Give Thanks in All Circumstances

Some of you may know I am an avid hiker. I've climbed the Andes, the Rockies, and the Alps, and I would have climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro if my daughter, Maeve, hadn't come down with malaria days before our planned summit. So, when I was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease, I decided I would finally put climbing the 46 Adirondack High Peaks (those over 4,000 ft.) on my bucket list. The first week in October, Rick and I went to Lake Placid where I planned to climb my first 7 peaks.

Well, as the saying goes, "Our plans are not always God's plans." I was not able to complete a single ascent, but I would not have missed the opportunity to try. I learned a lot on the trail:

1. The point is not the destination, but the journey. Though I never got to the top of a single peak, every step was a delight. I got to commune with God in my favorite sanctuary - forested mountains at the height of their fall beauty.
Often we focus so intently on our goals that we miss the blessings God showers us all along the way. Each day is a miracle! God gives us life and surrounds us with beauty and love. Rather than trying to shape our lives as we want them to be, we get the opportunity to live the life God wants us to have, in relationship with Him, his creation, and our fellow human beings, brothers and sisters in Christ. It doesn't get any better than this!

2. God gives us signs and signals that we really should not ignore.  The first sign God gave me that perhaps climbing 7 mountains in 4 days was not a good idea was the weather forecast. It rained every day we were there. Then, the night before I was scheduled to hike my first peak, I had trouble sleeping because of a sore knee. I debated with myself whether to go on the hike, but that "Aspiring Adirondack 46er" dream was beckoning me (There are over 15,000 members of the Aspiring Adirondack 46er Club!). How often do we do that in life? We want something so badly that we don't listen to God's warnings that it might not be good for us. I am not saying we should give up on dreams. We just need to distinguish between the dreams that come from God - like loving your neighbor - and the dreams that come from our own ambition and desires. Some of us want a high or an escape from reality and we become addicted to drugs. Others want the perfect life - an expensive house and car,  new designer clothes, and perfectly behaved children. We work such long hours that our kids grow up without us in their lives and then we wonder why they have problems. We need to choose our dreams wisely, and pursue those that will make us more like Christ.

3. It is not the things you anticipate will be a problem that trip you up, but the things you do not foresee. I knew I had a bum knee, so I wore a brace and took Aleve before hiking and the knee was fine. My literal stumbling blocks were the rocks, roots, and rivers. All along the way I was having trouble navigating the uneven path. When I slipped on rocks fording a creek and got completely submerged in cold water, I got the final sign from God I was looking for. "Turn back, O Woman, forswear thy foolish ways!"

4. You will find guardian angels all along the way. Everyone I have hiked with was incredibly supportive. The first hike I tried, I found that I could not keep up with the group. It was an 18 mile hike and we had to go a certain pace so that we would complete the hike before nightfall. It didn't take long for me to fall behind. A wonderful man named Dave stayed with me the whole time, ostensibly because I had a bell on my backpack and he thought I'd keep the bears away (What a sweet way to help me save face). Even with Dave's company I had to turn back at 5.5 miles. The second hike was only 9 miles. Unfortunately, that was the one that crossed a creek with no bridge. After I was drenched from head to toe in fifty degree water, all the women on the hike generously offered me their extra dry clothes (as even my backpack was submerged). I thank God for all their support and encouragement. Have you noticed that everywhere you go and everything you do, there are people who have your back? God places these guardian angels in our path so that we might experience his love in the flesh, just as he sent his son, Jesus, for the same purpose.

5. The appropriate response for the believer to these and all situations in life is thanksgiving. Paul writes, "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you" (I Thessalonians 5:17-18). When things don't go our way, it is not our natural inclination to "rejoice, pray without ceasing, and give thanks." Recently, I heard an artist on the Message (Sirius XM's Contemporary Christian Radio Station) tell a story of when she was a teenager. Whenever things were going wrong, she had a habit of saying, "It's just not my day!" Her father would reply, "Of course it isn't your day. This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it!" We all know those familiar words from Psalm 118:24. They are, quite literally, words to live by.  Happy Thanksgiving! Not just on Thanksgiving Day but every day of the year. Let us rejoice and be glad God loves us every place and all the time.

