We are followers of the Way, a resurrection people.

A Note from Father Phil
Dear Friends,

As many of you are aware, there was a tragic accident this morning at the intersection of Route 22 and Cokesbury Road in which our parishioner Larry Helwig was killed and Jane Roxbury sustained injuries.

With that in heart and mind, I announce that we will hold an All Parish meeting tomorrow night, Monday, April 24 at 7:30 pm for coffee and prayers and hymns and tears and conversations.

To help you understand, I write about the tragic events which took place during our normal time of worship this Second Sunday of Easter. Just to keep everyone apprised I feel obligated to describe the events of this morning's trauma.

A little before 8 a.m., Jane Roxbury and Larry Helwig were driving to church for service. Crossing at the light on Cokesbury and Rte. 22 just below the Church, they were struck at high speed by a State Trooper crossing Rte. 22 westbound. Sue and Bob Kane were just behind Larry and Jane. They stopped, of course, and as rescue vehicles responded, Sue remained with Jane, who was stabilized in the car and Bob drove to the Church.

We had just finished the opening hymn, when Bob interrupted the Service with the news and I left to go down the hill, the remaining parishioners organizing prayers and worship in that moment. I arrived and prayed with Jane who was still in the car, holding her hand as First Responders attended to her. Larry was having CPR administered to him in the parking lot of Metropolitan Seafood (the owner there saying prayers over the scene with me). As I came over, the EMTs were concluding what they could do and I administered Last Rites and prayed with Larry as he died. Jane was informed about this loss as she was being transported to the helicopter to be taken to Morristown Memorial Hospital. The roads -- Rte. 22 and Cokesbury -- were completely closed in all directions. Given the nature of the trauma, dozens of State Troopers were on the scene to manage and investigate the fatal accident.

I returned to the church around 9 a.m. and informed the congregation. We prayed for a time. They determined they would manage the 10 a.m. service as I would be going on to Morristown to the hospital. Larry's family driving in from PA needed to be told as were Jane's children in Utah. Pat Egan, Arden Olson, and Diane Hrozencik immediately started off for Morristown. John Andrews and Chris Williams and others determined the course of greeting 10 a.m. parishioners and planning worship for the later service. I was glad and appreciative to have John Rollins and Michelleslie Maltese, deacon in training, for consultations, as I made my way up to Morristown.
Jane has sustained injuries and is expected to recover from them, but Larry's death and the communications of this to loved ones was the most painful thing today. Those communications and the interviews with investigators sent to Jane's trauma room were the bulk of the weight through noon and after. I asked the investigators to communicate to the Trooper driving the vehicle that struck Larry's car, that he too would be in our prayers. Throughout, the kindness and presences of the Kane's as well as Jane's three close friends are to be commended. There is little way to offer an estimate of our feelings given the shock and trauma at this time.

During our gathering tomorrow.  I have asked other friends and Clergy to attend to us, and Chris has graciously agreed to help us put our prayer into song.  Please come as seems right to you.  Jane's children are coming in from Utah, and they will be gathering separately at her home.  Jane is expected to be released tomorrow.

The Memorial for Larry will be handled through Branchburg Funeral Home and held here at CHS later this week.
Almighty God, look with pity upon the sorrows of your servants for whom we pray.  Remember them, Lord, in mercy; nourish them with patience; comfort them with a sense of your goodness; lift up your countenance upon them; and give them your peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen