RECONCILIATION CONVERSATION

CALLED TO RECONCILIATION DISCUSSION GROUP

Rev. Wes Allen and Dr. Leslie Spencer lead this 5-week discussion

on Jonathan Augustine’s new book, Called to Reconciliation: How the Church Can Model Justice, Diversity, and Inclusion.
 
Augustine challenges the Church, at a pivotal moment in history, to be the hands and feet of Jesus in the world. He argues that the church’s work of reconciliation (salvific, social and civil) is a model for our society during a time of heightened division and polarization between people and groups.
 
Once registered please visit this LINK to select the best times that work for you to meet either in person or via Zoom. The discussion will start the week of July 24th.
 
REGISTER HERE…

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WEEKLY PRAYER SCHEDULE

WEEKLY PRAYER AT FPC

Is God already speaking to you about praying with others for our church family? Join others at one of these Prayer Times…

  • Monday, 9-10 am – Jim Cole leading in the Prayer Chapel in Miller Commons. Anyone needing or wanting to pray for others is welcome to join Jim.
  • Tuesday, 9-10 am – Jim Cole leading (Zoom).
  • Wednesday, 7:00 pm (2nd & 4th in July & August) – Prayer on the Porch.
  • Thursday, 7:30 – 8:30 am (Zoom) – Pray for our church, nation and the world. For link please contact Sue Piper (storybooksue@comcast.net)
  • Thursday, 12:30 – 1:00 pm, take part in a time of prayer as we ask God to make us a church of disciples who make disciples.
Here’s the Zoom link:
Meeting ID: 862 4691 4547
Passcode: 031344
  • Thursday, 7 pm – View our Prayer Service online. Group praying for our church and disciplining; the community; the nation; the world.
  • Sunday – After traditional worship, beadles available to pray with you or for you (David Room). Jim Cole available in the Prayer Chapel in Commons Lobby for prayer. Stop by with your requests!
 
Submit confidential online prayer requests – visit MY PRAYER REQUEST
 

Throughout the Year

  • Fall and Spring Prayer retreats to unplug and savor time away in meditation
  • Prayer Vigils sponsored by the Prayer Committee for stewardship, National/World Day of Prayer
 

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COUPLES GROUP FALL 2022

COUPLES GROUP THIS SEPTEMBER

US: Getting Past You & Me to Build a More Positive Relationship

Beginning on September 14, Wes and Jennifer Allen lead this 8-week study on Terrence Real’s book, US: Getting Past You & Me to Build a More Positive Relationship.

From the publisher: At a time when toxic individualism is rending our society at every level, bestselling author and renowned marriage counselor Terrence Real sees how it poisons intimate relationships … our winner take all culture infiltrates families with devastating results: repetitive fights that go nowhere, or a distant relationship in which partners end up living ‘alone together.’
 
With deft insight, humor and charm, Real guides you to transform your relationship into one that’s based on compassion, collaboration and closeness.
Us is a groundbreaking guide to a new science-backed skillset—one that will allow you to get past your knee-jerk reactions and tap into your wiser, more collaborative self. With a novelist’s flair, Real shares the stories of couples whose relationships have been saved by these skills and pans out to the culture that reinforces our dysfunction. If you and your partner are backed into separate corners of “you” and “me,” this book will show the way back to “us.” With Us, your true relationship can begin.
 
You can order a copy of the book on Amazon or any number of other online retailers.

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SUMMER GIVING 2022

SUMMER GIVING

During summer months

When you may be attending church less frequently – please remember to stay current with your pledge through electronic giving, plate offerings or by mailing your check to the office. For summer gifts of stock, please call the church office.
 
Visit our Giving webpage to learn more… GIVING

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GA CONFERENCE 2022

PCUSA GENERAL ASSEMBLY

First-ever hybrid Assembly


Becca Neindorff was on-site as a member of the Theology, Worship and Education Committee which met June 20-22. Becca would love to talk with you about her experiences, reach out when you see her!

Visit https://ga-pcusa.org/ to learn more about significant matters discussed at the 225th General Assembly (2022) in Louisville, KY. The entire General Assembly will be meeting online July 5-9. To follow along, visit www.pc-biz.org for links. For information visit https://oga.pcusa.org/section/ga/ga/

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FALL PRAYER RETREAT 2022

FALL PRAYER RETREAT

Holy Cross Monastery, West Park, New York
October 18 – 21, 2022

Where God Happens: Discovering Christ in One Another
The place “where God happens,” according to Rowan Williams’s striking reading of the Desert Fathers and Mothers, is between each other. It’s a truth that we of the twenty-first century most urgently need to learn in order to heal the experience of isolation that has become endemic to our age, and these odd and appealing ancient figures, surprisingly, hold keys to this healing.
Join a group of friends from a number of churches at Holy Cross Monastery, an Episcopalian Benedictine monastery for time away from the rush and crushing pace of life. This three- night, four day retreat affords the time to step away from the regular demands of our lives and to enjoy a place of rest and welcome. Our retreat begins on Tuesday, October 18 at 5:00 p.m. and concludes on Friday, October 21 following the noon meal.
Pastor Stuart Spencer leads a study of spiritual practices inspired by the Desert Mothers and Fathers. Our retreat group meets together for sessions on the mornings and evenings of each day. Within those gatherings we learn, share, and pray together. The days of the Prayer Retreat offer the gift of time for personal prayer, meditation, conversations, reflection, exploring the bookstore, hiking, silence and rest.
For information on the monastery: http://www.holycrossmonastery.com.
 
For specific information about the experience of retreat at the monastery: https://holycrossmonastery.com/guest-house/our-vision/
 
Where God Happens: Discovering Christ in One Another by Rowan Williams
The fourth-century Christian hermits of Egypt, Syria, and Palestine understood the truth of Christian community profoundly, and their lives demonstrate it vividly—even though they often lived in solitude and isolation. The author breaks through our preconceived ideas of the Desert Fathers to reveal them in a new light: as true and worthy role models—even for us in our modern lives—who have much to teach us about dealing with the anxieties, uncertainties, and sense of isolation that have become hallmarks of modern life. They especially embody valuable insights about community, about how to live together in an intimate and meaningful way. Williams makes these radical figures, who clearly have a special place in his heart, come to life in a new way for everyone.
 
Holy Cross Monastery
Located about an hour north of New York City and set high on the western bluffs of the Hudson River, Holy Cross Monastery is a Benedictine place of prayer of the Episcopal Church. The monks graciously welcome all who come. The monastery is a lovely setting with comfortable private rooms and simple yet exquisite meals. We join the monks in their five offices of prayer throughout the day. In the evening, starting at 9:00 p.m., we are invited to participate in the Greater Silence, a time for quiet that continues until the Eucharist.
 
What to bring?
Pack comfortable clothes and shoes, toiletries, a Bible, pens, a journal.
 
Registration
Cost: $305 for three nights (Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday), study book included.
$290 for those who wish to purchase the book in advance.
Registrations fees are not re-fundable unless approved by the Guesthouse.
 
Note: Participants are responsible for their own transportation to and from the monastery. Rides can be shared.
 
Online registration is now available. Just click our event page link here… https://fpcmoorestown.churchcenter.com/reg…/events/1343901
OR
Print our brochure, complete the registration form and return to the church office. Checks should be made out to “First Presbyterian Church of Moorestown.” In the memo line write: Holy Cross Prayer Retreat.
 
You may download our printable brochure here…
 
Registration forms and fees are due to the First Presbyterian Church Office by Sunday, September 11, 2022.
First Presbyterian Church of Moorestown
PO Box 868
101 Bridgeboro Road
Moorestown, NJ 08057
Phone: (856) 235-1688
Email: sspencer@fpcmoorestown.org

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PW SPRING GATHERING 2022

Presbyterian Women Spring Gathering

Held on Monday, June 20, 7:00 pm

“Domestic Violence Services and Domestic Violence 101”

Our special guest was Michele M. Fesler, MS, MT-BC, of Providence House Domestic Violence Services (PHDVS), Catholic Charities. PHDVS provides comprehensive services for victims of domestic abuse and their children free of charge at outreach offices and emergency safehouses in Burlington and Ocean Counties.
 

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TWO PRAYER TIMES

THERE IS STRENGTH IN PRAYER

We offer two new Prayer Gatherings!