Grace and Peace,
Pastor Jean 

to the Table of Christ
at the Lord's Supper,
Sunday, November 5, 2017
Come early to the 11 a.m. service
or stay following the 9:30 E3 service
for a Coffee Hour hosted by Christian Education.
On this All Saints' Day, we will be commemorating the 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation which began on October 31, 1517 with Martin Luther's posting of 95 Theses which disputed the power and efficacy of indulgences. If you always wondered what indulgences are and how they were the catalyst to a reform movement that forever changed the church, come to the 11 a.m. service on November 5.  Oh, and remember, Daylight Savings Time ends this Sunday. Enjoy your extra hour of sleep!
Session Met on Tuesday, October 17, 2017 and took the following actions: 
  • Reviewed the Administrative Ministry Team Report that found that, though our income is under budget, our expenses are also under budget so that there need not be a major revision of the 2017 budget.
  • Approved cost-cutting measures recommended by the Administrative Ministry Team: cancelling the fax line; looking into offering envelopes being sent annually to the church instead of quarterly to members; obtaining estimates for replacing main building boiler with a more efficient system; Replacing incandescent and florescent light bulbs with LED bulbs; and researching the feasibility of solar panels to defray electric costs.
  • Approved a canned good drive for Pearson Memorial Food Bank during November and will place a basket for the cans under the Communion table to highlight this Thanksgiving Offering.
  • Approved the Stewardship Ministry Team Finance Committee's proposal to change data management programs from Church Management Systems to Servant Keepers and to cover the cost for the conversion from Gift Card Fundraiser proceeds.
  • Requested a regular accounting of the Gift Card Fundraiser from the Finance Committee to Session and a report to the annual audit.
  • Approved a Christmas Wreathe fundraiser for the church proposed by The Stewardship Ministry Team Finance Committee.
  • Approved Christmas Eve Communion Service to be at 11 a.m. and the E3 Intergenerational Service at 4 p.m. (since Christmas Eve is on Sunday this year).
Dual Mission Spotlight for November - Presbyterian Disaster Assistance Atlantic Hurricane Response and Pearson Memorial Food Pantry

On Wednesday September 6th, the Category 5 Irma, packing winds of 185 mph, tore through the northern Lesser Antilles and Virgin Islands, as well as Puerto Rico. PDA has been working with communities in its path to assist in recovery through volenteers and grants.

PDA also is working through the Florida Presbyterian Disaster Assistance Network ( FLAPDAN), which is a partnership between six presbyteries in Florida. This is a unique platform in which PDA can relate to all six presbyteries at once for disaster situation awareness and response. PDA is also responding in Cuba and the US Virgin Islands. 

Following Hurricane Maria, over $97,000 in emergency grants have been disbursed to the presbyteries in Puerto Rico. Due to all the damage to infrastructure on the island, it is not yet practical for PDA to send volunteers, but when the time comes, our national response team of bi-lingual volunteers will be deployed to assist.

All monetary gifts to Mission for the month of November will be donated to PDA's Atlantic Ocean Hurricane Relief Efforts.


Between now and Thanksgiving please bring cans, boxes, or bags of food staples for the Pearson Memorial Food Pantry. While we reach out to needy people throughout the world, we also want to remember those in our own neighborhood who are hungry. Be sure to share some of your bounty with our neighbors in need.

Let the Church Help You with Your Holiday Decorating While You Help the Church! We will be having a Christmas Wreath Sale to raise funds for the church. For the price of $25, you will get a beautiful 26 inch, fresh evergreen wreath adorned with a red bow and three pine cones. Orders must be received by November 12 and will be delivered the week of December 4. To place your order, speak with or call Rose Wales at (609) 584-1687, or fill out an order form at church and place it in the offering plate. 
Youth Group Pie Sale
UPC's Youth is currently sponsoring a pie sale. The sale began October 22nd and Orders are due by November 12th.  These are delicious HOMEMADE pies in a variety of sizes! Order forms have been placed in the weekly Bulletins, are available in the Office, as well as have been placed in the Narthax and the back table in the Sanctuary.  Pies will be available for pick-up on Wednesday, November 22nd @ 5:00pm.  M-m-m-m Good!
Join the Hamilton Ecumenical Fellowship in Celebrating Thanksgiving!

The HEF Thanksgiving Service will be held at St. Mark's United Methodist Church on Wednesday, November 22, 2017, at 7 p.m. Anyone who would like to sing in the joint choir should arrive 45 minutes early. Refreshments of cider and pie will be served following worship.

