Weekly Update June 27

Dear CCGR Family,

Not one of us would disagree with how we sometimes wish we could back to the good old days — to simpler times — that there are so many changes taking place around us that have disregarded our traditions and values. And yes, we have to agree that some changes have been for the good of us all. We have come so far in the last few decades with advancement in medicine, technology, education, transportation, and more.  But, we have had to forfeit some of the good — like the way we communicate with each other, the social interaction with one another,  how we teach our children/what we teach our children and at what age, and the simple thought-out process of how we do things, and more.
And of course, there’s our faith — our ‘foundation’.  Faith, and emphasis on God as the focal point of households and our country, has gone by the wayside with so many; thus, churches are losing its people/it’s family — the ‘glue’ of houses of worship — to ‘other important’ things in life.
But, like the early Christians and the battles they fought against, they kept moving forward and witnessing to group after group their heartfelt belief. They were determined to follow Jesus’ teachings, the gift of the Holy Spirit and the promise of salvation. They continued with their outreach, despite rebellious opposition.
Although the changing world has given us some good, we seem to be facing more and more challenges. These tumultuous times — the pandemic and the ‘way of life’ challenges it has brought upon us — the threat of harm it has caused,  the hostilities amongst people of different walks of life, so much more seems to be cropping up to challenge our faith.
Change, though — maybe not as rapid as it is today, and life’s challenges, have always existed. Our parents, grandparents, all our forefathers have experienced ‘change’. We don’t have to let ‘change’ change our principles, our values, our belief, our commitment to Christ. As Pastor Terry refers to ‘the sign of the times’, we can let the sign of the times influence our response to many things, but as it hopefully hasn’t changed the handed-down traditions and values we’ve been gifted with, it certainly shouldn’t change what has been and will always be —- our relationship with God. He hasn’t changed; His promises remain the same; and so should our commitment and love for Him.
As Christians, we should continue to come together more than ever to face our adversities and to share our God-given gifts with one and other – to touch others’ lives. Our relationship with God; our ‘lifeline’ as Christians, should be our priority in helping to concur the challenges and the opposition we continue to face. God can help us work through any opposition.
So many God-given gifts in today’s service were shared. It was wonderful to see and hear Mason Van Vliet’s excellent reading of Scripture. (Acts 6:1-7). Such a gift to see one of our youth share in our virtual worship service. And then…, the musical talents shared by Janet Montroy are always special gifts.  How beautiful are the sounds of the organ and the piano! It was especially intriguing to see all the complicated footwork that goes into playing the organ. One would never know what actually goes on ‘behind the scenes’! How special for Janet’s gift on the piano of the wonderful rendition of ‘Jesus Loves Me’ as a tribute to Carol Lundquist, and her heartfelt words about our longtime dear CCGR member and friend to many. And how thankful are we for having Rusty Obra…, and his powerful, amazing vocal gifts he frequently shares with us. And to our Pastor, Pastor Terry, for leading us and ensuring we are gifted with his weekly inspiring messages. And, how blessed are we for the recording of these services by Boyd Lowry, enabling our church family to remain spiritually together. (See attachment for Pastor Terry’s full June 22 sermon in print or watch it again via this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lDupumySAsg.)
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
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Church School News
Candy shared this with the Church School parents, and thought you I’d share.
 
  “Two of our outstanding talented young women in our congregation — Coryn Meyers and Guilia Beaudoin, performed in a recent Glen Rock Middle School Virtual Talent Show.
Coryn performed in a Gymnastics segment, plus played Fur Elise beautifully on the piano.
Guilia sang beautifully, and expressively, “She Used To Be Mine” from the Broadway Show, ‘Waitress’. 
 
If you’d like to view the show, just go on Youtube and enter Glen Rock Middle School Virtual Talent Show. You can watch the whole thing but if you want to just focus on them, they perform from 1:17 – 1:24.”
 
