May Prayer To Go

Lord,
You are the wind in my sails.
You guide me as I steer and find direction.
You give me the strength to keep on going.
You watch over me as I navigate stormy seas.
You are the harbor where I stop for rest.
You are my encourager when I lose hope.
You are the lighthouse that keeps my path safe.
You are with me always.
Thank you.
Amen.

Message from Sarah Jane Berta, Organist/Choir Director

Life has certainly taken an interesting twist with social distancing leading to postponing music rehearsals, ringing next to each other, and singing together in the loft and with the congregation.

Our annual spring Music Sunday was planned for May 17.  Since we cannot be together in the sanctuary for this service, I would like to take this opportunity to recognize those who make our music ministry possible. 

I truly appreciate the time and talent shared by the singers and ringers at FPC-Boonton and thoroughly enjoy making music with each and every one of you.  The years of musical service within the church range from 1 year to 30+ years. 

In addition to the faithful members of our choirs, we were blessed to add new singers to the Chancel Choir and new ringers to the Handbell Choir this year. We also welcomed local musicians from the community, as well as from our congregation, to enhance our worship services.

With the new format of worshipping from the comfort of your homes, I hope you continue to enjoy the musical offerings during the YouTube videos until we can all be together again to worship and enjoy playing, ringing, and singing a new song unto the Lord! 

Produce New Fruits of The Spirit

Dear Saints,

A few weeks ago, I was awoken out of a dead sleep to a rapid banging on the side of the house, literally right outside my (open) window. It was loud, lightning-fast, repetitive, and completely annoying. But then, thankfully it stopped. Then, it started again on the other side of my window. And then it stopped. Then it began again on the wall of the condo next door. Then it got a little more distant but no less annoying. Yes, “Woody the Woodpecker”, or probably his great-grandson, was pecking away at the vinyl siding.

He went at it for about 30 minutes which honestly felt like 2 hours. I tried to go back to sleep, to no avail. A few days went by and Woody returned. To my great delight this time, Woody the IV, decided to peck on a tree in the wooded area behind my house. The sound was actually far more natural and surprisingly soothing. I imagine it was also for Woody as well as far more fruitful.

I looked up Woodpecker behavior on the Cornell Ornithology site and learned a few interesting things. Both “Woody” and “Wendys” peck at trees. Their pecking is called “drumming” and they do indeed drum on a variety of surfaces including aluminum siding, but they only capture food (insects) when drumming on trees or the ground.

In this time of increasingly difficult sheltering in place, we are learning a great deal about our selves and our habits and our families, friends, co-workers, and neighbors. Some of it may be helpful, insightful, and useful; and may produce new learning, skills, hobbies, and the like. Some of your experiences, communications, efforts may feel a little annoying and futile. Like…yup, banging your head against the wall.

Many of you are familiar with the definition of insanity: “Doing the same thing over and over, but expecting different results.” While few of us may be enjoying this time of sheltering in place there are always invitations from God awaiting us.

A dear friend and colleague who is an “empath”, (someone who feels things very deeply and intensely) has been increasingly overwhelmed with all the suffering and loss that the world is experiencing due to the virus. Her therapist helped her reframe her energy into becoming an active prayer companion for all those who do not or cannot find the words to pray. She has decided to let her heart become “ A fertile ground where God can plant new insights, grow her strength, and produce new fruits of the Spirit”. This may feel a little too esoteric for some but perhaps we can all use this time wisely to look at the places in our lives where we’re banging our head against the wall, unaware that it’s plastic siding where there’s no food, just frustration.

Seeking fruits of the Spirit with you,
Jen