WORSHIP MUSIC | FIFTH SUNDAY OF LENT

🎼🎸🎻🎺🎵”O God of every nation, of every race and land, redeem the whole creation with your almighty hand. Where hate and fear divide us, and bitter threats are hurled, in love and mercy guide us, and heal our strife-torn world.”🎼🎸🎻🎷🎵

On this Fifth Sunday of Lent, we will have a music performance featuring the PUMC Children’s Choir singing “Lenten Love Song” by Helen Kemp.  “God Made from One Blood,” a hymn set to a Welsh folk melody, refers to Acts 17:26, which tells us that from one man [Adam], God made all the families of the whole earth. It also deals with the reality of the modern family. The hymn  “O God Of Every Nation” is an appeal to God who created all races and the whole world, to deliver every nation and heal this strife-torn world. It also pleads for truth, love, and justice for all humanity and a bright future with an end to hate and division.  Joaquín Turina’s classical music including “Berceuse From Niñerias” is a favorite of PUMC.  Thank you Julia Hanna for playing such beautiful music! Our music and hymns always give us hope with renewed faith, especially this Sunday, as we mark one year of virtual worship. We look forward to going back to worship in our beautiful sanctuary.

Video “Sanctuary”

“Lord, prepare me to be a sanctuary (Haz de mí, Dios, hoy, un santuario Vivo).” The authors of the text of “Sanctuary” are Randy Scruggs and John Thompson. Born in 1953 in Nashville, Tennessee, Randy Lynn Scruggs is a music producer, songwriter, and guitarist. He had his first recording at the age of 13. He has won a Grammy Award and was twice named “Musician of the Year” at the Country Music Association Awards. He was one of the authors of “Lord of lords, King of kings.” The  hymn “Sanctuary” is asking God to make us “pure in our devotion to his love and holy in our commitment to obey his call.”

                                       [Image: – singing in our PUMC sanctuary]

If you’re looking for inspiration: Come worship with us at PUMC.  If you suffer or grieve, you will find healing here. If you are burdened with sin, you will find forgiveness here. If you are exhausted, you will find rest here. There is a place for you here in our beloved PUMC community, where you will have the love and support of others.

Click here to join us as we share in songs, prayer, music, scripture, and listen to Pastor Skitch’s Sermon.

 [Video Source: YouTube]

WORSHIP MUSIC | FOURTH SUNDAY OF LENT

🎼🎵♬“Bind us together, Lord, bind us together with cords that cannot be broken. Bind us together, Lord, bind us together, Lord, bind us together in love. .🎼🎵♬

On this Fourth Sunday of Lent, we will have a special music performance featuring our Youth Choir singing “Your Servant I Will Be” by Mark Patterson. Our hymns today bring the message that we need to be united in love as the body of Christ.

The scripture this week comes from Mark 8:31-38 and Colossians 3:1-4.  As we journey with Jesus during Lent and witness his suffering, Jesus predicts his death and explains to us the way of the cross, saying, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” To appear with Christ in Glory, we must set our minds on things above and not on earthly things.   Rev. Jenny Smith Waltz will preach a sermon on the topic:  “Broken From Self.”


VideoBind Us Together” 

Bob Gillman wrote the text and composed the tune to “Bind Us Together” in 1974. This hymn’s theme is that love binds us all together in unity, as reflected in Colossians 3:14 and Ephesians 4:1-6. Gillman started writing songs at the age of 13 when he became a Christian. His interest in music included guitar and banjo playing. He also wrote children’s books, “Tales of Upchurch Station,” being one of them.

Video: “When We Are CalledTo Sing Your Praise”

Mary Nelson Keithahn, a retired UMC ordained pastor, wrote the hymn “When We Are Called To Sing Your Praise” in 2000. Ralph Vaughan set it to the tune KINGSFOLD. In 2016 Keithahn published a chapter book for children entitled “Elfie: Adventures on the Midwest Frontier.”


If you’re looking for inspiration: Come worship with us at PUMC and enjoy our hymns and music. They will give you hope with renewed faith. If you suffer or grieve, you will find healing here. If you are burdened with sin, you will find forgiveness here. If you are exhausted, you will find rest here. Remember, Jesus died for you. There is a place for you here.

Click here to join us as we share in songs, prayer, music, scripture, and listen to Pastor Jenny’s Sermon.