The Annual Hanging of the Greens

Because Christmas is on a Monday this year, the first Sunday after Thanksgiving is not in Advent. So, rather than having our Hanging of the Greens on Thanksgiving Saturday, we will be decorating on Sunday, November 26, 2017 after the 11 a.m. service. Be sure to wear comfy clothes to church that day. We find that with a lot of willing people, this fun task gets done quickly, so you won't even need to bring lunch! We appreciate the Deacons who head up this project every year.
The Survivors
The Survivors Senior Group will meet at the church, Fellowship Hall, on 
Wed., Nov. 8, 2017 at 10:30 a.m. for a program presented by John Kilbride, President, Hightstown/East-Windsor Historical Society about the  history of the Camden & Amboy Railroad. The Camden & Amboy Railroad was the first railroad to operate in New 
Jersey when John Stevens succeeded in getting the New Jersey legislature to authorize the forming of a company to 
erect a railroad from River Delaware to River Raritan.  Following his presentation we will enjoy lunch at Amari's Restaurant (formerly Rosa's) in Yardville. If you plan to attend please make your reservation with Rita Peterson,
259-7256, or email All seniors of the church and their friends are welcome to join the 
Survivors for a wonderful presentation and a great lunch and fellowship.

The Women's Book Club
The Women's Book Club  will meet on  Tuesday, November 28th at 7:00 pm  in the Bertolet Lounge. We will be discussing SMALL, GREAT THINGS by Jodi Picoult who tackles the race issue in this new novel.  Ruth, an African American experienced nurse, is confronted by Turk, a white supremacist in the hospital delivery room.  All women of the church and their friends who enjoy good books, delicious desserts, and wonderful fellowship are encouraged to join us.  No meeting in December. January's selection - THE DRESSMAKER By Kate Alcott.

Nov. UPWomen

The United Presbyterian Women   will hold their monthly meeting on Tuesday, November 7th at 10:00 am in Fellowship Hall. Our Bible study will be "Who is Jesus? According to Contemporary Cultural Interpretation."  Following our Bible study, we will hold our business meeting.  At noon, those women who want to, will go to a local restaurant for lunch.  All women are cordially invited to join us!
   Choir has begun rehearsing the Christmas Cantata "Christ Was Born for This" by Dennis & Nancy Allen.  This contemporary cantata is a collection of traditional carols done in contemporary style as well as very singable songs stating why Jesus Christ was born. He came to break the curses under which we lived, and to turn them into blessings for the believer. Rehearsals are on each Thursday beginning August 31st straight through each Thursdays of September, October, and November. Dress rehearsal will be Saturday, December 9th @ 10:00 am, and the performance will be Sunday, December 10th during the 1L00 am traditional service. Please come as a listener or as a performer. We learn, sing, and have fun!

The Women's Association Christmas Luncheon

The United Presbyterian Women are having their Christmas luncheon on Sunday, December 3rd at 12:30 pm at Amari's Restaurant, 3440 South Broad Street, Hamilton, NJ (Where Rosa's used to be).  All women are invited.  The price will be $22.00 a piece and that will include the price of the lunch, tax and tip.  The lunch will include an Appetizer; Salad; an Entree - either chicken Marsala with Penne Pasta, Grilled Salmon served with a side of house veggies and roasted garlic mashed potatoes on Chablis sauce, Penne Alfredo or Eggplant Rollatini - battered eggplant stuffed with ricotta, mozzarella cheese, sauteed spinach with penne pasta; Gelato for dessert and a Beverage.  We will be accepting reservations and payment at the time of making your reservation.  You do not need to choose your entree ahead of time  The waitress/waiter will ask you for your entree choice the day of the luncheon.  Please see or call Lois Dixon (609-298-3398) or Gloria Hanewald (609-528-0511) to make your reservation.   
Gift Cards
Gift Cards
The order will go in November 14th. Please have your orders in the church office br November 13th. Next and final order is December 12th. Forms are on the table in the Nathex.
UPMen's Breakfast
UPC Men's Breakfast

UPC Men's Breakfast will be on Saturday, November 18th @ 9:00am The Golden Dawn Diner 2090 Whitehorse-Mercerville Road Hamilton, New Jersey.  If you have any questions, please contact Jim Dixon by phone 609-298-3398 or email  

November Birthday logo

November Birthdays
  Birthday greetings to the members and friends whose birthdays are in November:

   1  Elisabeth Mucha
   2  Gary Cattley, Corlies Rentner, Jr.     
   3  Terry Wagner
   5  Bill Sullivan     
   6  Thomas Anthony, Paul Miller, Emily Ramos,
   8  Navin Richard Gomez
   9  Verna Holmes
  11  Liam Timothy Galvin, Barbara Rosenthal
  12  Dylan Carbone
  13  Paul Minore, Sr.
  14  Giovanni Hendrickson, Benita Rommel
  15  Warren Briggs
  16  Barbara Demarest
  20  Edna Friman, Anthony Nami, Jr.
  21  Kaitlyn Bernhard, Thomas Gurlavich,
      Laura Kavalek, Ashley Lynn Martino
  23  Brian Wagner
  24  Guy Hendrickson, III
  29  Simon Gadsby, Danielle Morolda
Nov Prayer Requests

