News from Old First Church
Wednesday, January 12th, 2022
Good Afternoon!

I know this is a bit late for a weekday but first came the cats and then the deer family peering into my kitchen window, waiting for corn and apples. They have their winter coats now, the thick hair covering their bodies. One of the yearlings is less fearful than the other and doesn’t move away from me when I go to their feeding station.
The birds are all fluttering about trying to get at the seed in the feeders. This is the first winter I haven’t seen the cardinals that usually hover about the suet feeders. They do only live about three or four years but I know the parents had babies last spring.
Compared to birds, we humans do have longer life spans. The question for us is how we use our lives so they make the world a better place for our having lived in it. When we hear of someone’s death or see an obituary for a person younger than us, it does give us pause. Maybe the question is not the span but how well a person lived.

Grace and peace, 
Pastor Joyce
Spirit Soundings Daily Meditations & Sermon -
Preparing the Spirit
Potato and Leek Soup
This a deceptively simple recipe and yet that is part of the reason it works. Note: This recipe includes my revisions and additions from the original version from Patricia Well's Bistro Cooking.
  • 1.5 pounds Yukon or other sweet, creamy yellow potatoes
  • 2 leeks, white and tender green parts, trimmed, rinsed and chopped
  • 2 TBS butter
  • 1/5 quarts water
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 1 TBS heavy cream or creme fraiche or marscapone

Peel and quarter the potatoes and soak in ice water. Cut the leeks lengthwise to make it easier to clean them. Rinse well under cold water and then chop coarsely. Dry with a paper towel.
In a heavy stockpot, melt 2 TBS butter and add the leeks, with a little sea salt. Stir often, until tender but not browned, for about 3 minutes. Add the water and bring to a strong simmer. Add sea salt and then the potatoes. When the water comes back to a simmer, cover and simmer gently for about 35 minutes. Let cool. With a food processor, blender, or immersion mixer, process the soup and until smooth. Return to the soup to the pot and increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Skim any impurities on the surface. Add the cream. Serve with parsley, chives, snipped with scissors and fresh ground white pepper. This recipe is also great with tarragon.

Additions: This recipe can easily be stretched into a dinner with a hefty garnish of crumbled bacon, shredded cheese and a side of crusty bread.
Books to Discover - The AAUW bookstore is now open
The AAUW bookstore is now open on Saturdays 9:00am - 1:00pm If you have questions, the book sale voicemail is 732-275-2237. Remember - If you wouldn't buy it, we can't sell it! Please click here to see our donation policy.

OpenSaturday from 9:00 to 1:00pm Donations: Saturday 9:00 to 12:30pm; Thursdays 10:00 to 11:30am. Remember - If you wouldn't buy it, we can't sell it! Click here to see our Donation Policy
Free, At-Home COVID Tests
The state of New Jersey is providing FREE, at-home Covid tests. All you need to do is provide some basic information and the tests will be sent to your door. Please click here for more information.
Sharing Shore Voices
Shore Voices has been busy sharing joy and songs throughout the community in 2021. Thank you for helping celebrate joy and song throughout the seasons.

Laurel Bay Rehab, Keansburg
Brighton Gardens, Middletown
Old First Church, Middletown

Laurel Bay Rehab
VFW Highlands
Brighton Gardens
Old First Church, public performance

Portland Point Senior Housing Atlantic Highlands
Brighton Gardens
Arbor Terrace Middletown
Middletown Library
Collier Group Home Red Bank
River Street Commons Red Bank
Thoughts and Prayers
Thank you to Margaret Bogart for her work creating prayer shawls for those in need.

Ruth Jacques is home and can be reached at her home number or via her cell phone.

Sandy K., Margaret B., and Gretchen & Jim H. -- "Housebound and caring for themselves and others."

Elaine Lent is showing rapid improvement and is up in her wheelchair doing all kinds of things, such as fixing her own meals and doing her own laundry. These sound like little accomplishments but they are meaningful in the road to recovery.

For all of us, in this time of concern for the health of our community, the Nation, and the world. The Church Directory contains the email addresses of our community. Please email us at with any updates. Thank you.
Reminder for Sunday Worship
Sunday service begins promptly at 10:30am. We look forward to worshiping with you!
This Holiday Season Shop Amazon Smile for OFC
Shop Sign in to on your desktop or mobile phone browser. From your desktop, go to Your Account from the navigation at the top of any page, and then select the option to Change your Charity. Or, from your mobile browser, select Change your Charity from the options at the bottom of the page. Amazon donates a small percentage to OFC. Choose OFC as your charity.
Contact Us! 
We want to hear from you! Please email us at if you have items to contribute.
69 Kings Highway
Middletown, NJ 07748
Phone: 732-671-1905