“Congratulations to both Coryn and Guilia.”
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As many of us continue to remain in our homes during this time — or take precautions when we do venture out —  we ask that you continue to keep each other in prayer. 
Please continue to pray for our church members, families, and those close to us who have shared a special part of our lives — Anne Allen & Family (including Anne’s daughters, Liz & family and Sara & Boyd Lowry & Family); Laura Bird-Bennett & Family; Beryl Ferrari; Jean Franklin; Terry Gilligan & Family; Colleen Janssen & Family; Eric Lundquist & Family; Connie Sinkway and the Sinkway/Emery Family; Bob & Doris Van Ostenbridge; Rev. Jerry Wright and his family; Barbara Zucchino & Family; & the Ruth Rankin Leaper Family.
Confidential prayer requests that you would like the small group Prayer Chain to pray for may be emailed to Candy Hall at candy.hallccgr@gmail.com and Donna Nihen at blackvelvet1299@aol.com, and of course, Pastor Terry at pastor@communitychurchgr.com. (These requests will be shared only with the church small group Prayer Chain.)
Please continue to show your support to CCGR —
Though we cannot be together in person, we continue to be together spiritually as we face this health crisis together.  We are gifted with our weekly virtual services and continue to pray for each other. If you’re able during this unprecendented time, please remember supporting Community Church in your time of giving.
~God Bless,
PrayDonna

Weekly Update June 22

Dear CCGR Family,
This is an amendment to my recent CCGR Weekly Update (of 6/20/20).
It seems I inadvertently missed a couple of CCGR youth who are moving up to another school level this year. My sincerest apologies to them, as well as to their parents!
I’m forwarding an update to the ‘Church School News’ section of the ‘Update’ I had sent out last night. Please revisit this section (below), and take another look at all the CCGR children, youth, and young adults (and their parents) who have accomplished so much this year, particularly with the adversities brought on by COVID-19. God Bless All !

Church School News
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11
We all have certainly had our share of adversities this year!  Hopefully, though, with focus on our faith, we can know that God has been carrying us through this, and we will come out stronger and closer to Him as a result.
Our CCGR children, youth, parents, and teachers have especially faced their share of adversities with how the world health crisis has impacted us all, and has changed our lives. We hope that in addition to being home schooled with their academics,  time being ‘home church-schooled’ has brought families closer together in our relationship with God, and with each other.
We have now reached the season for graduations and moving up from another class — for reflections on so much of our past year, for looking forward to the future, and of course, for celebrating the unofficial beginning of summer. ‘The season of Graduation and new beginnings can bring so many mixed emotions to many of us. Though it’s a time of celebration and fresh starts, the letting go process can bring some pain too. Yet parenting is often just about that – the letting go. And whether it’s letting go as they head to Kindergarten, or letting go as they head to college, or straight off into their first job, it can be difficult. No more so in these uncertain, fearful times we are currently in as a nation and as a world.’
At this time, we ask our church family to keep our Class of 2020 graduates in prayer, to include our elementary, middle, high school, and college graduates. If you feel inclined to share your words of encouragement and prayerful good wishes with them, we’re sure they’d love hearing from you. 
Praying that God will give these children, youth, and young adults wisdom and direction in making decisions, and in all situations as they move forward in a new and exciting chapter of their lives.
Moving Up from Elementary to Intermediate – Stephen Kazimir
Graduation from Elementary to Middle School – Jovie Kazimir, Alison Montgomery, Amelia Van Vliet
Graduation from Middle School to High School – Guilia Beaudoin, Logan Briggs, Alina Fogarty, Ava Montgomery
Graduation from Glen Rock High School – Caitlin O’Brien (will be attending University of Delaware); Angelina Monti (will be attending Richard Stockton University
College Graduates – Julian Bennett (University of Michigan); Colin Jones (Binghamton University); Matt Lange (Drew University); Kaitlin Stansel (Bucknell University)
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ON Father’s Day …AND EVERYDAY ~~
Praying for all Fathers, Grandfathers, Brothers, Uncles, Sons, Son-in-laws
 and fatherly-figures — 
those who we are blessed to be with us today,
 those who have gone before us, leaving a treasured legacy of loving memories, examples to follow & priceless values to pass down,
You are forever in our hearts!!
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WITH HEARTFELT SYMPATHY
Again .., It is with sadness that I share with you the news that longtime member of our CCGR family, our Office Staff Assistant, and dear friend to all, Carol Lundquist, passed away on Saturday, June 13th. She was a wise, bright and caring human being whose warmth, smile and prayerfulness blessed our community. She was always grateful for the gifts of a visit, a phone call, and a ride to worship.  A memorial service for Carol will take place at Community Church when indoor gatherings are allowed.
Meanwhile, please keep her son, Eric, and the rest of her family in your prayers. 
Sharing below Carol’s obituary with you that was in today’s ‘Record’ (6/21). As you can see, especially for many who didn’t know Carol in earlier years, she was an amazing educated woman, athlete, educator, and had a variety of interests. Most importantly, she had a beautiful heart and love for God and her Community Church.
Carol T. Lundquist

Glen Rock – Carol T. (Torrance) Lundquist, aged 84, of Glen Rock, NJ passed away on Friday, June 12, 2020.

