Weekly Update on 9/6/2020

Dear CCGR Family,
 
We continue to be blessed with being able to worship virtually in our homes, with ongoing deep appreciation to Boyd Lowry for recording CCGR’s weekly church services.
Please take a look back over the below last couple of weeks’ service recordings, and hear once again to the inspiring messages shared.
In addition to Pastor Terry’s weekly messages, we are thankful to Janet Montroy and the blessings of the beautiful music she shares with us…her talented gifts on the organ and piano, and for bringing us such wonderful guest soloists and instrumentalists.
How grateful are we having had Reverend Phyllis Palsma back again while Pastor Terry was away.
Community Church of Glen Rock Sunday Worship Service: August 23, 2020
Led by Reverend Terry O’Brien  https://youtu.be/OHRi5Z_1PaM
Scripture – Matthew 7:7-12 (Reader: Bruce Beal)
Organ Prelude: “Crown Him With Many Crowns” (arranged by Michael Burkhard)
(Janet Montroy)
Vocal Solo: “Make Me a Channel of Your Peace” (arranged by Sebastian Temple)
(Rusty Obra, Tenor)
Piano Solo after Sermon: “Here I Am, Lord” (arranged by Mark Hayes)
(Janet Montroy)
Community Church of Glen Rock Sunday Worship Service: August 30, 2020
Led by Reverend Phyllis Palsma https://youtu.be/KdCfoEeABKE
Scripture – Exodus 3:1-13 (Reader: Laura Bird Bennett)
Organ Prelude, Piano Solo, Organ Solo, Postlude
(Janet Montroy)
As Bruce Beal shared with us on August 23rd in his scripture reading from Matthew about “Asking, Seeking, & Knocking”, Jesus encourages us to continue to pursue God, despite assumptions that He hasn’t answered prayers for our ‘wants and our needs’. God will respond with what He thinks is best for us, in His timing, and we are encouraged to have patience, wisdom, and understanding that all His responses are out of His love for us. And we have the Holy Spirit to help us through that.
God wants us to be focused on the ‘today’ of our lives (the ‘happy todays’ and the ‘troubled todays), with Jesus reminding us “Do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will bring worries of its own.” Realizing hardships are a part of life, we must trust that God will bring us through our ‘today’s’ — to appreciate what we have in our ‘todays’, and that He is there with us, and will be there for all our ‘tomorrows’. Believing that God keeps His promises and that He is there for us, will help us grow stronger in our faith and gain peace within ourselves. Hardships will be handled with God’s help and protection, and as long as we wait and have faith, we’ll grow to trust more and be less doubtful.
But the main thing God wants us to have more of is time with Him — time spent with Him, to grow to have trust in Him, and to grow to gain wisdom to ‘do to others as you would have them do to you”. With God as the center of your days, you’ll have His love and guidance each step of the way.

Particularly beautiful during this 8/23 worship was Janet’s “Here I Am, Lord” piano rendition; it inspired me to look deeper into the background of the hymn. You may find this information interesting, as well.
I also found this beautiful YouTube video version you might want to follow along with.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K6fYAiqV-Bs
You may follow along with either Janet’s piano rendition, and/or the Youtube version. (See lyrics below.)
The Story Behind “Here I Am, Lord”
“Here I Am, Lord”, also known by its first line, “I, the Lord of sea and sky”, is a Christian hymn written by the American composer Dan Schutte in 1981. Its lyrics are inspired by the Bible verses Isaiah 6:8 and 1 Samuel 3 as this powerful song is a testament to Schutte’s Godly devotion. The chorus speaks of his dedication stating, “I will go, Lord, if you lead me” emphasizing the motives of humility and a willingness to act in accordance with the Lord’s will. May you be encouraged by the brilliant words and melody of this wonderful hymn!”
“Dan Schutte, the hymn’s author, never assumed the tune would become so well-known. Mr. Schutte was a Jesuit in his early thirties learning theology in Berkeley, California when one of his friends requested him to compose a song for a forthcoming ordaining Mass of deacons.
Schutte has stated that he frequently used Scripture as the foundation of his songs, so as he thought about the concept of being called for the ordaining Mass, he looked to the stories of the prophets, like Jeremiah, who asked God to bestow him with the best words to use.
Schutte describes his inspiration of the chorus as, “In all those stories, all of those people God was calling to be prophets have expressed in one way or another their humanness or their self-doubt.”
This biblical sense of doubt joined with counsel from the other St. Louis Jesuits was the reason Mr. Schutte altered the lyrics from a certain “Here I am, Lord; here I stand, Lord” to the self-doubting ultimate version: “Here I am, Lord; is it I, Lord?”