New! Weekly Zoom Prayer Time for Discipleship and Disciple-Making at FPC Moorestown: On Thursdays from 12:30-1:00 pm, take part in a time of prayer as we ask God to make us a church of disciples who make disciples.
Here’s the Zoom link:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86328479075…
 
And… We now offer Prayer on the Porch
Join the Prayer Committee for a time of fellowship and prayer in the cool of the evening for “Wednesday Evening Prayer on the Porch” at 7:00 pm.  Starts on June 22, and continues on the second and fourth Wednesdays during the summer: June 22 July 13 July 27 August 10 August 24

Is God already speaking to you about praying with others for our church family?
Join others at one of these Prayer Times:
– Monday, 9-10 am – Jim Cole leading in the Chapel
– Tuesday, 9-10 am – Jim Cole leading
– Wednesday, 4-5 pm – Winstons & Engles leading
– Thursday, 7 pm – Prayer Service online [Group praying for our church and disciplining; the community; the nation; the world]
– Sunday, 8:30-9:15 am – Winstons & Engles leading

If you would like to pray with others at a time or day not listed, TEXT the Prayer Chain Support number (609-923-4135) or contact any member of the Prayer Team.

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BECCA NEINDORFF COMMISSIONED

COMMISSIONING ELDER BECCA NEINDORFF

FOR 225TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PCUSA – “FROM LAMENT TO HOPE”

Becca will be a part of the hope for the Assembly as she attends the conference and serves on the Theology, Worship and Education Committee. Pray for Becca as she serves the Lord in this new role.
https://youtu.be/_7hPIZcSohs
Learn more about the conference at on the website – The 225th General Assembly (ga-pcusa.org). There is a live stream link for watching the legislation too. You can watch the live stream of all of the events at: https://ga-pcusa.org

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MISSION HOUSE FURNITURE

WILL YOU HELP?

Our Mission House needs an update.

We are looking for a gently used sofa and loveseat or sectional for Carol’s House to replace the current worn one. Neutral color please. Contact Linda Jagiela at missions@fpcmoorestown.org or cell 267-275-7582.

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STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL 2022

It will be Strawberry-ful!

The 63rd Annual Strawberry Festival is back!

 
It’s an evening packed with friends from our community and LOTS of FUN and FREE! The evening will bring homemade cakes with fresh strawberries, and ice cream. Come out and enjoy The Moorestown Community Band, The Trophy Husbands Band, face painters, balloon artists, fun inflatables, food tent (CASH ONLY) and more!
 
This church-wide event requires MANY VOLUNTEERS. Sign-ups are in Commons Lobby or please use the Sign-up Genius below:
Volunteer Sign Up:

Cakes, cakes and more cakes
We need over 300 cakes to serve the community. Please consider signing up. Any flavor and size cake (cupcakes too) are welcome. Please sign up so we have an idea of how many cakes we will have the day of- sign ups are in Commons Lobby and by the kitchen. PLEASE PRE-CUT YOUR CAKE PRIOR TO DROP OFF IF APPROPRIATE!
Donate Cake Sign Up:

Strawberry Hullers
Save the date: Thursday, June 2 at 3:00 p.m. until they are all cut! Come for an hour or stay for a few. Bring your favorite small knife, a cutting tray and a colander. Pizza, salad, soda and water will be served at 5:00 p.m. All ages welcome!
 
There are sign-up sheets around the church and a sign-up genius is also available here:
Strawberry Hulling Sign Up:
 
For information contact Angie Slane in the church office at 856.235.1688 or aslane@fpcmoorestown.org, or Laurie LaMonica at alamonica@comcast.net or cell/text 609.304.9720.
 

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VBS 2022

MAKE WAVES AT VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL

June 27- July 1 from 9:00 am – 12:00 noon


Children entering Kindergarten through entering 6th grade (FALL 2022).
(When registering, please enter child’s current grade for 2021-22.)
Cost: $20 per child ($15 for second child)

REGISTRATION DEADLINE: June 15, 2022
 
 
At Make Waves VBS, kids will discover what they do today can change the world around them. Make Waves is filled with incredible Bible-learning experiences kids see, hear, touch, and even taste! Team-building games, cool Bible songs, and tasty treats are just a few activities that help faith flow into real life.
 
For more information, contact: Holly Asciutto at 856.235.1688 x 116 or email hasciutto@fpcmoorestown.org. Please contact Holly Asciutto or Angie Slane; they are excited to talk with you!

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UPDATE LETTER 31

Pastor Update, Coronavirus Letter 31

STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL, NEW WAYS VIDEOS & MORE 

Dear Members and Friends of FPC Moorestown:
 
A member of Session asked me, “Can I tell the Pastor that I’m sick of COVID?” Yes, I answered, you sure can, because I am too. I’m done with it, as I’m sure most of us are. However, COVID isn’t done with us yet.
Current COVID Protocols,
 
This past Sunday, May 15, was a little disheartening, as we had to ask everyone to wear a mask while in worship. We couldn’t sing together either. The CDC reported an increase in COVID cases. In Burlington County, we jumped to the HIGH in a matter of days. I’ve given up predicting how and when the numbers will drop, but I’m sure they will. In the meantime, check our weekly E-blast or website on Fridays to see where we are. I thank you for your enduring support and generous patience. For this coming Sunday, you’re asked to wear a mask. We’ll continue serving Coffee Hour outside in the courtyard side of Miller Commons.
 
Strawberry Festival, June 3
With the not-so-great news out of the way, I’m thrilled to remind you that the Strawberry Festival returns after two years on Friday, June 3. The Festival will happen, even if we’re in a higher level of COVID cases. Nearly everything is outside. We’ve rented a huge tent where you can sit with friends as you dig into a heaping bowl of cake, ice cream and, of course, fresh strawberries.
 
Don’t miss this evening. Come, and invite members of our church and friends from our community to join us. We’re not charging tickets because we want everyone to join the celebration. As our final Way, #25 puts it:
REJOICE ALWAYS. The Kingdom of God is a party! Let healthy laughter fill our meetings, our meals, and even our worship. Let the joy of our faith be clearly evident in our speech and on our faces. Let’s party!
 
We still need help. If you have some time to volunteer, please do so. Click this link to our Strawberry Festival page or find us on our website, E-blast or electronic Connections. If you scroll down, you’ll find the page for volunteering. https://www.fpcmoorestown.org/community/community-wide-events/strawberry-festival/
 
New Ways Videos
Recently, a videographer filmed and edited 25 new videos for our 25 Ways. This coming Sunday marks the start of our 8th round of the Ways of FPC Moorestown. The video feature wonderful insights offered by members and friends and were beautifully filmed. You can see the videos on our Ways page: https://www.fpcmoorestown.org/welcome/25-ways/. At the close of each service, we’ll show a video. At the Traditional service, those watching the live stream can watch from home. At the Contemporary service, we’ll see it in Miller Commons. Let’s continue to allow these biblical reminders to share our attitudes, actions and speech for God’s purposes and glory.
 
Summer Worship
Summer Worship Hours begin on Sunday, June 5, Pentecost Sunday and continue through September 4, Labor Day Sunday. In the summer months, our Traditional worship begins at 9:00 a.m. and our Contemporary Worship begins at 10:30 a.m. On Sunday, May 29 and July 31, we gather for our Fifth Sunday worship at 9:30 a.m. Weather permitting, we plan to worship outside.
Take note that our Contemporary Worship services on the last Sunday of June and August will also be held outside. All outdoor services will be in the courtyard between Miller Commons and the Sanctuary.
 
Strong, Blameless and Holy Hearts
I recently read this blessing or benediction given by Paul to the Thessalonian disciples. It seems strange that the Apostle offers these words when he hasn’t finished the letter. Sometimes we have to bless each other where we are—like in these frustrating days. Here’s Paul’s blessing and I give it to you, whom I love:
May God our Father and our Lord Jesus bring us to you very soon. And may the Lord make your love for one another and for all people grow and overflow, just as our love for you overflows. May God, as a result, make your hearts strong, blameless, and holy as you stand before God our Father when our Lord Jesus comes again with all his holy people. Amen. (1 Thessalonians 3: 11 – 13)
 
Thank you for your support, including your strong financial support. In these good but challenging days, may God make our hearts and thus, our congregation, strong, blameless and holy as we stand together.
 
Yours in Christ,
Stuart Spencer, Pastor
 

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COVID UPDATE LETTER 30

Pastor Update, Coronavirus Letter 30

CONGREGATIONAL SINGING RETURNS!

