MISSION BOOK CLUB JULY

MISSIONS BOOK CLUB MEETS

Join us on MONDAY, July 26 at 6:00 pm for the Missions Book Club via Zoom.

NOTE: Moved from Friday, July 30.

We will be discussing The Simple Faith of Mister Rogers by Amy Hollingsworth.
 
Celebrate the release of A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood starring Tom Hanks with an inside look on Mr. Rogers’ spiritual legacy.
It shows us a man who, to paraphrase the words of St. Francis of Assisi, “preached the gospel at all times; when necessary he used words.”
Tom Brokaw of NBC Nightly News once said of the American icon Fred Rogers, “Mister Rogers was an ordained minister, but he never talked about God on his program. He didn’t need to.”
 
Eight years before his death, Fred Rogers met author, educator, and speaker Amy Hollingsworth. What started as a television interview turned into a wonderful friendship spanning dozens of letters detailing the driving force behind this gentle man of extraordinary influence. Educator? Philosopher? Psychologist? Minister? Here is an intimate portrait of the real Mister Rogers.
 
To participate in the call:
Log on to: www.zoom.com
Meeting ID: 858 1209 6236
Passcode: 040982

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85812096236?pwd=ci80R2ZVaXhjS1RYLzF3STZkTGprUT09
Join Zoom Meeting
+1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
+1 408 638 0968 US (San Jose)
+1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
Meeting ID: 858 1209 6236
Passcode: 040982
 
If you have not read or finished the book, please feel free to still join the discussion! We’d love to have you.
For information contact Linda Jagiela at missions@fpcmoorestown.org. The Book Club will meet by Zoom on the third Monday of each month. (Note some dates are different due to holidays)
 
Want to read ahead?
See our summaries of upcoming books for 2021:Remaining Schedule:
August 23, 2021: Father to the Fatherless: The Charles Mulli Story by Paul H. Boge and Bruce Wilkinson

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25 WAYS GUIDE US

OUR 25 WAYS GUIDE US

Community is such a gift!

It is a true strength for FPC Moorestown. The better we grow our community – more loving, kind and merciful – the more inline we are with our greater message; the message of our faith.

Pastor Spencer shares with us how, using our 25 WAYS as a guide, we create a culture that knows how to go out into the local and global community to give and invest.

Thank you to Rolando Vega and CultureWise for this video production.

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PROPERTY CREW

Steve Margerum, Property Manager

OUR PROPERTY CREW HAS EXPANDED

Would you like to contact a member of our day time Property Crew? JUST CALL FOR STEVE!

Steve Purdy, Property Team

Yes, three members of our property staff have the first name of Steve. Our new Property Manager is Steve Margerium, having taken the role just last month. Steve Purdy was added to the team just this week joining Steve Cashmer and Fausto de la Cruz. When you see our newest team members please be sure to say… ‘Hello Steve!’


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COLOR WARS

Color Wars! (grades 4th-6th)

COLOR WARS RESCHEDULED
Join us on Wednesday, July 28 at 6:30 pm 

 
Color Wars AKA Paint Wars for grades 4th-6th only (this includes those going into 4th grade in the fall and those entering 7th grade in the fall are invited back for the summer for one last hurrah!)
  • When: Wednesday, July 21st
  • Time: 6:30-8:00 pm
  • Where: First Presbyterian Church, 101 Bridgeboro Road, Moorestown
  • What to bring: Wear a white tee shirt, old sneakers, shorts (these will get stained!!) and hair ties if you want your hair up and out of the way. Bring a pair of goggles if you have them (I will try to have spares for those that do not) and TWO OLD TOWELS … one to dry off with and one to use to cover the car seat on the way home! No need to bring a change of clothes.
 
Because of the nature of this event, no one will be permitted to enter the building once the event begins. (Can’t get paint all over the church)
 
This will be a FUN event BUT messy!! We will have hoses available to rinse off at the end of our time together.
 
Questions? Contact Holly Asciutto at 609-273-7465 cell/text or hasciutto@fpcmoorestown.org.

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NEW PROTOCOLS

NEW PROTOCOLS FOR GATHERED WORSHIP

OLLIE, OLLIE IN COME FREE!

Right at this point in June, in the longest days of the year and summer nearly arrived; I fondly remember playing outside as a child with the kids of my neighborhood. My favorite game was Kick the Can, the reverse of Hide and Go Seek. One kid guarded an old tin coffee can while the rest of us hid by the houses, trees and shrubs of our neighborhood. The goal was to kick the can — though if the guard tagged you, you had to sit in jail until someone successfully booted the can. If the game went too long or the hour was too late, the person guarding the can shouted: Ollie! Ollie in come free! According to Wikipedia, the phrase my friends and I yelled is a variant of “Olly olly oxen free.” The term is a truce term used in children’s games such as hide and seek, capture the flag, and kick the can. Hearing it indicates that players who are hiding can come out into the open without losing the game; or, that the game is entirely over.
 
I’m calling: Ollie, Ollie in come free today. Though the COVID pandemic isn’t completely over, we see the right signs moving in both directions. Infection rates in Burlington County are dropping while the vaccine rates are rising. At FPC Moorestown, this means that we’re loosening more of our restrictions and easing into a number of changes. I invite, welcome and encourage you to join us Sunday for worship at 8:30 a.m. in the Sanctuary and 11:00 a.m. in Miller Commons. The coast is clear. Come on in!
 
At its stated meeting Tuesday, June 22, Session approved the following guidelines for our worship services and meeting (see our event page for details).
  • Effective Sunday, June 27, masks will be optional. Some people may decide to wear a mask for a number of reasons. As disciples, we honor and love one another without judgment. NOTE: These mask guidelines will not apply to participants of our Vacation Bible School. Children will need to mask next week because of mandates for day camps in the State of New Jersey.
  • Starting Sunday, July 4th, our Independence Day, congregational singing will be permitted at both services. We’ll start slowly, meaning that the congregation will sing a couple of times in each worship service. Beginning this Sunday, singers at both services won’t have to wear masks as they offer their praise to God.
  • The collection practice continues with emphasis on electronic giving and mailing checks to church. The offering box will be available at both services.
  • All entry remains through the Commons Lobby.
  • Check-ins will be for attendance purposes only and will shift to self-check only (no QR code). We won’t be asking people to complete release forms, health forms or have temperatures taken, effective immediately.
  • Please continue to check in on the Church Center app on your smart phone when arriving or when viewing the live stream from home.
  • Handicapped entry remains through the narthex.
  • Restrictions on seating capacity are fully lifted.
  • We’ll continue using individual communion serving units when we celebrate the Lord’s Supper.
  • If you’re not feeling well or have any COVID symptoms, please stay at home.
  • These same protocols are in effect for all FPC Moorestown groups, though groups won’t have to check in before meeting. Please consult the Church Office when planning an event or a meeting.
  • For the present, no food will be served inside our facilities. We won’t offer a Sunday Coffee Hour for the time being, though we hope to in the coming months.
  • Both Sunday morning services will be available by live stream.
I have more pleasant news to share with you. At Tuesday’s Session meeting, our elders approved the recommendation of our Personnel Team to hire Steve Margerum as our new Property Supervisor and Steve Purdy as a full-time member of our Property Team. Identifying the members of our Property Team is now simple but confusing. Just call Steve!
 
I like to conclude all of our Congregational Updates with a request for your prayers. Please hold Holly Asciutto and her staff in prayer in the final days before Vacation Bible School and each morning next week. Remember regularly our search committees for an Associate Pastor and Youth Director.
Please continue to support the mission and work of our church financially. Our staff and lay leaders are eager to serve our community and congregation as the pandemic recedes.
 
Ollie! Ollie in come free! See you in worship!
 
Fondly yours in Christ,
Stuart Spencer, Pastor
 

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CREDO CLASS 2021

FPC Moorestown Welcomes New Young Members

The congregation accepts new members with open arms and prayer.

Pastor Stuart Spencer led the CREDO confirmation class for those young people looking to become members of the church. Students who began CREDO last year were also invited to complete the course this year. Each student is assigned a mentor from the congregation to walk this journey with them.
 
The class met Sunday afternoons on the Van Camp Porch. Members were examined by Session at an outdoor dinner on Sunday, June 6 where the students presented their Statements of Faith.
 
Those who wished to join First Presbyterian Church were welcomed during worship on Sunday, June 13 at the Traditional Worship service.

