UMM Breakfast: Summer Camps by Home Front

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Connie Mercer, founder of Home Front, helps us celebrate Mothers’ Day by telling about summer camp for 165 children from struggling families. Sponsored by the United Methodist Men, who provide a delicious hot breakfast with all the trimmings, the breakfast is Sunday, May 10, 8 to 9:15 a.m. and is open to all. Suggested donation, $5.

Children in Mission: May 10

group photo kits P1010888 cropped During Lent, the 2nd-5th grade Sunday School Students collected supplies and bagged hygiene kits which Church World Service will distribute to those in need. Thanks to all who participated!! We made 31 kits and learned about service in a hands on way. All the teachers were very proud of the enthusiasm for helping others that the children demonstrated.

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On Sunday May 10 during 9:30 Worship, we will bless these kits before mailing them to CWS for distribution. The children will have the opportunity to help with the presentation. 

Welcome to the Oasis!

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WELCOME TO THE OASIS! This Sunday, for Communiversity, Princeton United Methodist Church will show radical hospitality — opening its doors to foot-weary Princeton visitors. We will offer rest rooms, table seating, sunscreen, and a toddler area. This “Oasis” will even feature a sandbox for toddler play.

The teens will sell baked goods for the Appalachia Service Project and the handbell choir will play.

It’s all in PUMC’s mission statement —

To be a place where ALL are welcome. We embrace and celebrate the vast diversity of the people in our communities, our country and our world.

More than 40,000 people are expected to attend.


“My help comes from the Lord”

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Such a scurry, in the 4th/5th grade class, to cut out flowers, illustrating both the Garden of Gethsemane and this month’s memory verse. Now it hangs outside Room 204, and it reminds us that after the time of trial came joy, and the fulfillment of the promise, “My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth” (Psalm 121:2).

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Sunday School Mission Project: March 2015

2012-12-kits-indonesia-350-1476In the spirit of service, the 2nd-3rd and 4th-5th grade Sunday School Classes will be sponsoring a mission project through Church World Service. The children in the 2nd-3rd grade class reviewed options last week and selected to prepare Hygiene Kits. According to Church World Service, “In the face of natural disasters, violence, or grinding poverty, Hygiene Kits can mean the difference between sickness and health for struggling families.”

(The photo shows a child displaced by the 2011 Mt. Merapi volcano eruption in Indonesia receiving CWS School and Hygiene Kits. Photo: Matt Hackworth/CWS)

Children can bring supplies from the list below to Sunday School from now through March 29. That day,  the children will assemble the kits. Then we will bless the kits in a church service and send them to Church World Service.

Supply List:

  • One hand towel measuring approximately 16″ x 28″ (no fingertip or bath towels)
  • One washcloth
  • One wide-tooth comb
  • One nail clipper
  • One bar of soap (bath size in wrapper)
  • One toothbrush (in original packaging)

When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant[a] is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.” John 13:12-17.

For stories about how the kits are used, click here.

by Tracey and the other Sunday School teachers



“Touched by Jesus”

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People who were “touched by Jesus” — that was the focus of January’s Sunday School classes, K-12. People like Jairus (Jesus healed his daaughter), the Samaritan Woman at the Well, the ten lepers, and the sisters, Mary and Martha. In this photo, the K-1 class.  We learned how Jesus changes people “one heart at a time.”

Singing our way to Christmas

Karen zumbrunn 3Celebrate the season with Christmas carols at Princeton United Methodist Church — starting with the Advent Extravaganza on Sunday, December 9, 4 to 7:30 p.m. Listen to the children’s choirs and Sunday School classes present the Christmas story and join in the singing. Then enjoy dinner and crafts followed by dessert and caroling, led by Dr. Karen Zumbrunn. (If your last name begins with A to L, bring a side dish. From M to Z, bring a dessert.) Questions?

