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.

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.

Cub Scouts Cook

Mike Babler, a Cub Scout den leader and PUMC member, brought his Scouts to PrincetonUMC’s kitchen to cook up some fun as a community service project for the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen (TASK). TASK had received a number of baking mixes. “We divided the mixes among the Scout dens, and then Scouts, family and friends baked brownies, cakes, cookies and muffins at various locations around town,” says Mike.

Mike and Kristin live in Belle Mead and their sons, Ryan and Andrew, are active in both Scouts and the PUMC Children’s Choir. Ryan’s den of fourth graders  meets at the Otto Kaufman Community Center in Montgomery.  He is second from left in the pack photo. 

Both boys really enjoy Scouting,” says Mike. “They had a blast cooking for TASK!”  

Circle of Friends: Next on November 13

All women who attend Princeton United Methodist Church are invited to Circle of Friends on second Tuesdays, every other month, in Fellowship Hall. The next meeting will be Tuesday, November 13 at 10:30 a.m. Bring your lunch; beverages and dessert will be provided.

Here is an account of the previous meeting on September 11:

Katheryn Ranta

The meeting opened with a hymn sing, led by Karen Zumbrunn, who had selected hymns to coordinate with the day’s presentation on Prayer. Katheryn Ranta shared a devotional reading and led in prayer. Beth Perrine led a short business meeting, introducing this year’s format of sharing the meeting responsibilities.

From left: Beth Perrine, Jenny Smith Walz, Pat Ostberg

Pat Ostberg and LaVerna Albury, from the Outreach Committee, told about volunteer opportunities at HomeFront, a Family Preservation Center in Ewing. . It houses 38 families along with many supportive services. A vote was taken to make a donation to support serving a breakfast at HomeFront. Circle of Friends is continuing our “caring project” of sending notes and cards to church members unable to attend church.

Our speaker was lead pastor Jenny Smith Walz. Pastor Jenny spoke about prayer. She presented how prayer has changed throughout her life, how she understands and experiences prayer now, and how she seeks to “pray without ceasing.” We shared our thoughts and questions on prayer. A time of fellowship over lunch followed.

At our next meeting, Tuesday, November 13 at 10:30 a.m., Dr. Katharine Doob Sakenfeld is our speaker. She was the second female professor at Princeton Theological Seminary, and she taught Old Testament for 43 years. She has a special interest in women and their relationship with the Bible. Among her books are  “Just Wives: Stories of Power and Survival in the Old Testament Today”

All women are welcome. Contact Beth Perrine (doberfern@aol.com) for information.

Party Game Night July 30

Ever laughed so hard you started crying? That’s exactly what our hand-picked party games do! Grab another person and a snack to share, and join us for Celebrity, Four-On-A-Couch, and Heads-Up on Sunday, July 30th, from 7pm-9pm in the Sanford-Davis Room.

Don’t know these games but still want to laugh, that’s totally fine! They’re a breeze to learn and we’d love to teach you. (Email Skitch if you have any questions skitch@princetonumc.org)

Youth News—Meet Jacob Davis

The youth program at PUMC includes multiple “Youth Staff” volunteers who dedicate their time to mentoring our teens. Most of these “Staff,” however, are new to PUMC. So, for the next few months we will showcase a short interview with each youth staff, allowing us to know a bit more about them and their passion for our youth. Hopefully this short piece will give you the courage to talk with them the next time you see them!

Blessings,

Pastor Skitch Matson

Q. Tell us a bit about where you’re from.

I was born and raised in Largo, FL right by the beach (near Tampa). After High School I joined the Coast Guard and spent a few years moving around from Virginia to North Carolina, and then eventually back to Jacksonville, FL.

Q. Do you have any past experiences working with youth?

For the past six years I have been working on and off with youth. I have volunteered at my home church when I was around, went on trips with my old youth group as an adult leader (but still a kid at heart), spent 2 weeks working at the Duke Youth Academy a few summers ago, and most recently spent just over a year as a small group leader at a youth group in Jacksonville with my wife, Rachel.

Q. How long have you been in Princeton?

We have now been in Princeton for almost 4 months. We moved here so I could finish my degree in Religion at TCNJ, and my wife, Rachel, could attend Princeton Theological Seminary.

Q.Why are you a Youth Staff?

I am a youth staff because youth matter so much to our church as well as our communities, which is often forgotten. They have great insight, valued praises, and real concerns; their voices need to be heard within our communities and congregations. It is a blessing to work with and walk through life with these students during this formative time in their lives.

