“Even though we are all distinguished from each other, together, we are the Body of Christ. We each have a particular role that we play, but we all affect one another in significant and powerful ways. Our commitment to diversity, to justice, to truth-telling – these are the things that hold us together.”

We invite you to reflect on this Quote from Pastor Jenny’s Sermon of Sunday, January 31, 2021  and receive the comfort that God offers you at this time of uncertainty.  At Princeton United Methodist Church, you can experience God in a real way while being part of a beloved community. Click here to watch the PUMC worship service and listen to the sermon.

Written by Isabella Dougan

Letter To The Congregation: GNJ Leadership

Dear Clergy and Congregational Leaders,

Blessings for the new year. Thank you for your ministry and service to God, the church, and the world as we celebrate the Epiphany.

The following are essential actions and information for this week.

1. Small Groups for Epiphany on Wednesday – All
As we transition to a new year, God will be revealed to us anew. All are invited to share in small group sessions on Wednesday, Jan. 6 at 9:00 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. to explore how God is speaking to us through observing, quieting and curiosity. Please share this invitation with your congregation.
Zoom link for small groups   Webpage for more information

2.  January 10 Epiphany Services – Pastors, SPRC, Worship Leaders
The second Epiphany service created to provide renewal time for our clergy is available for download and will be broadcast live on GNJ’s YouTube and Facebook pages at 9:00 a.m. on January 10. All congregations are encouraged to provide a time of renewal for your pastors by using this service on January 10 and inviting worshipers to join in a small group session on January 13. For more information.

3.  Special Annual Conference Session – All Clergy and Lay Members to the Annual Conference
A special annual conference session will be held remotely from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Friday, January 22 to review a shared billing plan and adopt any necessary budget changes. The session will be conducted over Zoom and registration for the session will be open later this week. Look for an email on January 8 with a report outlining recommendations. Two information sessions will be held on January 12.  For more information.

4. Second Round of PPP Funding – Pastors, Treasurers and Finance Chairperson  
Congress has passed additional funding for PPP loans which includes forgivable loans for churches and nonprofits whose income was 25% less in at least one quarter in 2020 as compared to 2019. Last year, GNJ, its congregations and ministries received more than $8 million in PPP funding. The Small Business Administration will be issuing guidance on the application process this week and GNJ will inform and resource you as details become available, but you should prepare to act quickly as soon as the application process is open. All congregations, including those who received funding last year, are strongly encouraged to apply. For information on key provisions of this new funding, visit our web pages here.

In Christ,

GNJ Leadership

Quick links to information in this email:
Small Groups Zoom link
Info on Small Groups
Download for January 10 Renewal Service
Special Annual Conference Session
Info on PPP Funding

Hurricanes: December Communion Offering

“Does anybody outside this region care?” PUMC and UMCOR do care!

“There’s a mental exhaustion that sets in and then there’s a fear of ‘Does anybody outside this region care?’” a Lake Charles resident recently told a news wire service. UMCOR’s answer? United Methodists and UMCOR do care.

Hurricane Delta came ashore on Oct. 9 with 101 mph winds and a 9.3 ft. storm surge in coastal Louisiana. Delta hit only 12 miles from where Hurricane Laura barreled through in late August, killing at least 27 people. More than 9,000 Louisianans remained in shelters after Delta left the region because Laura’s strong winds had caused so much damage to local homes.

With these storms UMCOR’s legacy of being “early in, last out” will definitely come into play. In the immediate aftermath of these storms, UMCOR focused on tarping homes and performing muck and gut maneuvers. UMCOR has awarded solidarity grants to local conference partners to help them address immediate needs.

As we stay warm and dry in our homes this December, your PUMC Outreach Ministry Team asks you to donate to UMCOR disaster relief so UMCOR can continue to meet the needs of those who have lost their homes in this record hurricane season.  Please give generously with your December communion offering.

To learn more, click on


Images Source: Google Images

Written by Isabella Dougan

“What Gift Can We Bring,” “As a Fire Is Meant For Burning:” Hymns For Pledge Sunday


     Come to a church that’s refreshing, inspiring, and fun!

What are the stories behind these hymns?”

“What Gift Can We Bring” 

“What gift can we bring” written by Jane Marshall is a hymn of pure gratitude. A lifelong Dallas resident, she composed this hymn in 1980 for her congregation’s twenty-fifth anniversary, Northaven United Methodist Church. Stanza two reflects on heritage, giving thanks for the past and those “who planted and watered so dreams could come true.” Stanza three looks to the future that is “full of surprises,” yet knowing that regardless of what happens, “we rest in God’s keeping and live in God’s love.” Jane Marshall wrote both the text and the tune for this hymn. Tune writers usually name tunes, so Marshall chose the name that fit the occasion, ANNIVERSARY SONG.

“As a Fire Is Meant for Burning”

“As a Fire is Meant For Burning” was written in 1982 by Ruth Duck, professor of worship at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Illinois, using sources 2 Corinthians 4:7 and Matthew 4:14-16. The text uses tunes such as JOYOUS LIGHT and BEACH SPRING. There is a Spanish translation by Georgina Pando-Connolly, ‘Como un Fuego Brilla y Querna.’ 