[Images courtesy of Google Images, and PUMC] [Videos Source: YouTube]

WORSHIP MUSIC | THIRD SUNDAY OF LENT

🎼🎶“There’s a wideness in God’s mercy, like the wideness of the sea.
There’s a kindness in God’s justice, which is more than liberty.”🎼🎶

On this Third Sunday of Lent, which is also Communion Sunday, we will have a special music performance featuring our Chancel Choir singing “Come Find Forgiveness and Love” by Don Besig.

Our hymns today draw on the theme that Jesus, the good shepherd, will always look after his sheep, even bringing back the lost ones. They also remind us of God’s love, justice, and mercy for all. As we reflect on God’s love and pardon for lost sinners in Bible times, we are filled with hope and joy that if we repent when we sin, God can forgive us too. The scripture this week comes from Luke 15:11-32 and tells the story of the Prodigal Son. Intern Hyelim Yoon will preach a sermon on the topic: “Broken Things: Broken From God.”

As we journey with Jesus during Lent and witness his suffering, we learn to manage our fear and anxiety and the difficulties we encounter and trust our Lord and Savior.

Video “The King of Love My Shepherd Is” 

“Sir Henry W. Baker,  editor-in-chief of Hymns Ancient and Modern, wrote the text of “The King Of Love My Shepherd Is” in 1868 based on the Welsh version of  Psalm 23. He draws connection between this well-known psalm and other New Testament images on the theme of the Good Shepherd saying that even though we do not always deserve his kindness, and we sometimes act foolishly, God loves us and his goodness towards us never fails. The hymn reflects on Jesus as a shepherd leading his followers from evil and despair towards salvation.” {Wiki}  Sir Henry  is said to have spoken  stanza three of this hymn as his last words before dying. This hymn is sung to four different tunes including  DOMINUS REGIT ME (Dykes)

Video “There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy” 

“The author of “There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy” is Frederick William Faber. He wrote this hymn in 1862 to the tune of WELLESLEY  by Lizzie Tourjee. Tourjee wrote this tune for her school’s graduation ceremony. Influenced by the rituals and traditions of Rome, Faber, an English clergy,  converted from the Anglican Church to Roman Catholicism in the 19th century. The theme of this hymn is based on the premise and paradox that a sovereign ruler, unlike earthly rulers demonstrates welcome, kindness, grace and mercy. All we need to do is have a simple faith that “rest[s] upon God’s word.” Faber wrote many widely known hymns such as “My God, how wonderful thou art,” and “Hark, hark, my soul, angelic songs are swelling.” {Wiki}

Are you sick, struggling with sin, exhausted, anxious about anything? Come worship with us, and you will find healing, forgiveness, rest, and peace here at PUMC. If you feel broken, remember, God loves you regardless of how you feel. Let us, therefore, lift our voices together in song to our God and King.

Click here  to join us as we share in songs, prayer, music, scripture, and listen to Hyelim Yoon’s Sermon.

[Images Source: Google Images] [Videos Source: YouTube]

 

 

The Connection Between the Church and Pretzels

Bavarian Pretzels

In the Medieval Period, the Catholic Church imposed stricter rules regarding fasting and abstinence during Lent than modern times. Meat, dairy, and eggs were prohibited during Lent. Grains, yeast, and water were acceptable. 

Legend has it that monks baked folded strips of bread dough in the basement of a monastery, to resemble the crossed arms of praying children to reward them for learning their prayers. This is one theory of the birth of the pretzel. 

By the 1600s, the interlocking pattern of the pretzel became the symbol of undying love. It is said that royal Swiss couples used a pretzel in their wedding ceremonies. This sealed the bond of matrimony, and might have stemmed from the phrase “tying the knot”, since pretzels were shaped to resemble that form. 

It would be unfair to tell you all about this baked good without sharing a recipe.

Pretzel Dough

Recipe for Bavarian Soft Pretzels – Makes 8 

  • 3.5 oz active dry yeast (half pack)
  • 10 oz lukewarm water
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 3 tbsp softened unsalted butter
  • 4 quarts boiling water
  • 2 tbsp baking soda
  • 2 tbsp coarse salt (or substitute Kosher salt)
  1. Mix yeast and sugar in lukewarm water and add to flour
  2. Mix salt in softened butter and knead into dough then cut into 8 pieces
  3. Roll each piece out to 25 – 30 inches long
  4. Twist into a pretzel form, cover with a clean dish cloth and let rise for 12 minutes
  5. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  6. Bring water to a boil then add baking soda
  7. After rising, boil pretzel dough for 30 seconds and remove with slotted spoon
  8. Place on a cookie sheet/baking pan lined with parchment paper or a silicon mat
  9. Top the pretzels with course salt and let rest for 20 minutes
  10. Bake about 20 minutes, remove, and place of cooling rack

Hearing and Singing on Good Friday

photo by Kathleen Barry, United Methodist Communications

This year, as on every Good Friday in the last decades, Hyosang Park, Princeton UMC’s music director, planned to observe the day by presenting a requiem, a musical    composition in honor of the agony and death of Jesus Christ. Choir members enthusiastically responded to a question about what this concert means to them. Just to participate in the celebration of Holy Week was important for Edwin Francisco. “It is always moving and exciting,” according to Bill Suits.