2021 CREDO Participants and Mentors

  • Ava Callahan ~ Holly Asciutto
  • Caroline Cristella ~ Jenna Cole
  • Luke Eagles ~ Dave Fauvell
  • Evan Livingston ~ Mike Baker
  • Will McNeil ~ Lorenzo Eagles
  • Alivia Nawrocki ~ Holly Asciutto
  • Max Nicklas ~ Jason Rose

Welcome CREDO class 2021


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PW SPRING GATHERING

Presbyterian Women Host Spring Gathering

Monday, June 21, 7:00 pm

Via live stream and in person
Dr. Jenny Legath presents “Grace and God’s ‘Will’: Living and Loving in a Special Needs Family.”

Jenny Wiley Legath and her husband Jeff joined the church in 2004. They have three active sons: Jack, Will, and Cole. Jenny served as an elder from 2009-2012 and is a devoted member of the Thursday morning Moms Group. In 2008 Jenny earned her Ph.D. in Religion from Princeton University, where she works as the Associate Director of the Center for the Study of Religion. She teaches and advises graduate students, and in the fall she will teach her first undergraduate class at Princeton: “Religion and the Public Conversation.” She is the author of Sanctified Sisters: A History of Protestant Deaconesses (New York University Press 2019). Jenny will speak about relying on God while raising a family that includes a special needs child.
 
For those attending in person, masks are required and please distance comfortably. There is no cost to attend and guests are always welcome!
 
To watch the live stream, simply log on to the church website at 7:00 pm, Monday, June 21 for the live event: www.fpcmoorestown.org/live-stream. Please forward the website link to any of your friends you’d like to invite to the event. There is no registration required to view the event.

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MISSION BOOK CLUB JUNE

MISSIONS BOOK CLUB

Join us on Monday, June 14 at 6:00 pm for the Missions Book Club via Zoom (moved from 6/21).

We will be discussing ‘Love is the Way: Holding on to Hope in Troubling Times’ by Bishop Michael Currie. Walk the path of love with one of the warmest, most beloved spiritual leaders of our time, and learn how to put faith into action.

To join our Zoom Meeting:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85812096236?pwd=ci80R2ZVaXhjS1RYLzF3STZkTGprUT09

Meeting ID: 858 1209 6236
Passcode: 040982
 
Would you like to learn more about the Book Club and see future readings?  Visit our Missions Book Club page here…
 

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YOUTH CHOIR OPEN HOUSE

FPC MOORESTOWN YOUTH CHOIR OPEN HOUSE

Tuesday, June 15, 5:45 pm – 7:15 pm

We Love Music! One of the many joys at FPC Moorestown is our extensive and diverse music program.

You are invited to join us for the evening and learn more about our youth choirs at First Presbyterian Church of Moorestown! We hope you will come so you may meet current and former members of our youth choirs.
 
You will hear them perform a few pieces and see some video clips from our most recent European Choir Tour. You will also be able to visit the facilities for our Music program. We will end this evening with desserts in our Fellowship Hall.
 

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LEGACY GIVING

Legacy Giving Sunday – June 6, 2021

Live Forward. Give Forward.

 
Legacy Giving Sunday, observed May 3 in the PC(USA) and June 6 this year at First Presbyterian Church, is an invitation to consider how you can share the blessings God has given to you beyond your lifetime.
 
On this Sunday, we recognize and honor those who have created a legacy here at First Presbyterian Church through bequests, both large and small. These important donations benefit our programs and services, ministries, beautiful grounds and property, and our impact in the world, and make an enduring statement of faith for God’s work here on earth.
 
A legacy speaks not about how we died, but how we lived. It speaks about the things that move us in life, the things that matter to us. A legacy is an expression of gratitude and thanks to God for all that has been given and enjoyed in life.
In creating a legacy, the dream is to keep our church caring and working here after our lifetime.. The Presbyterian Foundation offers many resources to begin this conversation.
 
Including a gift to the church in your will or estate can make a lasting difference for our church family and faith community. It’s a simple process and we can help. If you feel called to include the church in your legacy giving plan, please contact Norman Vandergrift in the church office at (856) 235-1688, Ext. 112 or nvandergrift@fpcmoorestown.org.
 
A LOVING HISTORY OF GIFTS TO GROW OUR CHURCH

Over the years, special gifts and bequests have allowed our church to “live forward” and provide for our future as we do the work of the Lord. Just some of the growth opportunities that were realized because members made a plan to “give forward” have been:
  • Renovation of Main Kitchen
  • Replacement of Fellowship Hall and Sanctuary roofs
  • Yearly scholarships to high school seniors
  • Construction of Prayer Room and development of prayer team ministry
  • Installation of high efficiency boilers
  • Fire code upgrades for boiler rooms
  • Energy upgrade of HVAC/lighting for cost efficiency
  • Restoration of carillon bell tower
  • Purchase of pick-up truck for property use
  • uild out of Miller Commons stage
  • Way of the Week Showcase and artwork
  • Upgrade of church office computer system network
  • Repair and resurfacing of all parking lots
  • Installation of improved drainage
  • Beautification of cemetery, cross, hardscaping, landscaping, entry
  • Creation of Spencer Powell Fund for pastoral housing
Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. II Corinthians 9:7 (NIV)

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JOURNEYING TOGETHER

West Jersey Chamber Music Society

Closes its 2020–21 season with Journeying Together, a free live stream concert on Sunday, May 23 at 7:30 pm.

The West Jersey Chamber Chorale pairs spirituals from the African-American and European-American traditions of the 1860s. We explore the commonalities that led both communities on a journey to heaven.
 
The program includes arrangements by composers Moses Hogan, Alice Parker, Hall Johnson, and Jester Hairston, among others. The talented WJCMS singers, plus host Ivan Woods, will contrast the roots, characteristics, and themes shared among these musical traditions. Journey through mankind’s earthly struggles to the divine aspirations that unite us.
 
The Performers:
  • West Jersey Chamber Chorale
  • Ivan Woods, narrator
 
This program includes:
Such traditional spirituals as “Walk Together, Children,” “Let the Church Roll On,” and “Hark, I Hear the Harp’s Eternal,” among others.
 
We thank our sponsors:
  • This concert is generously sponsored by DJK Roofing LLC.
  • WJCMS is grateful to Cigna for its support.
  • Funding is made possible in part by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts / Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts through a grant to the Burlington County Board of Commissioners.

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KELLY AND JOEY WEDDING

A GLIMPSE INTO THEIR WEDDING!

MR. AND MRS. SPONSELLER

MAY 15, 2021

The wedding worship was held at an estate in San Ynez, California with family and friends sharing in the happiness; all praying for God’s blessings on this wonderful couple!
 
Joey and Kelly are now husband and wife. God made a beautiful day in a gorgeous setting.
 
 

Ready for the wedding worship.

Kelly is stunningly gorgeous and Joey is handsome in his purple suit.

And some pictures from the rehearsal rehearsal dinner held at a winery.

Kelly was excited to be escorted down the aisle by her parents, Tom and Terry LePenske.

 

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MISSIONOPOLY FAIR

THE GREAT COMMISSION: MISSIONOPOLY

Our first ever virtual mission fair!

Your Mission team is excited to bring you The Great Commission: Missionopoly — our first ever virtual mission fair based loosely on the game Monopoly.

Watch the videos, play the game, pray the devotions, compete in trivia night (May 21st at 7 pm) and join our missionaries live on May 23rd throughout the day for zoom panel discussions and Q&A meet the missionaries.

With this event we will be celebrating our mission partners; bringing to you their stories and giving a firsthand opportunity to travel across the globe to see God’s good deeds in action from the comfort of your sofa.
 
 

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A FAREWELL FROM KELLY

A Letter from Kelly LePenske

May 2, 2021

THREE YEARS AGO this month, I moved from Princeton to the historic town of Riverton where the Delaware River glistened just beyond the windows of my new apartment. Before I could unpack my boxes, I dove into full-time ministry at First Presbyterian Church in Moorestown and met many of you for the first time. Early on, it became clear to me that FPC was a cherished home for multiple generations, a place where people came to connect with God and each other not just on Sundays, but practically every day of the week. It was easy to feel God’s welcome as I learned the names of preschoolers, teens, adults and lifelong members in their 90s.
 
I also learned some serious life lessons as a South Jersey resident. Lesson #1: Don’t ever order an ice cream cone with sprinkles; only jimmies. Lesson #2: If anyone asks what you did over the weekend, just say “I went down the shore” even if you drove north to get to the beach. As important as these lessons are for a West Coaster, my favorite memories don’t revolve around ice cream but you, the body of Christ at FPC. The greatest thing I’ll carry with me across the Verrazano Bridge into Brooklyn is the gift of your friendship and generosity.
 