Born in Kearny, NJ, she resided in Glen Rock for 50 years. In 1957, she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Roanoke College in Salem, VA, where she was President of the Women’s Student Council. She was inducted into the school’s Athletics Hall of Fame for her achievements in basketball and field hockey. Prior to retiring in 2006, Carol was a teacher with the New Jersey Board of Education for 33 years, most recently with the Borough of Glen Rock Board of Education. Mrs. Lundquist was an active member of the Community Church of Glen Rock. She enjoyed being the guardian of her cat, knitting, gardening, and competing with her son while watching Jeopardy.

Carol was the beloved wife of the late Andrew Lundquist and dear sister of the late Robert Torrance III. She is survived by her son Eric Lundquist and his wife, Gina Gambone, and her sister-in-law Carol Schade-Torrance. All services are private. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in memory of Carol to The National Wildlife Federation (nwf.org). Arrangements by Vander Plaat-Caggiano Funeral Home, Fair Lawn, vpfairlawn.com.
Wishing all a beautiful, blessed week!
PrayDonna
 

Weekly Update June 14

Dear CCGR Family,
Pastor Terry shared in his last week’s sermon that “At the heart of Christianity, there is a mystery, but not one of intellectual appreciation. It’s the mystery of salvation. We cannot control our faith like we can other areas of our lives. When it comes to our faith, some things cannot be fully explained.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMxjZPJ0pA8&feature=youtu.be
In John 3:1-17, read to us by Caroline White, we hear about Nicodemus, a wealthy Pharisee leader of the supreme court for Jews (the Sanhedrin) who, unlike his hypocritical peers who wanted to eliminate Jesus, was inquisitive about Jesus and had a deep desire to know more about Him, and had many questions he wanted to ask of Him. He arranged to speak with Jesus when he would not be seen by the other Pharisees (at night), and had many questions for Him. He wanted to speak directly with Him, rather than base his thinking on rumors. He learned from Jesus that He was indeed the Messiah, and that he (Nicodemus), like all of us, are each given the opportunity to have a personal relationship with Him and will want to share what they feel, and know, in their hearts.
“God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but, in order that the world might be saved thru Him.”
Jesus reassured Nicodemus that the Kingdom would be ruled by God, restored on earth, and would include God’s people only — those who were ‘born again’ (‘born anew’) and ‘of water and spirit’. Perplexed by this phrase, Nicodemus learned from Jesus that being ‘born again’ was not a literal birth ‘again’ of yourself by your mother, but is in the hearts of those who repent and are born of the Spirit. Jesus explained the importance of a spiritual rebirth — that people don’t enter the kingdom of God by necessarily living a better life, but by being spiritually reborn. It means to put our trust and confidence in Him that He alone can save us, putting Christ in charge of now and always and promising us of everlasting life.
Jesus’ resurrection has offered the gift of salvation to all people. Once He ascended into Heaven, He sent the Holy Spirit to be offered to all on earth the choice to believe. “Although we cannot see the Holy Spririt, we can hear the sound, but do not know where it comes from or where it goes.” Faith is born of the Spirit. And we are to trust the Spirit to carry us through life, leaving our old habits behind.”
As scripture reads, “No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven — the Son of Man.  And, as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in Him may have eternal life.” In conclusion, as Pastor Terry emphasizes … “the very nature of our spirituality requires the willingness or acceptance to believe something or someone that cannot be proven or seen. This is why it’s called ‘Faith’.”
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
Thank you for this message of encouragement to us all, and for the blessings of Janet, Jodi and Boyd once again, for their beautiful musical and technical talents!!
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As we continue to remain in our homes during this time — or take precautions when we do venture out —  we ask that you continue to keep each other in prayer. 
Please continue to pray for our church members, families, and those close to us who have shared a special part of our lives — the Allen Family; the Bird-Bennett Family; Jean Franklin; the Janssen Family; the Gilligan Family (The family continues to request that no phone calls be made at the present time to Terry G. at her home; however, sending notes and cards are appreciated); Connie Sinkway and the Sinkway/Emery Family; the Zucchino Family; & the Ruth Rankin Leaper Family; for Beryl Ferrari; for Bob & Doris Van Ostenbridge & for Rev. Jerry Wright and his family.
Confidential prayer requests that you would like the small group Prayer Chain to pray for may be emailed to Candy Hall at candy.hallccgr@gmail.com and Donna Nihen at blackvelvet1299@aol.com, and of course, Pastor Terry at pastor@communitychurchgr.com. (These requests will be shared only with the church small group Prayer Chain.)
 
