CROP WALK 2018

YOU ARE INVITED TO JOIN THE COMMUNITY AND LOCAL CHURCHES ON OCTOBER 21ST AT 1:30PM TO HELP ERADICATE HUNGER IN OUR AREA. THE WALK STARTS AT NEWFOUNDLAND METHODIST ON THE LARUE ROAD AND ENDS AT HOLY FAITH ON PARADISE ROAD. DONATION ENVELOPES ARE ON THE NARTHEX TABLE OR YOU CAN CALL 973-697-6060 TO ACQUIRE ONE OR IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS.

BAKED ZITI DINNER – SEPTEMBER 29TH, 2018

Please join us for eat in or take-out Baked Ziti Dinner. Saturday, September 29th

Time: 5:00pm – 7:00pm 

Cost:  $10.00 for adults

           $5.00 for children

Let your taste buds be transported to the hills of Italy as you dine on a delicious Baked Ziti dinner.  The proceeds will help continue our monthly community outreach events.

 

RALLY DAY – SEPTEMBER 9TH – 10:00am

Please join us and bring your kids as we start a new Sunday School year!! Registration is quick and easy.  Kids start digging into God’s word on September 16th, Sunday School starts at 10:45am.   Worship on Rally Day, September 9th is at 10:00am with a free BBQ and fun activities to follow.  Hope to see you there:)

VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL JULY 16TH-20TH 2018

PLEASE JOIN US FROM JULY 16 – 20TH 9:00AM – NOON AGES 4-12 FOR VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL.  THE THEME THIS YEAR IS “SHIPWRECKED”   VENTURE ONTO AN UNCHARTED ISLAND WHERE KIDS SURVIVE AND THRIVE.  ANCHOR KIDS IN THE TRUTH THAT JESUS CARRIES THEM THROUGH LIFE’S STORMS!  Print out the form below

by clicking on it or SIGN-UP AHEAD OF TIME BY CALLING 973-697-6060 BETWEEN 10:00AM – 2:00PM TUES – FRI 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE PASTOR’S PART “ITS NOT OVER”

Jesus’ task was completed. He said so: “It is finished,” and “He bowed His head and gave up His spirit” (John 19:30). The body was taken down and buried. What else could they think? Then came that unbelievable morning at the tomb when the body was nowhere to be found and the slow realization that Jesus had indeed risen from the dead, “just as He said” (Matthew 28:6).

Disbelief turned to joy when Jesus came to them, and “He showed them His hands and feet … and ate [a piece of broiled fish] in their presence” (Luke 24:40-43). Just as before, He taught them. He told them again what He had told them before, but now “He opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures” (Luke 24:45). The disciples must have listened with new ears as they took in all Jesus told them in those days following His miraculous Resurrection.

Then Jesus took them to a remote area, blessed them, and “was taken up into Heaven” (Luke 24:51) before their eyes. Joyfully they went back home and waited – waited for the gift Jesus had promised would come to them. One day with wind and fire the Holy Spirit came, bringing power and authority to those folks Jesus had commissioned to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything He had commanded them.” And He added His promise, “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20).

The book of Acts tells the story of what happened as those disciples, armed with Jesus’ promise to be with them, started in their own community and then branched out into all nations, preaching and teaching, baptizing and discipling others, performing miracles in Jesus’ name, facing persecution and death for the sake of the Gospel.

The book of Acts ends after 28 chapters, but the work is not over. The story goes on through the lives and witness of the thousands of Christians who have picked up the task where the first disciples left off. Our story may never be written down for other Christians to read, but those around us are seeing it unfold. They are hearing us speak the Gospel message; they are recipients of the good deeds we do in the Lord’s name; we equip other workers of the Good News through our prayer and financial support; they take notice of the stand we take in defense of Truth over the lies with which Satan would blind our world. No, it’s not over!

We celebrate Pentecost (May 20) with “Faith in Action” where we don’t just go to church to be refueled in God’s grace. On this day we leave empowered to be the church and serve in Jesus’ name. Sign up and be part of this community movement! We have the privilege, we get the opportunity of carrying on Jesus’ work until He comes again to take us to Himself, saying, “Well done, good and faithful servant!” (Matthew 25:21) Indeed, it’s not over!

 

PASTOR’S PART MARCH/APRIL

“No Joke!”

What a rare opportunity this year! It brings a smile to the face. Ash Wednesday fell on Valentine’s Day and Easter will be celebrated on April Fool’s Day. So couples beaming romance will have smudges on their foreheads as they wine and dine in cupid’s throes. And pranks will be played on the day that’s no joke for Christians around the world. The last time Easter fell on April Fools’ Day was in 1956. After 2018, the next one is 2029, and then again in 2040—but after that, not again in this century.

It’s thought that the practice of pranking on the first of April comes from 16th century France. The Christian world had moved from the Julian calendar (introduced by Julius Caesar, 45 B.C.) to the Gregorian calendar (named for Pope Gregory XIII, 1548). The change moved the New Year celebration from April 1 to January 1. Those still using the Julian calendar were “fooled” by the new date and pranks were played on those who didn’t change with the times. So the pranks continue!

I loved the one put on by the BBC news show Panorama. On April 1, 1957, they announced that thanks to a very mild winter and the virtual elimination of the dreaded spaghetti weevil, Swiss farmers were enjoying a bumper spaghetti crop. It accompanied this announcement with footage of Swiss peasants pulling strands of spaghetti down from trees. Huge numbers of viewers were taken in! Many called the BBC wanting to know how they could grow their own spaghetti tree; to which the BBC diplomatically replied, “Place a sprig of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best.” Just fooling!!

There’s no fooling with the resurrection for we Christians, though, even when it falls on April 1. Paul says in his letter to the Corinthians that if Christ isn’t raised from the dead, then our faith is in vain and void of any hope. We would remain lost in our sins. “But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep… For in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive” (2 Cor. 15:20,22) That’s Good News for you and me. Fool that I am, that’s the kind of wisdom I need to face the challenges that came fresh with each new day. Even death has to give way to us through the gift of faith we have in our victorious Lord Jesus Christ!

Just look at how the disciples lived after seeing and touching and eating with the risen Christ! They went from fearful fools, locked behind closed doors, to courageous witnesses of Christ with a story to share! In my mind the greatest proof that Jesus is risen from the dead is the way they gave their lives for Him. At any point they could have turned their backs on Jesus. They could have claimed that this whole resurrection was simply an April fool’s hoax. They would have saved their earthly lives at least for a time. But they had seen the resurrected Christ and they knew His promise to prepare a place for each of them. They could never turn their back on Jesus. So they boldly shared their sure and certain hope in the risen, living Savior!

Indeed, death doesn’t have the last word! It didn’t with Jesus and it won’t with us. Heaven is certain and Jesus with us all along the way makes the difference in our lives all along the way. May we be courageous in the sharing of Jesus and in the way we live in the face of challenge because “Alleluia, Christ is risen!! He is risen indeed, Alleluia!! No joke!!

 

Pastor Craig