Thank you for inviting me into your lives, in good times and in hard times, and sharing so much with me––delicious meals, laughter, honest conversations, brilliant questions, prayers next to beeping hospital machines, volunteer projects at the shore, Spirit-led meetings that help our church grow spiritually for the short and long term… and the list goes on. Your stories have enabled me to see the Gospel at work in some truly unforgettable ways. Christ is much closer and available to us in the daily rhythms of our lives than we often believe. Don’t forget to pay attention to the ordinary!
 
I’m proud of the way FPC Moorestown has embraced cultural change through The 25 Ways, which encourage us to grow from the inside out so that we might become more authentic, committed disciples. I’m praying for our APNC and Youth Director Search Committee, and will celebrate with you all when we know their names as God already does. You will undoubtedly bless them the way you’ve blessed me, with the gracious love and joy of Christ. So, in true English major form, I’m giving my last words to Mary Oliver, a favorite poet who knows how to say thank you best:

“Be slow if you must, but let the heart still play its true part. Love still as once you loved, deeply and without patience. Let God and the world know you are grateful. That the gift has been given.”
 
– Kelly
 

Farewell Drive-by Photo Gallery

Click any photo to open the photos in full size.

 

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UPDATE FROM PASTOR SPENCER

PASTOR’S UPDATE LETTER

WE HAVE EXCITING NEWS TO SHARE

 
Dear Members and Friends of FPC Moorestown,
 
I borrow and paraphrase a line from A. A. Milne, author of Winnie the Pooh, “How lucky I am to have [someone] that makes saying goodbye so hard.” How lucky, how fortunate, how blessed I am and we are to have someone like Kelly LePenske. She makes saying goodbye so hard.
 
This coming Sunday, May 2, we say goodbye and thank you to Kelly as she concludes three years of exceptional ministry. Thirteen days later, she marries Joey Sponseller in California. Kelly preaches at both services on this communion Sunday. After the second service, from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., Kelly and Joey return to the Main Parking lot for a Drive-Through Farewell Reception. I hope you’ll worship with us and then come to bless this couple.
 
Kelly’s departure marks a new time of waiting and prayer for us. I share news about some help that’s on the way and other help that will arrive.
 
  • Meet Peter Jonescu: At its stated meeting on Tuesday evening, April 27, Session voted to hire Peter Jonescu to serve as part-time Interim Director of Congregational Ministries. Peter is about to graduate with a Masters of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary. He’s a candidate for ordination under care of the Los Ranchos Presbytery in southern California. Peter believes that God has called him to serve in both academia and the local church. He plans to do doctoral studies in theology at Princeton Seminary in another year. Peter comes from southern California. He earned a degree from Baylor University before coming to Princeton. He loves dogs and he has a great beard. Peter begins his 25-hour a week, part-time position in early May.
  • APNC Update: Our Associate Pastor Nominating Committee (APNC) has redirected its efforts once again in its task of finding a candidate to serve as Associate Pastor. This faithful, praying group has lost no energy or focus since they began their work two years ago. They are now receiving Personal Information Forms (PIFs) from interested pastors. We can’t say when we’ll have an Associate Pastor here; we only know that God will deliver to us the person we need in His perfect time. APNC Members: Kevin Fauvell, chair; Carole Wehn, Adrienne Barr, Jane Murphy and Marsha Booker.
  • Youth Director Search Committee: We’re seeking a full-time non-ordained Youth Director to lead our youth program. I know that many of our young people feel disconnected to our church right now. It’s been a tough year for our students. Under the excellent leadership of Dave Fauvell, members of the High School and Middle School Youth Groups have had opportunities to “be together” virtually and occasionally, in person. Dave has organized events and stayed in touch with our young people, while doing his full-time job and planning his June wedding. I look forward to the day when we have a full-time Youth Director who can pour herself or himself into the lives of our youth. The Youth Director Search Committee has received many strong resumes thus far. They’ve started interviewing a few. Please pray regularly for this wonderful committee in this crucial moment. Youth Director Search Committee Members: Michael Hock, chair, Gwen Wilkie, Tamara Trzeciak, Carl Krott, Izzy Delgado and Christian Trzeciak (Izzy and Christian are members of the Youth Group.) Dave Fauvell serves in an advisory role without a vote.
 
Several of you have expressed your worries for me as we await the day when we’re fully staffed. Thank you for your concern. I know that you pray for me regularly and that’s the most important gift you can give. I’ll ask for your patience in these days. I may not respond as quickly to email or texts but I’ll do my best.
 
I promise you that I’m seeking daily the strength and wisdom that I need from God. I give glory to God because he has provided both, faithfully and abundantly throughout the pandemic and, really, every day of my life. The fourth petition of the Lord ’s Prayer, “Give us today our daily bread,” reminds me that each day I am to ask for all I need, certain that God will generously provide. That’s also true for us as we wait for God’s good provision of those who will soon serve us.
 
Gratefully yours in Christ,
Stuart
 
Stuart Spencer, Pastor
 

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MEETING OF THE CONGREGATION

NOTICE OF SPECIAL CONGREGATIONAL MEETING – MAY 2, 2021

The Session of the First Presbyterian Church of Moorestown, New Jersey, in accordance with the Church Bylaws, has called a Special Meeting of the Congregation and Corporation for Sunday, May 2, 2021 at 10:00 AM via Zoom. The purpose of the meeting is to elect Elders, Deacons and Trustees to a term of office beginning June 1, 2021
 
No other business may be brought before the congregation other than the preceding item.
 
PLEASE NOTE there will be no children’s Sunday School that day due to the Special Meeting.
 
Read biographical sketches of the candidates …  2021 CANDIDATES BIOS

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FAREWELL KELLY LEPENSKE

We bid loving and prayerful farewell to Kelly LePenske

Kelly is now concluding her ministry among us.

 
Dear Members and Friends of First Presbyterian Church of Moorestown,
 
Months before I started my ministry here I made a few decisions with support from our Session. The biggest decision was to hire Kelly LePenske. I’m sure I haven’t made a better decision. I knew Kelly from the year she served with me as a Seminary Intern at my previous congregation. When I realized that Dick Herman would be retiring shortly after I began, I knew I was going to need some help. I called Kelly and asked her if she had any interest in coming to Moorestown.
 
The Personnel Team then interviewed Kelly for a full-time position as a pastoral associate. They were impressed with Kelly. Once she started her ministry here, the rest of you discovered how gifted, wise and grace-filled Kelly LePenske is. Someone once wrote a book about people who either fill or empty buckets. The image suggests that we’re either regularly building up others or tearing them down. Kelly is a bucket filler and she never fails to fill the buckets of others with grace.
 
Kelly will soon marry Joey Sponseller. After the wedding, Joey and Kelly will settle in Brooklyn to begin their married lives. Kelly is now concluding her ministry among us. I’m so grateful for all the support and help Kelly has given our Staff, our whole congregation and me. My bucket is fuller because of her and I will dearly miss my friend and colleague.
 
Kelly’s last Sunday with us is May 2 when she will preach at both services. After the 11:00 a.m. Contemporary service, we’re planning a Drive-Through Farewell for Kelly in the Main Parking lot from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. You’re invited to drive to church to say farewell to her. We also want Kelly to know how much we appreciate her years of ministry with us. Monetary gifts should go directly to Kelly. Use the enclosed envelope to forward your love gift. NOTE: This contribution will not be included as part of your 2021 giving to the church and is not tax-deductible.
 
Please pray with me for Kelly and Joey for their new marriage and their future. Thank her for her ministry. Like all good gifts, Kelly has come to FPC Moorestown through the generous open-handedness of our gracious God. We thank him for Kelly!
 
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Stuart Spencer, Pastor

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NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER

NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER – May 6th

The National Day of Prayer is observed annually on the first Thursday in May.

We invite you to participate in our National Day of Prayer
This year’s theme is: LORD Pour Out Your Love, Life and Liberty
 
This day of observance, designated by the United States Congress, asks people to turn to God in repentance and prayer. The National Day of Prayer has great significance for us as a nation as it enables us to recall and to teach the way in which our founding fathers sought the wisdom of God when faced with critical decisions. It stands as a call for us to humbly come before God, seeking His guidance for our leaders and His grace upon us as a people. The unanimous passage of the bill establishing the National Day of Prayer as an annual event, signifies that prayer is as important to our nation today as it was in the beginning. This year’s theme is “Lord, Pour Out Your Love, Life, Liberty” based on 2 Corinthians 3:17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 2 Corinthians 3:17
 

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CONTEMPORARY SERVICE RETURNS

TWO SUNDAY WORSHIP SERVICES RETURN

 

We have returned to two worship services. We are happy to be able to safely provide the experience of our Contemporary worship service once again!

 
Join us in worship for:
Traditional service at 8:30 am in the sanctuary
Contemporary service at 11:00 am in Miller Commons
 
Sunday School for ages Kindergarten to 6th grade will move to 9:45-10:45 am in Fellowship Hall.
 
In-person worship protocols remain the same:
  • Participants and worshippers are required to check in through Miller Commons
  • Masks are to be worn on campus
  • Health Screening Questionnaires and Waivers are to be completed for each person

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VBS 2021

Vacation Bible School 2021: ROCKY RAILWAY!

June 28th – July 2nd, 9:30 am – 11:30 am.
Children entering Kindergarten through entering 6th grade (FALL 2021).
Cost: $20 per child

REGISTRATION DEADLINE: June 9th

 
 
 

VBS Volunteers
ADULTS AND TEENS (7th grade and older): 

Interested in being a VBS volunteer? WE NEED YOU!

Please contact Holly Asciutto at hasciutto@fpcmoorestown.org or 856-235-1688, Ext. 116. She is excited to talk with you!

 
 
At Rocky Railway VBS, kids climb aboard for mountains of fun! On this faith-filled adventure, kids discover that trusting Jesus pulls them through life’s ups and downs!
 
In an effort to provide a safe, in person, Vacation Bible School for our children we have modified the times for VBS this year to 9:30-11:30. We anticipate delivering a fun VBS with the necessary precautions in place. We are working hard to bring a spiritually meaningful program to our community.
 
To help move forward here are some points we would like to highlight at this time.
  • Safety will be our highest priority, for both our children and staff. At no time will either be compromised. All efforts will be made to abide by state, local, and FPC Moorestown church guidelines that are in place at that time.
  • All children and volunteers will be required to wear facemasks when inside the building and while outside on church property. Social distance protocols will be enforced and handwashing will be encouraged.
  • VBS will be a creative modified version. The program will consist of Biblical teachings done in an engaging yet safe manner.
 
We encourage you to reach out with your questions. You can send questions or concerns to Holly Asciutto at hasciutto@fpcmoorestown.org. It is important, and our desire, to offer our children this valuable experience in a safe manner.
 
We continue to pray daily for our families. I am here any time to support and answer questions.
Thank you,
Holly and the VBS Committee
For more information contact: Holly Asciutto — 856-235-1688 x 116 or email hasciutto@fpcmoorestown.org
 

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KELLY AND JOEY WEDDING SHOWER

Drive Through Wedding Shower for Kelly LePenske & Joey Sponseller

KELLY AND JOEY WELCOME GUESTS TO THEIR DRIVE-BY WEDDING SHOWER

A little rain did not dampen spirits! Smiles, games, cookies, warm wishes for life long happiness and God’s blessings were in abundance today!

Thank you to all who joined us to make this a very special day.  Here are a few photos of the day, just click on one to open the gallery in full size!!
 
 
 

And here is the invitation!

Sunday, April 11, 2021 ~ 12:30-1:30 pm

The wedding is getting close! Kelly LePenske and Joey Sponseller will be married on May 15, 2021 in California, and we are gathering to wish them well after worship. COVID-style of course ..
 
DRIVE THROUGH
Taking no chance of COVID-19 transmission before The Big Day, we are happily presenting a Drive Through Wedding Shower for the bride and groom, who will be in attendance to receive your well wishes. Please enter the main church parking lot off of Bridgeboro Road from 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm.
 
“GETTING CARDED”
Because they will be moving to Brooklyn and their living situation is in flux, it is requested that envelopes with gift cards be dropped off at the shower. Volunteers will be there to safely retrieve it from your car. Guests are encouraged NOT to bring wrapped gifts, please.
 
Here are a few favorites Kelly and Joey have requested:
  • REI (they hike)
  • West Elm
  • Anthropologie
  • Strand Books
  • Books Are Magic
  • Ruggable.com
  • Amazon.com
  • Whole Foods
  • Cheesecake Factory (Joey’s fave)
  • Target (can’t go wrong)
  • Crate and Barrel
  • VISA gift cards (they always fit)
  • Panera Bread
  • Walmart
 
They are also registered online: https://www.myregistry.com/wedding-registry/kelly-lepenske-and-joey-sponseller-brooklyn-ny/2759868
 
If you can’t make it, you may leave your gift after worship that day or ahead of time in the church office. If you’d like to donate to the event or volunteer that day, contact Tamara Trzeciak at 856.308.6793 cell or tctrzeciak@gmail.com.
Best wishes to the happy couple!

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PASTOR UPDATE CORONAVIRUS LETTER 16

One Year Later – We’ve Come a Long Way

Dear Member and Friends of FPC Moorestown,
 
The world changed almost a year ago exactly. Do you remember where you were? I recall how quickly everything shut down in the middle of March of 2020. Since then, we’ve all had to adjust to new ways of working, going to school, shopping, and attending worship. The loss of life and the drastic negative economic impact of COVID -19 will continue to ripple among our community and the world for some time to come. While we continue to mourn the loss of human life and milestones we can’t get back, we also continue to be people who are rooted in the love and hope of the Lord Jesus. As Romans 8: 38 and 39 reminds us, nothing in all creation, not even COVID-19, can separate us from God’s love and purposes for our lives, for First Presbyterian Church, or the wider world.
 
While there are many encouraging signs that we’re headed out of the pandemic, we’re not there yet. In planning our Holy Week services, we’ve continued to prioritize the safety of our members, visitors and staff. As you review the 2021 Holy Week worship schedule, you’ll notice that there’s a mixture of in-person and live stream only. However, every service, except the Easter sunrise service, will be available through live stream.
 
Sunday, March 28th – Palm Sunday (in-person attendance and live stream)
  • 8:30 AM Contemporary Worship in Miller Commons
  • 11:00 AM Traditional Worship in the Sanctuary
 
Thursday, April 1st – Maundy Thursday (live stream only)
  • 7:00 PM Live stream Worship in Miller Commons (includes communion)
Beth Douglass (seminary intern) preaches
 
Friday, April 2nd – Good Friday (in-person attendance; overflow seating available)
  • 7:00 PM Tenebrae Worship in the Sanctuary
Frantz Constant (seminary intern) preaches
 
Sunday, April 4th – Easter Sunday (THREE services total)
  • 6:30 AM Sunrise Worship at the Cemetery Cross (includes communion).
In-person attendance is welcome. No live stream.
  • 8:30 AM Contemporary Worship in Miller Commons. Live stream only.
  • 11:00 AM Traditional Worship in the Sanctuary. Live stream only. (over)
 
Reflecting on all that’s happened at First Presbyterian Church within the last year, it’s not hard to see God at work in our lives. As difficult and discouraging as the disruptions of the pandemic are for us, I clearly see how the Spirit of God opens doors of opportunity for mission and ministry. In a recent Inquirer’s Class, three or four couples “found” us through our online worship. Though none have yet set foot on our campus, they were drawn to consider becoming members of FPC Moorestown through our expanded online presence.
 
We strive to keep in step with the Spirit for all the good that awaits us. There are two searches underway for a Youth Director and an Associate Pastor. Let’s regularly pray for these committees and their work.
 
As we prepare to welcome two new staff members, we’re saying good-bye and thank you to Kelly LePenske. Kelly and Joey Sponseller will be married in Santa Barbara, CA on May 15th. Leslie and I will be there to celebrate with Kelly and Joey as I have the privilege of uniting them in marriage. You’re invited to a drive-in Wedding Shower for Kelly and Joey on Sunday, April 11 from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. The invitation for this happy event is included. Kelly’s final day with us is Sunday, May 2nd.
 
Thank you for the numerous ways you’ve supported FPC Moorestown. Don’t let up on your generosity! Easter offerings may be mailed to the church, dropped off at worship or submitted through electronic giving. Please make sure to note “Easter Offering” in the memo line.
We serve Jesus, our risen Savior. The women who found his tomb empty on Easter morning, turned from it to carry the news of his resurrection to a dark and anxious world.
 
Gratefully yours in Christ,
Stuart Spencer, Pastor
 

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SEVEN LAST WORDS OF JESUS

Moorestown Ministerium Offers Virtual Good Friday Service

The Seven Last Words of Jesus

 
The Moorestown Ministerium, a ministerial organization that brings churches together to collaborate and serve the needs of the Moorestown community, will offer a virtual Ecumenical Good Friday service on the seven last words of Jesus.
 
his community service weaves scripture and music together to help us consider the very last hours of Jesus’ life. This worship experience will be available all day Friday, April 2, 2021 on Trinity Episcopal Church’s Seven Last Words webpage and on their YouTube Channel so that those seeking spiritual reflection for the day may participate at the time that is best for them. A worship guide will be linked from the YouTube video to assist participants and is linked below.
 
 
Good Friday is a holiday celebrated by Christians during Holy Week. It is observed as the day Jesus was crucified and so Good Friday is the day in which Christians stand before the cross and face the reality of the crucifixion, in preparation for the celebration of Easter Sunday as the day Jesus rose from the grave.
 
“For many years, Moorestown Christians of many different denominations and traditions have come together in one place to observe this solemn day. Although we will have to remember Good Friday in separate locations this year, we encourage all members of the community to come together by taking the time to participate in this service with those in their households,” explains The Rev. Emily Mellott of Trinity Episcopal Church, which has traditionally hosted the in-person service. “This year, because the service is virtual, we will be able to invite worshippers into many different churches through their internet connection. It also means we can invite people who would not normally be able to get to church physically on a Friday afternoon. In a difficult year, when death has come too close for many of us, this service allows participants to spend time reflecting together on Christ’s unlimited love for us shown in his confrontation with death, and gives us hope in this life and assurance of life eternal.”
 
The Moorestown Ministerium is grateful for the collaboration between all of the churches in the community and the following churches who contributed to the service:
  • Converge Church
  • Second Baptist Church
  • First United Methodist Church
  • St. Matthew Lutheran Church
  • Trinity Episcopal Church
  • First Presbyterian Church.
 
About the Moorestown Ministerium: The Moorestown Ministerium exists to reflect the love of God made known through Jesus Christ for all. It’s mission is: As a fellowship of Christian congregations and organizations in Moorestown, we reflect Christ’s love by fostering relationships among Christians, sharing in dialogue with leaders from our community and other faiths, working together for the good of our community, and supporting those in need. Additionally, the Moorestown Ministerium in conjunction with Live Civilly operates a food pantry at St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church. Visit the Moorestown Ministerium Facebook page for more information and events:
 
 

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HOLY WEEK SERVICES

HOLY WEEK AND EASTER SERVICES

Palm Sunday, March 28

– 8:30 am, Contemporary Worship, Miller Commons (in person with live stream)
– 11:00 am, Traditional Worship, Sanctuary (in person with live stream)
 

Maundy Thursday, April 1

– 7:00 pm, Miller Commons (live stream only)
 

Good Friday, April 2

– 7:00 pm, Traditional Worship, Sanctuary with overflow seating in Miller Commons (in person with live stream)

 

Easter Sunday, April 4

– 6:30 am, Cemetery Cross (in person only)
– 8:30 am, Contemporary Worship, Miller Commons (live stream only)
– 11:00 am, Traditional Worship, Sanctuary (live stream only)

BETH DOUGLASS, SEMINARY INTERN

EASTER WORSHIP 2020 BRASS ENSEMBLE


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WJCMS CONCERT

WJCMS Concert Online

The West Jersey Chamber Music Society (WJCMS) presents “All Worlds, All Times,”

a free live-streamed concert featuring works for string quartet and quintet that explore the inspirations composers draw from countries and cultures outside their own.

The live video broadcast will be available for free on Saturday, March 20 at 7:30 pm. ET on the WJCMS page and the FPC home and live stream pages. See a listing of the performers and the repertoire on the “All Worlds, All Times” page.

The West Jersey Chamber Music Society (WJCMS) presents “All Worlds, All Times,” a free live-streamed concert featuring works for string quartet and quintet that explore the inspirations composers draw from countries and cultures outside their own.

The live video broadcast will be available for free on Saturday, March 20 at 7:30 pm. ET on the WJCMS page and the FPC home and live stream pages. See a listing of the performers and the repertoire on the “All Worlds, All Times” page.

Complete a free registration in advance! You’ll receive a reminder and a copy of the PDF program at concert time.

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YOUTH DIRECTOR SEARCH

Employment Opportunity

FPC Moorestown is searching for a Director of Youth Ministries

In his/her position as the Director of Youth Ministries, the director will be responsible for the planning, development, and implementation of programs and events for families with an emphasis on Youth from 7th through 12th grade.
 
Our goal is to create disciples of our children, youth, young adults and adults of every age. These disciples, in turn, will make disciples.
 

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ONE GREAT HOUR OF SHARING

PALM SUNDAY OFFERING

ONE GREAT HOUR OF SHARING

Serve the “least of these” among us by providing relief to those affected by catastrophic events, giving sustainable food resources to the hungry, and changing the structures that perpetuate poverty, oppression, and injustice.
 
In a world of disaster, hunger, and oppression millions of people lack access to sustainable food sources, clean water, sanitation, education, and opportunity. Gifts may be made online using the One Great Hour of Sharing drop down.
 

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ONLINE CHECK IN

Download the Church Center App;

In-person and Live Stream check-in on your phone

 
Members may check-in quickly and easily for worship from their smart phone. Download the “Church Center App” to your phone and follow the prompts to select our church.
 
It’s simple to download the Church Center app to your smart phone or device.
 
  • Go to your phone’s app store (iPhone users to App Store; Android users to Google Play)
  • Search for the Church Center App
  • Download.
  • When prompted, enter the church’s zip code (08057) or the name of First Presbyterian Church of Moorestown
 
Quickly and Easily From Your Smart Phone, You Can:
  • check in for indoor worship or events – including all family members at once
  • check in for Small Groups
  • make an online donation
  • link to upcoming events and announcements
  • update contact information
  • contact the church office
 
NOW LET’S GET CHECKED-IN!
When attending in-person:
  1. Prior to your arrival, open your Church Center App
  2. Select the “Check-In” icon
  3. Tap the service you are attending
  4. Check in yourself and your family members
  5. Upon arrival at the church, visit our check-in station
  6. Scan your QR code or ask a check-in volunteer to select you from the automatically generated list
 
When watching on live stream:
  1. Open your Church Center App from your home from your phone or device
  2. Select the “Check-In” icon
  3. Tap the service you are viewing (will say ‘Live Stream’ in the title)
  4. Check-in yourself and your family members
  5. That’s it! Our reports will tell us you were watching
 
Church Center Web
If you don’t have a smart phone, no problem. You can log onto Church Center easily from the web at fpcmoorestown.churchcenter.com. This way you can sign up for groups, see all of our events, give securely online, update your contact information etc., all from your computer. NOTE: You CANNOT Check-In using Church Center Web.

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INQUIRERS’ CLASS

Spring Inquirers’ Class

The Membership Committee held a Spring Inquirers’ Class virtually in March for those interested in learning more about First Presbyterian Church and possibly joining the congregation.
 
The following individuals have completed each of the three classes, shared their Statement of Faith with members of Session, and indicated their desire to join the congregation of First Presbyterian Church of Moorestown.
 

We Welcome to Our Church Family

  • Kim Andreola & Matthew Barnum (Lily)
  • Mark & Lori Bell
  • Thomas & Evelyn Cannon
  • Amit & Nikki Joshi (Layla, Vikram)
  • Ken Vartan (Luna Marie)

Exploring Your Journey of Faith

And Becoming a Member of First Presbyterian Church of Moorestown

No matter where you are in your journey of faith – whether you are new to the Christian faith, seeking or questioning, or if you desire a deeper faith – you are invited to participate in our Inquirers’ Class.
 
In our Inquirers’ Class you’ll learn about what we believe as a church, some of the ministries we have here, and discuss basic Christian beliefs. It is a great starting point to explore what we do here at FPC Moorestown and if this church might be the right church for you!

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LEADERSHIP NOMINATIONS

Serve Your Church as Elder, Deacon or Trustee;

Nominations being accepted

 
How Can You Serve Your Church?
 
The Nominations Committee is currently seeking individuals to staff the three Boards of the church: Elders, Deacons and Trustees. Please pray about where God may be calling you.
 
Fill out an online nominations form here …  NOMINATIONS
 
You may nominate yourself or someone else you feel would be a good fit for these positions. For questions contact Gil Warren, chair, of the Nominations Committee, or any Nominations Committee member:
  • Jenna Cole
  • Paul Gordon
  • Paul Grossmann
  • David Kahley
  • Susan Masiko
  • Kathy McIlroy
  • Gil Warren
  • Joyce Wenzke

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LENTEN BOOK STUDY

Lenten Group sign ups are OPEN; groups start February 21 week

For Lent 2021, we’ll be reading The Good and Beautiful Community by James Bryan Smith, a professor and Methodist pastor who has a heart for the church and spiritual formation.

