Friends,

The Sunday known as Baptism of the Lord may not mean that much to you. It's not high up on the list of special Sundays for most Protestants. But for believers in other parts of the Christian world, it's a pretty big deal.

I'm told that, among Eastern Orthodox Christians, it's one of the biggest days of the Christian year, right up there with Christmas, Easter and Pentecost.

One of the reasons our Orthodox brothers and sisters would say it's so important is that the appointed scripture text for that day - the baptism of Jesus by John in the river Jordan - is one of the few Bible stories that mentions all three persons of the Trinity. Jesus is there, waist-deep in the river, God is speaking from the heavens and the Holy Spirit descends as a dove. The tableau gives us a snapshot of the mystery and wonder of God, the three-in-one.

The picture above doesn't come from the Eastern Orthodox world, but rather from a part of global Christianity that's even further east. It's a painting called "The Baptism of Jesus," by the contemporary Chinese artist, He Qi . It reminds us that the good news of Jesus Christ no longer belongs to the people of Europe and North America alone, but to the entire world.

The story contains a universal human theme: that of blessing. Remember that God crowned the story of Jesus' baptism with that proclamation: "You are my Son, the beloved; with you I am well pleased."

By all indications, Jesus knew all his life - even in that moment of supreme distress in the Garden of Gethsemane - that he had God's blessing. When all goes well, young people grow up in a home knowing that they are deeply loved, and having received a blessing from their parents, or whomever has stood in the role of parent for them.

But that part of life doesn't always unfold as it should. Sometimes parents are not so good at offering their blessing, at the appropriate time. Sometimes children turn their backs on their homes prematurely, as the prodigal son does in Jesus' famous parable. Some of us spend a substantial part of our lives craving a blessing we have never received.

The blessing God offers Jesus at his baptism, God also offers at our baptisms. Most of us have no memory of that blessing that was spoken so long ago, but in our spiritual lives we can journey back and claim it for our own.

That's going to be focus of our mutual study of God's word this Sunday. Join us as we explore the joy and the wonder of having been blessed by God, and the challenge of sharing that blessing with others!

Pastor Carl
Baptism of the Lord
Sunday, January 13

We move from the Day of Epiphany (last Sunday, January 6) to this Sunday’s observance of the Baptism of the Lord. On Epiphany we recalled the coming of the Magi to offer homage to the Christ Child. In one short week, we have skipped over the first thirty years of Jesus’ life — about which we know little — to his emergence on the eve of his public ministry. Our Lord’s first public act was to be baptized in the Jordan River by his cousin, John the Baptist. The one who blesses us was first blessed by someone else, in order to show us the way.

On Sunday, we also welcome to worship violinist Morgan Kist. Morgan, originally from Winston-Salem, North Carolina, studied violin with Lilo Kantorowicz Glick while attending the American Boychoir School in Princeton, New Jersey. His current position in Product Development for the New York-based company YellowHammer has taken him to London, where he now resides. He has studied Alexander Technique in both New York and London.

Mr. Kist will play pieces by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart on the violin during the prelude and postlude. Morgan, together with Music Director Jim Goldsworthy, will play a special violin and piano solo: Sonata in e minor, K 304, II. Tempo di Minuetto and Trio.

Pastor Carl's sermon will be " Claim Your Blessing! ", based on Luke 3:15-22 .

Hope you will join us Sunday for a worship service of beautiful music and inspiration.
2019 Nomination Ballot
for Election of Officers at LPC
 
In the Presbyterian Church, the members of the congregation are given the privilege and responsibility of electing individuals who will serve the church as leaders in the offices of Elder and Deacon. The Nominating Committee is working to develop a slate of nominees to be voted upon at the Annual Meeting of the Congregation and Corporation. Please assist us by giving prayerful consideration to the nomination of those individuals you feel have demonstrated gifts of leadership and a commitment to the life and ministry of LPC.
 
