To read the June 2017 Parish News, please click here: June Parish News
Finally the sunshine is back, the warmth of spring, and the hope for summer. Easter has come, and with it the release from our long Lenten journey. Like captives set free, we can now proclaim “Christ is Risen!” and know and feel and believe, that “He is Risen, indeed.”
We’ve lost no time in celebration. A big part of our church life this year centers on our 300th years as a congregation. Even as we hold special events for our 300 years all year long, we celebrated our 300th Anniversary Day with particular focus on April 30th. We measured our anniversary back to the day closest to April 29, 1717, when our first pastor was ordained to serve our church as a separate congregation from our parent, or older sibling – the First Presbyterian Church of Woodbridge.
Back in 1717, there were some disagreements between us as we haggled over property and material things, like siblings sometimes do. So, to make things right, on our 300th Anniversary Sunday, we invited back some special guests from the Woodbridge congregation, still going strong all these years later. Pastors and elders and a passionate historian from “First Church” joined us for worship and found themselves right at home. The Mayor of Metuchen also came that morning and in a festive reception in the social center presented us with a special proclamation, declaring April 30, 2017, to be “First Presbyterian Church Day” for the Borough of Metuchen. We also dedicated a Time Capsule to the next generation of our congregation with treasures inside – historical remembrances and testimony to our faith – and sealed it up for posterity not to be opened until year 2042!
There’s more Good News to be found at our church as we look to the future. This month students from the Confirmation Class of 2017 will be joining our membership in celebration at worship on Sunday May 7th. We elect a new slate of officers: a new class of Deacons and Elders at our congregational meeting on Sunday May 14th. And on Sunday May 21st we will celebrate in worship with a 300th Anniversary Concert Day – all music all morning. All good things to plan for and look forward to for this month of May and our warm-up for summer.
Having a 300 year old church – a congregation of many generations and a history of long faithfulness – helps keeps life’s challenges in perspective. Not to belittle whatever it is that keeps us up at night, but to offer a sense of hopefulness: that somehow we have survived this far and for this long, by the grace of God and the living Spirit of our Lord Jesus Christ. Maybe there is hope here for all of us.
As you face each new day, and the budding promise of this particular day, remember the wisdom of Ecclesiastes, who wrote that “for everything there is a season…a time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance.” May this be a time of dancing for each one of you, a time of laughter, and a time of Joy.
Yours in Christ,