Are you an optimist like I am? I always look forward to the New Year with excitement, anticipating all the amazing things that will happen. I'm like Nurse Nellie in South Pacific. Do you remember her song, A Cockeyed Optimist?

When the sky is a bright canary yellow
I forget ev'ry cloud I've ever seen,
So they called me a cockeyed optimist
Immature and incurably green.

I have heard people rant and rave and bellow
That we're done and we might as well be dead,
But I'm only a cockeyed optimist
And I can't get it into my head.

I hear the human race
Is fallin' on its face
And hasn't very far to go,
But ev'ry whippoorwill
Is sellin' me a bill,
And tellin' me it just ain't so.

I could say life is just a bowl of Jello
And appear more intelligent and smart,
But I'm stuck like a dope
With a thing called hope,
And I can't get it out of my heart!
 
I can relate to Nellie. It is not because I am naive about the world in which we live. It is hard to get to your 60's and be unaware of all the challenges there are in the world. No, I am an optimist because I believe.

I believe in a God who is all wise, all powerful, and always present. This God is Love. God created the world, not only so that He could express His infinite creativity, but so that he could have something to love. God created us, so that he could have someone to love.

In order for love to be genuine, it cannot be coerced, so God gave us the freedom to love Him back. He did not make us marionettes to pull our strings and make us love Him. He gave us all things and gave us the choice to love and obey Him, our Loving Father, or to walk in our own way. Most of the problems we experience in life are caused by our turning away from God and choosing paths of self-destruction. God, in His infinite Love, sent us His Son, Jesus, to redeem us from our waywardness, and to demonstrate a life of perfect obedience, grace, and mercy. His death and resurrection paid the penalty for our sin and opened the door to newness of life.

Skeptics among you might say, "Sure, we cause a lot of our own problems, but what about natural disasters and disease, intractable poverty and injustice, and the inevitability of death?" What keeps me an optimist in the face of these situations is the grace of God that gives me the faith to believe in the goodness of God despite these challenges. I've learned that disasters and disease open the door to our own growth in loving kindness. The outpouring of acts of mercy that respond to human need demonstrate to me that God is still at work in us and through us. And Jesus taught us that death is the one and only portal to eternal life. With Christ by our side as our advocate, what is there to fear?

2018 will give us all many new opportunities to embody the hope we have in God that enables us to be His agents of the Kingdom of Heaven. Our work is more exciting than that of any government operative trying to infiltrate a society and further the interests of his or her home country. Indeed, that is exactly what we are trying to do, but our home country is heaven.

So, now you know why I am a cockeyed optimist, and I hope you are, too! May you be blessed in the New Year to be a faithful disciple of Christ and plant some heavenly seeds wherever you may be.

Grace and Peace,
Pastor Jean 

Celebrate New Year's Eve at the Church!
On Sunday December 31, 2017
there will be ONE SERVICE at 11:00 a.m.

There will be NO E3 SERVICE that day. 

Our two services will resume on Sunday, January 7, 2018
when we will celebrate the Baptism of our Lord
and Holy Communion at both the 9:30 E3 Service
and the 11:00 a.m. Service.

Between the services on January 6, 2018 we will
have a Coffee Hour hosted by the Deacons.

You can show your appreciation to the Deacons
by sticking around following the 11:00 a.m. service
to help with taking down and storing our Christmas decorations.

Ordination and Installation
Ordiantion
The Elders and Deacons who were elected at our December Congregational Meeting will be ordained and/or installed on Sunday, January 14, 2018 at both services. We invite all who have been ordained previously as an elder or a deacon to join in the laying on of hands ceremony for our newest board members and all members of the congregation to support these leaders.

United Hosts Alcathon
New Year's is one of the most difficult days for those overcoming addiction, which is why United Presbyterian Church will be hosting the 2017-2018 New Year's Alcathon, as it has in years past. This vigil enables alcoholics to be surrounded by supportive friends and inspired by speakers to enable them to begin the New Year soberly. AA is grateful for our support of their worthy ministry.



Session has called for an Annual Congregational Meeting to be held on Sunday, January 28, 2018 to be held in Fellowship Hall immediately following the 11 a.m. worship service for the purpose of receiving Annual Reports and conducting any other business that arises. A light luncheon will be served.