 
The guiding questions Smith asks are: 1) how do we become more authentic Christ-followers, and 2) how do we become a beloved and vital community for others, no matter our differences? This book graciously and inspirationally speaks to our times and is rooted in scripture. With the focus unequivocally on Christ, Smith compels readers toward a renewed understanding of God, transformation and healing. There’s no political finger-wagging here. What you will find is a rich guide on how we can love courageously, surrender what doesn’t serve Christ or ourselves, and rediscover joy in community.
 
When It Starts
Sign ups begin the morning of Friday, Feb. 5. We invite all current small groups to consider reading The Good and Beautiful Community during our six-week church-wide study, beginning the first week of Lent (after Ash Wednesday, Feb. 17). Book groups start on Sunday, Feb. 21st and run through Easter.
 
Sign Up here
Effective February 5, SIGN UP HERE and see dates and times available: https://fpcmoorestown.churchcenter.com/groups/lent-book-groups-2021.
 
Want to start a group?
If you’d like to form a book group, please do! You can let Alison Mackey or Kelly LePenske know ASAP!
 
Books
You may order books yourself through AMAZON.COM or CHRISTIANBOOK.COM  A limited number of books will be available through the church office. Contact Alison at 856.235.1688, Ext. 113 or amackey@fpcmoorestown.org to reserve and purchase a copy. Books are $12 each and beautiful hardcover. Leaders, your copy is no charge.
 
Sign-ups and COVID logistics
Sign up online on our Events page or call Alison Mackey in the church office to join a group at 856.235.1688, Ext. 113. Sign-ups opened the morning of Friday, February 5th. Most groups will be online via Zoom. Groups are welcome to meet in-person, but are strongly encouraged to do so outdoors or in large, well-ventilated rooms with masks. Groups can meet indoors on FPC Moorestown’s campus in Fellowship Hall or Miller Commons.
 
Room Requests
Room requests can be made by contacting Jan Martin in the church office (856.235.1688, Ext. 133).
 
Contacts
To form a group, reserve a book copy, or sign up, contact Alison Mackey at amackey@fpcmoorestown.org or 856.235.1688, Ext. 113.

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KELLY LEPENSKE ANNOUNCEMENT

Aloha Greetings!

Kelly LePenske, Director of Congregational Ministries, shares a life update message with members of FPC Moorestown.


“Hi FPC. We’ve done a lot together and we’ve done well!” – Kelly LePenske
 
Kelly will be leaving FPC Moorestown in early May, Just before her wedding. Listen to Kelly’s message and let’s join together in congratulations to Kelly and her fiancé, Joey Sponseller, as they make plans to begin their lives as a married couple.


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CAPITA

Per Capita Apportionment

With 2021 underway, we are preparing

to pay our denominational per capita apportionment and ask for your continuing help in supporting the larger church.Members pay this $38.75 per capita recognizing that the Presbyterian Church (PC-USA) is a connectional church and we are part of a larger family throughout the country. This connection includes our Synods, Presbyteries,  and General Assembly.

Watch your mail this month for a letter from us, sharing specific information about this offering and how it benefits our church and the larger church.
 

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YOUR INVITATION TO OUR ANNUAL MEETING

Pastor Update, Coronavirus Letter 15

Your Invitation to Our Annual Meeting

January 31, 2021
 
Dear Members and Friends of FPC Moorestown,
 
Sunday, February 7th is the day for our family business. The first Sunday in February is the day for our Annual Meeting. This year, we’ll do our business differently than before, but it’s crucial that you plan to join us. Our Annual Meeting is scheduled to begin at 11:00 a.m. that day via Zoom webinar. This year, we won’t eat sandwiches, chips and cookies together as we normally do. It’s okay with me if you bring your lunch to our meeting this year!
 
Annual Meeting — The Annual Congregational Meeting will be held on Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021 at 11:00 am via Zoom webinar. The purpose of the meeting is to share the Annual Report with members, receive the 2021 church budget, and approve the 2021 pastor’s terms of call. Find the webinar info on our eblast, online events page and website. The Annual Report will be available Sunday, January 31.
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86847661246?pwd=SVlwWXF1eTlPLzVqaEVEWEdFTXF6Zz09
Passcode: dFRap9
Webinar ID: 868 4766 1246
Passcode: 878234
 
When you join the Annual Meeting that day, you’ll only be able to see those who will present reports. You’ll be able to ask questions or make comments through the “Chat” feature. For any voting during the meeting, we’ll use the polling feature. If you need help, our Seminary Intern Beth Douglass will be available throughout the meeting.
 
Before that Sunday, I ask you to take ten minutes to watch a video our staff made recently. Jan Martin, our phenomenal office manager, authored a list of all the things we were able to accomplish in 2020, even as we faced many challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve combined Jan’s list with music by Martin and Christine Bass and many pictures from last year. You’ll praise and thank God as I did when I watched. Through us, the Lord did so much; and I’m certain that our staff and lay leaders will keep on adapting and innovating in 2021.
 
To view the video, go to our webpage and scroll down to the Feature Section: 2020 Year in Review. Click on the video: https://www.fpcmoorestown.org/
 
Please review the 2020 Annual Report before our meeting. It’s another record of God’s faithfulness and your support. I have some details to share with you about planning we’re doing for the coming months.
On Sunday, February 7th, worship with us at 9:30 a.m. either in-person or via live stream. Then get your coffee, your cookies and your sandwich by 11:00 a.m. I can’t wait to join you.
 
As we move into February and the start of the Lenten season, note our plans for Ash Wednesday on February 17th and our Church-wide Lenten Book Study:
  • The Journey of Lent begins on Wednesday, Feb. 17 with Ash Wednesday Worship at 7:00 pm. Worship will be in the sanctuary by live stream only. Earlier that day, we will hold two special drive-through events for imposition of ashes at 12 noon and 5:00 p.m. Participants will drive safely into the main parking lot and be greeted for prayer and, if desired, the imposition of ashes or oil, on the forehead or the back of the hand. Please wear masks.
  • Lenten Book Study: During Lent we’ll be reading The Good and Beautiful Community by James Bryan Smith, a professor and Methodist pastor who has a heart for the church and spiritual formation. How do we become more authentic Christ-followers? How do we become a beloved and vital community for others, no matter our differences? Visit the online events page, website and eblast for sign up information. Signs ups begin Friday, Feb. 5; groups begin Sunday, Feb. 21 via Zoom on safely in-person. Contact Kelly LePenske or Alison Mackey for questions at 856.235.1688.
 
Gratefully yours in Christ,
Stuart Spencer, Pastor
 

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YOUTH MINISTRY IN A PANDEMIC

DAVE FAUVELL’S UPDATE ON OUR YOUTH GROUP

“Every week they show up and they are ready to talk about faith and they are ready to delve into what it means to follow Christ.”

 
In the fall, the Youth Ministry started a Small Group initiative with many leaders (some recent Youth Group grads home from college!) who have stepped up to lead the teams. Listen to Dave’s account and hear about the break down of our one large youth group into a number of small meetings through Zoom, FaceTime and, weather permitting, safely outside.
 
We are so proud of our FPC youth, they are tackling the hard questions and are growing in their faith.
 
 


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PASTOR UPDATE CORONAVIRUS LETTER 14

Pastor Update, Coronavirus Letter 14

Christmas Eve schedule offers meaningful, safe worship opportunities

December 18, 2020
 
Dear Members and Friends of FPC Moorestown,
 
Planning for Christmas Eve in the middle of a pandemic, like nearly everything else we’ve faced this year, isn’t easy. Consider that Christmas Eve is the night when everyone goes to church. Not this year. Most churches are planning for pre-recorded or live stream services with no in-person participants.
 
But at FPC Moorestown, after planning and adjusting, we are able to offer both in-person and live stream Christmas celebrations. NOTE: There is a possibility our services will move to Wednesday, December 23 due to predicted weather. Watch for updates from Facebook, eblasts and our website.
 
Outdoor Christmas Eve Worship at 3:00 pm and 7:00 pm
 
I’m delighted that we have a way to gather safely on this holy and beautiful night by offering two unique outdoor services on Christmas Eve! We’re preparing the courtyard next to the sanctuary with luminarias, fire pits, and other decorations. Everyone who joins us receives a battery-operated candle. These brief services feature a lot of carol singing, Scripture, prayer and I will deliver a Christmas message.
 