“It’s meaningful that some of our concerts were dedicated to members who had passed on,” said Karen Hoagland.

The lyrics of a requiem, said Christine Wong, “encompass major themes of the Bible: the covenant of salvation from Abraham to his descendants; God’s wrath and judgment; and man’s fear and suffocation for deliverance from sins and death. It abundantly praises God’s holiness and highness.”

Plans for the Good Friday have changed (Princeton UMC will have a virtual service at 6 p.m.) and choir rehearsals are now virtual, but – singers — here’s an innovative way to get the Holy Week music experience.’ Choose your favorite score, find the youtube video, and – sing along!

Joan Nuse would likely pick the requiem by living British composer Bob Chilcott. “It was an amazing experience. The songs were uplifting!”

Lori Pantaleo’s favorites include the one requiem by John Rutter. The most difficult, she said, came from France, by Maurice Durufle (1947) and Luigi Cherubini, who wrote his Requiem in c minor in 1816 to honor Louis XVI.  Other works in the Good Friday series were the “Seven Last Words” by Theodore Dubois in 1867, Faure’s Requiem (1890), Johann Sebastian Bach, Cantata 21, Anton Bruckner’s Requiem in d minor, Handel’s Messiah, and the 1837 Requiem in C minor by Michael Haydn.

Here is one video of the Seven Last Words, by Dubois and here is a version that is part of a Good Friday service from Katy, Texas.

The Faure Requiem

The Chilcott

The Bruckner

The Michael Haydn

The Cherubini

This video of Bach’s Cantata 21 and this one of the Cherubini  even come with sheet music!

This beautiful version of the John Rutter Requiem was dedicated to  the tragedy at Emmanuel AME church in Charleston, South Carolina.  

No matter what is on the program, or whether worshippers are present or online, Jenni Collins says she will look forward to “the intimate nature and the powerful emotion of a Good Friday service.”

 

PUMC Lenten Reflections March 12 – April 16, 2019

 

Journeying through Lent opens us up to see ourselves honestly, and to accept God’s grace in new ways. For Lenten Tuesdays, starting March 12, at noon in the chapel, PrincetonUMC offers 30-minute Lenten reflections followed by a light lunch. The entrance is on Nassau Street, at the corner of Vandeventer Avenue, and all are welcome. Invite your family and friends to join you.

 

Ash Wednesday and Tuesday Lenten Meditations

PRINCETON, N.J. During the Lenten season, Princeton United Methodist Church (PrincetonUMC) hosts services at convenient times. On Ash Wednesday, March 6, at noon, Pastor Jenny Smith Walz will lead worship.  At 7:30 p.m. clergy from the community will preside at an ecumenical service with Andrew Scales, Presbyterian chaplain to Princeton University, preaching. Both services will conclude with the imposition of ashes.

Planned to fit into a lunch hour, weekly Lenten meditations will be held on Tuesdays, from March 12 to April 16, noon to 12:30 p.m., in the chapel. Afterwards a light lunch will be served. Entrance is on Nassau Street, at the corner of Vandeventer Avenue. All are welcome.

PUMC is a diverse congregation whose members come from many surrounding communities, backgrounds, and faith histories. Sunday worship services and Sunday School classes are at 10 a.m. with nursery care available. Small groups for adults are at 8:45 a.m. Parking is free on Sunday mornings and the church is wheelchair accessible. Call 609-924-2613 , email office@princetonumc.org, or visit http://www.princetonumc.org/

Lenten Tuesday at Noon: March 7

What’s it like to come to Mid-week Lenten Worship at Princeton UMC? The 30-minute services are Tuesdays from noon to 12:30 in the small chapel; entering by the ramp door.

They continue every Tuesday through April 11 on the theme “Let All of Me Kneel before God’s Holy Name.”

For the first one on March 7, a dozen people gathered as Rev. Catherine Williams led worship on the theme “We worship God with our flesh,” meaning that the soul/spirit is not necessarily more important than the body.

