Packanack Community Church
December 2018
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Celebration of
Pastor Karyn's Ministry
On Sunday, December 2, the congregation celebrated Pastor Karyn's ministry as she prepares to vacate her position as Senior Minister on December 31. During the worship service, members of the congregation came forward to present various aspects of her ministry to the congregation and her impact on the community. Speakers included Lauri Masur, Kathleen Aiellos, Michael Rusiniak, Barb Bogert, Brenda Kurtyka, Lou Peters, Bob and Lisa Seela, Sandy Cantell and Joan Riley.

The theme of the service was the many ways in which Pastor Karyn has been a spiritual light that shines in the darkness. After each presentation, a candle was lit on a wreath created by Lisa Seela for the communion table.

Kathleen Aiellos led the Children's Sermon and the lighting of the Advent candle. In response, the congregation sang a new set of lyrics written by Pastor Karyn to the tune of the familiar hymn, "Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus."

Rev. David Popham, Associate Minister of the New Jersey Association of the UCC was the guest preacher for the day. Daniel Mullens led the Chancel Choir and Hand Bell Ensemble in special music, including an anthem that incorporated Pastor Karyn's favorite hymn, "Great Is Thy Faithfulness."

The service was followed by a luncheon at the Black Bull Steakhouse in Riverdale where speakers included Lauri Masur, Kerry Ficker (former Office Manager) and Mayor Chris Vergano. During the luncheon, Pastor Karyn was presented with a generous farewell purse and a beautiful book of handwritten notes written by members of the congregation and assembled by Kim Depetris.

Pastor Karyn would like to thank everyone who attended the service and luncheon, and especially the planning committee that worked so hard to make the whole day a wonderful success: Kathleen Aiellos, Sandy Cantwell, Brenda Kurtyka, Lauri Masur, Joan Riley.
Pictured above:
Pastor Karyn thanks the congregation prior to offering the pastoral prayer.

The wreath made by Lisa Seela for the communion table

The cake served during the luncheon
Update on the
Pastoral Search Process
In the coming weeks, the Search Committee will be interviewing candidates for the Interim Minister position.

The role of an Interim Minister is specifically designed to help us to prepare for calling a permanent minister. This will take a period of discernment on the part of our congregation before we will be ready to call a permanent pastor. It is our goal to have an Interim Minister in place by January 1, 2019.

Committee: Michele Forrest, Carey Lochridge, Lauri Masur, Daniel Mullens, Steve Rusiniak, Karen Rusiniak, Bob Seela, Jill Tiger
Piano Donated to Church
We're very excited to welcome the newest member of the instrument family at Packanack Community Church: Maryann Colotta (Dominic's cousin-in-law) donated a gorgeous Baldwin upright piano to be used in the choir room.

We are also grateful to an anonymous donor who paid the moving expenses out of their own pocket. The music director is thrilled to have an authentic, acoustic instrument to use for choir rehearsals, just in time for Advent and Christmas preparation. 
Successful Interfaith Thanksgiving Service
This year’s interfaith service continued our community’s 30+-year tradition of giving thanks together. 

The well attended Service provided an opportunity for many members of the community to share the joy of Thanksgiving with their neighbors and friends. 
Deacons Cookie Ministry
December 12, 7:00pm
On Wednesday, December 12, the Board of Deacons invites everyone to join us at 7:00pm in Simmons Hall as we share in the joy of cookie-giving.

Bake a batch (or 2) of your favorite holiday cookies and bring them with you to the church (or drop them off beforehand). We will mix and match the cookies into tins to be delivered to shut-ins. Then take the name of a shut-in and a tin full of cookies, and deliver some holiday cheer.

If you don't have time to bake, store-bought cookies are fine. The important thing is that we gather together in the spirit of Christmas to do something for those who need it.
RSVP: Lauri Masur 973-464-7330 or
Annual Christmas Concert
This year's Annual Christmas Concert will be held on Sunday, December 16, at 3:00pm in the Sanctuary, followed by a cookie reception. 

Christmas carols, choral music
and bells and special guests will help us connect with the Spirit of the Season. A free-will offering will be taken. Feel free to invite a guest. This is always a meaningful event and we hope you and yours will be a part of it.
Poinsettia Fund Donations
Each year during Advent, the Sanctuary is decorated with beautiful poinsettias that are donated by members of the congregation who want to honor or remember loved ones on Christmas Eve. Dedications will appear in the worship bulletin on Christmas Eve and in the e-Bell newsletter.

If you would like to contribute to the Poinsettia Fund, please complete the Flower Form, which can be found on the table in the narthex or in the e-Bell. Return it to the church office or drop it in the offering plate by Sunday, December 9. Plants may be picked up after worship on Christmas Eve.

Click here for the flower donation form.
The Hanging of the
Memorial Ornaments
10AM on December 23
As we enter the season of Advent, we are mindful that the holidays can be a difficult time for those who are grieving the loss of a loved one. Whether the loss is a recent occurrence or a sadness that has been borne for many years, our congregation would like to offer a way for people to celebrate Christmas without the traditional gaiety of merry greetings and joyful carols.

On Sunday, December 23, you are invited to join us for worship at 10:00am as we light the fourth candle on the Advent wreath and worship in a way that offers comfort and hope. During the service, worshipers will be invited to hang an ornament on the Christmas tree in memory of a loved one.