March 25, 2022
 
Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth! Serve the LORD with gladness! Come into his presence with singing!  – Psalm 100:1-2 (NRSV)
 
Dear Members and Friends of FPC Moorestown,
 
Each week we gather as Presbyterians in the Sanctuary, Miller Commons and via live stream to give “all glory and honor, praise and thanksgiving to the holy triune God” (W-1.0101). Worship is central to our identity as Presbyterians. Through the act of corporate worship, we respond to the love and grace bestowed upon us by God and as revealed through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Worship is the heartbeat of our church!
Over the last two years, the COVID-19 pandemic has challenged the way we express our love of God in worship. After spending a year worshiping via live stream, we began gathering in person. This too looked different; we wore masks, practiced social distancing, greeted one another with fist bumps and elbows instead of hugs and handshakes, celebrated communion with pre-packaged wafers and juice, and did not sing. We remained resilient – we continued to worship – a pandemic could not stifle our heart for worship.
 
During this time, Session has remained vigilant, spending countless hours in prayer and conversation, in an effort to keep the members and guests of FPC Moorestown safe. More recently, Session established protocols for worship and facility usage corresponding to the New Jersey Department of Health (DOH) COVID-19 Activity Level Index (CALI) and took into consideration the protocols enacted by the Moorestown Board of Education and surrounding school districts.
 
On March 24, the DOH released its most recent CALI score of MODERATE. With an overall decrease in COVID cases in recent weeks and a Burlington County vaccination rate of about 75%, we anticipate our region, South West, will continue to oscillate between LOW and MODERATE over the next few months.
With that said, it gives me great joy to announce the return of congregational singing at First Presbyterian Church of Moorestown – effective immediately! At its stated March meeting, Session approved two motions related to COVID-19 protocols:
 
  1. Temporarily amended MODERATE CALI score protocols to allow for maskless congregational and choral singing through April 26, 2022. Session will continue to consult the weekly CALI and Center for Disease Control reports to monitor the pandemic and re-evaluate this amendment at its next stated meeting, April 26th.
  2. Established LOW CALI score protocols. When the South West CALI region is LOW for two consecutive weeks there will be no restrictions — we are back to normal. This includes unmasked congregational and choral singing in worship, serving food and refreshments, signing Letters of Well Wishing, and how we celebrate and administer the sacrament of Holy Communion.
 
Please continue to pray for our church leadership in the coming weeks as we monitor the temporary amendment to our MODERATE protocols, and that the recent downward trend in COVID cases continues.
 
Thank you for your faithfulness and support in these complicated times. I look forward to worshiping with you and hearing your voices in song!
 
In Christ,
 
Wes
Wesley R. Allen; Associate Pastor
 

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PROTOCOLS MODERATE

Pastor Update, Coronavirus Letter 29

WE PRAY FOR THE PEOPLE OF UKRAINE

PROTOCOLS RETURN TO THE MODERATE LEVEL 

February 25, 2022
 
Dear Members and Friends of FPC Moorestown,
 
Today, we watch with the world the unsettling events taking place in Ukraine. The world is right to be shocked and concerned with what appears to be the opening of a ground war, launched by Russia.
 
Today, we pick up the powerful tool of intercessory prayer. Do not underestimate the unseen spiritual forces for healing and peace that are unleashed when God’s people pray with humility and perhaps with fasting. I share with you a model of such a prayer from our denomination’s Peace Fellowship:
God,
We sigh.
We sigh because words cannot express our anguish, our hurt, our despair, knowing that siblings in Ukraine are fleeing their homes for their lives, that the cities and towns that hold memories and culture and history may be destroyed. Paul tells us in his letter to the Romans that the Spirit intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words.
And so we sigh. Let us breathe together. (take a deep breath)
May our sighs remind us
that we all share the same air;
that what impacts one of us impacts all of us;
that life is precious to God and war is never necessary.
May our sighs be a prayer
for every Ukrainian who worries about surviving today;
for those who will not survive this invasion;
for those who will survive and be forever changed by the trauma of war;
for those Russian soldiers who question their orders and refuse to use their weapons.
May our sighs be a prayer
for nuclear deproliferation.
May our sighs be a prayer for truth, peace, and solidarity to guide each of us;
May our sighs be a prayer for Ukraine [and for disciples in Ukraine] and the whole world.
May our sighs fill our bodies with air
to breathe through grief and fear and
fill us with courage and connection,
so that we are ready to act in solidarity with Ukraine,
for an end to this war
and all war.
 
I also want to share good news for us. The NJ CALI score has dropped to the MODERATE level for two weeks. At their stated January meeting, Session decided the following:
 
When we get a report of the score changing, the [COVID] protocols would automatically change without additional Session approval. Motion: COVID protocols for the church will automatically change with change in CALI score for our area. If the CALI lowers, there will be a 2-week waiting period to loosen protocols.
 
Here are the protocols for the MODERATE level. The protocols take effect this Sunday morning, February 27, 2022.
 

For INDOOR SUNDAY WORSHIP – Sanctuary and Miller Commons
1. Masks optional for vaccinated adults. Masks recommended for unvaccinated adults, with all those 18 years of age or younger required to wear masks.
2. All singers in worship will be masked.
There will continue to be no congregational singing.
3. The sanctuary will be open seating, with social distancing when possible. People will be free to sit where they are comfortable.
4. Check-in, communion and collection practices will remain as current policy indicates.

For other INDOOR MEETINGS:
1. Masks optional for vaccinated adults, recommended for unvaccinated adults. If 1 or more participants are 18 years of age or under – ALL participants in the room will be required to wear masks (this includes Sunday School, youth group meetings).
2. Participants in any choir rehearsal/concert will be required to wear masks while singing.
3. No food will be served indoors.

 
We continue to hope for dropping CALI scores and more loosening of restrictions. I thank our Session and Staff for their tireless leadership.
I look forward to beginning our Lenten journey this week with you.
 
Sincerely and gratefully yours in Christ,
 
Stuart Spencer, Pastor
 
 
 

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PW SOCK DRIVE

SOCK IT TO ME!

Presbyterian Women are collecting socks for the homeless during Lent.

Cold, wet feet add to the misery of the homeless. Please help bring some relief!
 
Presbyterian Women are collecting white cotton socks for the Christian Caring Center. A collection box will be located in the Commons Lobby through Easter.

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THE WAY OF A PILGRIM STUDY

Join a Lenten Small Group Study

This year we embark on a spiritual journey as we read “The Way of a Pilgrim” by R.M. French,

a 19th-century novel about a Russian drifter’s quest to understand what it means to “pray without ceasing” as I Thessalonians 5:17 instructs. It is an engaging and easy-to-read story.
 
If you are interested in facilitating a Study Group, contact either Wes Allen or Alison Mackey in the church office at 856.235.1688. Let us know what day and time you plan to meet and if the group will meet virtually or in-person. We also have the capability of offering hybrid sessions using our Owl camera in the church. (This group would meet in the church and allow others to join virtually from their home or office).
 
 

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WINTER 2022 INQUIRERS CLASS

We are planning three 2022 Inquirers’ Classes…

Are you interested in learning more about First Presbyterian Church of Moorestown?

Do you have questions about what being a member means, or what it means to be a Presbyterian? You are invited to our Inquirers’ Class to share your faith journey and learn what we’re all about. We can’t wait to meet you.
 
Individuals interested in learning more and possibly joining the congregation are invited to a series of informational gatherings led by our pastoral staff and Membership & Nurture Committee, designed to answer your questions and introduce you to the Presbyterian faith. A hybrid schedule is planned to allow flexibility and participant safety.

Winter 2022

  • Wednesday, February 23, 2022; 7:00-8:30 pm via Zoom
  • Saturday, February 26, 2022; 9:00 am-1:00 pm (in person)
  • Sunday, February 27, 2022; 12:00-1:00 pm with Session, received into membership (in person)
  • Sunday, March 6, 2022 presented during worship

Sessions are designed to provide an opportunity to share and receive information on the meaning of membership in the Presbyterian Church, and introduce various ministries offered at FPC Moorestown. Those who complete the class and indicate their desire to join First Presbyterian Church will be welcomed as new members in March during morning worship service.

 

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COVID PROTOCOL

FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH SPELLS OUT OUR COVID-19 PROTOCOLS

Based on CALI Score for our Area

Please note that when the CALI score lowers, there will be a 2 week interim period until the lower category protocols go into effect. A rise in the CALI score will initiate an immediate move to the appropriate category.
 

