Friends,

This painting - "Cradling Wheat," by the renowned American artist Thomas Hart Benton - embodies, for me, the idea of harvest. Bending low over their work, the farmers bring in the fruits of God's good creation. They're working hard, and there's a nobility and a beauty to their efforts.

On most farms today, the harvest is brought in with the aid of machinery. That was true in 1938 as well, when Benton painted this scene, but he wanted to capture an earlier era, a simpler time. In his tempera-on-wood creation, all of nature seems to be in harmony, celebrating the good gifts the earth - and human ingenuity - are bringing forth.

There was a time when Jesus spoke of the harvest. "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few," he tells his disciples in Matthew 9:37-38 . "Therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest."

We don't have to be directly involved in agriculture to know that harvest is associated with plenty. We, do, indeed, live in a world of plenty.

So often, though, don't we live as though the opposite were true? We darkly assume our days will be characterized not by abundance, but scarcity.

Our Lord isn't looking for people of scarcity: they of closed fists and fearful minds. No, he's looking for people of abundance: those with eyes to see the Creator's blessings all around. Such blessings are larger than the physical circumstances of our lives: the clothing in the closet, the balance in the bank account, the vigor of our bodies. They have to do with who we are: the unique people God has created us to be, and the gifts with which we've been blessed - blessed for service.

In this season - in fact, in every season - Jesus us calling us out into the fields. He has things for us to do.

Will we heed the call?

Join us in worship this Sunday, as we dedicate our new hymnals and celebrate all of life's harvests!

Pastor Carl
The New Hymnals are Here!

Thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor, the new Glory to God Presbyterian hymnals are here and will be celebrated with a special dedication during worship! The Prelude, Offertory and Postlude will feature pieces by Johann Sebastian Bach, played by Music Director Jim Goldsworthy. The Anthem is Zion's Walls (Revivalist Song) adapted by Aaron Copland.

Hope you will join us for our 10:15AM worship and enjoy a music-filled Sunday and hymnal debut.
ECUMENICAL THANKSGIVING SERVICE

A number of churches in our local area are joining together in an ecumenical Thanksgiving Service this Tuesday evening at 7:30PM. This year's service will take place at the Cokesbury United Methodist Church , 610 Cokesbury Road, Lebanon, NJ. The preacher will be our own Dr. Carl Wilton , speaking on the topic, "Grace and Gratitude." All are welcome!
PASTORAL CARE COVERAGE
November 30 through December 7

Friends,

I'm going to be on medical leave beginning November 30, as I undergo surgery at Memorial Hospital in Manhattan, the main hospital of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. The surgery is for the removal of some cancerous lymph nodes on the left side of my neck. I've been dealing with recurrent, slow-growing thyroid cancer for a number of years now. I had my thyroid gland removed in 2011, and the doctors have been monitoring these nearby lymph nodes for the past several years - expecting that, when they grew large enough, they would have to be removed surgically.

Although I've never felt any symptoms, a routine ultrasound scan some weeks back informed us that the time for surgery has now arrived. I expect to remain in the hospital at least 3 nights, then to recuperate for a time at home. I'm not supposed to drive for the first week or so after returning home. My prognosis, they tell me, is good. Surgery is the first-line treatment for this form of recurrent thyroid cancer, and is typically very effective.

Our Presbytery Leader, the Rev. Leslie Dobbs-Allsopp, will preach and celebrate the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper next Sunday, December 2. My dear wife, the Rev. Claire Pula, will preach on December 9th.

In case of pastoral emergency from November 30 through December 3, please call the Rev. Ian Rankine of the Pluckemin Presbyterian Church (office: (908) 658-3423; mobile (908) 256-9533). After that, until my return, please call the Rev. Claire Pula, (908) 910-5361.

I cherish your prayers and am grateful for your support. I'm looking forward to being back in time to prepare for the remaining Sundays in Advent, and for my first Lamington Christmas Eve with you.

Pastor Carl
SERVICE OF WITNESS TO THE RESURRECTION

A service of Witness to the Resurrection, giving thanks to God for the life of Carlton C. Durling, will take place in the Sanctuary this Tuesday, November 20 at 2:00PM. Following the service, the family will greet friends and neighbors at a reception at the Ryland Inn, Whitehouse Station.

The Kearns Funeral Home, Whitehouse Station, is in charge of arrangements. Mr. Durling's obituary is available on the Funeral Home's website .

