The World of Energy: Claudio Da Silva’s Personal Journey

United Methodist Men sponsor “A Personal Journey into The World of Energy” on  Sunday, 

At  12 Noon on Sunday, September 20, the United Methodist Men presents a Zoom talk featuring our own Claudio Da Silva who will talk about the foundations of the New Age movement and its similarities and the divergences with the ways of Christ under the title: “My 10 Year Journey Into the World of Energy.”  Everyone is invited.

Everyone is invited to the Zoom presentation. Here is the direct link  to the zoom presentation, accessible with the passcode “pumc.”

Or go to the church calendar and find the link with complete information. 

Claudio will share with us his experience of the New Age teachings regarding energy, the concept of God in us, the veneration of nature and the subjectivity of truth. How are these aspects similar or in opposition with the message of Christ?

Next month, on Tuesday evenings, Claudio will lead a small group experience, “Meditation and Holy Healing.”

Born in Switzerland, living part of his life in Angola, Claudio explored monastic practices in India and other places, including making a 900 mile pilgrimage alone in complete silence. Through these experiences, he felt a liberation through melting with God’s Grace. Through his experiences of different religions and spiritual approaches he became aligned with God’s Truth which brought him deeper into the message of Christ.  Claudio now lives in Princeton with his wife and two daughters. He works as a life coach and health practitioner.

For information about “Meditation and Holy Healing,” email

Ed Felten speaks September 10

Dr. Ed Felten will speak about his two years in the White House on Sunday, September 10 at 8 a.m. All are welcome to the hot breakfast, prepared by Ian Macdonald and served by the United Methodist Men. That day is also the Fall Kickoff — worship begins at 10 a.m., followed by a “Get connected” fair.

A long-time member of the congregation, Ed is Princeton University’s Robert E. Kahn Professor of Computer Science and Public Affairs and founding director of the Center for Information Technology Policy, which hosts the blog  Freedom to Tinker.  In 2015-2017 he served in the White House as Deputy U.S. Chief Technology Officer. Previously he he served as the first Chief Technologist at the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. 

His research interests include computer security and privacy, and technology law and policy. He has published more than 100 papers in the research literature, and two books. His research on topics such as Internet security, privacy, copyright and copy protection, and electronic voting has been covered extensively in the popular press.

Another opportunity to hear Ed will be at the Princeton Regional Chamber luncheon on Thursday, October 5, at 11:30 a.m. at the Forrestal Marriott.  Princeton United Methodist Church is a chamber member, and constituents may attend for the member price.



John Kuhlthau: Faith and Works

The Honorable John S. Kuhlthau, a PUMC member, will speak at the breakfast sponsored by the United Methodist Men on Sunday, April 9, at 8 a.m. He will give a talk titled “Faith and Works — as Judge and Layman.“  All are welcome, a $5 donation is encouraged.

John and Carol Kuhlthau

John is a Methodist through and through. A graduate of Princeton University (Class of 1958) he went to Wesley Foundation meetings at Princeton UMC, and later served as Trustee Chair. He and Carol Collier Kuhlthau were married here. He attended Drew Theological Seminary, earned his J.D. at Rutgers University Law School, and served as Public Defender and as Middlesex County Prosecutor. But he felt called to resign and devote full-time, on behalf of the Methodist Church, to the bipartisan ‘Casinos – No Dice’ campaign, working closely with Rev. Jack Johnson in church meetings and shopping malls with youth volunteers.”Casino gambling was defeated on its first referendum, but of course, it was re-designed and the voters approved,” says John.

Meanwhile his law firm helped shepherd the union of three UMC churches in New Brunswick. Returning to public service, he sat as a Judge for 22 years, most recently in Superior Court. He and Carol moved to Princeton and joined PrincetonUMC. when he retired. Among his current projects is the annual John Suydam Kuhlthau Bioethics Conference at New Brunswick Theological Seminary. His most recent honor is the Order of the Tower at The Pennington School. 

