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Worshiping God With Joy. Serving Others. Embracing All.
PASTOR’S PONDERINGS … Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it. (Hebrews 13:2) February – the month when we think about and celebrate love on Valentine’s Day, February 14th. Some people look forward to it – others don’t for their own reasons. Nevertheless, it’s certainly hyped within our culture. This year, that date is also the first day of Lent – Ash Wednesday. This important day of love of a different sort is not ‘hyped’ much within our culture. It’s the kind of love that requires that we take the time to reflect upon the immense love Jesus showed to us in his willingness to sacrifice himself for our salvation. It’s the kind of love which needs to be prepared for in order that we might fully receive the joy which Easter offers. The six weeks of Lent offer us that time – time to engage in the spiritual disciplines of the Christian life. Lent is a time that gives those who hunger for greater depth and vitality in their faith life the opportunity to gain access to the deeper dimensions of their spirituality. This is made possible by the observance of spiritual traditions that might lead one to deeper aspects of the faith life – prayer, fasting, study, discernment, service, etc.
We will offer opportunities to observe a number of these spiritual disciplines here at Ogden. Many of those opportunities are listed in this newsletter. It is my hope you will avail yourselves of these offerings and that they will enrich your Lenten season. And that leads me to the spiritual discipline of hospitality. We have another important date to note in February – and that is Saturday, February 24. On that morning (10 am to noon) we are hosting a Presbytery-sponsored event on Gracious Hospitality. I wrote at length about that in last month’s newsletter. And information about that gathering follows in its own announcement in this newsletter. “Hospitality directly and visibly expresses our spiritual kinship with every human being and with the whole creation. It is both a means of God’s transforming grace for us and a fruitful expression of the Spirit working in us for the sake of others”, says Marjorie Thompson in her book Soul Feast: An Invitation to the Christian Spiritual Life. Thompson defines hospitality as: “receiving the other, from the heart, into my own dwelling place. It entails providing for the need, comfort, and delight of the other with all the openness, respect, freedom, tenderness, and joy that love itself embodies.” When Marjorie talks about a ‘dwelling place’ she is not just being literal – but is also referring to our mental, emotional and spiritual space. At its best, hospitality is a two-way street. In offering hospitality to others, we often discover that they gift us with their presence. The relationship of host and guest is a mutual one: “the very root of the word ‘hospitality’ … hospes means both host and guest.” (Marjorie Thompson) So we need to be able to receive as well as to give hospitality.
And that brings me back to love. Hospitality is at its core an expression of love. It is a movement to include the guest in the very best of what we ourselves have received and can therefore offer. It is the act of sharing who we are as well as what we have. “Thus, hospitality of heart lies beneath every hospitable act.” (Marjorie Thompson) Our love for one another is a direct expression of our love for God: Our hospitality is rooted and grounded in God’s hospitality to us in Christ. Until we know this love deep in the core of our hearts, we will have neither courage nor trust to share hospitality with others in more than superficial ways. Christian hospitality is a risk taken in faith. As we learn to receive God’s hospitality to us, we will become more hospitable to God, to each other, and to our fellow creatures. By now you may have seen that there is much more to the spiritual discipline of hospitality than being pleasant and friendly to guests and offering them refreshment. Marjorie Thompson concludes that once we are able to approach the discipline of hospitality in a way that is deeply rooted in recognition of God’s hospitality to us in Christ, that perhaps then, and only then, will others “see something enticing in us” - something perhaps in which they would like to share. Please make it part of your Lenten discipline to attend this February 24th workshop on Gracious Hospitality. Pastor Kathi
We love because he first loved us. (1 John 4:19)
Emergency Weather Closings We have a procedure in place for emergency closings of this type. The decision to close will be made by Balcom Parcells and Pastor Kathi sometime mid Saturday afternoon. Kathi will then contact the Clerk, Marcia Casais, Casey Molino Dunn and Sandy Roos. Sandy will contact the heads of the Deacon groups who will make calls to each person/family. In addition, the information will be posted on our Facebook page and Casey will send an blast email to everyone. Whenever possible, a message will be left on our phone. And finally, if in doubt, don’t hesitate to contact Pastor Kathi on her cell (732-740-2224). This should cover every base. Hopefully we will have no reason to implement our emergency procedure this winter due to bad weather!
Worship at Ogden – February Sunday, February 4 - Communion 9:00 a.m. Chancel Choir 9:20 a.m. Chimes Ensemble 10:00 a.m. Worship 10:15 a.m. Sunday School 11:00 a.m. Congregational Meeting 11:30 a.m. Youth Musicians 11:30 a.m. Mini Craft Sale Sunday, February 11 9:20 a.m. 10:00 a.m. 10:15 a.m. 11:00 a.m.
Chancel Choir & Youth Musicians Worship Sunday School Refreshment and Fellowship
No Sunday School Chancel Choir Worship Refreshment and Fellowship Youth Musicians
Sunday, February 25 10:00 a.m. 10:15 a.m. 11:00 a.m.