In the first stanza, Duck uses terms of purpose. The fire’s action is that of warmth and light and the church’s action should reveal the commandment that we love one another as we love ourselves. Her vision of mission calls us to work among those in need gently and to allow the light of Christ to be apparent through our actions. In the second stanza,” Her language of clay pots helps us remember that we are fragile. Christians and non-Christians are made of this same ordinary, breakable stuff, and our gentleness in action may ensure we don’t fracture others as we light the way to God. In the third stanza, purpose and action turn toward hope– the hope of renewed life and God’s grace. Our lives as reflections of the love and forgiveness of God. Christ’s light will lead us out of the darkness of the world into the love of God.

In Ruth Duck’s hymn text, Christ’s light is within us, and we carry the light within us as learners, teachers, pilgrims, seekers, and givers who point to the One who transforms lives as we work in mission. As we walk forward in serving others through music, worship, and mission, may our lives indeed “reflect the radiance of ‘God’s new and glorious dawn.’

This Sunday, our musicians will include the Virtual Handbell Choir and Julia Hanna.

To worship with us, hear our beautiful music, sing with us, enjoy our children’s time, scripture readings, sermons, prayers, and story sharing, go to our Facebook page, or click here.

Click here to enjoy a Youtube video of“What Gift Can We Bring” 

Click here to enjoy a Youtube video of “As a Fire Is Meant for Burning”

This Sunday, November 8 is Pledge Sunday for 2021. Please consider Christ’s love and what Princeton UMC means to you and your family. Complete your pledge online or fill out a pledge card and return it by mail to the church by November 30. Visit our giving page for more information.

Written by Isabella Dougan

Romans 13: 8-14 and Matthew 18: 15-20     

The scripture reading for Sunday, September 6, 2020, is from Romans 13: 8-14 and Matthew 18: 15-20. 

“If Another Sins Against You” is the title of Pastor Jenny Smith Walz’s sermon. 

“. . . and any other commandment, are summed up in this word, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”  ~Romans 13:9b

“Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.”  ~Romans 13:8

“For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.’”       ~Matthew 18:20

To follow our worship service on FaceBook, hear the scripture, and listen to Pastor Jenny’s sermon, click here.

To watch interesting videos on YouTube of both scripture passages, click here and here.

On this September Communion Sunday, our Communion Offering this week goes to the Mercer Street Friends Food Bank. Please give this month as you are able for those whose need is so great. 

Written by Isabella Dougan

Romans 12:9-21 and
 Matthew 16:21-28

The scripture for Sunday, August 30, 2020, is from Romans 12:9-21 and
 Matthew 16:21-28.          

“Take Up Your Cross” is the title of Pastor Jenny Smith Walz’s sermon. 

“Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.”  ~Romans 12:9-13

“Then Jesus told his disciples, ‘If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.’”  ~Matthew 16:24

To watch interesting videos on YouTube of both scripture passages, click here and here.

To follow our worship service, hear the scripture, and listen to Pastor Jenny’s sermon click here.

Written by Isabella Dougan


Thank you, Teachers, School Administrators, Board of Education Members!

You have been the center of the latest major dilemma and debate in our country as school districts are working out what education will look like in the coming academic year. It feels like impossible work, with a vast number of needs, opinions, wants, pushes, and pulls. In a conversation with parents from Elliot’s school this week it was noted that “a fix for one family is a break for another.” How do those who have decision-making power and a stake in these decisions begin to weigh all of the factors and lead us forward?

I do not have a magic answer here, by any means. I do wonder if we might continue seeking the Kin-dom of God as we approach these matters, from whichever place we do so. Does anything become clearer when we continue to ground ourselves in the Kin-dom values, such as the Beatitudes and Parables, Jesus teaches and lives?

I’m not going to try to name all of our teachers, school administrators, and BOE members in our congregation, because I will miss way too many of you. But know that you are in my heart and my prayers. We celebrate you and encourage you in this very difficult time. And we likewise encourage our families with school-aged children who are also making difficult decisions, enduring extra anxiety and uncertainty, and continuing to be part of a teaching team with our kids’ professional teachers.

Be well, be safe, wear masks, and keep social distances.    

Pastor Jenny.

To watch what NJ schools will look like this Fall click here

Written by Isabella Dougan

GNJ-CAPITAL:  Silence is NOT an Option – Prayer Vigil INVITATION! June 7, 2020, 4:00 PM





Dear Clergy and Congregational Leaders of the Capital District,

This week, we have another destructive virus that has painfully reminded us that, for way too many years, it had inflicted undue pain and death on our Black siblings and other siblings of color. Racism requires our attention! Our hearts are breaking for the growing number of Black men and women killed by police, most recently, George Floyd, and, for the inequities against people of color that plague our nation. 

As Christ’s followers, and United Methodists, we believe that racism is a distorted value system that assumes that one race is innately superior to the others that translates into wrong mindsets, behaviors, policies, and systems.


