Virtual Shepherds and Sheep

The story is the same, but — the presentation is so different this year! As Sunday School children rehearse for the annual pageant, some parts are different and some the same.

Some of the differences: Mary wears headphones and a vital skill is for every child to know how to mute themselves.

The virtual challenges are written into the script: When the shepherds stare at the angels in disbelief, the angel puts her face up to the screen and reprimands – Am I on mute? Are you people even listening?

The script is published by Illustrated Ministry (#illustratedmin), which provides materials for the very successful Compassion Camp. Though skillfully written for virtual rehearsal and presentation, it is still a huge challenge for the children, their parents, and especially the teachers and directors, Tom Shelton and Evangeline Burgers. One advantage to virtual rehearsals, as Evangeline points out, is that attendance has actually improved!

Most elements are the same. Yes, there will be costumes. Yes, there will be the excitement of a live presentation – after just five rehearsals, there will be just one recording, made on the morning of December 13, for presentation at 5 p.m. that day. Yes, we will hear the original words of the story of Jesus’s birth. “Glory to God in the highest…” and “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my savior.” 

Remember to invite friends and family to tune in to “Do Not Be Afraid,” on Sunday, December 13, at 5 p.m. And look forward to smiling as we watch these children: 

 

Grown-ups and Children DaSilva Family

Mary Lily Oesterle

Angel Gabe Juli Collins

Elizabeth Anna Griffiths

Joseph Ethan Hamilton

Angel Elizabeth Wong

Caesar Andrew Babler

Shepherds Sequoah Hadley, Andrew Babler, Christian Turner, Elliot Walz, Amissah Hagan, Tono Delcorazon

The Angel Messenger Charlotte Oesterle

Angel Chorus Elizabeth Wong, Kate Potts, Claire Hutton-Brady, Alice Hutton-Brady

Sheep Ajube Hagan, Henry Burgers, Edie Potts, RJ Aryeetey, Andrew Aryeetey, Zion Hicks

Star Victoria Offer

King Herod and Magi The Penn Family

 

 

Children’s Time: “Who Built the Stable?”

For the second Sunday in Advent, Who Bulit the Stable?  was read at Children’s Time by Pastor Jenny Smith Walz. Written and illustrated by Ashley Bryan. it tells of a boy, a shepherd and a carpenter, who helped provide the place where Jesus was born.

The boy looked in the infant’s eyes
And in his heart he knew
The babe would be a carpenter
He’d be a shepherd too.

As the publisher says, “this is a picture book that captures the reason for the season in all its wonder and beauty. Who Built the Stable? is a celebration of Christmas, of the kindness of children, and of the new hope born with each new baby.”

Coats Coats Coats — and Dinners, at CCK

Judy Miller carried all the Clothes Closet offerings outdoors on the last distribution day for the season. On the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, Judy and the CCK volunteers distributed dozens of coats, donated through the Princeton Police collection. “We were outside using extra portable lights. We put chock blocks under the wheels of the rolling racks so they wouldn’t roll down the inclined slope between the church and consignment store. We even lashed some racks with rope to nearby structures. Some definitely challenging logistics. But so worth it. Our shoppers were so grateful.

Letter to the Congregation: Annual Conference Legislation

November 4, 2020

Dear Friends:

Please join us this Sunday, November 8, following worship at 11:30 a.m. to hear about and participate in a discussion about two new pieces of legislation that were passed by our GNJUMC Annual Conference in October.   This session will be via Zoom at: 

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/8536670465?pwd=ZkdtNGM5Mi9xaUk5ejZMWWF6aHZjQT09

Or dial in:  929 436 2866, Meeting ID: 853 667 0465, Passcode: 7862       

At this year’s virtual Annual Conference of the GNJUMC in October, a number of new pieces of legislation were discussed and approved.  We would like to provide an overview of the Conference and details on two specific pieces of legislation:  A Journey of Hope and A Resolution in Support of Black Lives Matter.

A Journey of Hope directly addresses the sin of racism and the oppression and enslavement of African Americans and Native Americans in the Greater New Jersey Area.  A Journey of Hope establishes financial resources and sets specific actions and goals for increasing leadership diversity, ministries, and policies and procedures within our Conference.  While having goals that go into future years, we at PUMC can begin our participation in this work now.  Here is a link to more information about A Journey of Hope:  https://www.gnjumc.org/2020annualconference/journey-of-hope/.

A Resolution in Support of Black Lives Matter calls us to recognize, engage in self-examination, engage in acts of mercy and justice, and to dismantle the sin of racism in GNJ.

Our Conference has taken a bold stand in passing legislation that affirms that racism is a sin and that, as Christians, we are called to dismantle it.  At the session on November 8, we will review the legislation and begin a dialogue on what this means to PUMC as we live this charge.

Please plan to join us.

