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 is podcast 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 University 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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Help Send Teens to Appalachia

For four decades Princeton United Methodist Church sent teen and adult volunteers to work for the Appalachia Service Project (ASP) to help make homes warmer, safer, and drier.  A dinner auction and a handbell concert will benefit this summer’s mission trip.  The ASP dinner and auction is Friday, May 3 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 ($30 per family). To receive information about the dinner or the youth program, email Skitch@PrincetonUMC.org. 

A freewill offering will be taken at the handbell concert on Saturday June 1, at 2 p.m. The concert features Quarants, a nationally known quartet.

ASP is a Christian ministry, but it is open to those of any faith. It aims to inspire hope and service — instilling compassion for other people and a fresh appreciation for one’s place and purpose in the world. 

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Good Friday Service & Concert: April 19, 2019

 

On Good Friday, April 19 at noon, we will gather in the Sanctuary for a service. 

Then at 7:30 pm, we will have our Good Friday concert with the Chancel Choir and Chamber orchestra performing Luigi Cherubini’s Requiem.  Join us for this meaningful remembrance of Jesus’s sacrifice for us.

The Requiem in C minor for the mixed chorus was composed in Paris by Luigi Cherubini in 1816.  It premiered on January 21, 1817, at a commemoration service for Louis XVI of France on the twenty-third anniversary of his beheading during the French Revolution. Musicians such as BeethovenSchumann, and Brahms admired Cherubini’s great work.

 

 

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Honoring Larry Apperson with Chuck Inman Award – Saturday, April 13, 2019

On April 13 the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen (TASK) will present the Chuck Inman Memorial Award to Larry Apperson. The annual award honors an individual who has made a significant impact on feeding hungry people in Mercer County. Larry will be recognized for his long-standing service at TASK and for helping set up the very active satellite at Princeton UMC.

TASK serves those who are hungry in the Trenton area and offers programs to promote self-sufficiency and improve the quality of life of its patrons. As one of 16 satellites operated by TASK, Princeton Cornerstone Community Kitchen serves 100 meals each week. On April 6, 2019, Cornerstone recorded its 30,000th meal served since beginning in June 2012.

“We are proud of the help and commitment of our partners such as at Princeton United Methodist Church,” says Charlie Orth of TASK. “It’s leaders like Larry that make change happen.”

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Bible Presentation – Sunday, April 7, 2019

 

Do you remember your first Bible? Where is it now? On Sunday, April 7th during worship, PUMC repeated its beautiful annual tradition.  Each year, this church gives to each child in 4th grade their bible. The giving of Bibles is in service to their Biblical imagination while hearing God for themselves through the pages.

Every member of the congregation was asked to bring their first Bible to the church that Sunday. Those who didn’t have their first Bible brought their current Bible.

This Bible presentation is one of the climaxes of the Sunday School experience of the 4th Graders and their families with church members.

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