We know visiting a church can be intimidating, but don’t let that keep you away (see What to Expect). We are prepared to demonstrate Christian hospitality and to welcome you warmly. Some visitors come seeking a community of support where they can meet people, grow in their faith, and be involved in productive ways promoting justice, peace and understanding everywhere.
We also know that some people prefer to keep a low profile, blend in, come and go without too much fuzz. Whichever you are, God knows your need and brings you to this church for a purpose. Let’s explore it together.
Our particular Reformed background leads us to affirm the majesty, holiness, and providence of God who calls us, out of sheer love and freedom, to participate in the life of the church (the beloved community), living responsibly in the freedom of the children of God. We are not naïve about the presence of evil, with its varied manifestations in corruption, idolatry, tyranny, racism, violence, greed and injustice. But our courage and optimism derive from our conviction that “goodness is stronger than evil, love is stronger than hate, light is stronger than darkness and life is stronger than death.”
Christ’s victory is sure. Our beliefs originate from the scriptures of the two testaments, are defined by the historic creeds and confessions of the Church, and are interpreted in consultation with the congregations united through our connectional system.
As a congregation, we are committed to the nurture of our children and youth and to their full participation in the life and ministry of the church, the honest engagement with our sacred texts, the development of ecumenical relations, and the integration in worship of varied musical styles including contributions from the world Church. To accomplish all this, God has given us beautiful and large facilities, faithful and caring pastors, effective and professional staff persons, and diverse and dedicated leaders (see our Staff team).
Our worship has historic roots and is Trinitarian, liturgical, Reformed, and sacramental. For our texts we follow the Revised Common Lectionary. Beside hymns, we sing or chant the Psalms, and use responses and refrains from a variety of sources.
During the Passing of the Peace, people are invited to reach to their neighbor and share an expression of welcome. We reserve a deeper engagement for the time after worship (Fellowship Hour), to which everyone is invited. Children are always welcome in worship and at some point they are invited to come to the front for a short sermon geared to their developmental stage before being escorted to Sunday School classes (from September to June) or Children’s Church (July and August). But if children prefer to remain with you in worship, that is perfectly acceptable.
We take time to share joys and concerns with one another either orally or in writing, so these expressions of thanksgiving and prayer concerns may be remembered in the Prayers of the People and throughout the week. The Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper is ordinarily celebrated on the third Sunday of the month and on special days and festivals (Easter Sunday, World Communion Sunday, All Saints’ Sunday, Transfiguration of our Lord, Reign of Christ, Maundy Thursday, etc.).
We are not a pretentious congregation, so people dress in comfortable clothes with the awareness that we are, after all, entering the presence of God, and who looks, not so much on the outward appearance but, on the heart.
Robin Suydam (Co-Vice President)
Kim Patko (Co-Vice President)
David Case (Head Deacon)
Rev. Samuel Pomper
We recognize that part of our role in this area is as a repository of history. The following areas highlight some of the elements that connect us to a past quickly disappearing from Central New Jersey. Donations for several of these projects are gratefully accepted.
On May 16, 1892, the Consistory voted to seek an estimate of the cost of building a recess at the back of the sanctuary for the installation of an organ. The space was created and a contract signed in September of that year with Lewis C. Harrison of Bloomfield, NJ for a two-manual instrument with pedals.
“Said organ to be made of the best and choicest materials in the very best workmanlike manner, and erected, finished and put up in complete order.” The specifications attached to the contract called for a large instrument of 23 sounding stops, plus all the usual couplers and accessories. It also incorporated a relatively new technology described as “Harrison Improved Tubular Pneumatic Action for each Manual and Pedals.” In mechanical “tracker” action organs, the more stops that are engaged, the more finger pressure it takes to depress the keys. Tubular pneumatic action first introduced in the 1860s operated on compressed air, effectively removing any limitation on the number of stops that could be placed at one time (until then, 10 to 15 sounding stops were the most organists could handle). At first the instrument was hand pumped. Eventually it was equipped with a water motor, and after 1926 with an electric blower.
The original cost for the instrument was recorded as $3,824.94.
The prospect of rebuilding a tubular pneumatic instrument today is quite complicated requiring the removal of the components disrupting many lead tubes. Estimates for a complete factory rebuild with restoration of tubular pneumatic action sought 10 years ago (2006) put the cost at $277,225.00.