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What's Happening at UMC Madison 2/21/22


Sunday, February 27th is Transfiguration Sunday

10:00am - Family Worship Service

11:00am - Fellowship Hour


Church Office will be closed Monday, February 21st

for President's Day


February 6, 2022

To our Friends of the United Methodist Church in Madison,

It is my joy to share with you today that Rev. Mark Schol is appointed the new pastor of our congregation. He will begin his new responsibilities on July 1st of this year. As a United Methodist Church, we are a part of an appointment system. Our congregation’s Staff Parish Relations Committee has met with the District Superintendent to identify our congregation’s needs and the needed skills in a pastor. We have also met with Rev. Mark Schol to better get to know him and to ask questions.

Mark (he/him) has served churches in Washington, DC, Chicago, IL, Jersey City and Hoboken, NJ. During his ministry he has become a firm believer that church is something you do, questions about faith and God are good, and community can be built anywhere.

Mark loves photography, biking, traveling with his wife Meredith, rock climbing with his daughter Elise, and laughing with his daughter Nora. He has two degrees from Boston University, a Bachelor’s in Hospitality Administration and a Master's of Divinity. 

We also want to thank Pastor Kate for her time of service with us and wish her well as she begins a new chapter in her life’s journey.

Our new pastor will work with us and the conference so that we continue to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. The Bishop, Cabinet, and our District Superintendent will work with us to continue to grow as a vital congregation. I know you will join the bishop, our new pastor and me in helping to make new disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

On a related note, I am pleased to announce that the following individuals have graciously agreed to join me in serving on the Transition Team that will help guide us through this transition process:

•         Jeanne Eisele

•         Vic Schumacher

•         Maria Meo

•         Jean-Marc Mutwale

•         Mac Cobb

We are grateful for their willingness to serve.

Thanks, and please reach out to me or any member of the SPRC or Transition Team if you have any questions.


Kevin O’Brien

Chair, Staff Parish Relations Committee

Important letter from Pastor Kate

Friends of the UMC in Madison,

It is with a heavy heart that I need to let you know that I have informed our District Superintendent, Rev. William Williams that I am accepting a job offer to become the Regional Director of Resourcing for the northern region of this GNJ Annual Conference beginning July 1, 2022.

A short time ago, I was invited to apply for this position by a colleague and employee of the conference office. At the time, I did not know of the position, nor was I looking to be reappointed to somewhere new. However, I was encouraged to apply because I was told that I bring the necessary skills to do this job well in a season of tremendous change for our conference. Surprisingly, I was informed that I was being offered the position last Sunday.

Making the decision in just a few days has been a very challenging one. I love the United Methodist Church in Madison and the work we have been able to do together over the last four years. I have been deeply grateful for this appointment and for each one of you. This church has given me the opportunity to offer leadership and support to so many exciting things:

  • To lead a wonderful staff and lay leadership team
  • To work with you to establish a vision, mission statement, and core values that this church will continue to build upon in the future
  • To navigate exciting challenges with you, like whether to take on a daycare and what to do with our properties.
  • To walk with you through in the discernment of becoming a Reconciling Congregation
  • To find new ways to help us reclaim our history and invest in our relationship to Drew University
  • To establish a tuition assistance fund for low income families at Acorn Academy
  • To formalize a regular internship process for Drew University MDiv students
  • To navigate a world-wide crisis together – and in the process, find new ways of offering pastoral support, spiritual education, and worship online. 
  • To begin an international student ministry and help students who are far from home feel supported and loved.

Friends, in just four years – even amid many challenges and more work yet to do – I believe we have faithfully lived into the call of God for this church and as a result, lives have been changed. You have taken faithful, resilient steps in seasons of joy and challenge. I believe you will continue to do so going forward because that is just who you are. I will forever be grateful for the opportunity I have had to be your pastor.

Bishop Schol and the superintendents have just begun the process of making new appointments at this time, and I have faith that they will identify the very best person to serve you going forward. The SPRC and I commit to working with the Cabinet and the congregation over these next 6 months to make this transition for you as smooth as possible. 

I invite you to keep this congregation, myself and my family, and the Cabinet in your prayers for the well-being of this church. If you have any questions or concerns about the transition process, you can direct them to Kevin O’Brien, the chairperson of the SPRC: If you have any questions or concerns for me, you can call (973-377-1231) or email me:

Thank you for leading with me, for being my church family, and for your support that goes above and beyond. The next pastor assigned to you does not yet know how lucky they are, or how much fun they will have. My prayers go with you.

Grace & Peace, 

Pastor Kate

2022 Appointments | United Methodist Church of Greater New Jersey (


Next Book Study Meeting

Tuesday the 22nd @ 10:30

Join us on Tuesdays at 10:30am for our new book study "Reading the Old Testament Through Jewish Eyes". Study will run approximately 6 weeks. Books may be picked up in the church office.