Christopher McWilliams began by playing the evocative “Song of the Dark Woods” by E. Siegmeister, followed by the hymn “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence.”

Everyone read the following passages.

John 1:1-5, 14;

Psalm 139: 1-3, 13-18;

and 2 Corinthians 4:7-10.

“The psalm reminds us of the care that God takes in forming bodies, and that even what we perceive as imperfections or physical flaws are useful to God in our worship and service,” said Catherine.

“The apostle Paul speaks of carrying about in his body marks that signify both the death and the life of Jesus. We are encouraged to worship and serve God with all of our bodies – this indicates true devotion.”

For a time of reflection, she offered the video This Is My Desire by Michael W. Smith.

After prayer, she closed with a couple of rousing rounds of the chorus This Little Light of Mine. 

Then everybody enjoyed the delicious lunch served by Lula Crawford. For her African Pea and Potato soup recipe, click here. 

EVERYone is welcome for Lenten Tuesdays. Come if you can!

Gifts of the Dark Wood: The Gift of Uncertainty.

Erik Skitch Matson — March 5, 2017 — 1 Corinthians 13:11-12

What is Lent?

Lent was spoken of in the 2nd Century, but then established as Lent with the typical Ash Wednesday in the 6th century under Gregory the Great.

Why? Self examination and Penitence in preparation for EASTER. It is a time for Repentance and Renewal: Giving up things, originally food until sundown (vegetarian), but now it is a more robust “Fasting”. It is also a time for self-reflection, prayer and reading of scripture

Gifts of the Darkwood  

Our sermon series is based on the book Gifts of the Dark Wood by Eric Elnes, a wonderful Lenten book for reflection. In this series we can see our time in the Dark Wood as a gift.

Another book worth reading, Dante’s Inferno is about finding your place in the world at the very point you feel farthest from it. Here the dark wood includes struggle. It is “where you meet God.”

As we explore the Gift of UNCERTAINTY, we realise that this is not a “Typical” gift. We like control, certainty, and understanding, now. So where can we go with uncertainty.?

In 1 Corinthians 13:11-12, we see a flurry of pride, and then a swift shift to vulnerability. I had always known Paul to be the confident leader, with the perfect pedigree and best teachers backing him — he’d fit into Princeton pretty well. But this is not your typical Paul. This Paul is more vulnerable about his own limitations and his own uncertainty. Paul admits that he sees dimly.  What would it take for us to have the courage to admit that our own spiritual vision is dim?

Take a look at the people around you: what would it take for us to dig into the Lenten season, and live in the Dark Wood of our lives together? What would it take for us to have faith, now, in these lives we live.

What would it take for us to be the body of Christ—a body where each member is known, loved, and cared for.

What would it take to be vulnerable with one another about our personal pains? Our sins? Our uncertainties?

We know we want it. We know we need it. But what will it take…?

It will take a Christian Community that has ONE body, and ONE blood. A Christian Community where we—the broken, the maimed, the sinners, and the saints—are welcomed and accepted.

Where at times we are supported, and also where we support others. Where we are known not for our rigid certainty, but our radical faith in the midst of the fluidity of real, human life.

The Christians we have looked up to for centuries… Can we follow their example? Can we create a community, here, in this place, where the hope of seeing Christ face to face leads us to accept our own spiritual vision as dim?

Where does this start? It starts with the Release of Shame. One Body, broken for you; One Blood, shed for you. The Free Gift of Grace transforms us to be the Christian Community that calls itself “The Body of Christ.”

Let us come…

As we take communion, we wonder if, by leaning on each other, our collective vision can be more powerful. Let us therefore go together, as one broken body, through the Dark Wood of Lent.

Valentine Treats: yummy breakfast, young voices

breakfast plate betterThis is the Sunday for another yummy breakfast, prepared by the United Methodist Men. We’ll hear how polio has almost been stamped out around the world. Another treat: the children’s choir will sing, directed by Tom Shelton. (Yes, these pictures were taken in warmer weather! (Also mark your calendars for February 28, Youth Sunday, when the kids join the Youth Choir to sing at both services.)

Our sermon series for Lent: “I AM”. Each Sunday in Lent, we will examine who Jesus is (the Light of the World, the True Vine, the Good Shepherd, the Way the Truth the Life, and more). As we examine who Jesus is we will reflect on how that informs we who are as Christians.

Children's Choir1 Children's Choir2 Children's Choir3

Children's Choir4 Children's Choir5 Children's Choir6