"Running Through the Thistles"
Pastor's Post
Roy Oswald has written a handbook for clergy who are ending their relationship with a parish that is appropriately called, Running Through the Thistles. That image vividly depicts how difficult it is when a pastor leaves and how easy it is to get stuck on the burrs - the mistakes one has made, the relationships that have been sticky, the unfulfilled hopes and dreams.

If leaving a pastorate is difficult for the minister, I believe it is even harder for the congregation. None of you had a choice in my decision to retire. Now you face an unknown, with one certainty - there will be a whole lot more work for the church leaders to do!

This can be a daunting proposition, but it doesn't have to be. It helps to know that you are not alone in this process, it's been done successfully many times before, and God provides you with everything you need to do it well. Sometimes a little knowledge can put a lot of fears to rest, so I'd like to let you know what is happening behind the scenes already and what will be happening over the next year or so.

The first step when a pastor leaves is to designate a Transition Team to guide the process and to pick up the pieces of pastoral work that must get done while the pulpit is vacant. At its meeting on June 19, the Session decided it would serve as the Transition Team and each Ministry Team would be responsible for seeing that pastoral duties that fall under its sphere would get done. I gave the Session a list of the things I have been doing for each Ministry Team to aid them in this endeavor.

The next question that needs to be addressed is, where do you go in the interim? There are a variety of possibilities, ranging from recruiting supply preachers each week to hiring a full-time interim. Session feels they need more information in order to know what the best option for United Presbyterian Church is. Therefore, Session is asking the Administrative Ministry Team to meet this month, assess our financial position, and make a recommendation, such as to hire a variety of supply preachers, a stated supply preacher (which is one person who will fill the pulpit indefinitely), a part-time interim or a full-time interim. The amount the congregation is able to pay for these services will have a direct effect on which path the Administrative Ministry Team recommends. Once that is determined, Session will secure the appropriate coverage for pastoral services.

Session also decided at their June 19 meeting that the Nominating Committee will be responsible for recruiting people who would be willing to respond to a call to serve on a Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) in order to choose United's next pastor. The Nominating Committee will present a slate at a Congregational Committee, which could take place as early as this fall, depending on how long it takes the committee to do its work. If you believe someone would be an asset to the PNC, please contact one of the members of the Nominating Committee: Karen Ashe, Donna Bade, Virginia Benck, Pete Heberling, Dan Mucha, Rhea Mucha, and Rose Wales.

You may wonder, at what point does the larger congregation get involved? First, of course, the congregation elects the Pastor Nominating Committee. Later, the congregation will be asked to participate in a mission study to determine what the church members consider the most important elements of ministry. This will enable the PNC to write a Church Information Form that will attract a minister who shares your mission priorities and has the skills you believe are necessary for this call. The PNC will report regularly to the congregation through announcements, newsletter articles, and meetings. Eventually, the PNC will present a candidate to the ongregation for approval. In most cases, the PNC's choice is approved and accepts the call. If that doesn't happen, the PNC gets back to work reviewing more candidates.

These are just some of the steps of what can be a long process. But you are not alone in this work. Our Committee on Ministry Representative, the Rev. Kathryn Mustaro, Interim Pastor of Trinity Presbyterian Church of East Brunswick, will be guiding the Session, the PNC, and the congregation throughout the transition. She has the training and experience to be a valuable aid to your work. If you would like to know more, the Presbyterian Church (USA) has put out a video, The Call Process, which you can view at http://www.pcusa.org/ocap.

New experiences can be frightening. They can also lead to growth and a closer relationship to God if you rely on him to lead you through uncharted waters. You may not feel up to the task, but God equips those whom He calls. He is always faithful and he wants the church to thrive and fulfill the work He has given it to do. As I John 4:18 says, "...Perfect love casts out fear." You need not be afraid of the tasks God has set before you, because God's perfect love will accompany you through them all.