If you are unable to attend the 10:00am worship service, you can drop off an ornament at the church and it will be hung for you. You may also drop off a photo if you would like an ornament to be created for you (see the guidelines below.)

In addition, the names of those who have passed away in 2018 will be read during the service, followed by the ringing of a bell. To submit a name, send an email to .

Celebrating Christmas without a loved one can be painful for many people. Whether you are grieving a loss or simply want to share in this ministry with us, we invite you to worship with us on Christmas Eve morning as we honor those who have passed on before us while celebrating the hope that we have in Jesus Christ. Please feel free to invite a friend to this very special and meaningful service.
  Guidelines for Ornaments
  To make your own: Craft a handmade ornament with a photo of your loved one and a name on either the front or the back. You are welcome to hang it on the Christmas tree at any time during the season of Advent.
  To have an ornament made for you: Drop off a photo ( 2" high by 2" wide) of your loved one in the basket in the narthex or at the church office. Please write the individual’s name and your name on the back of the photo. An ornament will be made for you and hung on the tree.
To hang an existing memorial ornament: If you have made a memorial ornament for our church’s Christmas tree in the past, those ornaments will be available in a basket in the narthex for you to hang on the tree at any point during Advent.
A Christmas Eve Invitation
to our Children and Youth
Once again this year, Pastor Karyn is asking for your support of one of the most beloved traditions of the church – the re-telling of the story of Jesus’ birth by the children of the Sunday school.

For the past decade, our church’s five o’clock service on Christmas Eve has included the story of the nativity from the Gospel of Luke. As the story is read and the carols are sung, the children gradually make their way to the front of the Sanctuary. One by one, Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus arrive along with the shepherds, the angels and a star. Once assembled, they form a tableau that serves as a sacred setting for the congregational lighting of our candles and the singing of Silent Night . The children then join Pastor Karyn in delivering the Benediction, after which everyone greets each other with a “Merry Christmas” as we all sing Joy to the World .

Please join us on Christmas Eve as we carry on this tradition and teach our children about the birth of Jesus Christ.
Piano and Voice Lessons Offered
by Daniel Mullens
Daniel Mullens, the PCC Music Director, is currently looking to expand his local studio of piano and voice students.

He is currently accepting students of all ages and skill levels, and lessons can either be taught in-home or at the church.

No long-term obligation required! For more info, contact Daniel at  or (518) 368-2500.
Please Support the PCNS Raffle
PCNS will be having their "Unwrap the Cash 50/50" again this year. Tickets are on sale now through December 20.The cost is $25 per ticket

This raffle is open to the public. If you are interested in purchasing a ticket to support the school please email
Worship Calendar

Sunday, December 2
Celebration of Pastor Karyn's Ministry
Worship in the Sanctuary, 10:00am
Sacrament of the Lord's Supper
Monthly Food Collection: Peanut Butter and Jelly

Sunday, December 9
Worship in the Sanctuary, 10:00am

Sunday, December 16
Worship in the Sanctuary, 10:00am
Annual Christmas Concert, 3:00pm
Confirmation Class, 6:00pm

Sunday, December 23
10:00am - Service of Remembrance
(including the hanging of memorial ornaments)

Christmas Eve
5:00pm - Family Service and Live Nativity
10:30pm - Candlelighting Service

Sunday, December 30
Pastor Karyn's Final Sunday
Worship in the Sanctuary, 10:00am

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Packanack Personals

Please send cards to Church Members Who Have Moved Away
Several church members have moved from our area to be closer to family members. The following individuals would greatly appreciate receiving cards and staying in touch with our congregation:

Judy Corvino , Arbor Terrace, 361 Speedwell Avenue, Unit 365A, Morris Plains, NJ 07950

973-694-8993 (they are keeping their same home telephone number)

Alva Breithaupt, 1275 Turnpike Street, Unit 203, North Andover, MA 01845
Alva will turn 94 on October 20. A recent letter from her family expressed how much she appreciates our cards and phone calls. Her phone number is 978-258-0604. She can best be reached in her apartment at the following times: 11am - 12noon, 3-5pm, and after 7pm.

Betty Fenyo, Bickford of Suffolk, 6860 Harbour View Blvd. #405, Suffolk, VA 23435

Jessie Goehner, 132 Warwick Road, Apt. 1-C, Haddonfield, NJ 08033

The Rev. Dick Batchelder, 9115 Warrens Way, Wanaque, NJ 07465
Our Prayer List

Wilma Nydam
Cindy Clarke
Bill and Trudy Leonhardt
Jim Klein
Bob and Esther Flower
Laura Lefelar, Lynne Lefelar's daughter
Janet Guariglia, friend of Martha Edgar
Mike Barch, Lynne Lefelar’s son-in-law
Joey Bulger, 8-year-old friend of Jody Smith
Zola Cassanova, friend of Jody Smith
Kathy Pallone, sister of Ginny Mullen
Bob Butler, Claire Butler's son
Kerry Babcott, Jessica De Haan’s friend              
James Gould, Virginia Gould’s son                       
Claire Butler
Stella Almroth
Patrick Bosma, Ray and Diane Bosma’s grandson
Regina Erwood                   
Helen Barton, Claire Butler’s sister
Putting God's Love in Motion

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