MODERATE

For INDOOR SUNDAY WORSHIP – Sanctuary and Miller Commons
  1. Masks optional for vaccinated adults. Masks recommended for unvaccinated adults, with all those 18 years of age or younger required to wear masks.
  2. All singers in worship will be masked.
    There will continue to be no congregational singing.
  3. The sanctuary will be open seating, with social distancing when possible. People will be free to sit where they are comfortable.
  4. Check-in, communion and collection practices will remain as current policy indicates.
 
For other INDOOR MEETINGS:
  1. Masks optional for vaccinated adults, recommended for unvaccinated adults. If 1 or more participants are 18 years of age or under – ALL participants in the room will be required to wear masks (this includes Sunday School, youth group meetings).
  2. Participants in any choir rehearsal/concert will be required to wear masks while singing.
  3. No food will be served indoors.

HIGH

For INDOOR SUNDAY WORSHIP – Sanctuary and Miller Commons
  1. Masks required for all persons
  2. No congregational singing
  3. All choir singers masked
 
For INDOOR MEETINGS:
  1. Meetings are mask optional for vaccinated adults, recommended for unvaccinated adults. If one or more participants are 18 years of age or younger, all participants are required to wear masks. This includes Sunday School and Youth Group meetings.
  2. Participants in choir rehearsals are required to wear masks.
  3. No food will be served indoors.

VERY HIGH

For INDOOR SUNDAY WORSHIP AND ALL CLASSES
Any location on the FPC Campus
  1. Masks required for all persons
  2. No congregational singing
  3. All choir singers masked
 
For INDOOR MEETINGS:
  1. Masks are required for all persons.
  2. Participants in choir rehearsals are required to wear masks.
  3. No food will be served indoors.

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JESUS PRAYER STUDY

PRAYING THE JESUS PRAYER WITH REV. SPENCER

March 3-April 7, 2022
Thursdays from 6:30 to 7:00 p.m. (Zoom only)
“Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me.”

The Jesus Prayer (in bold above) is the centerpiece of our Lenten Study, “The Way of a Pilgrim.” The book describes the prayer and its many benefits. We also learn from the book how to pray this ancient, Biblical prayer.
 
For the Thursdays in Lent, Pastor Spencer offers a 30-minute Zoom seminar on the Jesus Prayer. He’ll provide additional background and teaching before leading participants in praying the prayer.
 
Please register through the Events Page on our website. There’s no cost; and friends outside the church are welcome.
 
 
To join us via Zoom:
Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81934312431?pwd=VVY4YnRnRm42UDFFZmQzekdxbXBmZz09
 
Meeting ID: 819 3431 2431
Passcode: 819740

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PASTOR COVID UPDATE 28

SESSION RESPONDS TO COVID-19 UPSURGE

Dear Members and Friends of FPC Moorestown,
 
COVID has come home for many in our community and our congregation. The virus visited me on New Year’s Day. That morning I first thought I was getting a cold—my first since the start of the pandemic. I googled my symptoms and then took a home test that revealed a positive score. I got it. I’m grateful that I never felt awful other than a mildly painful sore throat. I probably infected our youngest son, Miles. Thankfully, Leslie and Sam have so far escaped. I know that many of you have your own stories.
 
Infection rates in New Jersey are soaring. Hospitals and other health services are near the point of becoming overwhelmed. Teachers, students and school administrators are struggling to find the best way forward. These are trying times for all of us.
Session met by Zoom on Wednesday evening, January 12th to reconsider our COVID protocols in light of the recent increase of the CALI (COVID Activity Level Index) score, which measures transmission risk. Currently, the CALI level is at VERY HIGH. Earlier this fall, Session decided that the CALI score will be the metric used to measure our COVID risk.
 
Dr. Steve Trzeciak, a long-time member and elder, joined Session for the first hour. Steve is the Chairman and Chief of the Department of Medicine at Cooper University Health Care. We listened as he described the latest information on the Omicron variant. He said that it spreads easily and rapidly.
 
Session approved the following on Wednesday evening, effective Sunday, January 16, 2022.
 
FOR INDOOR SUNDAY WORSHIP — SANCTUARY AND MILLER COMMONS
1) Masks required for all persons
2) Physical distancing will be encouraged in both worship spaces
3) No congregational singing. All who lead singing will continue to wear marks
 
FOR INDOOR MEETINGS
1) Everyone who enters the building is required to mask, regardless of their vaccination status. Groups are welcome to meet at church, though some are moving to virtual meetings.
2) Our Annual Meeting, set for Sunday, February 6, 2022 at 12:15 p.m. will be offered virtually via Zoom.
3) No food will be served indoors.
 
These revised guidelines remain in effect until the CALI scores drop.
 
As exhausting and frustrating as life has been during the pandemic, I thank God for the opportunities COVID-19 brings us to care for and love one another and members of our community. Dr. Trzeciak reminded me the other day that wearing a mask helps limit the spread of the virus and is an important way we can support our medical personnel by keeping hospitals from becoming overwhelmed.
 
The best medical advice is that we try to wear a high-quality mask, observe physical distancing, limit touch with others and wash our hands often. Vaccines also appear to be effective in reducing impact of the virus.
 
Beyond all of the important safety precautions we’ve set in place, let these directions from Colossians 3 be the ultimate word for how we’re to clothe ourselves in these days:
 
Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. (Colossians 3: 12-14)
 
Steve began his comments by asserting that he’s optimistic that there will be an end to the pandemic. Resting in the Lord’s sovereign care and wearing the clothing of compassion, I’m certain that God will see us through.
 
Thank you for your understanding, your patience and your support.
 
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Stuart Spencer, Pastor
 

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BLANKET SUNDAY 2022

The warmth of Blanket Sunday

Blanket Sunday, a special offering sponsored by our Deacons and Church World Service and traditionally collected on the last Sunday in January, is coming Sunday, January 30.

Your contributions to this annual offering enable Church World Service to help families around the world stay warm, recover from disasters and displacement, and help rebuild viable, sustainable lives and communities.
 
Simply select the ‘Blanket Sunday’ drop down from our secure online giving menu at www.fpcmoorestown.org. Or you may mail checks made out to First Presbyterian Church with Blanket Sunday noted in the memo line. Special envelopes are in the pews as well.
 
Please note: NO donations of blankets, please. This offering is to give monetarily to Church World Service to support that organization’s disaster relief program.
 
Thank you from your Deacons.

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PRAYER RETREAT 2022

LENTEN PRAYER RETREAT

HOLY CROSS MONASTERY

MARCH 15 – 18, 2022
 

The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming by Henri J. M. Nouwen

When Henri Nouwen stumbled across a poster of Rembrandt’s Return of the Prodigal Son, he began a spiritual journey that would help him understand the biblical parable as well as the story of his own life. Take this opportunity to join Henri as he leads the wayward prodigal and judgmental sibling who reside within each of us towards the open-handed, overwhelming compassion and eternal love of the Father. The Return of the Prodigal Son will transform your reading of the parable and the way you understand your life story.
 
“For most of my life I have struggled to find God, to know God, to love God. I have tried hard to follow the guidelines of the spiritual life—pray always, work for others, read the Scriptures—and to avoid the many temptations to dissipate myself. I have failed many times but always tried again, even when I was close to despair.
 
Now I wonder whether I have sufficiently realized that during all this time God has been trying to find me, to know me, and to love me. The question is not ‘How am I to find God?’ but ‘How am I to let myself be found by him?’ The question is not ‘How am I to know God?’ but ‘How am I to let myself be known by God?’ And, finally, the question is not ‘How am I to love God?’ but ‘How am I to let myself be loved by God?’ God is looking into the distance for me, trying to find me, and longing to bring me home.”
Henri J. M. Nouwen
 
Your Invitation
Join a group of friends from a number of churches at Holy Cross Monastery, an Episcopalian Benedictine monastery for time away from the rush and crushing pace of life. This three- night, four day retreat affords the time to step away from the regular demands of our lives and to enjoy a place of rest and welcome. Our retreat begins on Tuesday, March 15 at 5:00 p.m. and concludes on Friday, March 17 following the noon meal.
Pastor Stuart Spencer leads a study of the parable of two lost sons, best known as the parable of the Prodigal Son from Luke 15. Our retreat group meets together for sessions on the mornings and evenings of each day. Within those gatherings we learn, share, and pray together. The days of the Prayer Retreat offer the gift of time for personal prayer, meditation, conversations, reflection, exploring the bookstore, hiking, silence and rest.
Holy Cross Monastery
 
Located about an hour north of New York City and set high on the western bluffs of the Hudson River, Holy Cross Monastery is a Benedictine place of prayer of the Episcopal Church. The monks graciously welcome all who come. The monastery is a lovely setting with comfortable private rooms and simple yet exquisite meals. We join the monks in their five offices of prayer throughout the day. In the evening, starting at 9:00 p.m., we are invited to participate in the Greater Silence, a time for quiet that continues until the Eucharist.
 