Grace and Peace,
Pastor Jean
  • Approved the Treasurer's Report and learned that $3,000 of the proceeds from the Gift Card Fundraiser were used to cover the costs over budget from utilities and snow removal due to the harsh winter.
  • Approved the Session Minutes of 5/16/17 (which had not been approved last year), Session Minutes of 4/17/18, and the Congregational Minutes of 5/6/18.
  • Recorded that Pastor Pinto officiated at the funerals of member David Carle on 4/18/17 and of Frederick R. Goldenbaum (Nancy McHugh's father) on 5/18/18.
  • Recorded that Pastor Pinto officiated at the weddings of Paul Glazewski and Judith Diehl on 5/15/18, and Eric Colon and Skyler Horner on 6/2/18.
  • Recorded that Pastor Pinto baptized Declan Charles Bloodgood, son of Katie and Jason Bloodgood at the 11 a.m. service on 5/27/18.
  • Approved the request by Gary Phillip Thibodeau to join the church and be baptized and by Gary and Laura Thibodeau to have their son, Colton Jacob Thibodeau baptized at the 11 a.m. service on 7/15/18.
  • Approved Pastor Pinto's vacation from 8/3/18-8/9/18. Rev. Don LaCrosse will preach and officiate communion on 8/5/18.
  • Approved the motion that Session be named the Transition Team to coordinate ministry during the pastoral vacancy (see the article above).
  • Elected Karen Ashe and Rose Wales to be the Session's representatives on the Nominating Committee.
  • Requested that Worship Ministry Team to provide communion serving training for new elders and deacons and as a refresher for veterans.
  • Called for an Administrative Ministry Team Meeting to assess the amount of funding that would be available in the budget for pastoral services.
to sup with our Lord,
Sunday July 1, 2018
at 9:30 E3 Service or at
the 11 a.m. Service.
Come as you are!
All are welcome
at the Lord's table.

Coffee Hour

Coffee Hour on July 1st 10:15 am is hosted by Member Care. A great way to meet and greet others! Thank you for providing food, drink, and camaraderie!

Summer has come! Even our church organizations are taking time to rest, refresh, as well as plan to get ready for another exciting year beginning in September! Absolutely packed with fun and fellowship! Please consider your time and talents joining UPC as an "active" voice in our community! Best wishes for your summer! Look for more information in our August and September newsletters!
Choir is on vacation! The cantata is right around the corner. So, Choir Camp is in the planning stages for the 3rd or 4th week of August -
7:00-8:30 pm. Stay Tuned for more information. Hint - Christmas is celebrated by Christians Around the World!
The mission of Monmouth Presbytery to equip its members and churches to fulfill their calling to be disciples of Christ, reaching others with the Good News of Christ's Kingdom, serving the needy, caring for creation. They do this through training, educational programs, and the work of their committees, such as the Committee on Ministry. This year our church will be the beneficiaries of the Presbytery's faithful assistance to churches in transition. All money designated for mission in the month of July will be given to Monmouth Presbytery. Please give generously.
Last week a dozen children learned about our great God, who has the power to provide, comfort, heal, forgive, and love us so that we can meet all the challenges of life. Thanks to all our volunteers who made our Everest VBS so special: Megan Gadsby (Discovery), Rhea Mucha (Music), Chrysti and Sandy Neuman (Games), Jean Pinto (Bible Exploration), Lisa Schnerr (Sherpa), Regina Schnerr (Snacks), Terry Wagner (Crafts), and Rose Wales (Sherpa).
We Pray For:

Healing – For all those ill with cancer, undergoing surgery as well as treatment for cancer including: Yuni Bernhard (stage 4 colon cancer), Jeriel Rodrigues; Eileen Meyer; Laura Burdge & Betsy Holderried; Bud & Jenna; Peggy Reilly; John Demeter (lung cancer); Sally Bailey (breast cancer); Sylvia (return of cancer); Steve Gabel (operation & chemo); Nicole Sgizer (brain tumor); Gail (breast & colon cancer); Ryan Sanelli; Carl (bladder cancer); Livia – (stage 4 colon cancer); Carol & Al D’Amico; Lenny (recurrence of cancer); Dan Rose; Mathew Johnson; Pam Rose; Scott Rose; John Borek; Bud; Margaret Archibald’s niece, Fiona (rectal cancer); Mike McHugh; for those awaiting test results; Kathy (biopsy of lung mass for suspected cancer) and for her friend Pam who will be caring for her; Stan Dzick (surgery for throat cancer); Linda Ramos; For those in hospital, or, having surgery and in recuperation including: George (post-op infection from knee surgery); Cathy Carpenter, Richard Vandegrift (emergency surgery); Rick (safe & successful knee surgery); Tom D. (heart surgery); Henry Haines; Marianne; Barb (fell at home badly bruising herself); John (recovering from surgery/rehab); Jim; Alice; Linda Tadlock (suffering from complications from MS in the hospital): Reva Rinehart; Lew Rogers (heart); Jenna Ciambelluca; Mike Hatala; Tom (eye issues); Marge (leg issues); Joyce Sankar (stroke & seizures); Bill Hoyer (upcoming heart surgery); Marianne McCloy (upcoming knee surgery); Debbie Krevor (leg); Brian (hospitalized with a broken neck and back); Mr. Hrabcheck (recovering from pneumonia); Mike (recovering from back surgery); Charlie (hospitalized with kidney failure); Fred (heart issues recuperating at home); Crystal Purvis; Lisa (neck surgery); Judy D’Amico (in Capital Health with infection); and Steve (in hospital with heart issues, having catheterization); For those in need of improved health including: Rosemary Bateham (suffering from Alzheimer’s and moved to a nursing home in Monmouth Junction); Frank & Marilyn Kostar; Marianne (tests); Karen & Keith; Donna; Susan Anthony; Audrey Barkelow; Mr. & Mrs. Walter (both in failing health as well as strength & support for their family members); Eileen (fell & has both stitches and broken bones); Dot Brocaloni; Walt; Tom; Alice; Tony; Gail, Amy; Maureen; Carl; For those having personal problems, including: Carly Mauer; a family member of the LaCrosse (Crohn’s Disease, her children’s needs as well as help with insurance coverage for treatment); friends of the LaCrosse family (suffering from depression); French family (reconciliation); Audrey Buckalew and Lenny (hospice care).
Strength & Guidance: For young families and for Nancy Winter.
Prayers for Peace that passes all understanding.
Thanksgiving: for the life of Fred Goldenbaum; for safe travels for Maeve & Kaira Pinto Singh back to Israel and for Blythe and Daniel Borders-Ashe traveling to Hawaii for their 5 th Anniversary.
Blessings: For all our graduates, including Scott Cass, Tom Guld, and Blythe Borders-Ashe.
Traveling Mercies – Soam Chhedi & Radha traveling to Italy; and Nicole Nadolny (Bill Frantz’s granddaughter) in Mexico for summer college classes.
Comfort for the Bereaved: family of Dean Yarnell whose daughter passed away from an accident and his wife was diagnosed with brain cancer (she will be operated on this week); the family of Stephen Gobel; and Madeline Wert on the sudden loss of her son.
July Birthdays
Birthday greetings to the members and friends whose birthdays are in July:
    1   Gracie Roberts
 4   Barry Carbone, Gloria Hanewald, Carol Heberling, Rita Peterson,      
          Justin Scharnitz
 5   Natalie Katz, Paul McHugh, Holly Rowand
 10   Bob Mathieson
 11   Scott Cass
 12   Madison Leigh Cruser, Seth Miller
 13   Gail Fouse, Barbara Kavalek
 14   David Machin, Steven Wyrwas
 15   Megan Gadsby, Don LaCrosse, John Milne, Gene Rittman
 20   Mia Hopper
 22   Brianna Dickson
 24   Karin Casole
 26   Ellie Rittman, Marietta Burnett Williams
 27   William Guld
 28   Michael McHugh 
 29   Richard Gomez
 30   Pat Anthony
 31   Doris Worob
Monthly Calendar

Click on the link below to view our July happenings.


monthly calendar computer