From the Pastor…

On Tuesday, March 16, West Jersey Presbytery ended its ministry with the following statement:

“Today we have celebrated with thanksgiving the life and work of the faith and ministry of the Presbytery of West Jersey.  We have served as a witness to God’s presence for over 181 years.  We have provided refuge, comfort, and challenge for God’s people.  We have served for generations the faithful people of this community.”

The Presbytery FOR Southern New Jersey came into existence and we are invited to do a new thing as a larger governing body with the inclusion of about 10 congregations from Monmouth Presbytery.  As the Presbytery reviews its ministry, I believe we need to prayerfully consider how we serve as a community.  As we celebrate our Tricentennial and begin to open back after a global pandemic – WHAT IS OUR STORY NOW?  Which part of our history will we keep and which part needs to be laid aside that new ministries might flourish?

At the new presbytery begin, we offered the following liturgical piece:

“When the chosen people left the land of Egypt for the uncertainty of the wilderness, You, O God, went with them.  You inspired and directed Moses and the people to the Promised Land.  You will be with us now as we move on.  When the prophets knew for certain that the old values and traditions would no longer serve Your purpose, nor bring closer Your realm, You, O God, showed the doubters, a new way, and revealed fresh opportunities to the closed-minded.  Ever-faithful God, you will be with us as we move on.  God’s realm will call us to action.  God is eternally for us and with us.  Thanks be to God!  Amen.”

May we seek a new way to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ and fresh opportunities to share Christ’s story with neighbors!

In Christ,
Rev. Dr. Philip W. Oehler, Sr.