I, the Lord of sea and sky, I have heard My people cry. All who dwell in dark and sin, My hand will save. I who made the stars of night, I will make their darkness bright. Who will bear My light to them? Whom shall I send? Here I am Lord, Is it I Lord? I have heard You calling in the night. I will go Lord, if You lead me. I will hold Your people in my heart. I, the Lord of wind and flame, I will tend the poor and lame. I will set a feast for them, My hand will save Finest bread I will provide, Till their hearts be satisfied. I will give My life to them, Whom shall I send? Here I am Lord, Is it I Lord? I have heard You calling in the night. I will go Lord, if You lead me. I will hold Your people in my heart.


The hymn begins with the verse:
I, the Lord of sea and sky
I have heard my people cry
All who dwell in dark and sin
My hand will save
What a powerful reminder of God’s power! There is so much truth in the opening to this song. The Bible tells us that God is the Lord over the seas and sky:
6 You alone are the LORD. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship you.  (Nehemiah 9:6 )
The Bible also explains that He listens to our cries:
I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry.
He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God (Psalm 40:1-3).
The Bible also reminds us that God will save us from darkness and our sins!
13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves (Colossians 1:13)
The chorus is a response to the Lord’s calling us into action! It is not enough to simply hear the word of God. he wants us to act! He wants us to serve Him and each other.
Here I am, Lord. Is it I, Lord?
I have heard you calling in the night
I will go, Lord, if you lead me
I will hold your people in my heart
The next verse speaks to God’s might and His promises. He is so powerful that he made the stars in the Heavens. So we can trust when He says He will make the darkness bright.
I, who made the stars of night
I will make their darkness bright
Who will bear my light to them?
Whom shall I send?
The final verse speaks to the resurrection. Only our Father who loves us so much would send His son to earth to sacrifice His very life so that we may live. He truly did bear our pain! In the shortest verse in the Bible it is simply written, Jesus wept. (John 11:35)
I, the Lord of snow and rain
I have borne my people’s pain
I have wept for love of them
They turn away
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As many of us continue to remain close to home 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 — 
Please continue to pray for Doris, sons Rob, Eric, and Mark and all the Van Ostenbridge family for the recent loss of Bob — a devoted husband, father, and grandfather, and faithful friend to so many.
 
Our ongoing prayers continue for Anne Allen & Family (including Anne’s daughters, Liz & family and Sara & Boyd Lowry & Family); Ed Archbold; Rich Balch & family (on the recent passing of Rich’s Mother, Eleanor); Laura Bird-Bennett & Family; Okey Chenoweth & Family (on the recent passing of Jane); Rich Dethmers; Beryl Ferrari; Jean Franklin; Terry Gilligan & Family; Colleen Janssen & Family; Eric Lundquist & Family; Connie Sinkway and the Sinkway/Emery Family;  Rev. Jerry Wright and his family; Barbara Zucchino & Family; the Ruth Rankin Leaper Family.
 
~~~
 
In addition, please keep all those whose lives have been affected and lost by the blazing ravaging wildfires in Northern California; and
those whose lives have been lost and devastated from the severe damages caused by Hurricane Laura in Louisiana and Texas (and Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico.) Many of us have family and/or friends in these parts of the country.
 
We pray that God continues to strengthen, comfort, and provide for all who have lost loved ones, their homes or vehicles, special heirlooms in these disasters and that aid is provided in helping to put lives back together.
 
~~~
College Bound Clipart.jpg
Two of our church families are sending their young adults off to college for the first time —  Caitlin O’Brien (University of Delaware) and Angelina Monti (Stockton University) — and we ask that you remember them in prayer. As many of us know, anticipation of being a college freshman is exciting, yet stirs up mixed emotions and can create anxiety for both students and their families. During these unprecedented times, as we continue to navigate COVID-19, we especially ask that you keep these young women and their families in prayer and that they adapt safely to their new lives away from Glen Rock.
Suggested prayers for parents to pray for our college students during this time:
 
Lord, as my child embarks on his/her college years, we ask that You would guide and protect him/her. College is an amazing time, but it’s also a time when many young people become unfocused on their faith and divert their attention to following their peers. Please protect him/her. Please guide him/her to make the right decisions when it comes to peer pressure, partying and other negative influences. Please also help him/her to be a witness in the classroom and out of the classroom. I also ask that You would help him/her to seek Your will. In Jesus’ name, Amen
BackpackBlessing_Graphic.jpg
We also ask that you keep all our children, youth and young adults in prayer as they head back to elementary, middle and high school in a few weeks (whether it be in person or virtually), as well as our college undergrads and recent graduates as they move forward with their education and future. We also pray for their teachers whose lives have been dramatically changed as well.
Suggested prayers for parents to pray for students entering elementary, middle, and high school during this challenging time:
 
