Pastor Update, Letter 45


November 11, 2023
Dear Members and Friends of First Presbyterian Church of Moorestown,
It is with both gratitude and sadness that we announce the upcoming retirement of our beloved Worship Leader, Martin Bass. After much contemplation and prayer, Martin has shared that he will be concluding his tenure as the Worship Leader for our contemporary service on November 26th. Martin’s journey with us has been nothing short of remarkable, marked by dedication, passion and an unwavering commitment to excellence.
As he begins this new chapter of life, we reflect on the countless ways Martin has enhanced our church’s Sunday morning contemporary worship service, including guidance in navigating online worship during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic and editing our weekly Thursday Evening Prayer Service. Martin’s work at First Presbyterian has exemplified the virtues of resilience, humility and an unwavering reliance on Christ. These words from the Apostle Paul capture the essence of Martin’s service to our congregation and the Kingdom of God:
“Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, because you know the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do” (Ephesians 6:7, NIV).
Expressing our Appreciation
As Martin embarks on this well-earned retirement, let us join together in expressing our deepest gratitude for his six years of dedicated service. We extend our warmest wishes for a retirement filled with joy, peace, and the fulfillment of all his heart’s desires. As is customary, I invite you to join us on Martin’s final Sunday, November 26th, to express your appreciation and well-wishes. We encourage congregants to bring in cards and notes of appreciation for Martin and his wife, Christine Bass, who too has been an integral part of our contemporary worship service, playing the keyboard and providing vocals on Sunday mornings. On this special day, a love gift will be collected for Martin and we encourage any checks or financial gifts be made directly to him.
Martin, your dedication, musical talent, and technical expertise have left an indelible mark on our community. We will miss your presence and the gifts you brought to worship each week. As you embark on this new chapter, we extend our heartfelt wishes for continued blessings in all your future endeavors.
With great appreciation, Wes
Rev. Wes Allen, Associate Pastor
We invite you to enjoy just a few of Martin’s songs shared over the years.
• Gesu Bambino
• Someone’s Crying
• Go Tell It on the Mountain




Diane and Tom Samuel received the Holism Award at the Urban Promise Night of Promise Banquet. The award was presented to the Samuels because of the way they holistically engage with UrbanPromise and for the opportunities they provide for young people to explore and grow. All of the FPC Moorestown family send the Samuels congratulations!
As life-long supporters and advocates for UrbanPromise, Diane and Tom go the extra mile by raising support among family and friends to send UP kids each year to overnight summer camp.
Joining the Samuels on October 26, 2023 were (group picture left to right) Kristen Perkowski, Peg Pierce, Donna Leatherman, Debbie Heller, Fran Green, Peg Madorno, Susan Winner, Diane Samuel, Gail Sorin, Jane Murphy and Laurie LaMonica.
What a blessing they and Urban Promise have been to so many children!



Thursday, June 8
6:00 pm, Dinner and 7:00 pm, Program

The Presbyterian Women of the Presbytery for Southern New Jersey and the PW Coordinating Team of First Presbyterian Church of Moorestown invite all women to a Joint Spring Gathering on Thursday, June 8th at 6:00 pm in Miller Commons (101 Bridgeboro Road, Moorestown).
Be inspired by a panel presentation, “What is a Christian Woman to Do?”, featuring Rev. Dr. Debby Brincivalli, Dr. Leslie Spencer and Jennifer Allen. Learn about the PWPFSNJ, its purpose and missions.
Please register to attend on this page.
Order forms for a box supper are available. Download a copy and return to the church with your payment ($15 each). Choices are available either as a sandwich or as a wrap and meals include pasta salad, fruit salad, chips, and a brownie. Food order deadline is now extended to Friday, June 2!
Download dinner order form
The Spring Gathering will also be available via live stream that evening at
Questions? Please contact Susan Masiko 856-630-3253 or or Jane Murphy 856-427-0618 or




With 2023 underway, we are preparing to pay our denomination’s per capita apportionment and ask for your help. Members pay this per capita, in addition to one’s annual gift, recognizing that the Presbyterian Church (PCUSA) is a connectional church and we are part of a larger family throughout the state and the country with Presbyteries, Synods, and General Assembly. Our 2023 per capita offering remains $38.75 per member.