Welcome back, Tom Lank

Welcome back to Rev. Tom Lank!  He and his family return to PUMC on Sunday, February 12 so that he can speak at the breakfast served by United Methodist Men. His topic: United Methodist Volunteers in Mission. He will also preach at both services, on the sermon series topic “Life in Community,” based on Deuteronomy 30:15-20 

Tom is a United Methodist Deacon and a product of Princeton UMC, where he discerned his call to ministry as a layperson, and served on staff as the Associate Pastor from 2008-2010.   Tom led the mission trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo  that launched PUMC’s strong support for United Front Against Riverblindness. He currently serves as the Coordinator of the United Methodist Volunteers in Mission program for the Northeastern Jurisdiction, covering United Methodist congregations from Maine to West Virginia to Washington, DC.  Tom, his wife Gretchen Boger, and their two children, Edith (11) and Alice (8) currently live in Philadelphia.

UMM cooks the tasty hot breakfast, and it’s not ‘just for guys.’ Everyone  is invited; a $5 donation is suggested.

Sunday School: Not Just for Kids

In addition to Bible studies that meet during the week, two adult classes welcome newcomers on Sunday at 9:30 a.m.

The Contemporary Issues Class is starting a new study based on The Unwinding by George Packer. Through a series of glimmering short essays, Packer has put together a story of how wealth has concentrated itself in the United States in the second half of the twentieth century, and the first decade of the 21st. “We meet every Sunday at 9:30 a.m. in the Library. We welcome new class members,” says Charles Phillips.

The Heart of Faith class meets in Fellowship Hall on Sundays at 9:30. Led by Rev. Don Brash, it will study the differences between the Word as Jesus of Nazareth, the word as the preaching of the preacher, and the Word as the messages of the Scriptures. “We will explore the possible ways of understanding God’s relationship to the words of the Bible and the words of the preacher,” says Don. He is associate professor of historical theology at Palmer Theological Seminary. Everyone is welcome.

What does God do?

“Creation” mural by Michele Jagodzinski





God works in at least seven ways, said  Machaela Irving, director of Christian Education.

In January at the Christian Education committee meeting, she offered this mini-study on what we are teaching our children.

God creates.

God sustains.

God loves.

God suffers.

God judges.

God redeems.

God reigns.

For a more complete explanation of this part of “Our Christian Roots,”  click here.

It is based on the  based on the United Methodist  Member’s Handbook.  

Bring the Family: January 16 Interfaith Service: Martin Luther King Jr.

Every year the Princeton Clergy Association holds an Interfaith Service in honor of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. , and this year our church will host it. On Monday, January 16 at 7 p.m. people from all walks of life and from different faith communities will converge on our corner of Nassau Street. At this tumultuous moment in our nation’s history, this will be an opportunity to welcome our neighbors — to pray together and sing together.

The preacher, Minister William D. Carter , is also a singer-songwriter (here is a clip from his concert at the Princeton Shopping Center) and the former minister of music at First Baptist Church of Princeton. Currently he is a third-year student at the Princeton Theological Seminary. He has served in South Africa and directs an organization that plans interfaith events at the United Nations. He is also scheduled to entertain at One Table Cafe, the ‘pay what you can’ dinner program at Trinity Episcopal Church, on Friday, January 20.

Bring the family! “Attendees are encouraged to bring their children, as the service will conclude by 8:30 pm to enable them to go to bed in a timely way on a school night,” says Rev. Robert Moore, treasurer of the Princeton Clergy Association and executive director of the Coalition for Peace Action which co-sponsors the service.

A  freewill offering will be split equally between the United Negro College Fund and the Coalition for Peace Action ( or 609-924-5022).

Hosting this special service gives a a chance to put our mission statement into action — to demonstrate that we are indeed a diverse community, that we joyfully reach out to serve all people.

Training for God’s Work

Bishop John Schol gives the Greater New Jersey conference a report card here  Among his recommendations are to reach out like a new church (hint: sponsor an Easter Egg hunt NOT on church grounds) and to  “take the church to the community”

  1. Plan “bridge events” designed explicitly to draw people from the community by providing for them something they need or enjoy — block parties, free concerts, seasonal events, parenting classes, sports camps, or school supply giveaways, etc. Source: Get Their Name by Bob Farr, Doug Anderson, and Kay Kotan (Abingdon Press, 2013)
  2. Hold these events off church property or outside the church walls in venues where people feel comfortable and naturally congregate.

As church leaders, we are urged to take training.

Here is the link to “Back to Basics” training for church council members, available in various locations on January 28, 29, or 31. Also February 21 or 23.  Those who have attended say the conference training is excellent! 

