We Care! We Serve! We Believe!
From the Laptop of Pastor Jane
Did you know it is NEVER too late to say “thank you” or “you are special”? Two weeks ago I received an amazing note in the mail from Watts Street Baptist Church in Durham, North Carolina. If you recall, 10 years ago their church was on their way to a mission trip up north and needed a place to stay. We opened our church to this bus load of youth and their leaders both going to camp and on their way back. Kelly, one of their youth at the time and now a youth leader, sent me several notes. Let me share them with you.
Dear Pastor Jane: I hope you and everyone at Preak-ness are doing well. This past weekend we had a Youth Retreat with a theme focusing on “Hospitality”. I told the story (which follows this paragraph) of you and your church hosting us on our way to camp 10 years ago. The story made an impression today and when I asked our youth to write a “Random Act of Kindness” note later on the retreat, one youth chose to write to you.
Here is what she shared with her group on their re-treat:
Several years ago, the Watts Street youth experienced an unbelievable display of hospitality on our way to the PASSPORT mission camp in Boston.
Several months before camp, I was looking for a place where we could spend the night on the way up to Bos-ton and on the way back. All I wanted was some floor space and a few showers. I called an American Baptist Church in New Jersey and spoke to one of the minis-ters. She said, “Well, we don’t have showers but we can sure accommodate you!” When she said they did-n’t have showers, I was ready to move on and call the next church but the woman was so enthusiastic about us coming, I could not say no!
And so, on July 18, we arrived at Preakness Baptist Church in Wayne. As we drove into the parking lot, we saw a message on the church sign, “Welcome, Watts State Mission Team.” As we got off the bus, we were greeted by a whole team of church members, including a few of their youth and several senior adults. They offered us two nice rooms with couches where the girls could sleep and told us that the guys could sleep in the sanctuary. I must have raised an eyebrow because the minister quickly added, “no really, it’s fine, the guys can sleep in the sanctuary!”
After enjoying recreation outside and a game room inside, we were overwhelmed by the sheer volume of snacks they had for us: ice cream, brownies, cookies, chips, drinks, etc. They even hooked up a garden hose to the kitchen sink so we could have hot showers out-side.
The next morning, they had all kinds of breakfast foods for us. Then they gave each one of us a goody bag with our names on them. Each bag was loaded with snacks and candy and also included a hand-written note from a church member. Before we left, the minister prayed for us. Of course, she prayed for us as Watts State, not Watts Street, but we did not have the heart to tell her she had our name wrong!
At the end of the week, we spent some time sight-seeing in Boston and didn’t arrive back at the church until 11 p.m. Yet, there was still a greeting party waiting for us. And again, there was an amazing amount of snack foods set out for us. When they over-heard that some of our youth were running low on money for meals for the next day, they decided to take matters into their own hands. They ran out to the gro-cery store and at midnight, they were busy making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for each of us! In the morning, they loaded us up with breakfast, a cooler full of sandwiches, a cooler full of bagels and cream cheese, armloads of snacks and Gatorade, and then came the kicker: they apologized that the gifts they had ordered for us had not arrived yet.
When you receive this kind of extravagant hospitality and kindness from total strangers, you have to say to yourself, “now this is the way God wants us to treat one another”. We knew when we got to our mission sites at PASSPORT that we now had the opportunity to pass on the Christian love we had received lavishly in New Jersey.
Thank you card also received from Thomas Park, 8th grade, from Watts Street Baptist Church: (on the bul-letin board now)
Dear Preakness Baptist Church,
Ten years later, the legend of your hospitality to our group is still passed down from generation to genera-tion! As a 3rd generation youth group member, I would love to once again voice our un-ending thanks to you for letting our brothers sleep in your sanctuary. Wish I could have been there!
What a surprise to receive these notes in the mail and to remember that experience once again. I re-member Aunt Marge Parisen heading to the hard-ware store to get the right piece to attach to our kitchen sink (I still have that in my office drawer) so we could supply hot showers outside to the youth and I remember staying up (Marge too) making many peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
In November, with Thanksgiving around the corner, may we not miss the opportunity to pass along kind-ness, hospitality and to let others know just how much we care! It can make a world of difference!!
Happy Thanksgiving! I am blessed to be your Pastor and friend. Thank you!
WE PRAY FOR
Restored Health: Jerry Buonomo, Rich Rebecky, David P. Smith, Ethel Van Der Horn, Missy Lamkin, Brian Marshall, Ellie Dillon, Carol Natoli, Chona Lentini (Rose Belizario’s sister), Diane Buonomo, June Bierwas, Bar-bara Conklin, Kim Komarnicki, Sheila Zieger, Michele Van Gurt (Sheila Zieger’s grand-daughter), Herb Zieg-er, Jr., Sherrie Piroso (Bonnie Voellmy’s cousin), and Chris Masi
Shut-ins: Claire Wallenburg, Helen Nerder, and Joan Betsy
Lost Loved Ones: Carol Munch and family
Mission and Military: The Good Shepherd Mission; Barbara and Hilary Gierman at Camp Lebanon; Hilltop Haven; Jaelon Santillan-Magat and all those serving in the military
Holy Grounds Café: The café is now open from 9:45 to 10:27 a.m. for a cup of coffee and fellowship. Come spend a few moments catching up with friends! If you would like to bring a treat to share one Sunday, please let Rose Belizario know. Thanks!
Joanne’s Joy: Our next meeting will be November 3rd following the morning service. Christmas plans will be made at this time. Reminder: Gift card orders are taken on the first Sunday of each month. (Gift card orders for Christmas are due no later than December 1st, so get your list ready.)