Submitting Your Per Capita Share

It’s important to note that this per-member offering has not increased for more than 10 years despite increases to Presbytery costs. We appreciate you covering your payment, as you are able. This is a significant help to your church. In 2022, 286/786 members helpfully contributed their per capita. FPC Moorestown therefore paid the balance of $37,239 for our participation in this connectional church. There were 48 opt-outs received @ 38.75 = $1,860 cost savings for our church.

PLEASE DO YOUR PART AND RETURN your contribution of $38.75 per member in the offering plate, by mail, online, through the Church Center app, or drop a check off to the office. Please return this offering by February 28, 2023 to offset the amount the church must pay.

Do you want to “opt out?”See Opt Out Form here …

In 2012, Session voted that if a member prefers that the church NOT pay his/her portion, he or she may “opt out” and ask that their portion be deducted from the total amount the church must pay. To do so, fill out the attached Opt Out form or notify Norman Vandergrift at 856.235.1688, Ext. 112 or Please remember that not paying is not the same as opting out.
On behalf of the Session and Stewardship Committee, thank you to all who gave in support of our ministries this past year. Your steadfast giving allowed us to continue serving the Lord, our congregation and community in creative and Christ-honoring ways.
Stuart Spencer, Pastor
Nancy Chumney, Stewardship Chair




FEBRUARY 5, 2023

The Session of the First Presbyterian Church of Moorestown, New Jersey, in
accordance with the Church Bylaws, has called the Annual Meeting of the
Congregation and Corporation for Sunday, February 5, 2023 immediately following the 11:00 am worship service. The meeting will take place in person in Fellowship Hall AND will also be offered virtually.
The purpose of the meeting is to hear committee reports, receive the 2023 Church Budget, and approve the 2023 pastors’ terms of call. No other business may be brought before the congregation other than the preceding item.
Ann McBride
Clerk of Session




a small book from a shelf in my study called, The Mystery of the Holy Night. The book features classic paintings depicting the events surrounding the birth of Jesus, with excerpts from the writings of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. He was a German pastor and theologian who was imprisoned for his resistance to Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime. Bonhoeffer was executed just days before the end of the war.
From his prison cell, he wrote often to his family and friends. He wrote with strong faith and deep hope about the joy of Christmas even while being apart from those he loved. I like to read from this little volume in December because it seems that with every Advent there’s a burden to carry and trouble that can weigh us down. Bonhoeffer never lost his confidence that God’s steadfast love was his to receive, even on death row. Bonhoeffer wrote a lovely poem that captured his deep trust in the “benevolent powers” that surrounded him until the day he died. It reads:
Faithfully and quietly surrounded by benevolent powers, wonderfully guarded and consoled,
–thus will I live this day with you and go forth another year.
Still will the past torment our hearts. Still, heavy burdens of bad times depress us,
Ah Lord, give our startled souls the grace for which we were created.
Warmly protected by benevolent powers, with confidence we wait for what may come.
God is with us at evening and at morning and most certainly at each new day.
I write to you with a sense that FPC Moorestown is “warmly protected.” God is with us and will give us the strength and guidance we need. However, we are not insulated from challenging times and heavy burdens, as Bonhoeffer knew and testified. We’re facing both at the end of 2022.
It’s likely that you’ve heard news of the financial challenges that we now face as a congregation. Due to a number of reasons and factors, we’re looking at a potential budget shortfall for this year and a significant anticipated financial gap in the coming year. For a clear and helpful explanation, I direct you to a written statement made by our president of the Board of Trustees Jeff Legath that’s on our Year-End Giving Opportunities page:
Since Jeff spoke to the congregation in November, many of you have increased or newly submitted your estimate of giving to FPC Moorestown for 2023, for which we are very grateful. Leslie and I likewise decided that we wanted to increase our financial pledge for next year. Others are making special gifts to help us now. I’m both grateful for and heartened by the quick, generous response of this congregation.
I ask for the open-handed resolve of your giving to continue, as God enables you to help. Here are my requests:
  • First, join me in praying daily for God’s provision for us. I’m asking the Lord to provide us with everything we need to fulfill his plans for us now. I’ve set aside Thursdays as a day for fasting and prayer. If your health permits you to give up breakfast and lunch that day, consider joining me in seeking the Lord’s help now. God’s people have regularly sought his assistance in times of great need by these two ancient spiritual practices.
  • Second, be sure you are current with, and (as you remain able) meet your estimated giving intentions for giving this year (2022).
  • Third, if you’re in a position to do so, pray on and strive to make a supplemental year-end gift to help us meet our budget, whether to our Christmas Green offering or as supplemental unpledged budget support. A special envelope has been included for you and can also be found in boxed offering sets.
  • Finally, but significantly, if you haven’t yet completed an estimate of giving pledge for 2023, please do so. No amount is too small, and if you have not pledged previously, I encourage you to do so and draw strength from the sense of belonging and ownership of our Church that comes with that commitment. If you have already submitted an estimate of giving for 2023 but you are praying on whether to increase your commitment, you can revise your estimate of giving for 2023 as well.
Please remember that you can give offerings electronically by going to our church website and clicking on the “Give” link, or within the Church Center app if you use that. If you need help, please contact the church office at (856) 235-1688.
I want to acknowledge the incredible leadership of our Budget Committee, Trustees and Session, and encourage all of you to help give our leaders the optimal resources we can provide them to plan our church’s work. I’m trusting our God to do great things for us and grant us the confidence we need to give our very best. I know that God is with us and will not forsake us with each new day.
Affectionately yours in Christ,
Stuart Spencer, Pastor