The conference’s United Methodist Women have a winter retreat on Monday, February 20 at the Pinelands (former Mt. Misery!) and the registration deadline is supposed to be January 15.

Growing the Church Younger on March 5 is an intriguing conference in Wayne.

Paul Nixon, author of “Weird Church: welcome to the 21st century” will be the keynote speaker at OUTBOUND, A Day on Evangelism, on Saturday, March 25, in Wayne.

On a national level, the Discipleship Ministries of the United Methodist Church offer a plethora of resources. These webinars are available even retroactively and are easy to sign up for.

Leading Congregations Effectively in a Global World, webinar Tuesday, January 17, 7 pm

Church Council: What’s My Role? webinar Tuesday, January 27, 7 pm

What Every Child Should Experience – downloadable guide for teachers and leaders

Older Adult Ministry – how can adults help form children’s faith – webinar to listen to

Baby Boomer spirituality webinars starting Tuesday, January 24, 7 p.m.

How to talk politics in your church without being unChristian, webinar Monday, January 23, 2 p.m.

Healthy Family series: setting financial goals, webinar Tuesday, February 7, 2 p.m.

Here are some downloadable booklets from Discipleship Ministries

From Numbers to Narratives – using a narrative budget

How to Have a Courageous Conversation 

Writing as a Calling, Ministry, & Work

Here are some downloadable booklets from a non-denominational organization Practical Resouces for Churches 

It offers many of the resources that we can find at UMC national headquarters, and the webinars require membership, but some are worth looking at. The booklets seem to be free.

Basic Teacher Training 

On a local level, Princeton Community Works offers useful workshops on Monday, January 30.

Samples: the Three R’s of Volunteer Management, How to Run a Productive Meeting, Tools and Techniques to Build an engaged and Motivated Team.

Overwhelming? Yes. Less daunting if you attend with a friend. Seek out someone you don’t know, someone different from you, and offer this as a bonding experience. You and the church will be enriched.

Chinese New Year: Fellowship Lunch January 22

We will celebrate the Chinese New Year at a luncheon with our church family on Sunday, January 22, even though China, Korea, Japan, the Philippines and other countries observe New Year’s Day on January 1 of the Lunar Calendar.

As you all aware there are twelve animals symbolizing the 12 year cycle. The year of 2017 is ‘Rooster’ – a tenth symbol comes after Monkey.

Here  would be a good place to tell a story that every child in Korea is told about regarding these twelve animals. God gathered all twelve animals – Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig. He told them there will be a race to decide which animal is superior. So they started the race. All animals started to run as fast as they could.

To make the story short I cannot tell you what happened during the entire race. But who do you think won the race? Tiger? Dog? Maybe Horse? It was the Rat. He rode on the top of Ox’s head. And he jumped in front of him a moment before the Ox was about to pass the finishing line. Rat took the first place and Ox came in the second place. The story tells that how cunning a rat is. How an ox is a hard working animal.

By the way, the pig came in the last. Well, so a pig perceives as a slow and lazy animal in our culture.

Getting back to our Luncheon– there will be Chinese, Philippines and Korean food. The menu is a top secret. You will find out when you come to celebrate with your church family. But here is a piece of the secret. You will get a chance to make your own dumplings and take it home to cook for those who want to try. Mark your calendar — it is on January 22 after the 11 am service. Hope to see you all there. —

Hyosang Park, Music Director

So, What’s Your Story?

Everybody’s invited to hear Skitch Matson speak at the breakfast on Sunday, January 8, 8 a.m. in Fellowship Hall. Skitch will talk about the role of sharing faith stories as a way to deepen Christian community.

“From looking at the Gospel of John, to hearing contemporary examples, we will explore how sharing faith stories deepens the relationship between Us and God, Us and Others, and Us and Ourselves,” he says.

Skitch is our Youth Pastor and also directs the Wesley Foundation at Princeton University.  Originally from California, Skitch attended Princeton Theological Seminary and graduated with an M.Div in 2016. He works mainly with youth and young adults, but loves hearing the faith stories from all people, firmly believing that we can learn more about God through each person’s experience. Skitch is a Locally-Licensed UMC Pastor seeking ordination as an Elder in the Methodist Church.

The tasty hot breakfast — sausages, eggs, fruit, yogurt, coffee cake — is prepared by the United Methodist Men, but everyone — families, youth — is invited. A $5 donation is suggested.