursue further postgraduate study. We wish her continued success throughout this new journey.

There will be a Special Coffee Hour to thank and celebrate Phoebe Quaynor on Sunday, June 16, 2019, immediately following Worship.

  

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Contemporary Issues New Topic, New Book – ‘Moral Clarity: A Guide for Grown-Up Idealists’

Starting Sunday, May 19, 2019, the Contemporary Issues class will be reading ‘Moral Clarity’ by Susan Neiman. 

According to its chair, Charles Phillips, “We chose this book because we wanted to discuss a contemporary philosopher’s thoughts on morality and compare them with our understanding of morality as based on our faith.” 

The introduction to this book, ‘Moral Clarity,’ stated: “Moral inquiry and political activism start where reasons are missing. When righteous people suffer, and wicked people flourish, we begin to ask why. Demands for moral clarity ring long, loud bells because it is something we are right to seek”.

Listen to Susan Neiman in her own words https://youtu.be/ABJSZk4HVvc 

The Contemporary Issues class meets on Sundays at 8:45 a.m. at the church library and precedes the 10:00 a.m. worship service so that attendees can benefit from both experiences

The subjects addressed are chosen by those who wish to attend, with a focus on issues that individuals, families, groups, and countries face in the world today. The group has lively discussions, and everyone can participate. 

All adults are welcome to join this weekly discussion group.

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