Beginning Sunday, January 8, 2023, 9:45 am, we are offering the adult education series, ‘Reflecting on the Word.’

Join Elder Lorenzo Eagles as he leads a discussion on our sermon text.
  • January 8 – Genesis 2:4b-17
  • January 15 – Deuteronomy 8:1-18
  • January 22 – 1 Kings 19:1-9
Fifth Sunday
There is no adult spiritual formation on the 5th Sunday, January 29, 2023.

For questions, contact associate pastor Wes Allen at or 856.235.1688, Ext. 101.




First United Methodist Church

January 15, 2023, 3:00 – 4:30 pm

The Moorestown Ministerium, an ecumenical leadership of area congregations, warmly invites the congregation to a Celebration and Worship Service on Sunday, January 15 at 3:00 pm honoring the legacy and ministry of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King.
First United Methodist Church is located at 446 E. Camden Avenue in Moorestown.
A reminder that the FPC Moorestown church office and Step by Step Christian Preschool will be CLOSED on Monday, January 16 in observance of the national holiday and Day of Service.




Our President of the Board of Trustees, Jeff Legath, has a very important message to share with the congregation as we face a difficult budget shortfall.


Presentation to the Congregation
Jeff Legath, President of the Board of Trustees
Sunday, November 6, 2022
Good morning everyone:
For anyone who may not know me, my name is Jeff Legath. My wife Jenny and I have been members of this congregation for about 20 years. I am in my sixth year of serving on our Board of Trustees, and my third year serving as President of the Board. I also serve on the Budget committee with our Chair Mike Ramage and several other Trustees and members of Session.
I have been asked and want to speak to you at this time from a leadership perspective and as a member of this congregation. My family and I love this Church and we put our hearts into this- we are all-in on FPC Moorestown. We are led by amazing Ministers and Staff who help forge a terrific culture here. Stuart and his team help us accept who we are- imperfections and all- and realize that we- like you- are exactly the type of people who need to be members of this great Church. FPC Moorestown has had a profoundly positive effect on my faith and our family.
Like a family, there is also a responsibility to share with you, our Congregation, when times become challenging. In addition to a decrease in unpledged giving so far in 2022 and lost revenue from donors who have moved or passed away, we recently learned that some of our very faithful donors are facing unexpected challenges. These challenges will have a significant impact on our Church’s expected donations for 2022 and on estimates of giving for 2023. Although we hope this proves to be conservative, we currently expect a decrease in projected revenue versus original expectations for this year and next year of about $200,000 each year.
This loss is significant to our Budget. The Budget Team and leadership are making hard decisions while seeking to keep in place all of the core missions of our Church- including all of our programs that support our members. We also very much want to continue funding our Missions Committee, Deacons and all of our benevolence as much as we reasonably can. A big part of why I am addressing you today is that our Budget Committee wants to do right by all of our constituents- and we know how much Missions and Deacons help less fortunate people locally and around the world. We want and expect to keep our dedicated Staff in place; we want to continue to serve our community with programs such as the Strawberry Festival, children and youth programs, our spectacular music ministry, and many others. All of this takes money. We also have a beautiful Church facility and grounds, which takes money to maintain.
I think that we need to face these challenges together as a family and united as a team. Our Budget Committee is wrestling with a proposed 2023 Budget that currently will need to reflect reductions in all areas. This will not be pleasant and is certainly not our goal, but we will ultimately do what we need to do to share the pain equally and preserve the core functions and long-term sustainability of our Church.
I do not present this to you easily- but I believe it is very important that all of our Church family hear this message and understand where we are. Fortunately, I know from experience how amazing this Congregation is and has been at supporting our Church. During the pandemic we asked for- and you provided- your faith and continued support while we were not even open, and we came through that stage of the Pandemic as well as we could have ever prayed for.
So today, I am asking again for your tremendous support. I do not want the Congregation to think this is like most any year where Stuart sends out a year-end giving message and we respond or not- perhaps without too much thought. Nothing could help solve these budget issues more than additional gifts and pledges received from our Congregation- and I do not want to finalize proposed 2023 budget numbers and put them before Session until I know that our Congregation knows where we stand and has a chance to respond.
As a leader, I would never ask anything of you that my family and I are not also fully committed to doing. I assure you there is nothing like being President of the Board of Trustees to make you clearly see and feel the full weight of the needs of our Church. Jenny and I have now raised our 2023 estimate of giving twice since we first turned in our pledge card- to a level that is now 50% above what we estimated for 2022 and 4x higher than what we were giving when I first joined the Board 6 years ago. Our revised pledge is already reflected in the numbers I have shared- but we are not done praying on it either.
We ask any of you who possibly can to join us however more you can help. I know some of you have likely already pledged as much as you possibly can- and I am well aware that so many of you give a lot more than money to our Church. If you have already pledged for 2023, please pray on whether you can increase that pledge now if at all possible, knowing now where we stand and the challenges we face. If you have not yet pledged at all for 2023, I urge you to do so with whatever you can reasonably give. No amount is too small. And certainly as we approach the end of 2022, we ask that you please dig deeply to give more than your 2022 pledge as you are able– by contributing to our Christmas Green year-end giving. How we finish 2022 will have a large impact on what we are able to do in 2023.
Friends, we can meet this challenge if we work together. God’s grace is magnificent and I have deep faith that God and this Congregation will provide what we need. The work of our Church is vital. On behalf of the Budget team, I ask for your continued prayers as we work our way through this financial challenge. And I further ask of you to do whatever you can do financially to help. Together, I know we will come through this and thrive as a Church for many years to come. Thank you for your prayerful consideration of these requests.