Deadline for Annual Reports is Coming Fast

All Chairpersons, Treasurers, and Group Leaders are asked to have their Annual Reports into the Church Office by January 14, 2018 so we can make copies of the report and  members can read them before the meeting on January 28, 2108.
Johnsonburg



Our January Mission Focus is Camp Johnsonburg.


In 1959, Johnsonburg Presbyterian Center was established to provide
experiential Christian education in support of the Presbyterian
Church in New Jersey. Johnsonburg today is a place where city kids meet country kids, where black and white discover common ground, where the rich and poor of means and spirit are valued equally, and where each is encouraged to take another vital step toward realizing oneness in Christ. Their services include: summer camp, programmed retreats, spiritual sanctuary, conferences, special needs camp, and service to the homeless through a partnership with Interfaith Hospitality Network. All gifts designated for Mission in January will support the mission of the Presbyterian Camp and Conference Center at Johnsonburg. Please give generously so many more lives will be touched. 
 

survivors collection

Survivors
The Survivors Senior Group will meet in the church parking lot on Wednesday,  January 10, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. to carpool to HomeFront (Family Campus, 101 Celia Way, Ewing, NJ 08628) for a tour of their facility. HomeFront 's mission is to work to break the cycle of poverty and end homelessness in central New Jersey. I am requesting that each person attending bring a package of baby diapers (size 4) as our donation for  HomeFront. Following our tour we will enjoy lunch at Marilios, 71 W. Upper Ferry Rd., West Trenton, NJ. If you plan to attend make your reservation with Rita Peterson 259-7256 or email  ritapete@optonline.net . All seniors of the church and their friends are welcome to join the Survivors for an interesting tour and wonderful lunch and fellowship .

United Presbyterian Women
UPW will have its first meeting of the New Year on Tuesday, January 2, 2018 at 10:00am in Fellowship Hall.  A discussion of Chapter 1 entitled "Where There Is a Will" of the new book Discovering God's Will For Your Life by Sheila Walsh will take place during this meeting. All women of the church are cordially invited to join! After the meeting that is done at Noon, those women who would like to go for lunch are invited to go to a local restaurant.

  

United Presbyterian Men
UP Men will meet for breakfast on Saturday, January 20th at 9:00am at the Golden Dawn Diner Whitehorse-Mercerville Road. Contact Jim Dixon for more information to let him know you'll be there by phone 609-298-3398 or email jdixonsr@comcast.net. Come share fellowship and food with Frosty the Snowman!

Women's Book Club
The Women's Book Club will meet on Tuesday, January 23rd, at 7:00 pm in the Bertolet Lounge. We will be discussing THE DRESSMAKER by Kate Alcott. It's an historical fiction about a spirited young lady who survives the sinking of the Titanic.  The book is filled with all the period' s glitz and the raw feeling of a national tragedy.  All women of the church and their friends who enjoy good books and fellowship are encouraged to join us .
Classic February selection:  HEIDI by Joanna Spyri 

Easter '18 Cantata
Choir
UPC'S Choir just finished a splendid Christmas Cantata presentation and will be working on an Easter Cantata by Robert Lau.  It is titled "The Cross."  An artful and sensitive creation commemorating Christ's last week on earth from his triumphal Jerusalem entry and last meal with his disciples, to his agony on the cross and glorious resurrection. The familiar scriptural narration and simply designed hymn settings are woven into a seamless choral cantata, adding heightened meaning and understanding to Jesus' final journey. Rehearsal for this cantata will begin on Thursday, January 18, 2018 at 7:30 pm.  There is a chair for any and all who love to make music!  Come join!