Young at Heart Our next program will be book reviews on November 5th. We will start at 11:00 a.m. Please bring a sandwich, soup and dessert will be provided.
Combined Board Meeting: Our Combined Board will be meeting on Sunday, November 10th, following Morning Worship.
W.I.N. Thanksgiving: Our donation this year will be 40 pies and 2 turkeys. Envelopes will be in the narthex to assist with this wonderful community outreach.
Decorating the Sanctuary: Come join us on November 17th at 6:00 p.m. for a light dinner followed by deco-rating the Sanctuary for Christmas. Remember the more hands we have to help, the easier it becomes for our body of Christ.
Morning Worship Service each Sunday at 10:30 a.m. Please join us.
It’s Time to Pray! The congregation will come together every Sunday morning at 9:30 in the sanctuary for a time of prayer. All are encouraged to attend as we pray for our church family and its future. Café will open following prayer.
Movie Night: Please join us and tell your neighbors and friends about our Family Movie Night, November 22nd, 7:00 p.m. The Sight and Sound presentation of “Noah” will be shown on the big screen. Snacks will be available. Admission is one non-perishable item for the W.I.N. pantry. Our own Uber transportation will be available for those who do not wish to drive at night.
The Homeless in Hoboken: Did you know how much the homeless in Hoboken appreciate the little things in life? Whether clothing, powder, sneakers, socks, or under-wear, they always say thank you even if we do not have what they need! If you can help with underwear, pow-ders, deodorants, or socks, please leave them in my of-fice with your name and how much it cost so we can credit your statement accordingly.
Blessing Bags for the Homeless: Thank you to everyone who provided items and donations for our 50 blessing bags. Thank you for making a difference.
New Addresses: Laura & Owen Murphy’s address is 22-31 Rosalie Street, Fair Lawn, NJ 07410.
Claire Wallenburg‘s new address is Mountain view Gardens, 4 Cedar Crest Drive, Room 1204, Pompton Plains, NJ 07444. Please update your directories.
Healing Hands & Heart: Our November gathering will be November 21st, 1:30 to 3:00 p.m. Our Decem-ber gathering will be on December 17th. We will meet at the home of Pastor Jane. We are studying Rick Warren’s series “Handling Difficult Questions.”
God Sightings: Bible Study: God Sightings will meet-on Wednesday, November 6th and 20th, beginning at 7:00 p.m. and will be held at the Holy Grounds Café at church. All welcome!
Out to Sort Club: We are beginning a new serving endeavor called “Out to Sort Club” to assist St. Timo-thy’s monthly with sorting donated clothing. We will meet the first Monday of each month at St. Timothy’s from 9:00 to 11:30 a.m. (11/4, & 12/2). Come from being “out of sorts” to “sort with us”! It will bring you a smile as you serve!
Where Is Pastor Jane? (WIPJ): Watch your bulletins and check your email for any changes.
- 11/3, 4:45 p.m., at the Pompton Queen Diner, Route 23, Pompton Plains. After dinner she will be going to the Voices of Praise concert at the Chapel in Pequannock. She welcomes all to join her. If you need a ride, she will be happy to pick you up between 4 and 4:30 p.m. Please let her-know.
- 11/14, 5:30 p.m., at Miranda’s, Rte. 23, Wayne
- 11/20, 1:30 p.m., at Portabella’s, Ramapo Valley Road, Oakland
Pastor Jane will be away from 11/25 to 12/10 to spend time with family and friends.
- 12/11, 5:30 p.m., at Bensi’s, Berdan Avenue, Wayne
- 12/20, 4:00 to 7:00 p.m., Open House and Christ-mas Sing-Along at the home of Pastor Jane. Soup and sandwiches will be provided, you bring the homemade Christmas cookies.
Sanctuary Choir: Come, join our choir! We are so blessed with amazing talents at Preakness and yours might be one of them! The choir practices once a month and the next practice will be Wednesday, November 13th at 7:30 p.m. Don’t miss the opportunity to share your gifts.
There will also be “His Christmas Story in Song” on December 15th. Special rehearsals will be on 12/4, 12/8, and 12/14.
Memorial Garden Dedication: On Sunday, No-vember 17th, we will dedicate our newly renovat-ed Memorial Garden and Holy Grounds Café as part of our worship service. We will be remember-ing Charles Baisch, Jason Flaker, Shirley Flaker, Paul Housleben, Marge Parisen, Jim Pille, Irma, Jerilynn, and Henry Shiman, David H. Tanis, Norma and Ray Tarantino, Irene Voellmy, and Fred Wallenburg. A time of fellowship and “coffee and …” will follow. Save the date!
Communion & Commitment Sunday: November 24th, 10:30 a.m. On this Thanksgiving Sunday, come join us as we worship at 10:30 a.m., reflect on the sermon topic “Empty Hands and Open Hearts,” and conclude worship with Communion and making our Commitment to Jesus and His church for 2020. A special letter with our antici-pated budget for 2020 and a commitment card will be sent in the mail the week of November 17th. Thank you for your continued love and com-mitment to Preakness.
Voices of Praise Concerts: “Indescribable” will be presented on Saturday, November 2nd , 3:00 and 7:00 p.m. at Cedar Hill Christian Reformed Church, 422 Cedar Hill Ave., Wyckoff, and Sunday, Novem-ber 3rd, 7:00 p.m. at The Chapel, 264 Jacksonville Rd., Lincoln Park. Our own Beverly Radway will be singing with the group.