If you attend, please wear your mask from the time you leave your car until the time you return to your car following worship. Practice physical distancing with our members and friends. Rejoice, for we get to join the shepherds who were outside at night when they heard the announcement of Jesus’ birth. We’ll be in the right place at the right time on Christmas Eve!
 
Live Stream Lessons and Carols at 4:00 pm (no in-person attendance)
 
We’ll live stream one indoor Christmas Eve service, with Communion and an abbreviated order of Lessons and Carols. Some of our choirs sing that evening. I’ll preach and celebrate the Lord’s Supper with the virtual congregation. If you join us online for this service, have a communion serving and a candle ready at the start of worship. After we gather around the Lord’s Table, Kelly LePenske will invite you to light your candle at home as we sing “Silent Night, Holy Night.” Someone asked me if the singers will lift their candles with every stanza and they will. We’re planning to offer special pre-recorded Christmas music from our choirs before the start of this service. Check our website and watch for an e-blast on Christmas Eve day for the start time for this musical offering.
 
Celebrating Christmas
 
Remember that Christmas is a season and should be celebrated longer than a day. On Christmas Eve, after the conclusion of our 4:00 pm service, videos from some of our Christmas Eve services from 2019 will be posted on our website for your viewing. On Sunday, December 27th, we gather for in-person worship as we have since the start of November. Worship remains at 9:30 am and I look forward to preaching a sermon called, “The Mouse, the Sink, and the Bowl.”
Finally, I want to thank you for your incredible financial support of our ministry and mission. Thank you for all the ways you’ve supported our staff too. Our faithful God is seeing us through this difficult year. So, good Christian friends rejoice, with heart and soul and voice!
 
Yours in Christ,
Stuart Spencer, Pastor
 

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A Message from Your Prayer Team

You Are Not Alone!

Our Church Family wants you to know that YOU are REMEMBERED at this time, particularly at this time because you are alone. At least it FEELS like you are alone.
 

There was once a couple who played a game. No score was kept. There was only one rule:

One named an object and the other person had to explain what aspect of God’s “being” or character was revealed in that object. It could be anything: A moss-swaddled stump of cedar, or voluminous cloud formations. This couple had read Romans 1:20, “Since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – His eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what he has made!”

So! They made up this game! A game you can play with others, OR when you are alone.

Here goes! What aspect of God’s being is shown in ICICLES and TREES? Icicles are made as water drips off trees or roofs, and freezes in space. They grow long when warm light beams strike it. The icicle starts to melt getting longer and longer. Darkness comes and it freezes solid. The sun rises and it weeps, drop after drop. The next day it weeps even more as the sun beams down on it. It becomes longer and sharper. When enough light comes into it, its form totally changes! It breaks. Frozen tears melt into a running stream. Bleak winter yields to spring!

God was “frozen” in our time for 33 years and 9 months, in a human form. But his heart melted. It wept. It became a river of Life. Our Lord told the Samaritan woman at the well that if she drank His kind of water she would never thirst again!

Eternal Life had hung on another tree that reached all the way to Heaven, frozen in earth’s space and time with bitterness and cold. Love blazed Light and all of hell could not hold it back. “Drink slowly, Drink deeply,” the River sings. He holds YOUR cup. And out of it will flow rivers of living water to someone YOU touch with your warm love!

With Love and Blessings,

The Prayer Team

First Presbyterian Church Moorestown


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WJCMS ONLINE CONCERT

AT HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS

The West Jersey Chamber Music Society (WJCMS) presents its annual holiday concert on Sunday, December 13 at 7:30 p.m. in a free live streamed event. The concert will stream live on the West Jersey Chamber website www.wjcms.org and the church website www.fpcmoorestown.org.
 
At Home for the Holidays
At Home for the Holidays features members of the West Jersey Chamber Chorale under the direction of Music Director Joel Krott. The program collects familiar carols and lesser-known seasonal works in a celebratory evening, hosted by Ivan Woods for an online audience. The live video broadcast will be available at concert time at WJCMS.org/Holiday.
 
At Home for the Holidays celebrates the season with traditional carols, such as “Silent Night” and “Away in a Manger,” but also enlivens the evening with tunes that may be unfamiliar to audiences, including “Carol of the Joy of Home.” This concert is generously sponsored by Atlantic Trailer Leasing.
The talented singers of the West Jersey Chamber Chorale are working professionals associated with some of the region’s most accomplished ensembles and are led by founding music director Joel Krott. They personify the concert’s theme as they perform at home at the First Presbyterian Church of Moorestown, where many singers are longtime members. The reduced chorus of ten singers includes a mother-daughter pair, roommates attending Westminster Choir College, and a music student returning home to Moorestown following a semester in Boston, among others.
 
Online Concerts
During this unprecedented season, WJCMS is committed to finding inventive ways to bring music to area residents. On the heels of a successful first broadcast in October, the organization is excited to continue its online concerts, allowing audiences across Southern New Jersey to enjoy high-quality chamber music in a safe and accessible format, as they have for over 40 years. The chorus will perform under safety guidelines as established by the performers and the venue.
 
“We saw that there is a great appetite for live music in the area with the turnout online in October. Our audiences and performers are eager to experience the power of performance together. We’re grateful we can continue our annual holiday concert for our neighbors,” says music director Joel Krott. WJCMS will announce additional programs this season as state and local health recommendations allow.
 
About WJCMS
Concert host Ivan Woods has appeared several times on WJCMS’s Conversation Pieces series. As a singer, he has been featured at the dedication of the Paul Robeson Center for the Arts in Princeton; and has sung with the Virginia Opera, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus, and the Philadelphia Singers. He appears regularly as a member of the vocal trio Follow the Drinking Gourd.
 
A graduate of the Philadelphia Music Academy, Music Director Joel Krott has studied and traveled throughout Europe, including extensive musical research with renowned masters from the Royal Conservatory of Copenhagen and the Vienna Conservatory. He has expertly and graciously guided the West Jersey Chamber Music Society ensemble from its inception in 1980, creating over 40 seasons of music that challenge and inspire both supporters and musicians.
 
The West Jersey Chamber Music Society is a professional choir and orchestra committed to producing chamber music concerts of the highest quality that are easily accessible to residents and visitors to Southern New Jersey. WJCMS seeks to enhance the quality of life for music lovers, those new to music, and children in the community through the uplifting and inspiring power of music. Learn more at WJCMS.org.
 
This concert will be streamed live online beginning at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free. Audiences are encouraged to register in advance at WJCMS.org/Holiday to receive a PDF of the concert program.

And to get you in the mood! The West Jersey Chamber Music Society’s 2020–21 season began on October 18 with a live streamed concert by members of the Arcadian Trio. We invite you to enjoy concert highlights featuring the music of Ravel, Debussy, and de Falla.


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COMMUNITY GIVING

SHARING WITH THOSE IN NEED

We are offering some very special opportunities to brighten someone’s Christmas.

A special thank you from the Deacons. This year your generosity to our online drive for the Christian Care Center exceeded all expectations!
 
 

Alternative Gift Market

Purchase tribute gifts for friends and loved ones that will be sent to our mission partners. Your tribute gifts help those in need around the globe. Honor your loved ones, family members, friends and business associates at Christmas while providing assistance these ministries. With each gift you will receive a hand drawn card by members of our ministries or by young members of First Presbyterian Church Moorestown.  

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Manger Sunday

The congregation is invited to please bring unwrapped gifts to services on Sunday, December 13th for our Manger Sunday presentation. Gifts will be given to the clients of Oaks Integrated Care.
 
For those NOT attending services, gifts may be dropped off between 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. at a contactless drop at the Blessing Box.
 
Suggested gifts are:
– board games
– puzzles
– art supplies
– beading and craft kits
– books
– educational toys
– musical toys
– basketballs, footballs, soccer balls
– sleds
– skateboards and bicycles
– sports jerseys
– winter coats
– sweatshirts
– pajamas
– hand held electronic games
– DVDs
– journals
– picture frames
– fleece blankets
– twin bedding
– make-up
– personal care items
– duffle bags
– purses
– Gloves, scarves and hats
– jewelry
– hair accessories
– gift cards to Target, Wal-Mart, Best Buy, movie theaters, grocery stores and malls
 

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PASTOR UPDATE, CORONAVIRUS LETTER 13

Our faith has been on display in a year that has tested us like none other.