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to the Durling Scholarship Fund at Blair Academy, or to the Lamington Presbyterian Church.
Please note that the church office will be closed for the Thanksgiving holiday from Wednesday, November 21–Friday, November 23. Regina will be on vacation from November 27-30—during this time she will continue to check phone messages and emails and will direct them to the appropriate people for response. If you need to stop by the office, please contact Pastor Carl on his cell phone to be sure the church is open—(908) 910-5360. (Reminder: For Pastoral Care emergencies you can always reach Pastor Carl on his cell phone.)
CONSECRATION SUNDAY UPDATE

Last Sunday was Consecration Sunday, the focus of our fall generosity campaign. Members and friends of the church submitted their 2019 Estimate of Giving cards at the conclusion of the worship service, after which the results were confidentially tallied.

Estimate of Giving cards went out in the mail this week to all who were not able to respond by completing a card on the day itself.

After enjoying a delicious lunch prepared by Stefano's Wood-Fired Pizza in Branchburg - the food delivery was a little late, but it was worth waiting for - we heard a very encouraging report of the early results.

As of last Sunday...

A total of 38 households completed Estimate of Giving Cards.

A total of 21 of those households increased their estimate of giving over last year's.

Together, the 38 households who have submitted cards committed a total of $127,256 .

Based on last year's giving records, we can expect to receive another $109,732 during the coming year from people who have consistent giving patterns over the past twelve months but who were not present on Consecration Sunday.

Based on the average total of loose (cash) offerings during the past three years, we can expect to receive $4,200 in the coming year from that source.

Church income from non-donor sources such as interest, rentals and fees is expected to be $24,000.

This gives us a grand total of $265,190 in anticipated income for the next twelve months.

The total income for our general operating budget for the past twelve months was $247,220.

Next year, we can expect our operating budget income to increase by $17,975.

This is a 7.2% increase in total giving above last year.

A big THANK YOU to all whose estimates of giving are part of this good result! If you haven't yet submitted a 2019 Estimate of Giving card, please do so as soon as possible. With your help, we can push that increased giving figure even higher! The Session will find that data very useful as they build next year's budget.
At their meeting of November 12, 2018, the Session took the following actions:

1. Met with the Rev. Ellie Johns-Kelly and Brad Masters of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Foundation, to learn how the Foundation can help the church invest its endowment and also encourage bequests and other special gifts.

2. Decided to bring Ellie back at a future date to lead an officers’ retreat.

3. Made plans for supply preaching and pastoral care for the first two weeks of December, when Dr. Wilton will be recuperating from surgery.

4. Heard an encouraging report about the preliminary results of the Consecration Sunday generosity campaign.

5. Approved the baptism of Philip Duncan George Allison, daughter of Cecily (Rose) Allison and William Allison, for January 20, 2019.

6. Decided to follow an alternative tradition for the colors of the candles on the Advent wreath: four Sarum blue candles and one central white candle ( see rationale ).

7. Decided, now that the Glory to God hymnals (2013) have arrived, to repurpose the blue Presbyterian Hymnals (1990) as follows:
a) Set aside enough copies for the choir to use as a source of service music
b) Offer the rest to the congregation to take home
c) Retain the remaining hymnals for a period of time, while we seek a church or other organization to donate them to (although finding such a recipient is extremely unlikely)

8. Decided to publicize the 2019 Presbyterian Youth Triennium , the denomination’s once-every-three-years national high-school youth conference. This will take place at Purdue University, Indiana from July 16-20, 2019. The Presbytery of Elizabeth will be organizing a delegation.

9. Decided to seek donors to contribute toward the cost of replacing two non-functional heating units that warm the Sanctuary. Cost is $8,000 each. (The other two units can handle the load for now, but probably not in colder weather.)

10. Designated Elder Valerie Fraser to reorganize the Worship Committee.

11. Designated each Communion Sunday as Nametag Sunday: inviting worshipers to wear nametags during the coffee hour following the service.
LAST CHANCE TO DONATE
Elizabethport Thanksgiving Dinner Food Drive

Please donate frozen turkeys by Sunday, November 18--we will be delivering them to E'port on Monday . To make our gift of turkeys even more meaningful and to provide a complete Thanksgiving meal, please consider also donating non-perishable sides such as: yams, gravy, canned vegetables and stuffing packages. Please place turkeys in the freezer located by the side door closest to the manse. The non-perishable items can be placed next to the freezer. Turkeys and items can be dropped off Sunday before worship or for other arrangements contact Chris Smith at  smitpvil@comcast.net or (908) 208-0233.
SEEKING AN ANGEL
(Well, not THAT kind of angel...)