Rabbi Evan Moffic has a passion for sharing Jewish faith and traditions with Christian audiences.

In Reading the Old Testament Through Jewish Eyes, Rabbi Moffic explores the first five books of the Hebrew Bible and highlights the key points of interest to Christians. He presents the biblical text and interpretations of it in the way Jewish leaders during the time of Jesus would have studied it while examining different commentaries from thousands of years of Jewish sources.

Watch a Video


Our students will be collecting donations during the month of February benefitting Interfaith Food Pantry.

You may donate money or food.

Look for our soup pot in the sanctuary!

Membership Sunday is April 17th (Easter)

There will be three classes for new members on Sunday February 27th, March 13th and April 3rd at 11:30 in the Fellowship Hall. If you’d like to become a member of the church, please contact Lisa in the office at or 973-377-1231.




Attribution: Prayers for Reconciliation (after WWII Bombings), from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. [retrieved February 18, 2022]. Original source:

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Dear friends of the United Methodist Church in Madison,

Thank you for your continued faithful commitment to the United Methodist Church in Madison!

As we celebrate our congregation’s 150th Anniversary, we want to share the exciting ways that God has been moving in 2021 with the help of your generosity, as well as our anticipated opportunities and challenges going into 2022.

Here are just a few of the things God has done through UMC Madison this year:

  • We are reaching more families as we have seen tremendous growth from 3 students to 45 students at preschool/Daycare Acorn Academy as it reopened under the church’s ownership in the pandemic (formerly owned by Drew University).
  • We have welcomed two new international staff people: Student Assistant Pastor Woo Lim Kwak and Student Intern Domingos Francisco Fernando. These students are gaining valuable experience that will serve them in ministry for years to come in the US and beyond.
  • We have supported our neighbors through collecting coats and thousands of diapers, and we continue to support the efforts of the Interfaith Food Pantry of Morris County.
  • We have welcomed students from Drew University who are participating in the life of the church, including our new ‘Oikos’ program. ‘Oikos’ creates a welcoming space for the international student community and our congregants to share about their culture, language, and traditions of origin and provides a learning space for all to grow together.
  • We have baptized 3 little ones into our faith community and we anticipate welcoming 15 new members to the UMC Madison in spring 2022.
  • We have received over $100,000 of financial support through federal, state, and GNJ conference grants to sustain Acorn Academy through the pandemic, install a state-of-the-art security system for the church building, and begin a preschool tuition assistance program for international families at Drew University.

Even in the midst of a world-wide health crisis, God is doing great things! And all of these opportunities are possible because of your generous and faithful support through financial giving, volunteering, and prayer.

As we begin 2022, we will also be facing some challenges. Due to the pandemic, organizations that were renting building space from the church have not renewed their rental contracts. We will need to evaluate our budget and our mission going forward. In monthly meetings, the Church Council will assess our vision and mission for how to expand our impact and build missional partnerships with the church conference, our community, and Drew University in light of these new realities. The Trustees are in the process of evaluating our church properties to determine their best use. As we determine giving contributions for 2022, the Finance Committee will re-evaluate our expenses and make recommendations to the Church Council and SPRC for how to bring our expenses into greater alignment with our current financial realities and individual contributions.

In all of this, we invite you to prayerfully consider your contribution to our church in 2021 and help us close out our 150th Anniversary year strong. We would like to continue the vital work of the church in our community, even as we face present challenges.

Your donations can be given in one of three ways:

We believe that the Spirit of God is leading us into a new and exciting season of ministry here at UMC Madison. We urge you to consider being a part of it!

Noreen O’Brien, Finance Committee Chairperson

Rev. Kate Hillis, Lead Pastor


Due to the uptick in Covid cases, we will not be serving food or drink during Fellowship Hour to protect our friends and neighbors.

Offering Envelopes

If anyone would like blank offering envelopes for the year, please pick them up in the sanctuary or see Lisa in the office.


Oikos will meet Sunday, February 27th at 4pm in the library.

See you there!


Amy's Story

We will be helping with Family Promise the week of February 20th, mainly through donations of gift cards to support the families. Please follow the link below to donate online through St. Vincent's website. Thanks as always for your support!

Family Promise Host Week Donation

Dear Family Promise friends,

Thank you for your past support and interest in the Family Promise program. As you probably know UMC Madison has been supporting St. Vincent's Church in a non-contact manner while the guests have been sheltered in motel suites during the pandemic. I'm making a special appeal to some of our past volunteers and supporters to please consider making a donation for our week of support which begins on February 20.

Donations for purchase of gift cards for meals, groceries, gas and internet minutes can be made at the St. Vincent's website, which is Go to the "Serve" tab, under which you will see Family Promise Host Week donations.