Pastor Update, Coronavirus Letter 35


October 13, 2022
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
I have a slackline set up in our back yard (see photo right). Slacklining is a sport and an art that can be used for balance training, recreation, or even a moving meditation. It’s similar to tightrope walking, and is accomplished by stretching a 1 to 2-inch wide length of nylon/polyester webbing between two anchor points, most often trees. The second picture features a handsome young man named Izzy. He’s my niece Katie’s boyfriend and a slackline pro. My brother Blake snapped that photo before Izzy and Katie went to a wedding in Vermont this summer.
I’m learning to balance on my slackline with the goal of walking the length of it one day, maybe even while wearing a tux. It’s a fun challenge. I’ve had it about two months and I can stand on one foot for about ten seconds. It’s good to try something you can’t already do and give it the care and effort needed to develop a new ability. I’ve welcomed the challenge of doing something new from ground up.
Giving of most any sort requires some amount of learning, if not training. We have to learn how to give financially and how to give of our time. It’s not something we are born already programmed to do. Likewise, extending forgiveness or growing in patience both require teaching and practice. Those who want to follow Jesus seriously as disciples commit to a lifetime of learning.
This Sunday is our first of two giving Sundays: Consecration Sunday on October 16th and Church Has Left the Building Sunday on October 30th. Since September Rev. Wes Allen and I have explored with you the biblical basis for the practice of giving. One thing I’ve discovered from slacklining is that I’ve had to do a lot of standing up on the line and falling off—up, down, hundreds of times. Yet, I’m starting to get it.
Giving, as we’ve discovered from God’s Word and with our group study on the book Wonder Drug, directs us to the fullness of life the Lord designed us to live. I hope you share my excitement for these coming giving Sundays. I ask you to prepare for them with me.
We’re having a Prayer Vigil this Saturday, October 15th from 5:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. You can follow the link to sign up for a 30-minute time slot to pray. Our Prayer Team has a prayer guide for your use. In prayer, we offer to the Spirit of God our hearts, our minds, our wills and all God has entrusted to us. When God has us completely, there’s no concern about our finances here at church. Here’s the link for information and to signup: OUR PRAYER PAGE
Bring your Estimate of Giving card with you to worship this Sunday. You can complete it at home or during the time of dedication in worship. Before you complete your card, consider some things that I’ve stressed on recent Sundays. Give from a position of gratitude for all that God has done for you and those you love. Give with the faces of those who will be impacted by your gifts. Give asking with intention, what is God calling me to give? If you won’t be here Sunday, please mail or submit your estimate securely online.
Do plan to come to our Tailgate Celebration after worship! If you’re going to watch via live stream you can join the party. You’re welcome to drop off your Estimate of Giving card to Earl Gage or Norman Vandergrift. If you’re able to come in person, bring a side dish as you are able and wear warm clothes.