We Pray for:

Healing: for Debbie Rogers Krevor - (Sue Spreat's sister) - leg surgery as well as recovering from a fall; Carly Mauer (niece of Donna Bade)- healing from serious personal issues; Dominic Anderson, a 3 yr. old in critical condition; Maria, Angela Accardi, Angelica - breast cancer, Peggy Marvin, Ryan, Reilly Paige, Wayne, John Borak - cancer;   Pam and Dan Rose; Ron, Bill, Kyle, Lenny, Pat, John Demeter - Melanoma; Jodi Mannix - undergoing chemotherapy; Cathy, Sally, Jim - pain from cancer and God's caring love to strengthen his faith; Carolyn McPhee, Connie Davis and Andrea Pinto all undergoing treatment for cancer; Leo Clement; Dot Bracaloni; Susan Anthony; Michelle Carson; Rob Simon & family on his recent diagnosis of ALS; Verna Doggett - recovery from surgery; Bud - undergoing treatments for cancer; Tom Dwier - suffering from ALS and support/comfort for Tom's Family; Karen & Keith Ezzo; Al & Carol D'Amico; Scott Rose; Bob D'Angelo; Dianna - diagnostic test for brain aneurism; Billy Kocis - throat (tonsil) cancer; Amanda Lowe - kidney complications; Post-Op surgery healing - Bob Young, Jim - concern & healing from severe back pain; Matthew Johnson - support and healing from leukemia;   A member of the LaCrosse family suffering from cancer as well as another (overwhelmed) family member strength to cope with caregiving; Ali -healing brain surgery for a tumor and ensuing treatment; Bill Franz & Kieran Pillion - healing from heart by-pass surgery; Frank Kostar-heart issues; Marilyn Kostar - health issues and coping with Frank; the Briggs Family - oldest daughter Lisa and husband John recuperating from kidney transplant as well as for Terri, their caregiver; ; Matt Machin - having surgery on 1.10.18 Healing for Mike McHugh - hospitalized with an infection & Nancy McHugh (family) - strength for dealing with Mike's illness and an aging parent; Healing, strength, and support for Ed in ongoing heart rehab and wife Barbara; Arthur Hashagen (Leigh Miller's Dad) - fractured spine; Kevin Watts - liver cancer; Continued prayer for the following -Tony; Emily & Danny; Jill; Lynn; Patrick, John; Sarena; Linda Ramos; Gillian; Colton Thibodeau - having issues with his left arm; Jenna Ciambelluca - undergoing STEM cell transplant as well as comfort and support for her family.

Traveling Mercies : Karen Machin traveling to take care of her son during post surgery recuperation; safe travels for Maeve & Kaira Pinto Singh back to Israel.

Thanksgiving
: Amy Stenger - getting funding for nursing aid for her mom; and that Girja Singh's lung operation went well.

Comfort : for the bereaved families of Rose DiPierro and Shannon Anderson; Mike and Phoebe DiBello (Jean Pinto's niece) who miscarried at 19 weeks.

Concern: for All Caregivers; a prayer for God to watch over James Sheedrick; Rebecca - living situation; The French Family - for reconciliation.
January

Birthday greetings to the members and friends whose birthdays are in January:
 
 1  Pat Mason, Jayson Roberts, Rudy Stark
 2  Diane Kilby
 3  Kevin Latham, Amanda Yost
 4  Morgan Gravatt, Kristen Malpas
 6  Irene Worek
 7  Randy Carpenter, Jr., Daniel Walter
 8  Chris  Neuman, Jody Sheppard
11  Glenn Cruser, Carolyn Katz
13  Diane LoPresti
14  Tyler Baldwin, Renee Cass, Laura Mraz
15  Jennifer Hafner
16  Isabella Hartwig
17  Jean Malloy, Chrysti Neuman
18  Gillian Worek
19  Adrienne Kaliszewski, Marty Scharnitz
20  Jan Oliver, Josh Ramos
23  Julianna Gazzillo, David Stec
24  Jason Bloodgood, Virginia Hulick
25  June Wyrwas
29  Donna Bade , Gary Machunze, Dorothy Sexton
30  Colin Bernhard, Heide Vandegrift

                                      Monthly Calendar

Click on the link below to view our January happenings.


Computer Newsletter





Wishing you good times, good cheer, and a memorable new year.


All of us at [COMPANY NAME] want to thank you for your business, loyalty, and
support in 2015. We hope to see you again in 2016!




  UNITED PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
  12 YARDVILLE-HAMILTON SQUARE ROAD, YARDVILLE, NJ 08620
(609) 585-5770