 
Church School News (Reminder) —
 
 It’s the season for graduations and moving up from another class, celebrating the unofficial beginning of summer. Well deserved for hard-working students and teachers, and especially this year when the school year faced a lockdown due to the viral situation and classes went online with parents working extra hard pinch-hitting to fill in the gaps with homeschooling, which is not an easy task!
At this time, we ask our church family to keep our Class of 2020 graduates in prayer, to include our elementary, middle, high school, and college graduates.
Praying that God will give these children and youth wisdom and direction in making decisions, and in all situations as they move forward in a new and exciting chapter of their lives.  Stay tuned for more in the weeks to come as we, as a church family, hope to recognize these students.  
 
Please reach out to Candy (candy.hallccgr@gmail.com) regarding more details on Church School News.
 
 
Please continue to show your support to CCGR —
Though we cannot be together in person, we continue to be together spiritually as we face this health crisis together.  We are gifted with our weekly virtual services and continue to pray for each other. If you’re able during this unprecendented time, please remember supporting Community Church in your time of giving.
~God Bless,
PrayDonna

Weekly Update with Donna

Dear CCGR Family,
Pastor Terry’s worship message from Pentecost Sunday (5/31), https://youtu.be/Khls6WG87ys brings to life what Chris Montgomery read in 1st Corinthians 12:3-13. Rewatch and reflect on how valuable this message is — reassuring each of us that as God’s children, and as His messengers, we are each unique.    We each have been blessed with the very special gift of the Holy Spirit, thus, giving us gifts to share with others, particularly that of our faith. The Holy Spirit dwells within us and serves as our leader, guide, teacher and comforter.
 Fifty days after Jesus’ resurrection, and ten days from his ascension into heaven, the disciples finally received the gift Jesus had promised them — the ‘Helper He promised them — the Holy Spirit — who would be with be with them, and in them forever. On this day of ‘Pentecost’, God sent violent winds into the house where they were sitting, filling each disciple with the Holy Spirit. The disciples began speaking in tongues — in several languages — and they spoke to the crowd surrounding them about the miracles of Jesus, His resurrection, and all that Jesus had proclaimed that was coming to be, and the truth about God making Jesus (who they had crucified) both Lord and Christ. After witnessing the day’s events and hearing from the disciples, the ‘once unbelievers’ in the crowd then wanted God to forgive their sins, to be filled with the Holy Spirit, and was eager to spread the ‘gift’ of this news to others, and then was spread to their descendants and those following.
As our bodies have different parts that serve different functional importance to the body as a whole, we each have been given different spiritual gifts by the Holy Spirit to share with our church — to make it ‘whole’. These ‘different’ gifts are the ‘thread’ that bring unity to the church (not meant to divide people), and to use them for God’s purpose. Each of our gifts have important functions to the ‘wholeness’ of the church. No one ‘gift’ (ability, creativity, or talent) is more important than another, and they are used to serve God.
We are each given our special gifts by the spirit of God, and like the powerful wind that God sent the Holy Spirit through on Pentecost that couldn’t be controlled, it gave people life, and you couldn’t have life without it. And, like the powerful invisible wind, the Spirit of the all powerful God is with us wherever we go.
The Spirit makes God alive within us — giving us life, both physical and spiritual. Though we may not feel it, it is with us.
The Spirit energizes the love of Christ within us, giving us love, kindness, faithfulness — the virtues (like forgiveness) that help make the teachings and words of Jesus come alive in us.
The Spirit makes the church alive, spreading throughout our church family, and then leading us into our outside world of neighbors, friends, and workplaces. The Spirit is with us always, so we may be able to share the message of Jesus Christ.
The gift of the Spirit brings us together for the good of God — our common goal.  We should use the gifts we have been given and encourage others to use theirs. The more we lean on the Spirit, the more we learn and grow ourselves. God wants all these things for us, and He has given us the greatest of all gifts — the Holy Spirit to help us along the way.
Thank you, God, for the gifts shared in this service (Pastor Terry’s message, Boyd Lowry’s recording, Chris Montgomery’s reading, and Janet Montgomery’s and Rusty Obra’s wonderful music!!) How blessed we are!!
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As we continue to remain in our homes during this time — or take precautions when we do venture out —  we ask that you continue to keep each other in prayer. 
Please continue to keep the Sinkway/Emery family in your prayers. Connie continues to gain strength and is doing some better, but prayers are still appreciated, including for that of their loss of their Brother-in-law and Uncle Jack. Additionally, please continue to pray for our church members, families, and those close to us who have shared a special part of our lives — the Allen Family; the Bird-Bennett Family; Jean Franklin; the Janssen Family; the Gilligan Family (The family continues to request that no phone calls be made at the present time to Terry G. at her home; however, sending notes and cards are appreciated); the Zucchino Family; & the Ruth Rankin Leaper Family; for Beryl Ferrari; for Bob & Doris Van Ostenbridge & for Rev. Jerry Wright and his family on the passing of his wife, Kay, approximately one month ago.
At this time also, we ask our church family to keep our upcoming graduates in prayer (elementary, middle, and. high school, and college graduates. Typically, this is a time of mixed emotions, but more than ever this year as we are faced with social isolation restrictions due to COVID-19, we realize the disappointment of not being able to experience the same level of celebration as others have in the past.  We hold all our graduates in our hearts in prayer.
 