I invite all Capital clergy and laity to join our resident Bishop, Rev. Dr. John Schol, and I, this coming Sunday, June 7, 2020, at 4:00 PM for a special peaceful public witness of our faith and prayer vigil in solidarity with the African American community and other people of color. This public witness will be a statement of presence, prayer, and reflection in the community. We will practice responsible physical distancing measures and will model the highest standards of Christian love.

Our special guest and speaker will be Rev. Gil Caldwell, a United Methodist, and renowned Civil Rights Activist. Other guest speakers include Bishop John R. Schol, Willingboro Mayor Hon. Tiffany Worthy, Charlene Walker from Faith in NJ, Rev. Geralda Aldajuste, Rev. Vanessa Wilson, Rev. Rupert Hall & Rev. Laura Steele.


If you feel comfortable, bring a poster that expresses the Christian values of Peace with Justice, and invite a friend. We welcome children and youth. The new generations need more than ever, positive spaces to express their hopes and aspiration for a better society and world. 

In consideration for others – we request that all persons participating from United Methodist congregations wear a face mask.

 We’re together on the journey.

Paz, Héctor

Rev. Héctor A. Burgos | Capital District Superintendent

O: 732.359.1085 | C: 609.661.1768 | E: hburgos@gnjumc.org


Music Appreciation!





Chancel Choir Director, Hyosang Park, Accompanist, Yang-Hee Park, and Sound & Video Producer, Stephen Offer

Hyosang and Yang-Hee have continued to rehearse virtually every week via Zoom. Stephen communicates with the team each step of the way. Great musicianship!

If you weren’t able to worship with us on Sunday, 24 May 2020, you’d want to go back to the archive on our website or Facebook to do so. Here’s the link

Our Chancel Choir’s Music Ministry was a beautiful tribute to Bill and Donna Suits. It was such a joy to hear their voices and see their faces! Here’s what Pastor Jenny Smith Walz says of them:

  • “Hyosang does a masterful job of choosing the perfect music and bringing in a superb mix of vocals and instruments every week.”
  • “Yang-Hee consistently brings us such beautiful music – before, during, after each service. It’s a gift to be able to listen.”
  • “Stephen Offer painlessly puts the virtual choir video together.”

We enjoy your music every week. Thank you!!


Written by Isabella Dougan

Pastor Jenny’s Video Update April 25, 2020

Watch Pastor Jenny’s Video Update

Thank You!

Thank you to our Health Care Professionals, particularly those who are in direct patient care, working in hospitals, in the midst of very challenging and anguishing situations, putting yourself at risk to be part of God’s healing work in the world.

Two people from our congregation who I want to lift up, give thanks for and to, and pray for are are Pam B.  and Deena P.

  • No doubt there are others of you in the PUMC Beloved Community who are also in direct patient care. Please help me to know who they are!! We want to thank and surround them as well!

​​Coffee with the Pastor
Sunday, April 26 (tomorrow) at 11:30am-12:30pm
Via Zoom.

Open to all!  While this is always open to all, I tend to gear this even to those who are newer among us to give them a chance to get to know us better and us, them.  Newcomers and long-timers are invited, and after some general fellowship time, I’ll invite us to talk about ways our faith has been challenged during this COVID crisis and time of physical distancing. What has been called into question for you about God, faith, church, what God is revealing to you, for example. (The link will be available at the worship service on Facebook).

Tuesday Chapel Prayer Service & Zoom Lunch
Starting this Tuesday, April 28, at noon.

Join us on our PUMC Facebook page for a live (or archived) prayer service. It won’t look exactly like the Lenten Series. It will likely be simpler, with no homily, and more of a time of prayer. I’ll offer leadership this week, but it won’t always be me. We’ll follow this with a fellowship lunch via Zoom.

​​Virtual Coffee Hour
1st Sunday of Each Month – after worship – via Zoom

Miss your PUMC friends?  Want to see their faces? Share a smile?  We’ll gather in a few different virtual Zoom spaces on the first Sunday of each month for just this. The next one will be Sunday, May 3.

Tell Me a Story! 
Continuing to Talk the Walk in Worship and Beyond

We’re continuing our “Talk the Walk” worship series about telling our stories. Heather H.  is sharing a story tomorrow in worship, which I know you’ll want to hear. And I would still love to hear your stories of your beginnings and how God was part of that beginning! Even if you don’t tell me, tell someone! Be part of worship tomorrow for another Tell Me a Story prompt.

Be sure to look for your worship materials on our website. Send Pastor Skitch a prayer request to be named in worship or put it up on the Facebook post asking for your requests. Gather a candle, your bible, and make some sacred space for worship tomorrow.

Thank you!
for your gifts, your tithes, your offerings, and going Above and Beyond!

Your joyful and generous responses to God’s love in the form of your financial gifts are continuing to make ministry happen. We thank you for the ways you’ve shifted your giving to mail and online giving. And we direct you to our PUMC giving page to set up automatic payments or to send in a gift. You’ll also find there information about our yearly Above and Beyond campaign, which allows you to sponsor a particular ministry of our church and help us close the gap between our budget and our annual pledges received last fall. This week’s focus is on Children and Youth Formation and Music Ministries.

I miss and love you,
Pastor Jenny