In addition if you are able to donate any of the following "Wish List" items for the families in the Motel Program, it would be appreciated:

Stocking the refrigerator

Laundry soap and dryer sheets

Entertainment for the children (games, books, etc.)

Full size toiletries (like in the past)

The following items would be helpful for when the families move into their new homes:

  • plastic dish drying racks
  • mop
  • broom/dustpan
  • bucket
  • 2-slice toaster
  • 5-cup coffee maker
  • door mats (outdoor)
  • kitchen mats
  • bathroom mat/rug (gray blue beige)
  • towels (gray blue beige)

Regarding the support there are three options: Shoprite cards (or funds for such), automobile expenses (gas cards to get to jobs and appointments, funds for repairs), and case management costs for post-graduation support.

Grocery cards and auto expense support are great for families during their time in shelter, which is short-term. However, in thinking about longer-term support, case management for families once they are on their own is crucial and an especially important part of the equation in keeping families stable, living independently, and essential to prevent families from circling back to a situation of homelessness.

The FP social workers have been doing extensive case management in response to the COVID pandemic in addition to their usual shelter case work, as many families have lost their homes due to job loss and from needing to be home for virtual school for the children last year. Because of this, the need for extra support for all of the families from our social workers is at an all-time high.

We thank you so much for your consideration. Please call or email me with any questions.


Laurie Hagerich (973-377-9407)


Acorn Academy is hiring! When we say this is a great place to start, we’re not just talking about children preparing for elementary school. It’s also about our employees. When you join our staff, you’ll discover the joy of learning, as you grow and develop in your career, alongside the children in your care. As you inspire them to achieve, you’ll be inventing your future too.

-Competitive wages

-Health Insurance offered

-Supportive, working environment

Email Kareena Salo, Director of Acorn Academy:


Acorn is collecting helpful educational books for their staff library. Helpful topics include: Classroom management, social emotional teaching strategies, nutrition in early childhood, etc. Please donate these materials so that we can build the staff library at Acorn.

Thank you


Acorn is looking for volunteers to come and read to the children in another language during “Read Across America Week” 2/28-3/4/2022. Please contact Kareena if interested or call (973) 520-8889

Thank you!

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash.jpg

New COVID-19 Developments

There has been a significant rise in COVID-19 infections in the US and in Morris County in the last two months, largely due to the impact of new variants. The CDC recommends that all people regardless of vaccination status should wear masks indoors if they are in an area of substantial or high rate of transmission. While Morris County is at about 75% vaccinated, the transmission rate is also high in the entire state of NJ including Morris County, with 73% of new cases being the Omicron variant -- many of which are breakthrough cases in vaccinated people. At UMC Madison, we are asking that ALL people regardless of vaccination status wear a mask, sanitize hands, and maintain social distance to help keep one another safe. Thank you for taking care of yourself and your neighbors. 


  • Katie King and her family
  • Melda Pike's cancer treatment
  • Roseanne Fowler Bohner
  • Pastor Kate's engagement
  • Prayers for schools
  • All doctors, scientists and health care professionals battling Covid
  • Carolyn & George Currey and their family
  • Caesar - healing & strength for dealing with Parkinsons & Covid
  • Protection and strength for the First Responders in our community
  • Dan's sister Hope, whose husband has heart failure
  • Pastor Kate's new position with GNJUMC
  • Mireille's move to Fellowship Village
  • Kim Ford's family on the anniversary of her death
  • Those who can't get together with family members
  • Kathleen's calf injury
  • Edison was able to speak to his mother after a long time
  • Vic's friend, whose son David is close to death
  • Kerstin & Dick's daughter Lisa, suffering with Covid symptoms in San Francisco 
  • Kerstin's mother in Germany, living with dementia 
  • Laurie's cousin Paul Milas, starting chemo for cancer 
  • Dan's friend Diego and his wife had a son
  • Prayers for Laura Lynn whose husband died of Covid 
  • Thirteen candidates for interviewing for the ministry 
  • Prayers for our new Pastor Mark Schol and his family during this transition
  • Prayer of joy for Vidya's birthday
  • Vic's friend dying of cancer
  • Prayer of thanks for Rory and all he does for our church
  • Productive family conversations
  • Thanks for seeds sprouting - a sign of new life
  • Megan & Kyle, awaiting the birth of their first child
  • Educators trying to teach our children during the last two difficult years
  • Our Family Promise families dealing with homelessness

If you have a prayer request, please contact Lisa at

Click here to give

Church Office Hours

REMINDER: Office will be closed on Feb 21 for President's Day

Monday - Friday

9:00am - 3pm

If you have any news or announcements you would like to go into this weekly email, please contact Lisa in the church office at

 973-377-1231 or

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