Q. What does Youth Staff mean to you?

It’s a group of adults who come together with the hope that God will use us to show each student the endless love God has for each of them.

Q. I hear you like good books, what’s one that you would recommend? Reaching Out: Reaching Out: The Three Movements of the Spiritual Life”  by Henri J.M. Nouwen.

Halloween Fun for Monday Morning Group

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Undaunted by the spectre of the trick or treaters on Halloween Night, the Monday Morning Group invites everyone to wear costumes to its regular Bible study from 10 to 11:30 on Halloween morning in the library at PUMC.

Afterwards they will troupe down Nassau Street, stopping at Panera for lunch. Who knows, maybe they will even score some candy, suggests Nancy Beatty, Chief Instigator of this caper. Whatever happens they’ll be having fun.

Anyone is welcome to join this group. It’s mostly women, but men are welcome.

PUMC Circle of Friends Meeting September 13, 2016

img_2558The Circle of Friends held their monthly meeting at 10:30 a.m on Tuesday September 13 at the PUMC Fellowship Hall with twelve members present. Beth opened the meeting with a devotion and introduced the guest speaker.

Susan Gange ofimg_2550 PUMC gave a talk on “Successfully Growing Orchids in the Home.” Her presentation  covered different types of orchids such as Phalaenopsis, Oncidiums, Dendrobiums, Cattleyas, and Paphiopedilums as well as her secrets to successful home orchid growing.

Susan was awarded a trophy for the Best Professionally Grown Phalaenopsis Orchid at the Southeastern Pennsylvania Orchid Society International Show in Oaks, PA in April of this year. She also owns Stony Brook Orchids, a large orchid greenhouse in Pennington, New Jersey. Stony Brook Orchids offers orchids and supplies at farmers markets in and around Princeton.

Topics covered by Susan included light, temperatures, water, humidity, fertilizer and potting. The Phalaenopsis orchid is one of the best orchids for growing at home. It grows well in bright windows. Water is critical for this plant which must never dry out but at the same time one must keep in mind that over-watering kills. She recommended watering only on a sunny day before noon so that the leaves are dry by nightfall.  Water should be kept off the leaves to prevent diseases attacking them. In warm weather 1/4 teaspoon of fertilizer per gallon of water should be used with every watering. In winter fertilizer may be applied once a month. Humidity levels must be between 50% and 80%. Potting is best done in the Spring after blooming, with plants potted in a well-draining mix. For best results repotting is usually done annually. Plastic or clay pots are the perfect choice for repotting.

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The Circle of Friends were thrilled with Susan’s presentation and purchased unusual and rare orchids from the lovely array of plants on display, assuring her that they would carefully follow her instructions. Others promised to visit her greenhouse or call for advice. The presentation was followed by lunch and the group’s monthly business discussions. For dessert, Catherine provided a delicious apple honey cake. Karin closed the meeting with the reading of a poem and leading the group in prayer.

All church women are invited to join the Circle of Friends at their next meeting in November 2016, in the Fellowship Hall at PUMC. For more information, please contact the church office at 609-924-2613 or visit www.princetonumc.org

‘Aging with Grace’ at Suppers on June 9

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Dorothy Mullen and John Vaccaro at the UMM breakfast in January

When Suppers Program founder Dorothy Mullen spoke at the January UMM breakfast, she inspired Anna Looney to enlist some PUMC volunteers to “cook, taste, and feel our way to vibrant health,” as Mullen would say.

Ten people gathered in the Fellowship Hall kitchen for the inaugural PUMC Suppers small group on May 12. The overall theme of this new small group is ‘Aging with Grace’ and entails people learning together how to prepare non-processed foods in ways that promote healthy aging. The activities included preparing wholesome, whole foods together, then enjoying the meal around a ‘family table.’

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Anna Looney facilitates the first small group “Aging with Grace” in May.

The menu, set in advance, included delicious Turkey Gallimaufry, Lentil Stew (vegan), a large green salad with Herb Garlic dressings and Carson Seed crackers. The conversation focused on understanding the concepts of biological individuality, self-care and good health. The attendees discussed what foods work well for sustaining them while providing wholesome energy and blood sugar stability.

If you’re interested in learning more about Suppers or being on the email list, please contact Anna through office@princetonumc.org.

