Click on any of the topics below to go directly to selected article
In This Issue
Stay Connected
Quick Links

Submit your article for the December edition of the Messenger no later than November 26
Rick's Ramblings
Greetings from Rev. Rick 

Rick's Ramblings...
As we move into the month of November, with its grace note of Thanksgiving, and then on to another holiday crush, let me express my gratitude for the surprise reception the congregation threw for me after worship on October 21.  
Apparently, someone has christened October as "Pastor Appreciation Month". And while most pastors don't pay attention to such things, and certainly don't expect anything, it's a nice excuse to enjoy a piece of delicious cake after service. October happens to be an important month in my pastoral career, as I was ordained on World Communion Sunday 1984 (oh, that seems like such a long time ago!).
In my mind there should also be an equivalent Congregation Appreciation Sunday, where we show appreciation for all who make their congregations what they are, who support them generously with their time, their talents and their treasures. In lieu of such a formally designated occasion, let me take this opportunity to express my appreciation for the fine people past and present who embody the spirit of the UPC, Flanders family. Without you there would be no congregation...and no pastors! You are the heart of the congregation that keeps the body humming along, doing its thing, being a lively and caring Presbyterian presence in Mt. Olive Township and beyond.
And as we move through the stewardship 'season' of the church this month of November, allow me to thank you in advance for your continued financial support of your congregation. Your pledge counts! Your pledge makes a difference! Your pledge, as generous as you are prayerfully able to make it, will help to insure both the present and the future of UPC, Flanders.
If you haven't already submitted your financial pledge/commitment for 2019, it is not too late to do so. And plan to join other members of the UPC family after worship on Sunday November 18 for our Annual Stewardship Brunch.
Grace and peace,
Rev. Rick
George Washington's Letter to the Jews of Newport
In August of 1790, after making a visit to Newport, RI, newly elected President George Washington sent letters to several citizens groups of that city, including the Jewish Synagogue. That synagogue, now known as Touro Synagogue, is America's oldest Jewish house of worship. The original letter is small in size, but its impact on American life has been immense. In 340 well-chosen words, the Letter reassures those who had fled religious tyranny that life in their new nation would be different, that religious "toleration" would give way to religious liberty, and that the government would not interfere with individuals in matters of conscience and belief.
In light of the recent massacre at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, and the increase in hate-speech in recent days, often inflamed or given permission by political rhetoric, Washington's letter is worth knowing about and reading. It reads:

While I received with much satisfaction your address replete with expressions of esteem, I rejoice in the opportunity of assuring you that I shall always retain grateful remembrance of the cordial welcome I experienced on my visit to Newport from all classes of citizens.

The reflection on the days of difficult and danger which are past is rendered the more sweet from a consciousness that they are succeeded by days of uncommon prosperity and security.

If we have wisdom to make the best use of the advantages with which we are now favored, we cannot fail, under the just administration of good government, to become a great and happy people.

The citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy-a policy worthy of imitation. All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship.

It is now no more that tolerance is spoken of as if it were the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights, for, happily, the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.

May the children of the stock of Abraham who dwell in this land continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other inhabitants---while everyone shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree and there shall be none to make him afraid.

May the father of mercies scatter light, and not darkness, upon our paths, and make us all in our several vocations useful here, and in His own due time and way everlastingly happy.

G. Washington

Youth Gathering (Grades 6 and up) This Sunday

Attention UPC Youth, grade 6 and up: This Sunday, November 4, we'll meet after church for pizza in the Garage, followed by service (raking leaves & such) to our church friends. Please plan to stay! Let Rev Rick or Mrs. Miller know if you're in. (We can provide rides home if needed.)
ps...Save the date for the annual UPC Youth Christmas party, Friday, December 14th, 7 PM, at the Miller's
Christmas Pageant

"St. Rigobert's Christmas Pageant" will be presented by Sunday School Children/Young People on Sunday December 16, 2018 at 10 a.m. Worship service.
Click here for copy of our Rehearsal Schedule.   
Next Parent/Child meeting is Sunday November 4, 2018  11:30 a.m. after Worship and Coogen Family Reception.
Please contact Argaille,  cell:  862-242-9304,  
or Diane Halper, cell:  973-903-6973, if (in addition to our Sunday School parents and older siblings) you would be able to help us out with props, costumes, snacks and pizza supervision, Scene Rehearsal leader, Pageant Cast Party and gifts.....   
Yes!  There is a St. Rigobert, come discover who he is!
Deacon's Thanksgiving Baskets

The Deacons need your help for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday season. We are in need of traditional items that go along with a turkey dinner and some extras. While doing your grocery shopping, please consider picking up an extra something for this food drive. Items we need are apple juice, peanut butter, jelly, maple syrup, jarred turkey gravy, applesauce, tuna, cake mix, and canned vegetables like corn and green beans. Closer to the date of Thanksgiving, we will need frozen turkeys, dinner rolls, and potatoes. Please speak with LaRue Berry or Lois Fleming if you will be able to donate a frozen turkey, dinner rolls, or potatoes. The deadline for all donations is Sunday, November 11th.  
We thank each of you for your support in advance.
We Gather Together
Our annual Community Interfaith Thanksgiving Service will be held this year at Abiding Peace Lutheran Church, in Budd Lake on Monday November 19 at 7:30 pm. This year's service will include musicians and singers from several local congregations as well as participation from local faith leaders, including the new Imam of the Islamic Center of North Jersey. Come out and join with our local faith communities in lifting one voice in gratitude to God for our many blessings as American people.
Open Mic Night

Advent Gathering for Women  

Advent Wreath Making 
While we've got to get through Thanksgiving first, it's not to early to put December 2 on your calendars. Being the first Sunday in Advent, it will again be time for our annual Advent Wreath Making event after worship in the CE wing. This is a fun way for individuals and families to make an attractive Advent Wreath for their own kitchen/dining room tables to light successive candles as we make our way through another Advent season. Stay tuned for more details, but get that date on your calendars NOW!   

Advent Afternoon 
"Hear ye!  Hear ye!  Our 40th "Advent Afternoon Celebration of the Arts" will take place in UPC Sanctuary, Sunday, December 9th, 2018 4 p.m.
Please add your own special talents for singing, playing instruments, dramatic readings, skits, dancing, artwork, and other ways you "make a joyful noise unto the Lord"!  Sign up on Bulletin Board in UPC Hallway, beginning 11/4/18.     
Contact Argaille at  or cell:  862-242-9304 should you have any questions! 
Also, dust off your favorite Christmas Goodie recipe and bake it up then to share with 4-6 people for our Reception afterwards in Christian Ed Wing.  This UPC time-honored tradition is a wonderful way to  celebrate our Advent Season.






gn up on the bulletin board in church hallway  





Hot off the "Poetry Press"
November! November!
(Argaille A. Di Matteo 11/1/18)
November! November comes before December!
Can we all remember when this year began?
Already we're traveling the Road to Thanksgiving
And gathering of families across this Great Land.
How are we all grateful before eating platefuls
Of turkey, yams, stuffing, veggies, pumpkin pie?
Have we thought of others, our "sisters" and "brothers"
In Christ, among others who'll have nothing nigh?
Let's not wait for ONE day to give thanks, to eat, play
With family and friends, 'midst blessings that abound.
Begin true Thanksgiving each day we are living,
And sharing of blessings with others around,
Who, in daily living, their own thanks are giving
In sharing their soups, stews with simple, plain bread
With great Love abounding, small family surrounding,
Embracing the "Thank You" for roof overhead.
November! November! Let us all remember
To savor each moment in each day and place.
To share more "I Love Yous", "You're Awesomes", "Please-Thank Yous"
That bless and support no matter creed, gender, race,
Political leanings, those seeking new meanings
On their own Life Journeys, wherever they roam.
We're in this together (November! November!)
In one Big Thanksgiving, let us all find Home!


United Presbyterian Church, Flanders | (973) 584-8195 ||
58 Drakesdale Road
Flanders, NJ 07836