For information on the monastery: http://www.holycrossmonastery.com.
 
For specific information about the experience of retreat at the monastery: https://holycrossmonastery.com/guest-house/our-vision/
What to bring? Pack comfortable clothes and shoes, toiletries, a Bible, pens, a journal.
 
Registration
Cost: $300 for three nights (Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday), study book included.
$285 for those who wish to purchase the book in advance. Registrations fees are not re-fundable unless approved by the Guesthouse.
 
Note: Participants are responsible for their own transportation to and from the monastery. Rides can be shared.
 
Online registration is now available. 
OR
Print our brochure, complete the registration form and return to the church office. Checks should be made out to “First Presbyterian Church of Moorestown.” In the memo line write: Holy Cross Prayer Retreat.
You may download our printable brochure here…
 
Registration forms and fees are due to the First Presbyterian Church Office by Sunday, February 13, 2022.
 
First Presbyterian Church of Moorestown
PO Box 868
101 Bridgeboro Road
Moorestown, NJ 08057
Phone: (856) 235 – 1688
Email: sspencer@fpcmoorestown.org

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SESSION RESPONDS

Pastor Update, Coronavirus Letter 28

SESSION RESPONDS TO COVID-19 UPSURGE 

January 13, 2022
 
Dear Members and Friends of FPC Moorestown,
 
COVID has come home for many in our community and our congregation. The virus visited me on New Year’s Day. That morning I first thought I was getting a cold—my first since the start of the pandemic. I googled my symptoms and then took a home test that revealed a positive score. I got it. I’m grateful that I never felt awful other than a mildly painful sore throat. I probably infected our youngest son, Miles. Thankfully, Leslie and Sam have so far escaped. I know that many of you have your own stories.
 
Infection rates in New Jersey are soaring. Hospitals and other health services are near the point of becoming overwhelmed. Teachers, students and school administrators are struggling to find the best way forward. These are trying times for all of us.
Session met by Zoom on Wednesday evening, January 12th to reconsider our COVID protocols in light of the recent increase of the CALI (COVID Activity Level Index) score, which measures transmission risk. Currently, the CALI level is at VERY HIGH. Earlier this fall, Session decided that the CALI score will be the metric used to measure our COVID risk.
 
Dr. Steve Trzeciak, a long-time member and elder, joined Session for the first hour. Steve is the Chairman and Chief of the Department of Medicine at Cooper University Health Care. We listened as he described the latest information on the Omicron variant. He said that it spreads easily and rapidly.
 
Session approved the following on Wednesday evening, effective Sunday, January 16, 2022.
 
FOR INDOOR SUNDAY WORSHIP — SANCTUARY AND MILLER COMMONS
1) Masks required for all persons
2) Physical distancing will be encouraged in both worship spaces
3) No congregational singing. All who lead singing will continue to wear marks
 
FOR INDOOR MEETINGS
1) Everyone who enters the building is required to mask, regardless of their vaccination status. Groups are welcome to meet at church, though some are moving to virtual meetings.
2) Our Annual Meeting, set for Sunday, February 6, 2022 at 12:15 p.m. will be offered virtually via Zoom.
3) No food will be served indoors.
 
These revised guidelines remain in effect until the CALI scores drop.
 
As exhausting and frustrating as life has been during the pandemic, I thank God for the opportunities COVID-19 brings us to care for and love one another and members of our community. Dr. Trzeciak reminded me the other day that wearing a mask helps limit the spread of the virus and is an important way we can support our medical personnel by keeping hospitals from becoming overwhelmed.
 
The best medical advice is that we try to wear a high-quality mask, observe physical distancing, limit touch with others and wash our hands often. Vaccines also appear to be effective in reducing impact of the virus.
 
Beyond all of the important safety precautions we’ve set in place, let these directions from Colossians 3 be the ultimate word for how we’re to clothe ourselves in these days:
 
Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. (Colossians 3: 12-14)
 
Steve began his comments by asserting that he’s optimistic that there will be an end to the pandemic. Resting in the Lord’s sovereign care and wearing the clothing of compassion, I’m certain that God will see us through.
 
Thank you for your understanding, your patience and your support.
 
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Stuart Spencer, Pastor
 

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LAKE CHAMPION 2022

High School Lake Champion Trip

RESCHEDULED TO FEBRUARY 18-20

(President’s Day weekend)

 
HIGH SCHOOLERS: Get ready for one of the best weekends of the year to pull back from every day life and reconnect with God. This weekend has been a formative one for students from our Church for years. If you’ve never been with us on a wintercamp retreat, this is the year!
Don’t miss the chance to build some memories that will last a lifetime and to grow a relationship with a loving God. We are so excited to be able to offer this opportunity for high schoolers in grades 9-12.
 
Price is $150 per person (campers and leaders) and covers two nights lodging, towels and linens, snacks on Friday night, three meals on Saturday, and breakfast on Sunday. You’ll receive more detailed information a few weeks before the trip. SIGN UP on this page.
No school Monday, February 17 for President’s Day too.
 
Questions? Contact Dave Fauvell at 609-980-7885 cell/text or dfauvell52@gmail.com.
 

REGISTRATION IS UNDERWAY! Sign up by January 20, 2022


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PW WINTER GATHERING 2022

PW WINTER GATHERING

January 31, 2022, 7:30 pm

Save the date for the PW Winter Gathering!

On Sunday, January 31 at 7:00 pm, Kelly Maxted will be our speaker in Miller Commons and also via live stream. The program, “When God says, ‘Go!'”, will tell about her faith journey. Kelly and her husband, Luke are currently Fellows at UrbanPromise Camden. They are preparing to answer God’s call to found UrbanPromise London with their two young sons Judah and Reuben.
 
Kelly’s undergraduate degree is in Theology from the London School of Theology and she is currently attaining her Masters’ Degree in Organizational Development from Cairn University, Philadelphia and working at UrbanPromise. Kelly and her husband, Luke Maxted — who is currently co-leading our middle school youth ministry — plan to start UrbanPromise London in June 2022. With a vision for long term youth development, as well as providing college preparation and workforce skills for 18-20 year olds, UrbanPromise London will be a beacon of hope in London’s most under-resourced neighborhoods. Currently one in four children raised in London grow up in poverty.
 
Come hear about Kelly’s s remarkable journey of faith and trust.
 
To watch the live stream, log on to www.fpcmoorestown.org/live-stream at 7:00 pm.

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PRAYER VIGIL CASTLE TWINS

A CALL TO ACTION – PRAYER VIGIL FOR THE CASTLE TWINS

The FPC Moorestown Prayer Team has been made aware of an intense need, and we are privileged to pray!

Dick and Lissa Herman, as well as Bill Walker, are friends of Dwight and Stephanie Castle. This couple have 7 month-old twin girls who are “Conjoined Twins” at CHOP. They have lived in the NICU since their birth. Little Susannah and Elizabeth will be separated this Friday, December 10th in a 12-hour surgery. Elizabeth also has a hole in her heart.
 

THIS FRIDAY, DECEMBER 10

Join us in person on Friday, December 10 from 9:00 am to 10:00 am in Miller Commons
OR
Join the Prayer Vigil by choosing a time slot to pray on your own here:
 
Follow their story on their ‘Castle Conjoined Twins’ Facebook page:
 
 
 
 

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ADVENT SEASON 2021

SEASON OF ADVENT AND OUR SPECIAL CHRISTMAS SERVICES

This is the Good News about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God. It began just as the prophet Isaiah had written: “Look, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, and he will prepare your way. He is a voice shouting in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the LORD ’s coming! Clear the road for him!’” Mark 1:1-3

 

SPECIAL SERVICES

Longest Night Service

Sunday, December 12, 7:00 pm
 

Christmas Eve Eve Worship

Thursday, December 23
† 3:00 pm Outdoor Worship
† 7:00 pm Outdoor Worship
 

Christmas Eve Worship 

Friday, December 24
† 4:00 pm Family Service (masks required)
† 6:00 pm Family Service (masks optional)
† 8:30 pm Communion Service (masks optional)
† 11:00 pm Lessons and Carols (masks optional)
 
During each service we will be singing ‘Silent Night’ as a congregation, masks will be required during the song.
 