You can still find a place to serve on Church Has Left the Building Sunday. We first will offer a brief worship service in Miller Commons. Afterwards, we’ll be dismissed with a blessing to go and be a blessing to others. Come dressed to serve. Here’s a link to our Events page for Church Has Left the Building. Learn about all the opportunities to serve and sign up. If it’s easier, stop by the Live to Give table in the Commons Lobby where our Deacons can answer any question and help you register.
I’m setting up my slackline this Sunday during our tailgate party. You can see the progress I’m making. I’ll also help you give it a try. There’s no one else I’d rather learn with than you — learning generosity and not just slacklining.
Gratefully yours in Christ,
Stuart Spencer, Pastor



Pastor Update, Coronavirus Letter 34


September 30, 2022
Dear Members and Friends of First Presbyterian Church of Moorestown,
There’s been a lot of talk about giving around here since Labor Day. Rev. Allen and I have preached on the biblical basis for building a giving life. We’ve learned that God made us to give. We’ll be at our strongest and healthiest—spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically, when we live to give. Our preaching, our study and our prayer are all leading us to two significant Sundays in October. The first is Consecration Sunday on October 16. The second is The Church Has Left the Building on Sunday, October 30. For details and signups for Church Has Left the Building, see our Events page, website, stop by the Live to Give Table or call the church office.
On Sunday, October 16th, we will celebrate Consecration Sunday by dedicating our financial gifts to the Lord for the coming year. We’ll worship as a church family in a combined 9:30 am Sunday worship service, both in-person and live streamed from the sanctuary. Following worship, the celebration continues with a Church Tailgate in our main parking lot. We’ll grill hot dogs and hamburgers. Please bring your favorite side dish to share. Be sure to wear your favorite team jersey (Go Birds!) as we talk, eat and play games. To help us plan, kindly RSVP for the tailgate online or in worship Oct. 2 or Oct. 9.
As a church family, this is a crucial opportunity to grow as we live out our biblical understanding of Christian stewardship. Our focus is less about obligation and more about the Christ-centered practice of generous living. I ask you to start thinking and praying about this question: What’s God calling me to give?
In a church-wide mailing, you fill find a packet of information and your 2023 Estimate of Giving Card. Based on your feedback, we have included the details of FPC’s Financial Stewardship profile and will not review it in our church service.
If you have any questions as you carefully read these materials, feel free to reach out to Nancy or Norm Vandergrift. It is our goal for each member of our church family to return their giving card to the church, either by mail, in person or electronically.
On October 16th, you will be able to dedicate your pledges in-person in worship. We hope that you’ll plan to attend worship and the tailgate celebration afterwards. If you won’t be here that Sunday, please forward your completed estimate of giving card by Friday, October 14. A return envelope has been provided in your Giving Packet and you may also submit them securely online.
Together with our Stewardship team, I thank you in advance, knowing that we’re preparing something wonderful from your generosity!
Yours in Christ,
Stuart H. Spencer, Pastor      Elder Nancy Chumney, Stewardship Chair



