Newton Presbytery: A Story of Peace

On World Communion Sunday, back in October, a handful of congregations in Newton Presbytery participated in the special offering for Peace and Global Witness.  From the PCUSA website: “Through the Peace & Global Witness Offering, congregations are encouraged and equipped to find and address the anxiety and discord that is prevalent throughout this broken and sinful world.”  Although this offering occurs in October, it is relevant to this season of Advent as we light the second candle, the Candle of Peace.

Here is how one particular congregation in Newton Presbytery is seeking to bring Peace into this broken world as they address suicide in their local community.  The Deacons, at the First Presbyterian Church of Boonton, saw a crisis in their local community.  “Sadly, and tragically, our community has lost more people to suicide in 2020 then it has to COVID-19.  In addition, suicides have been increasing in general due to the challenges the past 8+ months have created on so many of us.”  

Therefore, the Board of Deacons thought it was only appropriate to support the NJ Chapter of AFSP (American Foundation of Suicide Prevention) by designating their local 25% of this special offering to them with the hope that they can spread peacemaking of not just our physical self, but our mental self as well.  For more information on AFSP go to their website:

With tremendous support from the Board of Deacons, FPCB raised a total of $2,130 during the peacemaking offering/Peace and Global Witness campaign, with 25% ($532.50) being sent to the AFSP and the remaining to the PCUSA.  This is an amazing feat during these times of financial strain for so many.

It’s easy to give to the Memorial Fund

Gifts made directly to our Music and Scholarship funds are popular ways to honor members, but a gift to our general Memorial Fund finances special projects, e.g. the handicap entrance. While checks can be mailed to the church office, gifts can also be made online. Fill in the $ amount and select “Memorial Fund” from the “to” dropdown. Be sure to add the honoree’s name in the “Comments” box. FYI: 10% percent of each general Memorial Fund gift goes to Scholarship.

Holmes Public Library Update

On behalf of the Boonton Holmes Library family, I hope this email finds everyone well and safe.

At the library, we are brainstorming daily and thinking of new ways to support and assist the Boonton community during these quarantine times. We have several online services, monthly programs, and activities scheduled for residents to join and to participate in every day.

I am reaching out to you to explore any ideas or suggestions the members of your organization may have how the Boonton Holmes Library can assist, support or entertain you better. We would love to hear from you!

Following is a list of services, programs and activities we are currently providing during quarantine:

Chat Room – Monday-Friday 10-2

Pre-made craft kits for all ages

Online library card registration

HOOPLA – online borrowing eBooks, audio books, comics, movies, music & more

CLOUD Library – online borrowing books

RB Digital – online borrowing magazines and comic books

Boonton Tales: We would love to hear your story!

Yoga, Fiber Arts Club, Book Club, Story Time, Movie Nights, Happy Hour

Online lessons for ZOOM, WEBEX, FACEBOOK LIVE and more!

Volunteer opportunities

Boonton History

Boonton Times – accepting donations for digitalizing copies of the BT

Please refer to our website for more detailed information regarding the above services, programs and activities, just Reply to this email or join the Chat Room. Once the stay-at-home orders are lifted, we look forward to resuming full services in a manner that is safe for our community and staff alike.

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! 

A Future With Hope – 4th Annual Lenten Devotional

It’s hard to believe it’s that time of year again, but Ash Wednesday is a month from today!

In preparation for Lent, we are launching our 4th annual Lenten Devotional. This is a daily Lenten guide written by members and friends of this faith community and has been not only a wonderful daily companion but a terrific tool for evangelism.

Last year we posted the devotional each day online, on both our website and Facebook pages and also printed over 250 for distribution! I pray you might feel called to again, or for the first time, write a devotion this year.

This year’s theme is ” A Future with Hope” from Jer 29. Since the Lenten theme is Hope we have already selected 12 texts that speak to Hope. We thought it might be interesting to see/read different perspectives on the same texts, so there are 12 texts (repeated 3 times each) along with some more specific ones for Holy week. You can use poetry, a story from your life or from someone else’s, you can offer artwork or photography as long as you speak to the connection to the scripture.

I have attached the texts along with a sample devotional. The word limit is 430. Please keep to that limit  (which includes the date chosen, assigned scripture and the prayer) The deadline for submission is Feb 17th.I hope you will consider being part of this devotional. You never know who might read your words and find HOPE.

Lent 2020

Lent begins on Wednesday, February 26 with Ash Wednesday. Plan to join us as we explore Hope throughout the Lenten Season. We will be announcing services, bible study and more. Stay tuned!

Annual Coat Drive

As you begin to clean out your closets in preparation for the fall/winter months, the Board of Deacons is asking you to save your clean, lightly used coats and winter apparel (gloves, scarfs, hats) for our annual coat drive.  These items can be dropped off in the boxes on the bridge, near the library and by Reighart Hall. The items will be distributed to those in need during our annual coat drive on Nov. 23rd. Donation Deadline: Sun. Nov. 17th.

Presbyterian Peacemaking Program

The Deacons will be collecting monetary donations for the PCUSA Peace and Global Witness program from September 8 through October 6.  The Deacons will contribute 25 % of the total funds collected to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP).  You may use the designated envelopes provided in the pews on Sunday, or mail your donation to us:  (FPCB P.O. Box 157, Boonton, NJ 07005)  

One Great Hour of Sharing

This marks the 70th year anniversary the Presbyterian Church USA has participated in One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS). This offering is conducted during the Lent Season which begins on March 6th and concludes on Easter Sunday, April 21st.

OGHS contributions and gifts enables the Presbyterian Mission Agency to help a worldwide population affected by natural disasters, suffering from hunger, oppressed and in desperate need of humanitarian support.

The Deacons established a goal of $3,500 for our congregations 2019 offering and a large glass cylinder will be filled with colorful Easter Eggs to display our current offering.

Presbyterian USA will distribute 36% of the OGHS offerings to Hunger Programs, 32% to Disaster Assistance and 32% to Self-Development initiatives. Your offering will help to spread God’s word through Christian compassion, justice, education and peacemaking.