Elementary School-Age:
“Lord, please bless our child. We ask in this back-to-school prayer that You give him/her strength and courage to be away from his family — and that You sustain and guide him/her as he/she learns and grows. We ask that You protect and be with him/her this school year and that You equip us as parents to help guide him/her. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
Middle School-Age:
“God, as my child heads toward middle school I pray that You would guide him/her. There are new pressures coming as high school approaches. I ask that you protect my child’s heart and mind. Help him/her to focus on You and to remember You in his/her interactions with others. I also pray that You would help him/her to find the right friends and influences. Please guide me as a parent as I navigate the middle school waters and help guide my child.  In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.” 
High School-Age:
“Lord,  Please guide our family and protect our child throughout these high school years. I pray that You protect him/her against peer pressure, and that You help him/her to take his/her studies seriously. Peer pressure concerns me, especially in a culture that embraces so many values that contradict what we have tried to follow in our family. Please protect him/her as he/she navigates the waters of high school. I am so grateful for the ways in which You have guided my life and I pray You do the same for my child. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”
Praying for Students, Teachers, and FamiliesClipart.jpgAnd, A Prayer for our Teachers:
Lord, I recognize that prayer for teachers is essential. Please help my child’s teacher(s) have strength and perseverance this upcoming school year. I ask that You would also give clarity so that he/she can focus on academics and imparting knowledge and wisdom on the children. Please help the school year to move smoothly for everyone this year. In Jesus name, Amen.
During these stressful times, we pray that God walks alongside these parents and students, and teachers, to reassure them of His presence and His peace.
 CCGR PRAYER RESOURCES – 
 
Are you looking for a quite place to pray, or others to pray for you?
 
CCGR’s sanctuary continues to be open for prayer and meditation each Wednesday from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Please feel free to come by anytime during these hours, in the quietness and peaceful solitude of our church. Feel free to stay as long as you’d like. Know that all precautions have been taken to make our sanctuary a safe place. Please use the entrance/exit doors adjacent to the Memorial Garden.
 