Elders and Deacons serve for two-year terms; Nominating Committee serves for one-year term; Audit Committee serves for a one-year term.
 
Who can be nominated? A nominee must be a member of LPC, a faithful participant in the worship and program life of the church, and a good steward demonstrated by being a regular contributor to the operation of the church and its ministries. A summary of responsibilities of the officers and nominating committee can be found below:

  • Ruling Elders “are persons of wisdom and maturity of faith, having demonstrated skills in leadership and being compassionate in spirit. They are chosen by the congregation to strengthen and nurture its faith and life, exercise leadership, government, spiritual discernment, and have responsibilities for the life of a congregation as well as the whole church, including ecumenical relationships.” (Book of Order, G-2.0301) Elders comprise the Session moderated by the Pastor, lead ministry councils and committees, serve communion and are given the opportunity to be lay readers.  
  • Deacons “as set forth in Scripture, fulfill a ministry of compassion, witness and service, sharing the redeeming love of Jesus Christ for the poor, the hungry, the sick, the lost, the friendless, or anyone in distress. Persons of spiritual character, exemplary lives, brotherly and sisterly love, sincere compassion and sound judgment should be chosen for this ministry.” (Book of Order, G-2.0201) The Board of Deacons is staffed by the Pastor and called upon to serve communion and to lead the ministries of worship, congregational care and service. They are also given the opportunity to be lay readers.
  • Nominating Committee - The members of the Nominating Committee, four of whom are selected from the congregation at large and of who are charged with preparing a slate of church officers to be voted upon by the congregation at a Congregational Meeting.
  • Audit Committee – Certain committees require specific gifts and skills given by God. This committee seeks those with experience in the world of finance.

Please click button below to submit the name of person(s) you are suggesting and position (Elder, Deacon, Nominating Committee, Audit Committee).
Serve with Us! 
SHIP’S Galley Soup Kitchen
Friday, January 18

On the third Friday of each month, volunteers from Lamington Church gather to prepare meals for The Samaritan Homeless Interim Program soup kitchen--SHIP’s Galley.  Join us on Friday, January 18 to help prepare and serve a hot meal at this local mission. Volunteers will meet at 11:00AM at St. John’s Episcopal Church (158 West High Street, Somerville).  If you are able to help with this project, please call Dyanne Diaz-Piedra at (908) 442-3544, or Mary Jenkins at (908) 704-9197. The Samaritan Homeless Interim Program (SHIP) is a vital service to the community, and unfortunately, the need continues to rise.  For more info about SHIP’s, click here to check out their website.
Weekly Adult Bible Study

Join us on Wednesday evenings for our weekly adult Bible study, from 7:00-8:00PM. These "fireside Bible studies" are led by Pastor Carl at the Manse.

The first series of studies will be on the Parables of Jesus: a different parable each week. This week's passage is The Parable of the Sower , Matthew 13:1-23 .
You Can Now Sign Up Online!
We REALLY Need Liturgists!
Lead us in worship! A wonderful way to participate in Sunday worship is by volunteering to lead worship and to read scripture. We have many open Sundays to lead worship. Please consider giving to the church with your time & talents.

Upcoming Liturgists
Sunday, January 13
Valerie Fraser
Sunday, January 20
Duncan Rose
Sunday, January 27
open

View
Do You Want To Sign Up?

There are many ways you can sign-up:
  1. Check out the sign-up sheet hanging on the bulletin board outside the church office--sign up for a Sunday or two!
  2. Call/email the church office (908)572-7013; lamingtonchurch@gmail.com
  3. Call/email Worship chair Valerie Fraser (908)578-3092; vfraser@turpinrealtors.com 
  4. Sign up online!

LOOK--This is new!
You can now sign-up to be a liturgist right now. Here's what you need to do:
  1. Check for open dates--click here to view the current liturgist sign-up sheet
  2. Choose your date(s) and then click the button below to sign-up.

