From the pastor's pen...
Dear Church Family,
I hope that your summer is going well. We will continue to worship in the fellowship hall with the air conditioning on these warm summer days. We hope to see you in worship. Our July fellowship outing, “A Day at the Races,” was postponed to Sunday, September 8th due to the excessive heat in July. This month, we look forward to our Spring Lake theatre trip and we look forward to welcoming Joe Saponaro as a new member of our church.
On the denominational fronts:
The United Church of Christ held its General Synod in Milwaukee in June. I was able to watch portions of this event on livestream. Our church was officially acknowledged as a new UCC church during this synod.
The Reformed Church Center of New Brunswick Seminary did a presentation on July 8th about what happened at General Synod 2019. Bill and I were in attendance. There is a sense of grief and dismay among many churches on the east coast that the denomination will likely pursue what they call a “purist” or “traditional” agenda at General Synod 2020. This involves more than decisions about marriage equality and LGBTQ issues only. This will involve decisions about literal interpretation of scripture and could involve a reassessment of the denomination’s position on women’s ordination, the Belhar Confession, our ecumenical relationships with other denominations and our polity structure. Our current structure gives great decision making power to local consistories and classes, while new polity may move us to much greater “top-down” organizational structure of the denomination. Our consistory would not be able to support any of these changes. This is not the RCA that we have known and loved. We will try to do whatever we need to do to continue as the welcoming and affirming church that we feel called to be.
The Classis of New Brunswick is holding a special classis meeting on August 25th to begin discussing options and strategies for the future. The classis leadership will meet with our consistory leadership in September. We have been advised to make sure that we are an incorporated entity in the state of New Jersey. We have retained an attorney to work with us on these matters. We will be holding a congregational meeting for discussion of these matters in the fall. I will continue to update you on a monthly basis.
Please continue to pray with us for God’s leading and guiding over the upcoming months. We will continue to be a church on the side of love for all people. We believe in the power of love to transform the world. Worship, work, and walk with us in the transformative months to come.
In Christ's service,
Rev. Dawn Seaman