ADVENT GUIDE

Throughout the four-week Season of Advent there are special, meaningful activities for all ages, some familiar and some new. This guide is a helpful resource for our worship services, programs and opportunities for giving.
 

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LONGEST NIGHT 2021

Longest Night Service
Sunday, December 12, 2021 (7:00 pm)

This unique service provides peace to those dealing with grief, illness, anxiety or depression this holiday season who may not feel the joy or celebration seen in others — for many reasons. Princeton Seminary intern Paul Savage will be the featured preacher for this service.

This event will be held on Sunday, December 12th at 7:00 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church of Moorestown and will follow current COVID-19 protocols in place at the time. The event will also be streamed live on the church’s website at www.fpcmoorestown.org/live-stream so all may enjoy from the safety of their own homes or campuses.
 
The Longest Night includes elements from a Service of Remembrance, including the Lord’s Supper, special music and a time for prayer. All ages and faiths are welcome to partake in communion.
 
Please share this event with those you know who might need a quiet place in the rush of December, an authentic respite in the midst of busy holiday activities, or with those who have experienced a loss. If you know someone you would like us to invite to this service, wonderful! Please provide their name and address with Alison Mackey in the church office so we may send them an invitation letter. Contact Alison at amackey@fpcmoorestown.org or (856) 235-1688, Ext. 113.

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LOVE DRIVEN MINISTRY

A Message from Missions

We helped buy a house!

How $1500 stopped a liquor store from going next to Love Driven Ministries Malawi

“Can you help us buy a house?” the message from Love Driven Ministries founder, Ishmael Adam, read. “The owner of the house next to our ministry is going to sell it to someone who wants to open a liquor store. We can’t let this happen. We have raised $300.”
 
Ishmael explained that the house would cost $1,800 American dollars to purchase. In Malawi, anyone can buy liquor from the liquor stores. There is no There is no minimal age for purchase. This means that children can become addicted at a young age. Ishmael explained that the house is adjacent to the building they had purchased the previous week. “This would allow us to expand our work space and have meeting space with a community library,” he explained. On behalf of the Board of Directors and the entire team of Love Driven Ministries, I would like to thank you and the entire congregation of First Presbyterian Church of Moorestown for the continuous support toward the work we do in Malawi.
 
“Your prayers and financial support are greatly appreciated. In a special way, I would like to thank the church leadership, the Mission Committee and the entire members of the congregation for donating $1,500 that we used to purchase the building next to our property that was intended to be used as a liquor store. I have no words to describe how excited I am to see that building being turned into a safe space for the kids and youth in the community.” Love Driven Ministries exists to empower and provide opportunities to the children living in Juma village, one of the most isolated and poverty-stricken villages in Salima, Malawi. Their mission can be achieved by investing in children, inspiring them to be active leaders in the community, and preparing them to give back to the community.
 
50% of kids in the community drop out of school due to poverty and lack of role models.

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WES ALLEN’S INSTALLATION

YOU ARE INVITED

To the Installation of Rev. Wes Allen

The congregation and the community is warmly invited to the Installation of Rev. Wes Allen on Sunday, November 14, 2021 at 4:00 pm.

The worship service will be held in the sanctuary. Afterward, please join us in the courtyard for s’mores around the firepits.
 

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EAGLE SCOUT PROJECT

Evan’s Eagle Scout Project for FPC Moorestown, NJ

Hello Everyone,

My name is Evan Livingston, and I am a proud member of Boy Scout Troop 22 in Lumberton, New Jersey. I am beginning my Eagle Scout Project, which will allow me to earn the highest rank in Scouting; Eagle Scout.

 
My Eagle Scout Project revolves around my local church, The First Presbyterian Church of Moorestown, NJ. I am planning to build a fire pit and seating area. This project will benefit the large youth groups at the church when the youth groups want to enjoy fellowship and talk about their faith. The fire pit area may also be used during other social and congregational activities at the church. Currently, the area where I will build the fire pit is a large grassy area between the parking lot and the church’s cemetery. My goal is to complete my project in the late fall of 2021.
 
My project will encompass the twelve points of the Scout Law. For example, the sixth point of the Scout Law is to be kind; this point is demonstrated by giving back to my community and helping the families of my congregation. The twelfth point of Scout Law is to be reverent. As a proud Christian, I am devoted to this project since it supports my church, youth groups, and congregation, which firmly guided my morals and faith.
 
While I will be the project leader, many other Scouts, family, and friends will volunteer to help build and complete my project. You can help me too; any donations will be greatly appreciated as my project would not be possible without you.
 
Thank you,
Evan Livingston
Life Scout, Lumberton Troop 22

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2021 CONSECRATION SUNDAY

CONSECRATION SUNDAY

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Worship Service, 9:30 am

Drive-Through Dedication, 11:30 am-12:00 pm

On Sunday, October 17 we celebrate the joy of living a generous Christ-centered life with our annual stewardship emphasis.
 
We will all be together (in-person or via live stream) for ONE 9:30 am service, where we will welcome Rev. Sam Massengill as our guest preacher. During worship, we will prayerfully dedicate our gifts. If you won’t be here that day, you may return by mail, fill out online, or swing through a Drive-Through Dedication from 11:30-Noon that day.
 
Our sermon series “Now Is The Time” provides a biblical framework for this emphasis highlighted by personal stories from church members. To assist with budget projections, we kindly ask that all estimates be turned in by October 31.
 
 

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APPRECIATION SUNDAY 2021

PASTOR AND STAFF APPRECIATION SUNDAY, OCTOBER 10

Help us celebrate the ministry of Rev. Stuart Spencer, Rev. Wes Allen, and our program staff this Sunday, October 10, by sending them a note of appreciation sharing your gratitude for their ministry and sharing kind words of appreciation.

And I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will guide you with knowledge and understanding. Jeremiah 3:15
 
You may bring a card with you to either worship service, or fill in one of the blank thank you cards available in the Commons Lobby. Kids: they’d love to receive artwork or a picture from you too!
 
Baskets will be located in the Commons Lobby and in the Narthex to receive cards and notes for our clergy and senior staff:
  • Rev. Stuart Spencer
  • Rev. Wes Allen
  • Holly Asciutto
  • Martin Bass
  • Linda Jagiela
  • Joel Krott
 

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PRAYER VIGIL FALL 2021

12-Hour Prayer Vigil

Our ‘River of Prayer’ is widening and constantly flowing!

Saturday, October 16, 6:00 am to 6:00 pm

Consecration Sunday October 17 and The Church Has Left the Building October 24
 
Our “River of Prayer” is widening and constantly flowing! The Prayer Committee will hold its next “12-Hour Prayer Vigil” on Saturday, October 16th to provide our church family an opportunity to reflect on our stewardship emphasis for Consecration Sunday, October 17th: “Now Is The Time.” We will also focus on prayer for “The Church Has Left the Building” Sunday, October 24th.
 
Please SIGN UP online for a 30-minute time between 6:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.
 
A special Prayer Guide will be emailed to everyone who signs up and will also be available on the church website. For questions please contact Prayer Committee chair Pam Engle at 609-332-7513 or pam@pamengle.com.
 
Have an immediate prayer need?
The Prayer Team is ready and available to pray for your request. Simply text the wording to be shared to 609-923-4135 or 609-332-7513 and the team will be notified immediately. Updates and praises are appreciated!

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GROUPS RETURN 2021

KIDS AND YOUTH GROUPS ARE KICKING OFF

Our young people share opportunities to learn about God and find community among their peers!

 
KIDS GROUPS
Starting Wednesday, October 6
  • Crossing Zone (grades 4-6), 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
  • Kingdom Kids (grades k-3) – 4:45 pm – 5:45 pm
 
YOUTH GROUPS
Starting Sunday, October 3
  • High School (grades 9-12), 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Starting Wednesday, October 6
  • Middle School (grades 7-8), 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm

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PRAYER VIGIL 2021

12-Hour Prayer Vigil

Consecration Sunday October 17 and The Church Has Left the Building October 24

Our “River of Prayer” is widening and constantly flowing! The Prayer Committee will hold its next “12-Hour Prayer Vigil” on Saturday, October 16th to provide our church family an opportunity to reflect on our stewardship emphasis for Consecration Sunday, October 17th: “Now Is The Time.” We will also focus on prayer for “The Church Has Left the Building” Sunday, October 24th. 
 
Please SIGN UP online for a 30-minute time between 6:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.
 
A special Prayer Guide will be emailed to everyone who signs up and will also be available on the church website. For questions please contact Prayer Committee chair Pam Engle at 609-332-7513 or pam@pamengle.com.
 