Pastor Update, Coronavirus Letter 32


July 29, 2022
Dear Members and Friends of FPC Moorestown:
This verse leapt from the pages of Deuteronomy the way passages sometimes do. I attribute such impactful moments to the Holy Spirit giving me what I need to hear, precisely when I need to hear it. This was what I read one morning during my devotionals a few weeks ago. Moses was the speaker of these words. He directed them to Joshua, his younger assistant and the next leader of the God’s people. The two men stood looking into a land promised by God. It was a beautiful place to live but many challenges awaited Joshua. Moses said to him:
“Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you.
He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.” (Deuteronomy 31:8)
Do not be afraid. Do not be discouraged. Did God read my mind? I’ll confess that I need to regularly bat away worries and weariness. Both emotions show up in my heart and mind frequently these days. I’m frustrated that this pandemic won’t go away. I think about people from our Church Family that I haven’t seen in a long time. I worry, because don’t know what’s ahead for us a congregation.
Challenges littered the Promised Land, though it was God’s destiny for God’s people. There’s a future for us that’s filled with hope, though we face our own challenges. All I know is that fear and discouragement are of no use to me or us. Both drain and diminish me. Both keep me from living faithfully. The antidote to these two ills is the assurance of God’s presence as we move into the unknown. “The Lord will personally go ahead of you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.”
I have a few important things to share with you. I hope you’ll help me as I’ll help you keep fear and discouragement at bay.
I’m pleased that Session decided to reconsider our COVID guidelines. Effective from Sunday, July 17, Session approved the following COVID-19 guidelines:
  • Mask optional for worship. Those who feel more comfortable wearing a mask are welcomed/encouraged to do so.
  • Congregational singing to be resumed.
  • Food can be served indoors with appropriate precautions to reduce increased contact.
Though we have yet another variant in our midst, Session felt that we’ve come to the place where we can make masking optional. We’ll always respect those who wish to mask. Your Session has maintained a reasonable concern for the health and safety of our members coupled with an awareness of added strain upon our medical community. Session is also desirous to see our mission and ministry move ahead. We’ll continue to monitor the state of COVID and adjust our guidelines as needed. I thank you once more for your patience and support.
Our Personnel Team recently voted to fill the youth director vacancy with the contracted services of John Roberts. John is the Young Life Area Director for Burlington County. Beginning September 1, John will serve alongside with youth advisors to lead our weekly middle school and high school youth groups. Young Life is John’s full-time ministry and job. He’s graciously committing ten hours a week to help us with our weekly youth ministry programs. Additionally, John will reach out to our young people as he attends concerts and sporting events at local schools.

John graduated from Grove City College in 2017 with a dual degree in Finance and Accounting. In the fall of 2017, after passing the CPA exams, John started his job as an auditor at a firm called RSM outside of Philadelphia. Around the same time John became a volunteer Young Life leader at Owen J. Roberts High School in Pottstown, Pennsylvania. It didn’t take long for John to fall in love with kids and the ministry of Young Life, and after a year and a half of working in the business world he joined Young Life’s staff associate training program. Two years later (Fall of 2021), through a series of circumstances that can only be attributed to God’s providence, John accepted the role of Area Director in Burlington County!