The second gathering will be on Thursday, June 9 at 6 p.m. Those who attend will cook part of the meal in PUMC’s kitchen. The cost is $15 and all are invited; RSVP to Anna Looney. Following on the first table topic, biological individuality, the second event will focus on how we feel when we eat certain foods. The menu will include:

  • Griggstown Organic Chicken Sausage
  • Beet & Quinoa Salad
  • Fresh Garden Salad with Baby Bok Choy
  • Carson’s Seed Crackers
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Betsy Arnold helps prepare the meal for the “Aging with Grace’ small group

Suppers is a non-profit Princeton-based program that promotes non-judgmental support for healthy eating with like-minded people who enjoy delicious food as close to nature as possible. No membership fee is required; the only cost is sharing the expenses of the wholesome ingredients. It’s a wonderful mission to which PUMC’s new Kitchen and Fellowship can contribute. All are welcome!

 

PUMC Circle of Friends Meeting April 12, 2016

 

On Tuesday, April 12, the Circle of Friends held their monthly meeting at the church. The meeting started at 11:00 in the FellowP1070479 robbieship Hall with some 19 members honoring the memory of Robbie Vaccaro, a beloved member of the circle, who died on Saturday, March 26, 2016.   Each lady said something special about Robbie as they look back on some happy moments they shared with her.  Some of Robbie’s most memorable qualities were the work she did on her and John’s farm, raising butterflies, caring for others, being the ultimate friend or absolute role model, dutifully reminding members to attend meetings, making delicious cakes and desserts, graciously hosting hospitality diners and, of course, aging gracefully.

scott sherrill headshotPastor Scott Sherrill gave an interesting and informative talk on “Prayer”, an issue that struck a chord with everyone. He took participants through the spectrum of types of prayer, showing why, when, where, what and how to pray. He spoke on the history of Christian prayer including the Wesley Covenant Prayer adapted by John Wesley, which is used in Methodist services for renewing our covenant with God. He examined what happens to us when we pray, and what it means to have prayers answered or unanswered.

Seven things every Christian should know about prayer:

  1. Types of prayer? Not necessarily a long or elaborate prayer.Circle Of Friends Prayer.001 There are prayers of praise, thanksgiving, supplication, lamentation, intercession, etc. God just wants to hear from us. However, we should not beat ourselves up if we do not know how to pray.
  2. Why pray? Prayer makes us aware of how we need to connect with God and relate with others. Prayer also makes us aware of things God wants us to do.  
  3. When to pray? There is no wrong time to pray. We can pray first thing in the morning, in the shower, at the gym, in traffic, when we sit down to eat, driving so as to be safe, during a presentation or at the moment of celebration.
  4. Where to pray? Pray in a place that is best for us, that connects us to God. It can be in the bedroom, in the car, in the office, outdoors, on vacation, at home where if we wish, we can create a sacred place to meet with God and help us draw closer to Him.
  5. How to pray? There are many ways to pray and there is no strict rule. Pray like a child saying what’s on their mind. Pray as an individual or as a group.   Pray with so much joy uspraying1ing the whole body or with hands up in the air. We can also connect with God through meditative prayer, breathe in praying22and breathe out prayer, or by meditation when outdoors in nature. Putting our prayer in writing and talking in tongues are other forms of prayer as recorded inActs 2:17.  
  6. What to pray? The words we use reflect the categories of things to pray for such as the objects and events in our life that we are thankful for. Also, the recognition that God is a good God who loves His children as well as praise and adoration of a majestic and powerful God.  Supplication prayer is bringing our needs to God. This helps us to understand what is important in our life but does not necessarily mean that praying3we will get what we ask for. It is also good to pray for someone else, as with the prayer of intercession in the church. Being sorry is giving us an opportunity to change our ways while prayers of lament give voice to our pain and misery as we pour out our heart to God. The Book of Psalms is full of prayers of lament if only we take the time to read them.
  7. Who are we praying to?  It is more about listening to God than about our own Version 2services. It’s about God talking back to us through the things we pray about. God also speaks to us when we read the Scriptures.The Psalms can be a huge resource of prayers. Some people hear God’s message for them through dreams and visions.  Lectio Divina is a way of praying the scriptures to communicate with God, a practice common in the game of football. We read the scripture slowly, letting the words wash over us, meditate and then pray.

It was a very special day for Scott. Not only was he an inspirational speaker at the Circle of Friends meeting but his lovely wife Deb celebrated her birthday that same day and together they had lunch with the ladies. A dessert of carrot cake was provided by Karen, who unfortunately could not make it to the meeting.

All church women are invited to join the Circle of Friends at their next meeting on Tuesday, June 14, 2016, at Louise Apperson’s house for their annual picnic. For more information, please contact the church office at 609-924-2613 or visit www.princetonumc.org