From the pastor's pen...
On August 1, 2021, I celebrated my tenth anniversary as your Minister of Word and Sacrament here at Community Church of Keyport. I started here as pastor of CCK on August 1st, 2011.
We have been through so much together in these years: I can’t believe it’s been 10 years! Remember my ordination and installation- (remember the big tent out on the church front lawn?), the challenges of Superstorm Sandy and, empowered by God, all the help we tried to give to our hurting community, Covid-19 and the temporary but lengthy end of worshiping together in person but the growth of our Facebook ministry through the grace of new technology, the building and grand opening of the Food Pantry here on property – we still have the shovel to mark the occasion and I remember all the kind things Congressman Pallone said about our church- the official adoption of our welcoming and affirming identity that eventually led to our affiliation with the UCC and to brothers and sisters of the LGBTQ community finding their way to our church family, the operating of the Bayshore Lunch Program here in our hall, our legal challenges with the township over this program, our affordable housing projects here in Keyport in partnership with the Reformed Church of Highland Park, to name just a few. I’ve been part of many senior fellowship lunches with our seniors, and adult Bible study, and lots of children’s messages, comedy included! We have hosted community workshops and support groups, created a standing social justice committee, and established the Conway community service awards. To God be the glory!
I have been blessed in my ministry here with the best partner in life and in ministry, my husband Bill. Under his leadership of the buildings and grounds committee, and with grants and your very generous support, we have, in the past 10 years, managed to have new roofs installed on the church, the fellowship hall, the parsonage, and the garage. The garage was vinyl sided. New recessed lighting was installed in the church as were new pew cushions. The interior of the church was painted, and new carpeting was installed in the church, as well. A new hardwood floor was installed in the fellowship hall, new flooring was installed in the kitchen and hall entryway. New windows and lights were installed in the hall. Kitchen and fellowship hall ceilings were repaired. We have had tree trimmings and removals, and added landscaping, gardens, memorial stones. And it seems like our members are always painting, painting, painting around property. And now we are exploring the installation of air conditioning in the Sanctuary – that’s a dream a long time in the making, and I encourage you to make a special offering to this project. It is not easy to maintain buildings built in 1848, 1862, and 1920 but God has been with us and we continue a long legacy here of honoring our physical spaces of worship as well as serving God and neighbor. Our newest service ministry will be a partnership with Meals on Wheels this September. Consistory has voted that we will provide space here for the packaging and distribution of meals to the Bayshore community. We have distributed well over $75,000 in benevolences and charitable giving in this ten year time period. We continue our mission: feeding people, body and soul. I am blessed to be one of a long line of wonderful CCK pastors and committed church members. Brothers and sisters, you are Community Church of Keyport.
God has blessed me with outstanding consistories throughout my ten-year tenure. I have had three wonderful consistory vice –presidents: George Henn, Waldo Roa, and Tom Baldino to support me and to guide us along the way and two outstanding secretaries Lois Bujalski and Roxanne English who’ve kept our office – and me- running. A special thank you to Assistant Pastor Waldo Roa without whom this church would likely not be here today. He is the pastor of my heart. And thank you to all of you, CCK congregation!
My friends, in the past ten years, we have mourned together the losses of family and friends; we have welcomed new members and babies. We have watched our children grow and flourish. We have done this together, my church family, and I remain honored and privileged to be your pastor. God has been present and faithful in and through the community that God has built up in this place. To God be the glory today and in the years to come.
In Christ's service,
Rev. Dawn Seaman