Have an immediate prayer need?
The Prayer Team is ready and available to pray for your request. Simply text the wording to be shared to 609-923-4135 or 609-332-7513 and the team will be notified immediately. Updates and praises are appreciated! 

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VAN CAMP PORCH

VAN CAMP PORCH DEDICATION

Joan Van Camp,

a long time and faithful member of our church, left a generous legacy bequest to the church. Through Joan’s unparalleled generosity, the church has addressed numerous upgrades to God’s House over several years and donated sustaining gifts to our local and international mission partners. Her gift impacts not only the present, but generations of members and families to come.
 
On August 31 we held a ceremony to honor Joan’s generosity and dedicate the Van Camp Porch in her honor. Used by staff, committees and groups, this place is a comfortable outdoor space to meet and do God’s work.
 
We invite you to learn more about Legacy Giving.
 

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PW FALL GATHERING 2021

Presbyterian Women Fall Gathering

WOMEN OF THE CHURCH:

On Monday, Sept. 20 at 10:00 am, we will be kicking off our program year with the Fall Gathering Presented by PW. We will meet in person in Fellowship Hall (masks required indoors). ALL women are invited – and encouraged to bring a friend or neighbor. Spacing in the room will be generous.
 
Ruth Stotsenburg will be introducing the group to the engaging new Presbyterian Women small group study “What my Grandmothers Taught Me-Learning from the Women in Matthew’s Genealogy.”
 
Circle Leaders will be present to offer a personal invitation to their particular group, which will begin in October. These small groups meet monthly with day and night times available. Leaders are Jean Kunkel, Barbara Lewis, Ginny Weber, and Debbie Heller. Gayle Payne leads a service group.
 
Register ONLINE to attend the Fall Gathering! All women of the church are welcome.

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THE ENGAGEMENT PROJECT

THE ENGAGEMENT PROJECT

Adult Spiritual Formation (Room 3-4)
September 15 – November 17, 2021

The Engagement Project is a 10-week study which will meet Wednesday evenings at the church. When we draw near to God and contemplate His divine nature, it exposes us, as it did Isaiah. But it also awakens us to His Truth, which transforms us and calls us to engage the world around us. After we engage, we seek to restore the Truth of God in all areas of life.
 
Invite your friends from other churches to this video discussion series — all are welcome! No book is required.
 
NOTE: In previous years a meal has been served with similar studies, with meal costs shared among participants. Due to COVID restrictions, we are unsure if food or beverages will be permitted; watch this space for updated information and meeting times.
 

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MINISTRY FAIR 2021

MINISTRY FAIR – CONNECT, DEVOTE, SERVE, WORSHIP

A Time to Scatter … Gather

As our church continues to gather together again for worship, we will plan to gather to kick off the 2021 program and school year with our Ministry Fair on Sunday, Sept. 12th. The Ministry Fair features table displays from church ministries to educate the congregation about specific goals and gain new participants. Watch for a companion August sermon series on gathering as well.
 
As in previous years, the Ministry Fair centers around four key practices that enliven our faith:
  • We connect in smaller groups to discover fellowship with God and one another
  • We devote regular time to deepen our relationship with God through Scripture and prayer
  • We serve the needs of others
  • We worship our Lord together
Our individual and collective faith flourishes when these practices are consistently embodied, so we’re highlighting how we can live them out together. For example, if you’re a newcomer or visitor, perhaps a good place to start is to connect with others and discover what it means to worship with the body of Christ. If you’ve been devoting time to God on your own and long for fellowship and rich dialogue, you might consider joining a small group. Maybe the Spirit is leading you to discover the gift of service as an usher or audio visual technician.
 
Our goal remains to encourage FPC Moorestown and the wider community to grow in love for God and one another; to encourage people of all ages and stages of faith to reflect on what it means to connect, devote, serve and worship. How is God calling you to take your next step of faith? What does it mean to listen to the Spirit as it guides you toward new opportunities to love God and your neighbor for the coming year?
 
We are grateful to be on this journey together and look forward to hearing how we can support you as we all seek to be Christ’s salt and light!
 
Your Church Staff
 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)

Don’t the areas overlap?
Yes. We worship through serving and meeting together and devoting our hearts to God, but in the interest of clarity, we have made what we think are meaningful separations between them. This is not intended to erase these connections, but to highlight areas for growth. As you engage in one step or expression of faith it will become clear how one expression of faith transforms your experiences in the other three.
 
Where is the Ministry Fair? When will it begin and end?
The Ministry Fair will be held in Fellowship Hall and Miller Commons lobby on Sunday, September 12th. It starts at 9:45 AM and ends at 10:45 AM. However, each area of the fair (Connect, Devote, Serve and Worship) will remain set up for the entire day on Sunday to give everyone a chance to explore and learn more about FPC Moorestown.
 
How does my ministry area reserve a table?
To reserve a table, contact Earl Gage at egage@fpcmoorestown.org or (856) 235-1688, Ext. 106 by August 21st. Table space is limited so in some instances, groups will be asked to share tables.
 
What are the COVID protocols?
At this time, masks are optional, with the knowledge that most in the congregation are fully vaccinated. Hand sanitizer will be available.
 
When does set up begin?
Tables will be placed in all four areas of the Fair (Connect, Devote, Serve and Worship) on Thursday, September 9th. We kindly ask for all participants to leave their ministry information at their areas until Monday, Sept. 13th. This way, no matter whether you attend the Traditional or Contemporary worship service, you have time to explore and learn more about FPC Moorestown. Property staff will break down tables on Monday, Sept. 13th.

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FPC 133 BIRTHDAY

SEPTEMBER 12: HONOR OUR FOUNDING 133 YEARS AGO

This year, our Ministry Fair happens to fall on our birthday! Let’s make September 12th special this year!

September 12th marks the 133rd Birthday of our church. In honor of the church’s celebration of its founding on September 12, 1888, members are encouraged to donate to the future of FPC Moorestown by giving to the September 12 endowment fund. The fund is invested to earn income which helps to support the needs of our church.
 
How can you send your birthday gift to the church? Bring your envelope to the Sept. 12 Ministry Fair, mail your gift to the church, give online, or drop in the offering plate. Gifts may be donated through December.
 
See our flyer ..SEPTEMBER 12 FLYER
 
This fund began in 1993, when our Interim Pastor at that time, Dr. Bryant Kirkland, and Dr. James Honan, conceived of creating a special fund to celebrate our past and invest in our future. The September 12th Fund serves as a long-term endowment for our church. Financial contributions to the September 12th Fund are held and invested for the care and protection of our church over time. A designated portion of the earnings are distributed each year for current church needs.
 
It is the invested gifts of those who came before us that have grown over time to create financial stability for FPC even in uncertain times. It is our gifts that will provide that same stability for future generations to weather the storms that will come.
This is especially important for us at times like this COVID-19 pandemic. We can only be ready for these situations if we faithfully prepare, save and invest for times like these.
 
There is no better way to protect the future and make a lasting difference financially for our beloved First Presbyterian Church of Moorestown. So, in this our 133rd year, please consider a gift of $13.30, $133.00, $1,330 or $13,300.
READ a letter from the pastor about a special opportunity to support this legacy …  PASTOR SPENCER’S LETTER

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911 REMEMBRANCE SERVICE

A SERVICE OF REMEMBRANCE, PRAYER AND RESURRECTION

On Saturday September 11, 2021 at 8:30 am, we gather at the cross in the First Presbyterian Church cemetery for a service of remembrance, prayer and resurrection as we commemorate the 20th anniversary of the deadliest terrorist attack in world history. This will be a solemn time for reflection, prayer, scripture reading, and song as we remember the 2,977 lives tragically taken from this world and the 20-year war that ensued.
 
 
For those unable to attend, you may use this prayer guide to find prayers and scripture readings to coincide with the times the planes struck the World Trade Center towers, Pentagon, and field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
 
 

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COVID PROTOCOL UPDATED

Pastor Update, Coronavirus Letter 23

COVID GUIDELINES UPDATED

Dear Members and Friends of FPC Moorestown:
On this gorgeous morning, two days after heavy storms battered our region, I bring you an update. I’m always amazed how a fierce downpour often clears the air and results in a string of lovely weather. I pray that the storms we’re facing together may soon bring the beauty of God’s purposes.
 
At a specially called meeting September 2nd, Session approved the following COVID-19 protocols. These protocols take effect immediately and will remain in place through October. Session and staff will monitor the pandemic and make changes to these guidelines as warranted.
 
