Posts by Phil Oehler

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From the Pastor…

by Phil Oehler

Pretzels come in many flavors, shapes, and sizes — not unlike us. These treats are great for cheese or other dips or just by themselves. But have you stopped to consider they actually have a historical place in Lent? If you take a moment to look at the typical twist pretzel, you can see that […]

From the Pastor: What is Christmas?

by Phil Oehler

What is “Christmas”? It is three words: GOD IN FLESH; or four syllables: IN-CARNAT-TION. The Gospel according to John (1:14) tells us, “The Word became flesh and lived among us… full of grace and truth.” Christmas proclaims that God has come in flesh, has come “to save us all from Satan’s power.” Christmas celebrates far […]

From the Pastor: Bring your children to church

by Phil Oehler

“People were bringing little children to Jesus in order that he might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them. But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, ‘Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of […]

From the Pastor: Consecration Sunday is Coming!

by Phil Oehler

Consecration SundaySunday, November 3, 2019 Congregations that approach financial stewardship from a biblical perspective do not view the money Christians give to their church merely as a way to pay its bills. Rather, such congregations see financial contributions as a way people grow spiritually in their relationship with God by supporting their church’s mission and […]

From the Pastor: Vital Congregations Initiative

by Phil Oehler

We are past Labor Day weekend, which means that technically the Fall is upon us and the school season is beginning in our community. It is a time to return to a familiar schedule of work, education, extra-curricular activities and church life. I would like to use this season for each of us to consider […]

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 […]