“The days are coming,” declares the Lord,
“when I will make a new covenant
with the people of Israel
and with the people of Judah.
It will not be like the covenant
I made with their ancestors
when I took them by the hand
to lead them out of Egypt,
because they broke my covenant,
though I was a husband to[a] them,[b]”
declares the Lord.
“This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel
after that time,” declares the Lord.
“I will put my law in their minds
and write it on their hearts.
I will be their God,
and they will be my people.
No longer will they teach their neighbor,
or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’
because they will all know me,
from the least of them to the greatest,”
declares the Lord.
“For I will forgive their wickedness
and will remember their sins no more.”
There is a moment in every long trip where the weight of the distance ahead seems impossible. Sometimes it’s when you first shift into reverse and back out; sometimes it’s when you cross a state line and realize, wow, all these other states are very big compared to New Jersey. The road can feel too long, especially when traveling with others who get hungry or bored or who need to stop every hour or so. You wish you’d left earlier. You should’ve planned a different route. There are countless things to frustrate, anger, or just wear us down on the way to our destination.
If we only focus on how much work there is left to do or how much remains impossible, we will get discouraged. But if we instead focus on what we have come through already while looking forward to things in the immediate future then, sure, it’s clear we are well on our way.
It’s been a tough year in more ways than I could (or should) list. But we are truly approaching a series of small endings.
“Like what?” you may justifiably ask.
Well, Judy Gordley has been hard at work sharing materials for all our kids to have something like a Sunday school experience even while we are apart. Next Sunday, March 28th, we will welcome kids back into the Sanctuary and also into Fellowship Hall for in-person fun. This is a huge milestone.
Greg Stout has been diligently practicing, recording, and performing music for us throughout the pandemic. It’s easy to forget that he’s a great choir director, too, as we have had to stop singing to stop the spread. Now, however, Greg is happy to share that he will be resuming Handbell Choir rehearsals next week. This, again, is a huge milestone.
The Tuesday afternoon Bible study has gone from fully virtual to a blended in-person/online experience. Sunday morning worship will continue to be held in the church’s Sanctuary with plenty of safe space for everyone in the church to participate. We will keep hitting these mile markers large and small before and after my time as your pastor comes to a close this Summer. Then the journey will continue. We have goals to resume our local and regional mission connections while also building out the possibility of annual mission trips with partners located throughout the United States and beyond.
Seriously, we are well on our way. There is no better time to remember this than during Lent, these 40 holy days of preparation to enter into the passion and resurrection of our Lord once more. Sometimes we wait. Sometimes we wait so long we give up hope and just want to skip ahead. When that impatience kicks in, remember to look over your shoulder through where we have already come as a church. Look at the rivers you’ve crossed and mountains you’ve climbed in your own life and recognize that the welcome end is closer than it was when you started reading this, and praise God for that.
Grace and Peace,
Welcome Pastor Christopher Stanley to Flemington UMC this July 1
Flemington UMC is excited to welcome Pastor Chris to our church this Summer! The Flemington UMC Transition Team is preparing to welcome him well. For now, here is a short biography he shared with the Conference with his appointment announcement:
Chris Stanley has served in various ministry roles ranging from homeless ministry in Houston, to overseeing youth and camping ministries in upstate New York, to pastoring churches in GNJ. He received a M. Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary in 2019. Chris is passionate about teaching, finding ways of growing in discipleship together, and learning what effective holistic ministry looks like in our own day and age. He enjoys reading, watching good movies, and following the Los Angeles Clippers. He has the awesome privilege and honor of being married to his best friend, Rachel.
Easter Flower Sales
For those coming to worship in person this week, you’ll find a bulletin insert with information on how to purchase Easter flowers this year. If you’re not comfortable returning to the building just yet, you can place an order with Gretchen in the office over phone and mail or drop off payment. Call (908)782-1070 with any questions.
Continuing Coffee Hour Over Zoom
Laura Newton will host a weekly time of conversation and connection at 11:30 am after our worship service each week. Login available at 11:15am or conclusion of worship, whichever is later.
Here is a link to that time –
If you have questions or need help, you can ask Pastor Ben or Laura. Don’t be shy, you are missed and a part of this church family, too!
New Upper Rooms are Available in the Church Office
The new Upper Room Daily Devotionals are also available now. If you’d like to pick yours up, Gretchen is in the church office from 9am-noon Tuesday – Friday each week. Please call ahead so she can set whatever you are picking up out for you.
You will find every newsletter, worship service, devotional, and additional material posted to our Facebook page:
Even if you don’t use Facebook, you can access everything we have there. If you do have a Facebook account, “like” to follow our page and be notified when new things are posted or when videos are about to go live so you don’t miss anything.
Coffee Hour is a time of sharing after Sunday morning worship hosted by Laura Newton at approximately 11:30am. All are welcome!
If you have any difficulties accessing any of those links, please reply to this message or call the church office at (908)782-1070 and we will get you connected right away.