The sign-up sheet will be updated weekly and posted in the Friday Newsletter. (Note: Regina will confirm your dates and follow-up with any duplicate sign-ups.)
Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!
Update
Togo Clothing Drive

Many thanks to all of the congregation members who donated clothing to the Ayedze family in Togo. Sylvie and her boys appreciate our efforts greatly, as does Susan Wingfield who initiated this effort, and the Mission Committee. 

Photo of Sylvie in donated jacket from Togo clothing drive. 


Upcoming Events
in and around the Presbytery!
2019 Youth Triennium

It's time to sign up--act now! Applications are due Monday, January 28 . Triennium is a life changing, faith deepening experience that only comes around every three years. As we did three years ago, Elizabeth Presbytery participants will travel to Indiana with others from across New Jersey. We will depart from Camp Johnsonburg on July 15 and return on July 20.

If you have completed the 9th, 10th, 11th, or 12th grade, this is a wonderful opportunity to take advantage of! The Elizabeth Presbytery provides financial support for every Triennium participant, but we are asking that a $400 deposit be shared between each participant and the local church. Scholarships are also available for participants in need. For more info on the Triennium--click here.
Equipping the Saints
Training, Connection and Inspiration

Equipping the Saints is a day of training for those who fulfill leadership roles in our churches. Pastors, elders, deacons, trustees, youth leaders, building committees, stewardship committees, clerks of session, those interested in ministries across cultures and those seeking spiritual nourishment--will find one or more workshops to enhance their leadership.

Training is on S aturday, February 2 from 9:00AM-3:00PM at the First Presbyterian Church of Metuchen. Registration opens at 8:00AM; Cost for registration, which includes lunch, is $15.00.  


Deacons on Duty
Sunday, January 13 - Julie Murray & Sandi Ramsay
Sunday, January 20 - Monica Immanual & Mary Jenkins
Sunday, January 27 - Eleanor Halsey
Sunday, February 3 - Monica Immanual & Mary Jenkins


A Note to the Deacons: To make a change to the Deacon on Duty schedule or to sign-up for Sunday duty, please call or email Monica Immanual at (908) 450-7278, monica.immanual@gmail.com . A sign-up sheet is also located on the bulletin board outside the church office.
Check It Out
New Coffee Hour Schedule
Coffee Hour Hosts
Sunday, January 13
Patty Muchmore
Sunday, January 20
Julie Goetz
Sunday, January 27
Janine & Gary Gordon
Sunday, February 3
Andree & John Gordon
Each member/family at Lamington Church has been invited to host a Sunday coffee hour. A postcard reminder will be sent sometime before you are scheduled. If you are unable to host on your assigned day, please call Debby Johnson at  (908) 832-7230  or email at   debrabjohnson@gmail.com

The Upcoming Week at Lamington

Sunday, January 13
10:15AM  Worship
10:30AM  Church School
Monday, January 14
6:00PM Session Meeting-Gladish Room
Wednesday, January 16
7:00PM Adult Bible Study-Manse
Friday, January 18
11:00AM SHIP's Galley-Somerville, NJ
Saturday, January 19
9:00AM E'port Library Workday
Sunday, January 20
10:15AM  Worship
10:30AM  Church School
2019 Offering Envelopes
Ready For Pick-Up

Please pick up your 2019 offering envelopes in the vestibule between the Sanctuary and the Gladish Room. Using envelopes helps the counters record the offering more quickly and efficiently. If you do not see a box of envelopes with your name on it and would like to have one, please contact Molly Falk at (908) 209-1080 or mafalk1@comcast.net .
Do you have a question? Please contact us!
The Rev. Dr. Carl Wilton
Pastor
(908) 910-5360

James Goldsworthy
Director of Music

Bess Ploener
Director of Handbells

Regina Morris
Office Manager
(908) 572-7013
 
Church Office Hours
Closed Monday
Tuesday-Friday 10:00AM to 4:00PM
(908) 572-7013

Sunday Worship at 10:15AM
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