Posts by Phil Oehler

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From the Pastor: Safe Evacuations

by Phil Oehler

In a recent article on the PCUSA website, there was discussion about congregational plans for safe evacuations, “All churches should engage in emergency planning so that when an incident occurs, staff and church leaders follow safe procedures. Potential emergencies can arise from acts of God (hurricanes, snow storms), accidents (electrical fire, flooding), and acts of […]

From the Pastor: Vital Congregations Initiative!

by Phil Oehler

The Presbytery of West Jersey has been asked to participate in a pilot program for the Presbyterian Church USA during the next two years. The Presbyterian Church at Woodbury will be involved in the Vital Congregations Initiative! The purpose is to work alongside mid council leadership, and leaders of existing congregations, in a process that […]

From the Pastor: Join us

by Phil Oehler

On Monday, May 6th, at the beginning of Task Force meetings, we will pray these words together: In these early days after the resurrection, we wonder what it all means. “We can relate to the women who fled the tomb with terror and amazement. We understand Thomas ans his need for proof that would come […]

From the Pastor: I cannot do this alone

by Phil Oehler

Since the beginning of Lent, we have started Sunday morning worship with the following prayer: I Cannot Do This Alone, O God, early in the morning I cry to you. Help me to pray and to concentrate my thoughts on you; I cannot do this alone. In me there is darkness, but with you there […]

From the Pastor: The season of Lent

by Phil Oehler
Lent Cross, Palm branches, nails

The season of Lent is a time of prayer, fasting and self-examination in preparation for the celebration of the resurrection of the Lord at Easter. It is a period of 40 days — like the flood of Genesis, Moses’ sojourn at Mount Sinai, Elijah’s journey to Mount Horeb, Jonah’s call to Ninevah to repent and […]

From the Pastor: Psalm of Thanksgiving

by Phil Oehler

Psalm 100 is a Psalm of Thanksgiving that invites all lands to praise God: 1 Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth.2 Worship the Lord with gladness; come into his presence with singing. 3 Know that the Lord is God. It is he that made us, and we are his;[a] we are […]

From the Pastor: A Season of Angels

by Phil Oehler

This is a season of angels, Wiseman, shepherds, a census and a baby born in  manger, but it is also a season of the Lion. A time to remember that the baby Jesus will become a man and willing sacrifice himself for all humanity. CS Lewis is one of my favorite writers, he was not fond of the Christmas holiday that he […]

From the Pastor: Personally Meaningful

by Phil Oehler

On Sunday, November 4th, Rev. Ellie Johns-Kelley preached for our annual stewardship commitment Sunday. During her sermon, she challenged us to give in a PERSONALLY MEANINGFUL way. Each member of the church would need to determine what that meant. Ellie gave the example of her sister taking the daily money she would spend at Starbucks and donate that to her church above her regular pledge. […]

From the Pastor: Telling our story

by Phil Oehler

In the fifth chapter of Mark, Jesus encounters a man living in a cemetery who is possessed by a legion of demons. The madman is healed by Jesus and wants to follow him on his travels. Instead of allowing the healed man to come with him, Jesus gives him a new task: Jesus said, “Go […]

Worship, Study and Service

by Phil Oehler

I have several friends who serve in the United Methodist Church and each year they offer a commissioning prayer for Christian service in a specific ministry. It reminds the members of the congregation that they are called to service and every follower of Jesus is to be about the mission of our Savior. The prayer from the UMC Book of Worship: Dear […]