Some other facts:

  • John was born in Moorestown NJ, in 1995.
  • He is one of six children, and spent his childhood in Alabama, middle school years in Japan, and high school in Singapore.
  • He loves being active, playing sports, reading, playing guitar, and spending time with family and friends.
You’ll have the chance to meet John on Sunday, September 11 when he will help lead worship at both services. You can greet him at the special Coffee Hour we’re planning for the time between our 8:30 a.m. Traditional Worship service and our 11:00 a.m. Contemporary Worship service.
God has given us John and I thank him for this answer to prayer. I believe that this is a full-time position however. The Personnel Team plans to resume the search late this fall for a youth director. John is aware of our plans and is happy to serve as long as he’s needed.
This coming Sunday, July 31, we’ll celebrate a summer Fifth Sunday. We gather for a single worship service at 9:30 a.m. in Miller Commons. When we combine our worship services for a Fifth Sunday, we blend the best of our traditional and contemporary worship styles.
At the close of worship, we’ll have a special meeting of the congregation.
The Session of the First Presbyterian Church of Moorestown, New Jersey, has called a special meeting of the congregation. This meeting will be held Sunday, July 31, 2022 immediately following the 9:30 AM worship service which will be held in Miller Commons.
The purpose of the meeting is to elect an Elder, Deacon and Trustee to a term of office beginning immediately. No other business may be brought before the congregation other than the preceding item.
The 225th General Assembly met earlier this summer. This year’s hybrid, three-week General Assembly broke new ground by meeting in-person in Louisville and later via Zoom. Elder Becca Neindorff served as a commissioner to the Assembly representing our Presbytery For Southern New Jersey. Following our Fifth Sunday worship and special meeting of the congregation, we’ll review the highlights of the Assembly with a report from Becca. The GA Review will be held in Miller Commons about 15 minutes after the close of the congregational meeting. The meeting will be live streamed. Be sure to review the summary of the Assembly beforehand (found on our website, events page, eblast).
It’s the middle of summer and many of you are spending your weekends traveling. Please remember to stay current with your financial commitment to our Church Family. Thank you for your steadfast generosity.
Here’s another gift from the Word of God that I also read in my morning devotional time. It’s a coda to the words of Moses. “I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15: 13)
Yours in Christ,
Stuart Spencer, Pastor





We are getting together every Friday from 6:00 – 9:00 pm to share an evening of fellowship around the fire pit. All ages from 1 to 101 are welcome. Marshmallows will be provided. We have some seating around the fire pit, but you may wish to bring your favorite lawn chair. Our Friday night hangouts will take place weekly, weather and fire conditions permitting. No registration is required – just show up.
Our thanks to Evan Livingston! The fire pit was central to Evan’s Eagle Scout project. Evan designed and oversaw the building of the pit by a group of volunteers. Let’s gather to enjoy this wonderful ‘gift’!


5th SUNDAY, JULY 31, 2022

5th SUNDAY, JULY 31st, 9:30am

Worship, Congregational Meeting, 225th General Assembly Review

It will be a big morning – hope you will join us! Our July Fifth Sunday worship will be held at 9:30 am on Sunday, July 31, in Miller Commons.
Following the worship service, there will be a brief Congregational Meeting to elect an elder, deacon and trustee to a term of office to begin immediately.
We will take a short break and return with a review of important actions taken at the recent PCUSA THE 225TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY held this June and July.




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.




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 (
  • 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




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.




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




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 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 for links. For information visit




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:
For specific information about the experience of retreat at the monastery:
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.
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……/events/1343901
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



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.




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:…
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.





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.
Learn more about the conference at on the website – The 225th General Assembly ( There is a live stream link for watching the legislation too. You can watch the live stream of all of the events at:




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 or cell 267-275-7582.



Pastor Update, Coronavirus Letter 31


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.
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: 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



Pastor Update, Coronavirus Letter 30


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,
Wesley R. Allen; Associate Pastor



Pastor Update, Coronavirus Letter 29



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:
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.

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




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.



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).




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.


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.
  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.


For INDOOR SUNDAY WORSHIP – Sanctuary and Miller Commons
  1. Masks required for all persons
  2. No congregational singing
  3. All choir singers masked
  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.


Any location on the FPC Campus
  1. Masks required for all persons
  2. No congregational singing
  3. All choir singers masked
  1. Masks are required for all persons.
  2. Participants in choir rehearsals are required to wear masks.
  3. No food will be served indoors.




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
Meeting ID: 819 3431 2431
Passcode: 819740




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.
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
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





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:
For specific information about the experience of retreat at the monastery:
What to bring? Pack comfortable clothes and shoes, toiletries, a Bible, pens, a journal.
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. 
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



High School Lake Champion Trip


(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

REGISTRATION IS UNDERWAY! Sign up by January 20, 2022




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 at 7:00 pm.