An "angel" is, of course, a committed donor who swoops in and helps a charitable organization out of a tight spot. We've recently learned that two of the four propane heating units that warm the Sanctuary had to be taken offline because key components were cracked, and they had become a fire hazard. The two remaining units are able to handle the extra load for now, but they won't be able to keep up after the weather gets really cold. We'd like to be sure the Sanctuary is warm and toasty for Christmas Eve.

Replacement of these two aging units, that were installed in 1991, is not in the church budget. The estimated replacement cost for each unit is $8,000, which means we need to find $16,000 total.

If you can help cover all or part of this expense with a special gift, please speak to Pastor Carl, or to the Session's Buildings and Grounds Chairperson, Duncan Rose. Thank you!
Annual Holiday Wreath Making
Wreaths, Chili and Brownies!
 
On Sunday, December 2--the first Sunday of Advent-- the Lamington Church family will continue its tradition of making our beautiful Christmas wreath for the front entrance of the church. We will be making our large Lamington Church Christmas Wreath while sampling a wonderful variety of chili recipes. A children's brownie bake-off will be the sweet ending to this fun event. The wreath making festivities will begin after worship, so remember to dress casually. Look for sign up sheets in the Gladish Room for chili chefs and brownie bakers. If you have any questions, please contact Debby Johnson at (908) 832-7230 or debrabjohnson@gmail.com.
 
Note: We will need lots and lots of greens to create a lovely wreath! If you have greens of any type--holly, yew, cedar, boxwood, evergreen—you can begin dropping off the cuttings NOW--place behind the Gladish Room. We will take whatever you have--fill a box or a bag or whatever you can carry!
Elizabethport Christmas—Calling all Elves!!

Lend us a helping hand! We will be assembling Christmas treat bags for the pre-school age children of Elizabethport (E’port). Come and join us  after worship on Sunday, December 9 for a wonderful time of fellowship and mission—be sure to grab a snack at coffee hour and then head-on up to the upstairs classrooms.  Also—we need youth elves to help us deliver the treat bags and assist at the children’s holiday party at E’port on Wednesday, December 19.  If you are interested in helping out on December 19, or have any questions—please contact Chris Smith at  smitpvil@comcast.net or (908) 208-0233.
2018 IRA CHARITABLE ROLLOVER

Here's a potential tax saving to ask your financial advisor about. If you are 70½ or older, and you have a traditional IRA, you're required to take a minimum distribution each year - which is usually taxable income. Did you know that, if you take that distribution by sending it directly to Lamington Presbyterian Church as a contribution, the IRA income is not taxable?

Simply instruct the plan administrator to make the transfer directly to the church as a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD). You are allowed to transfer up to $100,000 a year to the charities of your choice. You may do this to fulfill your pledge to the church, or as a special gift.

Your gift will be transferred directly to the church, will not be reported as taxable income and will count toward your minimal distribution requirements for 2018. Most important, your generous support will help sustain this congregation's mission and ministries.
Upcoming Liturgists
Sunday, November 18 - Jim Grubel
Sunday, November 25 - Nivita Thomas
Sunday, December 2 - Bob Wittpenn
Sunday, December 9 - open

We REALLY Need Liturgists!
A wonderful way to participate in Sunday worship is by volunteering to read scripture. We have many open Sundays to lead worship. Please consider giving to the church with your time & talents. Interested? A sign-up sheet is hanging on the bulletin board outside the church office--stop by and check it out after worship and sign up for a Sunday or two! You can also email the church office at (908) 572-7013, or lamingtonchurch@gmail.com . Come share with us!

Deacons on Duty
Sunday, November 18 - Sallye Grubel & Eleanor Halsey
Sunday, November 25 - John Gordon
Sunday, December 2 - Eleanor Halsey
Sunday, December 9 - Sallye Grubel


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.
Upcoming Coffee Hour Hosts
Sunday, November 18 - Carol Cummins & Valerie Fraser
Sunday, November 25 - No Coffee Hour-Thanksgiving Weekend
Sunday, December 2 - Chili/Brownie Cook Off & Wreaths
Sunday, December 9 - Lynn & Mac Carter

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, November 18
8:45AM Choir Practice
10:15AM Worship-Communion
10:30AM Church School
11:30AM Handbell Choir Practice
Tuesday, November 20
2:00PM Memorial Service: Carlton C. Durling
Wed., November 21-Fri., November 23
Office Closed Thanksgiving Holiday
Sunday, November 25
8:45AM Choir Practice
10:15AM Worship-Communion
10:30AM Church School
11:30AM Handbell Choir Practice
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
Follow us on Facebook!