Healing for:  Tony Nami - recovering in RWJ Hamilton Hospital following abdominal surgery; Mathew Johnson (Tom Zeyack's grandson) - leukemia. Kieran - heart by-pass surgery; Maria, Angela Accardi, Angelica - breast cancer, Peggy Marvin, Ryan, Reilly Paige, Wayne, John Borak, Pam and Dan Rose; Ron, Bill, Kyle, Lenny, Pat, Jodi Mannix - undergoing chemotherapy; Cathy, Sally, Carolyn McPhee, Connie Davis and Andrea Pinto all undergoing treatment for cancer; Leo Clement; Dot Bracaloni; Susan Anthony; Al & Carol D'Amico; Scott Rose; Bob D'Angelo; Dianna - diagnostic test for brain aneurism; Billy Kocis - starting treatment for throat/tonsil cancer; Amanda Lowe - kidney complications; Bob Young, Michelle C.; Chelsea Mitchel - healing of illness while at school; Stefan Revesz - 39 year old who suffered a stroke; Jim - concern & healing from severe back pain; 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; Ellen Abatto - healing from broken shoulder; Pete & Carol Heberling - healing, strength, and support; Kieran Pillion - healing from heart by-pass surgery; Helen Fisher - suffering from Alzheimers as well as prayers of support for the extended Fisher family; Michelle - back surgery; the family of Mrs. Henry; Amy's Mom - Back in the hospital; Frank Kostar - heart issues; Marilyn Kostar - health issues and coping with Frank; Girja Singh - strength for future operation; the Briggs Family - oldest daughter Lisa having 2 kidney transplants (1 kidney coming from husband, John) and mother Terri will be caring for both Lisa & John; Mike McHugh - hospitalized with an infection & Nancy McHugh and family - strength for dealing with Mike's illness and Nancy's aging dad; Mrs. Walter - recovering from broken hip and broken rib; Healing, strength, and support for Ed in ongoing heart rehab and wife Barbara; Dianna - preparation for surgery on November 8th; Debbie - surgery on Friday; Emily & Danny; Matt, Donna; and Patrick.
Concern: control of seizures for James Bade and wisdom for the doctors to successfully treat his seizures; Colton Thibodeau - suffered from a seizure and hopefully medication will control this & prayers of emotional support for his parents; ALL families involved with Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, & Maria and storm flooding in Puerto Rico, Texas, Florida, India, and Southeast Asia as well as fires in the western United States, and those devastated by an earthquakes in Mexico; a homeless person; Travis dealing with spiritual battle while in prison; co-worker of Nancy who is in distress; all caregivers; Debbie having a new job interview this week; Lili, Landia, and Harrison French - reconciliation; Debbie Furchak, the Walters' daughter, who is in need of peach and strength
while supervising the care for both her parents who are in a living/memory care unit; Stanley - tests for lung cancer; and James Shedrick - that God continue to watch over him.
Comfort: for Rebecca Lammson on the loss of a close friend; and for the bereaved families and friends of Nicholas Pratico, Buddy Carella, and Barbara Stone; also The Lyons/Butler family on the loss of their brother/son, Michael.  

: successful surgery for Jody Endebrock; for the birth of Wyatt Dickey; Grace Spreat's birthday; Amy's mom now home from the hospital; Nancy McHugh's father, Fred Goldenbaum's 93rd Birthday on Nov. 1.

Blessings: for the marriages of Dominic & Rachel DeCungelo and
Adam & Melissa Hobson; that the gospel and  peace of Christ will remain in the hearts of the inmates at Trenton Prison who participated in last weekend's retreat; for all children & grandchildren that they be blessed and safe. 
thank you
Thanks for All Your Pledges 
Last Sunday was Stewardship Dedication and we thank all those who returned their pledge cards for the 2018 church budget to the church. If you haven't gotten yours in yet, no worries! We will be happy to receive them. Just bring them to worship and put them in the plate or send yours in to the office by mail. Your generosity makes our mission move forward!
Computer Newsletter
Monthly Calendar

Click on the link below to view our October happenings.

new address.home
Barbara Demarest's New Address 
Barbara Demarest, a member of our congregation as well as former choir member and an active member of other organizations is moving to a new home!  Her new address is:

            Ms. Barbara Demarest
            102 Santee Way
            Loudon, Tennessee 37774