Blessings,

Pastor Jenny Smith Walz

Pastor Skitch Matson

Edwin Francisco, Lay Member to Annual Conference

Iona Harding, Lay Member to Annual Conference

Emelia Timpo, Lay Member to Annual Conference

Celebrating from the Bottom: Sermon, November 1

Failure can be a friend! suggested Pastor Jenny Smith Walz on November 1, 2020. As in science experiments. But sometimes it is time to let go…God loves choosing the wrong people….Forgiveness is foundational.

Tune into her sermon on this web page – look for “worship” and page through the dates for November 1.

Here are some of the resources that Pastor Jenny mentioned or was inspired by.

Philippians 3: 7-4.1 Philippians 3: 7 and 8: For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and I regard them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but one that comes through faith in Christ,[a] the righteousness from God based on faith.

Holy Troublemakers and Unconventional Saints by Daneen Akerset is a book for children that Evangeline Burgers has used in her ministry.

Rumi’s poem, “The Guest House”. 

A Kids Book about Failure. By Laymon Hicks. 

Pastor Jenny has referred to books by Brene Brown, and Brown’s Rising Strong. ,deals with the subject in much more depth.

And then that wonderful hymn, For All the Saints…

 

Tom Shelton’s New Anthem for All Saints’ Day

Here is a link to the premiere of “Into the World of Light” by Tom Shelton and Camilla Pruitt. A re-engineered version may be found here: PUMC Youth Choir – Oct 2020 subtitles De Hiss De crackle.mp4 – OneDrive

Dedicating his new anthem to those who lost their lives to Covid-19, Tom Shelton, director of Princeton UMC’s Youth Choirs, took all the precautions against the disease. Recording outdoors at Veteran’s Park in Lawrenceville, the singers wore special “singers masks,” and Delaney McCarty’s flute had its own mask. Bill Gardner managed the recording.

After finding no appropriate anthem for the youth choir to sing on All Saints Day, Tom had written “Into the World of Light” with his sister, Camilla Pruitt. The text  is based on Ecclesiastes 3:11 and words by 17th century poet Henry Vaughan, including these lines:

They are all gone into the world of light!/ As stars and angels in my dreams

Lighting the darkness with a ray of light/As Saints illumine me. 

To hear  “Into the World of Light” in the context of the All Saints Day worship, tune in to the archived worship service for November 1 at Princeton United Methodist Church’s  web page, or on Facebook.

Service of Lament and Healing 10/29/20 at 7 pm

 

Troubling times like these call us to lament our sorrows and cry out to God together as a community. Please join us for a virtual service of Lament and Healing on Thursday, October 29 at 7 pm. This service will be livestreamed on this website at this link (not on Facebook) and will include an opportunity for individual prayer via Zoom breakout room during the service (The Zoom link will be available on the video page) We will ask God to meet us in our pain, give us courage, and grant us hope and healing through one another and in Christ. We hope you’ll join us. 

Even those of us who haven’t lost something we’d consider major or tangible, even those of us who aren’t grieving the death of a loved one, we’ve lost our sense of normalcy, our ability to plan, our rhythms, the options we are used to having. We are having to use our energy in different ways, make all sorts of choices we never had to before, think through things with new factors in mind. It takes courage to lay this out before God and one another. ..

During the service you will be able to request private prayer with a member of the pastoral staff via the individual Zoom rooms. After the livestream, the video of the service – but not the Zoom rooms – will be archived on the Princeton  UMC website to watch at a later time.

 

Welcome to PrincetonUMC Interns for 2020-2021!

“Hello, I am Carly Bartow. I have been attending Princeton UMC since the Fall of 2019. I am a second-year MDiv student and my greatest passion is homeless ministry! I have been a UMC member since 2014 and I’m very devoted to the Methodist Church. I am working and studying remotely from Northwest Arkansas this academic year where I am happy to be close to my home church, Genesis UMC, and living with my best buddy, his wife, and eight-month-old baby girl. I am looking forward to being able to be a part of Princeton UMC this year as well, and I hope that we can grow closer to God, to each other, and in mission this year!”

“I’m Tayler Necoechea (neck-oh-chay-ah) and I’m a 2nd year MDiv student at Princeton Seminary. My pronouns are she/her/hers. I am originally from San Diego, California and when I’m home I love spending time near the beach. My particular interests are women in the Old Testament and talking about discipleship and families but when I’m not in school or at church I am painting or cooking! I am very thankful to be a part of Princeton UMC this year.” Tayler feels strongly that she is called to be ordained as an elder in the UMC as a minister of Word, Order, Sacrament, and Service. For her candidacy letter to the congregation, click here.

Hyelim Yoon is a second-year MDiv student at Princeton Theological Seminary. She is originally from Cheongju, South Korea, and studied Theology at Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea before coming to Princeton last year. When she first visited our church on the Easter of 2019, she was captivated by the diversity and welcoming spirit of Princeton UMC and decided to be part of our community since then. Hyelim is so excited to serve our open and unique church community, and she is hoping to contribute to deepening our congregation’s inclusiveness. For Hyelim’s letter to the congregation, click here.