CHANGES IN THE CHURCH OFFICE
As was announced and approved at the this year’s Annual Meeting, as part of our commitment to balancing the budget, Church Office hours will change from 9-3 to 9-2, still Monday through Friday. Summer hours will remain 9-Noon Monday through Friday.
The far more important change regarding the Church Office is that Jim Palme, our Church Administrator for the past four years, has announced his retirement, effective
May 1. Jim has faithfully and conscientiously served our spiritual community, as first Sexton and then Church Administrator. We are both extremely grateful and wish him and his wife Colleen many rewarding years and adventures ahead.
We have not only been blessed by Jim’s service, however. We have also been extremely blessed to find his replacement almost immediately. It turns out that one of our very own current members has been serving as the Church Administrator for another nearby congregation for the past nine years, and at the exact same time Jim was deciding to retire had decided to look for a similar opportunity with another church.
So it was my great pleasure to also be able to announce at the Annual Meeting that Nancy Elkin will assume the position of FCC Church Administrator. For the past nine years, Nancy has served as Administrator for Willow Grove Presbyterian Church in Scotch Plains. In addition, she, her husband Steve, and children Laurel and Joe have been a part of FCC for the past several years, serving our community through extensive participation on boards, Youth Fellowship and Outreach efforts. Together, those things mean that Nancy possesses the gifts of understanding what it takes for a church to do its work effectively in general, and more specifically, an understanding and love for our spiritual community.
Nancy will begin on April 1, allowing her the opportunity to work alongside Jim for that entire month and thereby ensuring as smooth a transition as possible.
I hope you will join in both expressing your gratitude to Jim, and enthusiastically welcoming Nancy to the FCC team.
Heifer International Cake Auction
The Annual Cake Auction is on Sunday, April 7, during Coffee Hour, to support our Church School’s Heifer Project for Heifer International. It is being sponsored by the
6th – 9th grade class and our senior high students. The theme this year is “In the Garden”. If that doesn’t work for you, please use your imagination for any other type of cake. Cake donations from Church School children or any members of the congregation are needed and greatly appreciated.
On April 7, please drop off your cakes in Patton Auditorium at least ten minutes before Worship begins (please label your cake with its ingredients). Then, let’s all come join the auction during Coffee Hour. Auction tickets may be purchased for $5 a sheet. Please help us make this a great success. Any questions, please call Ellen Hollis at (908) 400-4385.
Big Things are Happening at FCC’s Church School!
At FCC, Christian education is one of our cornerstones and our children an integral part of this spiritual community. Therefore, we are excited to announce that we have revised our entire Church School program. Over the late spring and summer, a Faith Formation and Curriculum Committee was formed to provide assistance in this endeavor under the direction of Mark, Joy and Alida.
Beginning in September, we launched our new story-based sequential curriculum that runs from Genesis through the New Testament. We offer a broad view of the entire Bible sequentially in a three year cycle. It is felt that by offering a chronological story-based curriculum, the children will be more engaged and they will come to better understand how the stories of the Bible relate to one another. We also feel that a story-based curriculum will help kids better remember the major themes and examples of the Bible. Our curriculum will continue to emphasize learning and loving God, and caring for each other, their family and friends, and God’s world.
Each Sunday will look roughly like this:
After the “Word For Children,” all of the children and teachers will meet in Patton to hear the Bible story of the day. Sometimes the teachers will read the story and sometimes we will have a Mystery Guest Reader! Then, the kids will go to their classrooms to do an age related activity which reinforces the story. We have three age groups: 3 years – Grade 2, Grades 3-6 and Grades 7-9.
How can you be a part of this new program? Volunteer to be a Mystery Reader! This will only take 10-15 minutes, which will allow you to return to the Sanctuary for the rest of the Worship service. Please let Alida, Mark or Joy know if you would like to be a Mystery Guest Reader.
We would like to thank the members of our Faith Formation and Curriculum Committee for their diligent and continued support: Alicia Adams, Renee Bischoff, Michel Chartrain, Denise Schifando, Mark Boyea, Joy Mounts and Alida Woods. We look forward to an exciting year of learning and growing together.
Moving Meditation - Monday Evening Classes
March 4, 11, 18, April 22, 29, May 13, 20, 27 6:30-7:15 pm in Patton Auditorium.
Simple gentle stress reduction based on ancient Asian Qigong wellness systems. Questions? Call Laura Berzofsky 908-232-6516. Donations welcome- raising funds for Summer Mission Trip to Miami.
2015 NEW LOOP SYSTEM INSTALLED IN THE SANCTUARY
Anyone with a tele coil compatible hearing aid can enjoy Sunday morning sermons without the use of additional equipment. People sitting in the congregation can simply switch their existing hearing aid to the "tele coil" position and they are wired directly into the sound system. Intelligibility is greatly increased because the distance between the speaker and the listener is bridged. Background or environmental noise is almost eliminated; there is no echo or distortion produced by the room and sound system. If you do not have a t-coil hearing aid or need help with sound amplification, you are welcome to use one of the three “Loop Listeners” we also purchased. These are small devices worn around the neck that come with headphones. Please ask the ushers if you would like to try one.