December 2, 2020
Dear Members and Friends of FPC Moorestown,
 
As we come to the end of 2020, a year that is testing us like none other, let me remind you that following Jesus as a disciple requires making choices for Him. On a daily, even an hourly basis, a follower of Jesus must decide between fear and faith, disbelief and faith, bitterness and faith, despair and faith. Faith requires action. You could say that faith is action.

What is Faith?
What is faith? I’ll take Martin Luther’s definition. “Faith is a living, bold trust in God’s grace.” Luther beautifully expands on what such faith does to us and through us. “[Faith] makes us completely different people. It changes our hearts, our spirits, our thoughts and all our powers. It brings the Holy Spirit with it. Yes, it is a living, creative, active and powerful thing, this faith. Faith cannot help doing good works constantly. It doesn’t stop to ask if good works ought to be done, but before anyone asks, it already has done them and continues to do them without ceasing.”
 
In many wonderful and encouraging ways, you’ve been a faith-filled people throughout these unprecedented days of the COVID-19 pandemic. Week by week, your faith spurred you to giving generously to keep our doors open and our mission moving ahead. Your faith to this point has granted us the funding needed to keep our staff fully engaged and support our missions. Your faith prompted many of you to go and serve at our second Church Has Left the Building.
 
Your faith on display
Your faith has been on display in our 2021 stewardship season. At the time of this writing, we have received 180 pledges for a total of $1,441,700. As grateful as I am for the support we have received already from so many of you, these figures represent a decrease of 9% in number of pledges and 10% in total amount pledged compared to 2020. I know that some members have had to reduce their plans for giving next year because of the turmoil brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, and a few donors have passed away or relocated since our last stewardship season. As some donors naturally depart or have less resources to share, I urge any of you who are capable and have not yet done so to strengthen your faith and make a new or deeper commitment to share what God has given you.
 
We’re coming into the last weeks of 2020 and need giving to be as strong as it can be to finish the year without a shortfall and preserve resources for a very challenging 2021. Please act on your faith by continuing your strong financial support to the church. It’s been my hope and a subject of my own praying that we can end this year meeting our financial commitments and join hands to commit to a successful 2021 for FPC Moorestown.
 
I ask for your help by doing at least these four things as you are able:
  1. Join me in praying daily for God’s provision and guidance for our leaders. I’m devoting Thursdays to prayer and fasting, and I invite you to join me if your health allows.
  2. Keep current with your plans and promises for giving for this year. 
  3. Strongly consider making a special gift to help us meet our 2020 budget if you have the resources to do so.
  4. If you haven’t yet made an Estimate of Giving for 2021 or believe you could now make a further commitment, please do so — online, through our website or by contacting our office to receive an Estimate of Giving card.
 
Please remember that you can begin giving electronically by going to our church website fpcmoorestown.org and clicking on the “Give” link. If you need help please contact the church office at 856.235.1688.
 
In addition, as plans are being developed for three Christmas Eve services, the Special Christmas Green offering envelope was included in a recent mailing to households. Monies gifted as Christmas Green are utilized to support the operating fund of FPC Moorestown. Thank you in advance for your gifts to the church at this critical time of the year. A self-addressed envelope was also included for your convenience. Offerings may also be submitted electronically or through the Church Center app on your phone.
 
Faith, the Bible teaches us, pleases God. I give thanks for you and your faithfulness to the work and glory of God!
 
Yours in Christ,
Stuart H. Spencer, Pastor
 

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DEACONS OFFER SEASONAL HELP FOR THOSE IN NEED

Our Deacons continue to help those in need.

Our traditional Thanksgiving Gift Baskets take on a different look this year.

While assembling our traditional Thanksgiving Food Baskets is not currently possible, our team will be providing grocery gift cards to those who struggle and are working with local guidance counselors to identify at-risk families. The Deacons are again arranging with Wegmans to provide turkeys to a food pantry in Camden. 

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THE (UN)SIMPLE TRUTH NOVEMBER WEBINAR

The (Un)simple Truth 

FPC’s Adult Spiritual Formation Series Continues

Our monthly Zoom conversation! November’s guests were Dave and Marisa Avramovich
A little about our November 2nd presenters: Dave and Marisa are an incredible ministry team who serve the Southwest Division of Young Life in the United States. Dave is regional director of Young Life-Los Angeles, a highly multicultural role overseeing thousands of students in Southern California. Marisa is a Divisional Training Coordinator for Young Life, a Certified Cultural Intelligence Trainer, and volunteers with Young Life Catholic Relations.
 
With decades of youth ministry experience, they offer a refreshing perspective on what it means to follow Christ today.

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KIDS AND YOUTH GROUPS ARE BACK

Kingdom Kids, Crossing Zone and Youth Group Fall Plans

Youth Group Plans Spooky Campfire Stories

Small groups have started for Middle and High Schoolers! If you haven’t touched base with a leader, talk to Dave Fauvell and he’ll set you up.

Fall Fun!
 
We have a campfire hangout scheduled for Saturday, October 24 from 7 – 9 pm, with October 25th as the rain date.

We will have a bunch of candy, warm apple cider, and hot coco as we share spooky campfire stories.

 

Kingdom Kids and Crossing Zone are Back!

Join us on Zoom
  • Kingdom Kids (K-3rd grade) The first Wednesday of every month at 4:45 pm
  • Crossing Zone (grades 4-6) Every Wednesday at 6:30 pm

    Parents: watch your email for the Zoom links.

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THE (UN)SIMPLE TRUTH OCTOBER WEBINAR

Our October (Un)simple Truth webinar featured the Reverend Dr. Michael Bruner.
Rev. Bruner was an Assoc. Professor of Practical Theology at Azusa Pacific University in California for 20 years. Born and raised in the Philippines as the son of missionary parents, he received his Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Washington, a Masters of Divinity from Princeton Seminary, and his Ph.D. in Theology from Fuller Seminary.
 
Michael is the author, most recently, of A Subversive Gospel: Flannery O’Connor and the Reimagining of Beauty, Goodness, and Truth (IVP Academic Press, 2017). He is currently writing a commentary on the four gospels with his father, Dale Bruner. Michael is ordained in the Presbyterian Church (USA), a Lily Fellow, and a resident scholar at the Huntington Library in San Marino, CA.
You may have missed our first webinar on October 5th or you may like to watch again!
We are pleased to make Rev. Bruner’s dynamic presentation available for you to view.
 


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OUTDOOR SUNDAY SCHOOL

FAMILY FUN OUTDOOR SUNDAY SCHOOL


Every Sunday from 11:00 – 11:45 am come and join us for a family fun outdoor Sunday School class. Classes will start September 27th and continue until October 18th.

This is for families with children in K-6th grades. Children must be accompanied by a parent the entire time. Please bring your own chair or blanket to sit on and wear a mask. Please bring your own chair or blanket to sit on as well as masks for you and your family.

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STEWARDSHIP

We Give to the Lord

Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.  2 Corinthians 9:7 (NRSV)
 
Please make plans to virtually attend 9:30 a.m. worship on Sunday, October 18 when we will celebrate the joy of living a generous Christ-centered life. In some ways, our stewardship campaign looks a little different this year and, in some ways, it looks just the same.
 
How It Will Work
In early October, Estimate of Giving cards will be MAILED to all members so that households may prayerfully (and safely) indicate their weekly, monthly or annual financial commitments to the Lord’s Work. Members may also submit them online. On Consecration Sunday (Oct. 18), we will all be together at home for ONE 9:30 a.m. live stream service, where we will welcome an engaging speaker Dr. Shane Berg from Princeton Theological Seminary. Together, as an act of worship, members will complete their 2021 giving pledge.
 
Stewardship Series
On September 27, we begin our stewardship sermon series “Giving Lessons,”, to provide a biblical framework of God’s Word. Thank you to our Stewardship
 
Speakers:
Sept. 27: Kelly and Lorenzo Eagles
Oct. 4: Frank Manion
Oct. 11: Ann and Tom McBride
Oct. 18: Dr. Shane Berg, Princeton Theological Seminary, Guest Preacher

Dedicating our Gifts
As we do traditionally, we offer a meaningful way to dedicate your pledge (COVID style!). From 10:45-12:00 p.m. that morning, take part in a contact-free Drive-Up Dedication Parade where you can dedicate your gifts safely from your car. Members of the Stewardship team will receive your sealed Estimate of Giving envelope given through your car window, and Stuart and Kelly will offer a personal prayer of thanksgiving for each arriving household.
 
 
If you’re unable to join us for the Drive-Up Dedication, you may submit your Estimate of Giving online, or mail the card in the return envelope that will be provided in the mailing in early October. Watch your mail for additional information!
If you have any questions, please contact the church office at (856) 235-1688.

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