Ensembles TBA Worship Sunday School Refreshment and Fellowship MARK THE DATE!
JUNE’S FAREWELL LUNCH/PARTY – Sunday, April 29; 11:15 a.m. After faithfully serving Ogden for over 28 years, June has decided to move on to the next chapter of her life, and is looking forward to spending more time with her family, especially her granddaughters. She will be greatly missed here at Ogden. Please plan to join us on April 29, after the church service, at which time we celebrate her time with us, enjoy a delicious lunch, and wish her well in her next adventures.
ASH WEDNESDAY SERVICE February 14, 7:00 p.m. Ash Wednesday marks the first day of the season of Lent, which begins 40 days prior to Easter (Sundays are not included in the count). Lent is a time when many Christians prepare for Easter by observing a period of fasting, repentance, moderation and spiritual discipline. However you choose to observe Lent, begin it with your church community on February 14, 7:00 p.m., at our Ash Wednesday service, which includes the imposition of ashes. If you have any questions, please contact Pastor Kathi. COMING UP … MAUNDY THURSDAY SOUP & SALAD SUPPER & COMMUNION SERVICE Thursday, March 29 – Supper at 6:30 p.m. & Service at 7:30 p.m. More information will be available in the March newsletter.
One Great Hour of Sharing
Our next two gatherings will be held on Tuesday, February 27 and March 27, 10:30 am, in the Library. We’d love to see you then! We’ll be discussing some of the spiritual disciplines using Marjorie Thompson’s book Soul Feast: An Invitation to the Christian Spiritual Life as the basis for our discussion.
As has been a Presbyterian tradition for many years, and one we here at Ogden have participated in many times, the “One Great Hour of Sharing” offering will be received throughout Lent. The Presbyterian Church USA divides the gifts received almost equally between three programs: SelfDevelopment of People, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, and the Presbyterian Hunger Program. We will begin this Lenten mission project on Sunday, March 4. More information about “One Great Hour of Sharing” will be provided in the near future.
Per Capita Request Our per capita assessment for 2018 remains at $35 per member. This figure includes a General Assembly assessment of $7.55; a Synod assessment of $4.10; and $23.35 is used by our Presbytery. Ogden’s total assessment cost is $3,675. To date, we have received a commitment from seven members to pay their per capita. Please consider making the donation of your per capita cost to support our budget. Our church’s per capita giving is important. What you give makes a difference not only for Ogden, but also affects the mission and ministry of our denomination and all the faith communities of our local Presbytery. Per capita envelopes are in your box of pledge envelopes; or envelopes for this purpose are on the table to the right as you leave the sanctuary. Additionally, you may use one of the pew envelopes – making sure you mark ‘per capita’ on your check and/or the envelope. Thanks! MISSION-OF-THE-MONTH: BRIDGES OUTREACH INC. “Bringing the housed and homeless together in community” During the month of February we will continue to collect trial-size toiletries and other hygiene items like toothbrushes, combs, soaps, toothpaste, dental floss, lotions, shampoo, deodorant (i.e. things you might have picked up from your dentist visits or hotel stays). There is a great need for such items, and most likely, we all have an excess of these things hanging around in our bathroom cabinets and drawers. So… take a look through them, clean out the excess, and in the bargain, help those in need. Another item needed is quart-sized Ziploc bags. A box for these items is located in the Narthex. If you have any questions, please contact Kathi or Pat. Thanks for your support!
News From Session At its January meeting, the Session: Learned, with regret, that June Jeannette plans to retire at the end of April; Initiated plans to celebrate June Jeannette's many years of work at Ogden; Expressed its pleasure with our Advent and Christmas worship, our concerts, and the preparations for Lent and Easter; Heard that Mothers' Morning Out is making arrangements for the program's name change to "Ogden Junior Preschool;" Learned more about the "donation app" that will allow direct donations to the church's bank account; Approved the Budget for 2018 and the Mission Budget, in preparation for the Congregational Meeting on February 4; Approved revisions to Ogden's Administrative Manual.
Membership Directory A new directory will be available on February 11. You may pick up a copy in the narthex at that time. If you wish to have a digital copy, please contact June in the church office and one will be emailed to you.
