PASTOR JENNY APPRECIATING OUR SCHOOL LEADERS

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

Steve Wong “I Like Giving: Faith Story” 11-03-2019

Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish”

When I was asked to share my story about giving, it made me stop for a moment and think about why it is that I am so willing to give up my time and resources for God. One would think that it would be an easy and obvious question to answer, but I struggled mightily to come up with the words to explain it to even myself. So I started thinking about the times I spent around the church. I started thinking back to the summer when we did nine Sundays of robotics –  sitting in the sanctuary listening to the sermon – taking the children through a Bible story in Sunday School – having fellowship with folks before and after service. And then it dawned on me. I’m willing to give because giving is one way that I can give thanks to God for all he has done. 

And what has he done? He has provided our family with a home church in PUMC. We feel blessed to have the music ministry. Both of our children are singing or have sung in the choir. PUMC has provided a Sunday School to our children that has taught them essential Christian-based lessons. Volunteering as a Sunday School teacher has dramatically expanded and deepened my understanding of Christianity – which is significant for me since I grew up with non-Christian parents and never learned about God or attended a church service until well into adulthood. My son William had the opportunity to act as a lay-reader and serve communion during service. My daughter Elizabeth got to be a part of the children’s performances. Listening to the sermons reinforced my faith and helped equip me to better deal with life’s challenges, including some significant problems at my day job. 

I remember finding myself in a position within my career where I had hit the ceiling, and the only way to continue growing was to take drastic steps to improve my situation. Retraining can be a terrifying thing fraught with risks. It was just when we started attending PUMC, and I needed God more than ever to help me through it. Through His grace and guidance, I’m in a much better place now. I would be remiss not to mention that PUMC has connected us with a community of faithful believers who are not only welcoming and care for each other but also visibly serve God and the community in creative ways. You are all a constant source of encouragement and inspiration to our family. 

I am happy to give back to God in appreciation for all his blessings to us.  I am profoundly grateful to Him for bringing us to this church and walking with us through good times and bad. I am also thankful for being able to share this story with you. 

 

 

Honoring Larry Apperson with Chuck Inman Award – Saturday, April 13, 2019

On April 13 the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen (TASK) will present the Chuck Inman Memorial Award to Larry Apperson. The annual award honors an individual who has made a significant impact on feeding hungry people in Mercer County. Larry will be recognized for his long-standing service at TASK and for helping set up the very active satellite at Princeton UMC.

TASK serves those who are hungry in the Trenton area and offers programs to promote self-sufficiency and improve the quality of life of its patrons. As one of 16 satellites operated by TASK, Princeton Cornerstone Community Kitchen serves 100 meals each week. On April 6, 2019, Cornerstone recorded its 30,000th meal served since beginning in June 2012.

“We are proud of the help and commitment of our partners such as at Princeton United Methodist Church,” says Charlie Orth of TASK. “It’s leaders like Larry that make change happen.”

Youth Sunday May 22: Sermon Rebecca Koblin

“God is Leading us toward a Future with Hope”

My life right now seems to be a series of questions. As I answer one 2 more pop up in its place. It all started with college. Where are you going was the question that depaGetAttachment.aspx-3rted from everyone’s lips, asking with muted excitement. Then it was which campus, what’s your major, where are you staying, who is your roommate, which classes are you taking, etc etc. As I look at my life I see a lot of uncertainty. I am not going to lie. I am afraid of the future. What ifs have clouded my mind with doubt and I’m afraid that for a little while I was a seed that fell into the weeds, choked by my own fear of what is to come.

You see when you have spent your entire life in one school where all the questions are answered for you and your comfort was laid in the hands of your parents, your teachers, your friends, you start to think that maybe what’s next, the things that have been left to be decided only by me, are mistakes. So I spent a lot of time worrying that I was choosing the wrong future. I strongly believe that I am still discovering who I really am so how am I supposed to choose the next four years which will affect the next ten years and so on of my life when I don’t even really know who I want to be. You can see why I might have been afraid.

But then I realized… God makes no mistakes. And so as I plan my life I can be certain that even if I don’t have a clue what I am doing, he does. You see God has a plan when I don’t, God has everything I need. He has taught me about loyalty, hope, endless love, how to be a good friend, how to survive pain and heartbreak and disappointment and he will teach me many things in the future. So as I look towards my future I now think about all the things god has in store for me, all the lessons he’s going to teach me, and I know that with every lesson, new obstacle, and amazing moment that god has in store, I will become the person that God always planned for me to be, because he knows me inside and out and I can trust that he will never disappoint.

Change is scary because it is unknown. I am excited for my future, for what life has to offer me, but I don’t want to let go of the things that the past has given me, my friends, my teachers, who I am now. I realized though that all of those things are what has created the person I am now. My family, my friends, my experiences in this very church have taught me more lessons than I ever expected to learn. I’ve grown here, sprouting up like the seeds in the story, but this is just the beginning of my growth. As I continue on in my life going to college and finding a job, making new friends, I will continue the journey that god has planned for me, growing with a flourish, and producing an amazing harvest.

So I want to thank you all for being a part of my journey. I won’t forget what I have learned here.

 

Youth Sunday: Three choirs

On Youth Sunday, February 8 at 9:30, choirs from three churches will praise the Lord. Our PUMC youth choir rehearsed with singers from Trinity Episcopal and Nassau Presbyterian, and these combined choirs visited the other two churches on January 25. Now we get to hear them! They will sing Cherubini’s “Like as a Father,” a traditional Zambian song, “Bonse Aba,” and “One Voice.”

Below are some snaps taken at rehearsal and on the 25th. Praising the Lord on Sunday!

rehearsal trinity2015 1 25 boys at trinity  2015 1 25 lining up trinity

2015 1 25 youth choir balcony nassauThanks to  PUMC’s Tom Shelton, Nassau’s Sue Ellen Page (shown here) , and Trinity’s Tom Whittemore for their leadership. 2015 1 25 Sueellen and Tom