  • Masks will be mandatory for everyone when gathering indoors (including both vaccinated and unvaccinated) when Burlington County is deemed to have high or substantial community spread. This applies to worship and all indoor meetings. Masking is encouraged but not required for outdoor meetings or gatherings on our property.
  • Beginning Sunday, Sept. 5th, congregational singing will be discontinued, singers will be masked, and those who attend in-person will be distanced.
  • We’ll continue to serve the Lord’s Supper as we have through the pandemic in pre-packaged units.
  • We will not serve or eat food indoors. Pre-made or prepared food may be served and eaten outside.
We’re learning how to live with a pandemic that appears to have no end in sight. I’m certain that some from our congregation will be discouraged or disheartened by the return of masking to our indoor gatherings. In light of the rising transmission risk for Burlington County, Session felt that our protocols needed revision. Throughout the pandemic, your Session has always sought to ensure the safety of our members and friends — from the youngest to the oldest.
 
I am deeply grateful for the members of our Session. Amid busy lives, our elders give freely and often of their time. Throughout the course of the pandemic, Session members have met, beyond our monthly stated and committee meetings, to tackle the wide range of unprecedented issues and concerns that no one has faced before.
 
I happened to read a portion of the New Testament book of James this week in my daily quiet time. James was a straight shooter. In chapter 3, James pens a clear call for God’s people to seek “heavenly wisdom” or God’s wisdom as we live together facing all the challenges we face. Notice his assurance of something beautiful blooming as we seek God’s guidance. It’s as beautiful as the stunning late summer weather that follows a hurricane.
 
13 Who in your community is understanding and wise? Let her or his example, which is marked by wisdom and gentleness, blaze a trail for others. 17 Heavenly wisdom centers on purity, peace, gentleness, deference, mercy, and other good fruits untainted by hypocrisy. 18 The seed that flowers into righteousness will always be planted in peace by those who embrace peace. (James 3: 12, 17 – 18, The Voice)
 
Thank you for patient support and unfailing kindness to me, our staff and our lay leaders.
 
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Stuart Spencer, Pastor
 

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133rd BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION

FPC MOORESTOWN CELEBRATES 133 YEARS

Let’s go back twenty years to three days in September 2001 that changed everything. I refer to September 10, September 11, and September 12, 2001.
September 10 was the last ordinary day that our nation experienced for a long time. September 11 brought the loss and sorrow of the terrorist attacks. September 12 ushered in a new way of life.
 
While the September 12th Fund began eight years before those difficult days, the vision that then Interim Pastor Bryant Kirkland, and Dr. James Honan had in 1993 created a crucial form of preparedness for First Presbyterian Church of Moorestown. As we have learned then and now, we’ll never see the momentous challenges coming before they arrive. We simply have to be ready to respond to those unanticipated needs with courage and resolve. Twenty years after 2001, we face another challenge of a worldwide pandemic. We must continue our readiness and resolve for the needs of the moment. That’s why I am so grateful for the September 12th Fund, a special account to celebrate our past and invest in our future.
 
The September 12th Fund serves as a long-term endowment for our church. Financial contributions to the September 12th Fund are held and invested for the care and protection of our church over time. A designated portion of the earnings are distributed each year for current church needs.
 
It is the invested gifts of those who came before us that have grown over time to create financial stability for FPC Moorestown even in uncertain times. It is our gifts that will provide that same stability for future generations to weather the storms that will come.
 
This is especially important for us at times like this COVID-19 pandemic. We can only be ready for these situations if we faithfully prepare, save, and invest for times like these.
 
There is no better way to protect the future and make a lasting difference financially for our beloved First Presbyterian Church of Moorestown.
This year, September 12th, the birthday of our church, falls on a Sunday. Make it a special year! Celebrate the 133rd Birthday of FPC Moorestown with a special gift. Please consider a gift of $13.30, $133.00, $1,330 or $13,300. Enclosed is a pre-addressed envelope for your convenience, or you may also easily give online.
 
THANK YOU for your incredible and consistent generosity, especially in these uncertain times. I’m so blessed by you and I thank God for you!
 

Sincerely yours in Christ,
Stuart Spencer, Pastor


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REV WES ALLEN

WE INVITE YOU TO ‘MEET’ OUR ASSOCIATE PASTOR CANDIDATE

Rev. Wesley Allen is no stranger to FPC Moorestown!

He is the candidate our Associate Pastor Nominating Committee (APNC) has presented to fill the long empty ‘office in the corner’. As Pastor Spencer says in his letter, “the Spirit of God faithfully and wonderfully answered our prayers for an Associate Pastor.”
 
Our thanks to the APNC, Kevin Fauvell, Chair, Carole Wehn, Adrienne Barr, Jane Murphy and Marsha Booker, who have published a beautiful brochure to tell us all about our candidate.
 

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JOIN OUR CHOIR

YOUR INVITATION TO JOIN OUR CHOIR

“When we lift our voices in song, we join a cosmic affirmation of God’s glory.” Joel Krott

 
We will begin rehearsals again in September and welcome you to join us! All who enjoy singing and who have a passion for worship are encouraged to join us. Young people are welcome to participate, regardless of prior singing experience or music reading ability. Our programs encourage growth and offer instruction in a nurturing style. And don’t forget our Contemporary Worship Band, it may be just the place for you!
 

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ANNOUNCING CALL

ANNOUNCING CALL OF ASSOCIATE PASTOR

Dear Members and Friends of First Presbyterian Church of Moorestown,
 
After nearly 30 months of a nationwide search, our Associate Pastor Nominating Committee (APNC) gratefully presents a candidate who lives exactly one mile from the front doors of our sanctuary. A brief glance at the enclosed brochure tells you that the Spirit of God faithfully and wonderfully answered our prayers for an Associate Pastor in the person of someone who is no stranger to many of us: Reverend Wesley “Wes” Allen. I praise God for sending a gifted friend who is clearly called to this position. We’re incredibly blessed to welcome Wes and his family, Jen, and Vivian and Jacob into our midst.
 
When Kelly LePenske announced her plans to conclude her ministry, the Personnel Team and I started seeking someone who could help me while the search for an Associate Pastor continued. I reached out to Wes to discover if he had any interest in filling that interim role. He did not but he did tell me that he was attracted to the called position for Associate Pastor.
 
We owe an enormous debt of gratitude to our APNC. Kevin Fauvell was the chair of the committee. The other members were Carole Wehn, Adrienne Barr, Jane Murphy and Marsha Booker. Dave Adams was a member until he resigned last year. These servants reviewed 184 Personnel Information Forms. They had deeper conversations with about 30 candidates. You’ll recall at the time of their election in February 2019 they were asked to seek a Pastor who would oversee our discipleship and adult spiritual formation ministries, guide our congregational care, including Stephen Ministries, participate in worship leadership and preach regularly. A year into their work, Session re-directed their search to find a candidate who would lead our youth ministries. Early this year, Session asked the Committee to return to their original mandate. All along, they met regularly, often weekly, and for most of the time, via Zoom. They encouraged each other like weary runners in a marathon. They prayed constantly. They once told me that the acronym, APNC changed meaning for them from Associate Pastor Nominating Committee to Always Praying, Never Conceding. I thank the Committee for persevering on behalf of our congregation and Presbytery.
 
Session has called a special meeting of the congregation for Sunday, August 29, 2021 for the purpose of voting on the call of Rev. Wes Allen as our Associate Pastor. It’s a Fifth Sunday, so we’ll gather in our Sanctuary for one service at 9:30 a.m. when Wes will preach. The meeting begins at the close of worship. The worship service and the meeting will be live streamed. We’ll provide a Zoom link with an option to vote for church members who’d prefer to stay at home.
 
In addition to considering the terms of call for Wes, we’ll also act on a request from Session to amend our By-Laws to allow virtual meetings. Since the start of the pandemic, we’ve held four such meetings, including our Annual Meeting in February of this year. When we meet in a few weeks, it will be the first time we’ve done so since February of 2020, which means we can properly make this amendment. After we’ve worshipped and voted, we’re planning a reception for the Allens outside. Do plan to join us for this momentous morning!
 
Since and Wes and Jen and their children already live in Moorestown, once elected, he can begin his ministry with us on Monday, August 30, the next day. That’s one additional blessing from calling a Pastor who lives around the corner. There will be, I’m certain, many more to follow in the years to come.
 
Gratefully yours in Christ,
Stuart Spencer, Pastor
 
 

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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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