 
Confidential prayer requests that you would like the small group Prayer Chain to pray for may be emailed to Candy Hall at candy.hallccgr@gmail.com and Donna Nihen at blackvelvet1299@aol.com, and of course, Pastor Terry at pastor@communitychurchgr.com. (These requests will be shared only with the church small group Prayer Chain.)
 
Again,  please try to remember Pastor Terry’s “5 at 5” prayer suggestion — to stop what we are doing at 5:00 p.m., step outside on your porch if we are able to, and take 5 minutes to pray. And if you have children, encourage them to pray also, by writing or drawing prayers of their own, or have them use chalk to write a blessing or a special message on your sidewalk or driveway for those walking by to see.
 
 
Church School News (Reminder) —
You may continue with the following, if you choose:
   – Sending ‘thank you’s’ to anyone who they can think of that have been of essential help (including healthcare workers) to you/them/or someone they know, during this challenging time.
Sharing a note Candy had sent to the Children & Youth:
Hello Everyone!  I hope the warmer weather is causing you all to enjoy more freedom as we spend more time outdoors.  The wind blowing through the trees, the birds and other natural sounds help me forget some of the restrictions that are being placed on my life in order to protect the common good.  I hope you’re able to spread your wings in ways that you enjoy too.
Thank you from Christian Health Care Center 
Attached please find a thank you note from the Christian Health Care Center for the masks we provided their essential workers.  Thank you to all those who participated in this caring, compassionate project!
Looking for Good News and Ways to Celebrate
The Community Church is hoping to have a celebration (probably be in early July in our parking lot)  for all our youth who are graduating – whether to middle school, high school, college or beyond to the great world outside.
We are still working out the possible logistics.
Look for an email or text from me because I will be contacting you to confirm that I have the correct information for your child.  We want to make sure we recognize everyone who will be making some transition next year.
 In the meantime, please know you are in my prayers as you and your children go through the countdown to the final days of this strange school year.
Stay well, safe and hopeful,
 
Please reach out to Candy (candy.hallccgr@gmail.com) regarding more details on Church School News.
 
Please continue to show your support to CCGR —
Though we cannot be together in person, we continue to be together spiritually as we face this health crisis together.  We are gifted with our weekly virtual services and continue to pray for each other. If you’re able during this unprecendented time, please remember supporting Community Church in your time of giving.
~God Bless,
PrayDonna
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