♫ Music Notes ♫ from the Director of Music As we prepare for the start of Lent, we’ll build on some of the joys of January, including Epiphany, a Potluck Lunch, plus Concerts on Main for kids. Thank you to all who contributed to make those events a success. February features all of our ensembles in rotation. The monthly calendar outlines details, but here’s a quick synopsis: Chancel Choir is set to add to most services, Chimes the first Sunday, February 4, and Youth Musicians, pending kids’ availability, the second Sunday, February 11. A couple of dates to keep on your radar: • We will mark the start of Lent with a reflective Ash Wednesday Service on February 14 at 7:00 p.m. Ensembles will not add to this service, but members are strongly encouraged to attend to help lift their voices on for congregational singing • Our next Concert on Main: Friday evening, March 16: Mod3 oboe, violin/viola, and piano, 7:30 p.m. in the sanctuary
Please take time out from your busy schedules to remember the February birthdays listed below. Send a card or make a phone call. Your greetings will be appreciated by all! If you have not seen your name on the lists, please call the church office so that we can update our files with your birth date. We promise not to print the year in the “Birthday Corner.” Corey Laurenzi Abigail Tivade Kristin Jones Colin Kidd Kathy Havens Gabriel Molino Dunn Alfonso Chia
5 6 8 10 15 16 21
2018 PRESBYTERIAN WOMEN RETREAT – MAKING A SPIRITUALITY CENTER AT HOME ‘GRACIOUS HOSPITALITY IN THE MISSIONAL CHURCH’ Workshop – Saturday, February 24, 2018, 10 am to Noon hosted by Ogden Memorial The Presbytery is sponsoring this workshop here at Ogden. Please support this event by attending. Hospitality is a very important topic in the church today – and it certainly is here at Ogden too. We often have visitors, and seem to make a good connection, but never see them again. And if you’re like me, you struggle with the balance of wanting to appear friendly and welcoming, but not desperate and pushy. If you’d like to know more about how to offer gracious hospitality to those who come to Ogden, sign up for this event. So please join us for this worthwhile and informative time, so that Ogdenites might be better equipped to be the providers, as well as receivers, of gracious hospitality. Please call June at 973-635-5567 or email at [email protected] to RSVP by February 21.
March 10, 2018 9am - 4pm at The Shrine of St. Joseph 1050 Long Hill Rd. Stirling, NJ 07980 We will spend our day with Colleen Duffy, the Associate for Family Nurture at the First Presbyterian Church of Newton. She has been creating Spirituality Centers for several years - places of prayer, contemplation, and hands-on activities both adults and children. Whether for yourself, your children, grandchildren or your church, come and see what it takes to make special spaces in our homes. Expect some hands-on, as well as head-around during the time. (We are going back to the Shrine - not only is it in a beautiful place, but the food was wonderful, as well.) Cost for the day is $20, covers morning snack, hot lunch and materials. Contact Nancy Lack at [email protected] or on 908-894-3176 to register and/or for further information.
Let Us Pray…Let us pray for our members…Marcia Casais, Martha Kiff, Alice Loeser, Barbara Molitor, Ev Stanert
GRACE COUNSELING CENTER Grace Counseling Center of Madison, a non-profit, interfaith organization provides psychotherapy to families, individuals and children, who need help with relationships and meeting life’s challenges. The Grace Counseling Center psychotherapists are offering several free programs for the New Year in a monthly series entitled “How to Create a Healthy Life.” Each month will bring a different focus on an area of life with which people often need help. The February session, entitled “You Said What?” is being held on Wednesday, February 7, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. and is described as follows: True communication requires two people to share a deep level of understanding about their needs, concerns or feelings. Often we are not tuned in deeply enough to really share on this level. This seminar can help persons in special relationships (married, committed, friendship, parent and adult child) enrich their lives through dialogue. For the greatest benefit, both parties of the relationship should attend together. (Presented by: Catherine M. Morrisett, D. Min.) Future sessions include “Raising Resilient Children,” “Infant Massage,” “Secrets of a Happy Retirement (It’s Not About Money);” and “Why Won’t My Child Listen To Me?” (Challenges of Parenting). RSVPs are required because space is limited: 973-822-0707. For further information contact the Grace Counseling Center at the above number or at [email protected] A brochure with all the information about these free programs is posted on the bulletin board in the narthex.
Let us pray for… Kevin Boettger Gina Cocchiaro-Hoang family Ed Dunn Josh Fernandez Auriel Gonzales James Guishard Paul Horgan Chris Keri Marie LaPena Darlene LaRue Patricia Maher Denny Mayer The Mears family Charles Molino Clark and Jean Paradise Dennis Paradise Steve Raas The Roche family Gloria Rodgers Kathy Scotton and family Laurie Sheppard Frank Squindo Mark Squindo Woody Woodruff
nephew of Pat Hammeke friends of Cindy Parlavecchio great-uncle of Casey Molino Dunn 12 year old neighbor of the Roos family mother of Sandy Roos friend of Janice and Balcom Parcells friend of the Crescas family friend of Bob and Colette Crescads friend of Mariclaire Miller friend of Allan and Gail Paradise friend of Marcia Casais friend of Marcia Casais our missionaries in Haiti uncle of Casey Molino Dunn parents of Allan Paradise brother of Allan Paradise friend of Bob and Colette Crescas neighbors of Marcia Casais cousin of Ginnie Trowbridge friends of the Knolls friend of Cindy Parlavecchio son of Janice Parcells son of Janice Parcells brother of Sally laurenzi
Let us pray for those serving our Country…Scott Armstrong, James Glendening, Morgan Glendening, Corey Laurenzi, Robert Traver, Doug Verblaauw