Then at the United Methodist Men’s breakfast on Sunday, December 16, Dr. Zumbrunn plays and shares stories behind the carols. The delicious hot breakfast begins at 8 a.m. and the program is at 8:30 a.m. All are welcome. Please RSVP to or 609-924-2613 by Friday, December 12 at noon.

That night, December 14, 7:30 p.m., the combined choirs, directed by Hyosang Park and Tom Shelton, present Lessons and Carols From Around the World. A freewill offering will be taken.

On Sunday, December 21, at 4 p.m., the sanctuary hosts the New Jersey Gay Men’s Chorus as it presents Masters of Good Cheer.

And then — the candlelight services on Christmas Eve, 6 p.m. for families, a traditional service at 8 p.m.  Youth choir alumni are invited to sing with the youth choir: rehearsal at 7:15 p.m. in Room 203.

“People, look east and sing today: Love, the Lord is on the way.”

Children’s Sabbath: November 16

2014 nov Shelton choirJoin us on Sunday, November 16, for a Children’s Sabbath service, when the youngest members of our church will lead worship at both 9:30 and 11 a.m. Fourth graders will receive their Bibles and read from them. With Pastor Anna Gillette the fourth and fifth grade class will deliver the sermon.  Led by Tom Shelton, the children’s choirs — shown here in rehearsal — will  sing. All in all we look forward to a very special time, when together we worship God, our loving parent.

Meeting Tom Shelton

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Eager to meet Tom Shelton, the successor to Yvonne Macdonald, more than 50 people flocked to the Fellowship Hall after the worship service on August 10. Pam Bradley, from the Staff/Parish committee, introduced him: With 22 years of youth choir experience, Tom has bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and is assistant professor of sacred music at Westminster Choir College ; he is also associate director of the Princeton Girlchoir and conductor of its Cantores ensemble.

“Children and youth are an important part of ministry,” said Tom, telling how excited he is to be joining the ministry here. “When children and youth lead worship, they are giving of themselves.”

Tom wants the choirs to include everyone and encourages children and youth to invite their friends. We can try to arrange carpools. The Lower Elementary Choir will meet on Wednesday, 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., and the Upper Elementary Choir from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., with the first rehearsal on September 10. The Youth Choir rehearses on Sundays from 5 to 6 p.m., and the first rehearsal is September 7.

Tom was peppered with questions from children, youth, and parents. From second graders in the front row, “Will we play instruments? Will there be parties? ” (Yes to both!) . Other than moving the elementary choir rehearsals from Tuesday to Wednesday, he plans to make no immediate changes to PUMC’s excellent music program, saying, “As we go forward together we will make any changes together.”

Passing the Baton: Yvonne to Tom

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This press release announces Yvonne Macdonald’s retirement and Tom Shelton’s appointment as director of music for children and youth

“When children and youth feel what the lyrics are saying, the beauty comes alive,” says Tom Shelton. He is the new director of music for children and youth at Princeton United Methodist Church (PUMC), succeeding Yvonne Macdonald, who retired from that post after 40 years.

“Passing the baton to Tom Shelton is a joy and an honor for me,” says Macdonald. “Easing the transition is my belief that seeds sown over the years both in faith–and in music — are blossoming. I know the choirs are in excellent hands.”

With 22 years of youth choir experience, Shelton has bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He is assistant professor of sacred music at Westminster Choir College of Rider University and conducts the Princeton Girlchoir’s high school ensemble. He is also a prolific composer and aims to write special pieces for the PUMC choirs, ages three through high school. Shelton will be assisted by Anna de Groot.

Schools can teach character development, says Shelton, “but in church we can teach spiritual values. I encourage each child to relate the essence of the song to a personal experience in their lives.”

“We plan to make no immediate changes to PUMC’s excellent youth music program,” says Shelton.

Located at the corner of Nassau and Vandeventer in Princeton, PUMC is a diverse congregation whose members come from many surrounding communities, backgrounds, and faith histories. For information on joining the PUMC choirs, call 609-924-2613 or or