Pastor Update, Coronavirus Letter 26


December 8, 2021
Dear Members and Friends of FPC Moorestown,
Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Glory belongs to him both now and forever. Amen. (2 Peter 3: 18, NIVR)
These are the last words of the book of 2 Peter, and the final recorded words of the great Apostle. As we near the end of 2021, I look back over a wonderful but at times a challenging twelve months with deep gratitude for the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Peter’s benediction is both a call to continue to nurture our understanding and experience of these gifts while also recounting how both have held and guided us through life and this year.
Let’s define our terms with help from Wikipedia. Grace is a spontaneous gift from God to people – generous, free and totally unexpected and undeserved. Grace takes the form of divine favor, love, clemency, and a share in the divine life of God. Knowledge is the gift of the Holy Spirit to aid us in apprehending and grasping what God is doing. Throughout 2021, we’ve experienced these lavish gifts from God daily.
When I think of grace as generous, free, unexpected and undeserved, I picture our new associate pastor Wes Allen standing before us at the close of his installation service hands raised, wearing his black pulpit robe with an electric guitar slung over his shoulder. Wes is a gift of grace to us.
When I consider knowledge, I remember how the Holy Spirit brought help in understanding what God is doing as our staff and Session guided us through the ongoing, turbulent days of this pandemic. Every time when we needed guidance and wisdom, God provided it.
Peter knew that grace and knowledge are gifts to be savored thankfully while each also energizes us for what’s to come. Once more this year, you’ve financially supported the work of FPC Moorestown with unfailing faithfulness and gracious generosity. I thank you. It’s for this reason that we’re in a strong position financially as we approach the year’s end. Let’s keep going! Let’s keep giving as we grow together in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ.
We see these gifts of our Lord Jesus on display in our 2021 stewardship season. At the time of this writing, we have received 194 pledges for a total of $1,501,200. Our 2022 operating budget is $2,123,060.
When we consider 2022, we anticipate hiring a full-time youth director. It will be wonderful to be fully staffed for the first time in a couple of years. We’ll need your continued support to keep us financially strong. There are great needs of every sort in our community. I want us to be ready to serve however, wherever and to whomever God intends.
Growing in the grace and knowledge of Christ keeps us robust. Here’s a few practical suggestions to help you grow with both.
  • One, join me in praying daily for God’s blessing and guidance for us. I’ve set aside Thursdays as a day for fasting and prayer. If your health permits you, consider joining me.
  • Two, be sure you’re current with your intentions for giving this year (2021).
  • Three, if you’re in a position to do so, consider making a year-end gift to help us meet our budget. A special envelope has been included for you and can also be found in boxed offering envelopes.
  • Finally, but significantly, if you haven’t yet completed an estimate of giving pledge for 2022, please do so. Please remember that you can begin giving offerings electronically by going to our church website and clicking on the “Give” link. If you need help, please contact the church office at (856) 235-1688.
Peter’s last words—all glory and honor belong to him now and forever—are at the center of my prayer for our congregation. May Jesus Christ alone be honored and praised through us and because of us.
Yours in Christ,
Stuart Spencer, Pastor




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.


Join us in person on Friday, December 10 from 9:00 am to 10:00 am in Miller Commons
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:




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



Longest Night Service

Sunday, December 4, 7:00 pm

Christmas Eve Eve Worship

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

Christmas Eve Worship 

Saturday, 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)

Christmas Day Worship 

Sunday, December 25
† 9:30 am Combined Worship
Guest preacher Rev. Dr. Jonathan Miller leads this service, which will also offer the Lord’s Supper. There will be no Education Hour or nursery care. New this year is a Christmas Day brunch after the service.

New Year’s Day Worship 

Sunday, January 1
† 9:30 am Combined Worship


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.


For information on year end giving and important notes about holiday offerings:



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 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 or (856) 235-1688, Ext. 113.



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.




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.



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




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.




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



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
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!




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

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
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




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.



Presbyterian Women Fall Gathering


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.




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.




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


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 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.