For those more ‘private’ prayer requests, it gives us comfort knowing our church has a small group ‘CCGR Prayer Chain’. We share prayer needs in confidence on a regular basis those prayers shared with us that you would like to be kept private. If you have a need for prayer that you feel you would like us to share confidentially amongst the small group Prayer Chain, please email requests to Candy Hall at candy.hallccgr@gmail.com and Donna Nihen at blackvelvet1299@aol.com, and of course, Pastor Terry at pastor@communitychurchgr.com
 
~~~
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 unprecedented time, please remember supporting Community Church in your time of giving. In addition to mailing contributions, you may access CCGR’s website and donate on-line, as well:  https://communitychurchgr.com
CCGR Book Group
The next Zoom CCGR Book Group Meeting is scheduled for Friday, September 11 at 7 p.m. Current reading is “The Redheads by the Side of the Road” by Anne Tyler.
Community Thrift Shop
The Community Thrift Shop is now open — with limited hours — to receive donations of clothes, linens, and shoes, and some bric-a-brac. They are now beginning to receive fall and winter items. They request that you limit clothing to 2 kitchen plastic garbage-size bags (or 4 paper grocery bags), and 2 small boxes for bric-a-brac.
Their current ‘limited’ hours are:
Monday: Drop-off Only (10 a.m. – 2 p.m.)
Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday: Open for Sales (10 a.m. – 4 p.m.)
Wednesday &  Friday: Closed
 
 (85 Godwin Avenue, Midland Park  — in the lower level behind Kings Shopping Center; 201-652-7661)
 
*Please remember to mention ‘Community Church‘ (#3), as we will receive a percentage of any of our donated items.
God Bless!Pray
~Donna
P.S. —-
A Message from CCGR’s Office Staff — Josh Gottheimer’s Office Outreach of Support:
For your information only — Barbara Zucchino (from our church office)  suggested I share the following:
 “Katie (201-803-0560), from Josh Gottheimer’s office,  called our church office relaying that any members of our congregation having problems with social security, unemployment, grants, etc., can call her for help.”  (Gotheimer’s main office # is 201-389-1100.)
PLEASE NOTE:  (If you do end up calling, we suggest you do not provide any personal information, i.e., social security number, bank account number, etc.)

Weekly Update – August 20

Dear CCGR Family,
 
We give thanks for having the gift of Reverend Phyllis Palsma and Pastor Tim Dunn as our visiting Pastors, leading our services on Sunday, August 9th and 16th respectively, while Pastor Terry was away on vacation. Below are the scripture readings and musical selections shared with us during those services.
Thank you, as well, to all who participated in these services, and to Boyd Lowry, for making them virtually available to us!
Community Church of Glen Rock Sunday Worship Service: August 9, 2020
Led by Reverend Phyllis Palsma   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CW8kKLIpbyM
Scripture – 1 Kings 19: 4-15                                             Reader:      Candy Hall
Prelude – Toccata in Seven – John Rutter                        Organist:    Janet Montroy
Vocal solo – Safe Within Your Arms – Mark Hayes           Soloist:       Stephanie Beaudoin, Soprano
Piano solo – Be Still My Soul – Lloyd Larson                    Pianist:        Janet Montroy
Community Church of Glen Rock Sunday Worship Service: August 16, 2020
Led by Reverend Tim Dunn     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BfiVSBpk-bA
 
Scripture – 1 Kings 19:11-12 & Mark 4:35-41                  Reader:      Joanna Van Vliet
Organ Prelude – Rise Up, Ye Saints of God                    Organist:     Janet Montroy
Piano Solo – In The Garden – Stan Pethel                       Pianist:        Janet Montroy
After sermon organ –                                                       Organist:      Janet Montroy
He Leadeth Me: O Blessed Thought – Dale Wood
 CCGR PRAYER RESOURCES – 
 
Are you looking for a quite place to pray, or others to pray for you?
 
CCGR’s sanctuary continues to be open for prayer each Wednesday from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Please feel free to come by anytime during those hours, for prayer in solitude and the peaceful surrounding of our church. Feel free to stay as long as you’d like. Know that all precautions have been taken to make our sanctuary a safe place. Please use the entrance/exit doors adjacent to the Memorial Garden.
 
For those more ‘private’ prayer requests, it gives us comfort knowing our church has a small group ‘CCGR Prayer Chain’. We share prayer needs in confidence on a regular basis for those prayers shared with us that you would like to be kept private. If you have a need for prayer that you feel you would like us to share, please see the notation below under the ‘Praying for You’ section.
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As many of us continue to remain close to home 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 — 
 
As Pastor Terry has shared with you, we mourn the loss of our dear friend and CCGR family member, Bob Van Ostenbridge, who peacefully passed away at home on Sunday evening, August 9, surrounded by Doris and all his family. 
A reminder that visitation hours to pay respect to Doris and family will be held this afternoon (Thursday, 8/20) in our sanctuary between 2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.  Please continue to hold Doris and her three sons, Rob, Eric, and Mark, and their families, in your prayers.
 
As Janet (Montroy) mentioned in her piano selection in honor of Bob during this past Sunday’s worship, “Bob treated everyone with both fairness and kindness. He lived his life with integrity and honesty, and will be very much missed.” Here are the words to this beautiful hymn Janet played in honor of Bob — “In The Garden”, one of his favorite. I am sure you can recall, as I do, singing this hymn from our church school days. You might want to listen again …, and follow along with the words below, as we hold Bob in our memory and prayers.
In the Garden 
By C. Austin Miles 1868-1946
I come to the garden alone,
While the dew is still on the roses;
And the voice I hear, falling on my ear,
The Son of God discloses.
And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.
He speaks, and the sound of His voice
Is so sweet the birds hush their singing;
And the melody that He gave to me
Within my heart is ringing.
And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.
I’d stay in the garden with Him
Though the night around me be falling;
But He bids me go—thru the voice of woe,
His voice to me is calling.
And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.
An interesting brief  background on C. Austin Miles, and what prompted him to write the words to this hymn:
Miles’ hobby was photography, and he had managed to build his own “darkroom” for developing his film. He discovered one day that he could read his Bible in the special “red lighting” of the darkroom. He often read passages of scripture as he waited for the developing process to finish. Since he was a musician and a songwriter, he often found himself reading with the express purpose of getting ideas for Christian songs.
One day in March 1912, Miles, while developing film and waiting for the process to complete, picked up his Bible. It had fallen open to John, chapter 20. He found in that chapter the story of Mary’s coming to the garden to visit the tomb of Jesus. As she looked into the tomb her heart sank because he wasn’t there. He, standing nearby, spoke to her, and she recognized Him. Her heart leaped for joy!
Miles imagined that he was present with them in the garden on that glorious occasion, witnessing the wonderful event. When his thoughts returned to the business at hand in the darkroom, he was gripping his Bible. His muscles, according to his own recollection, were tense and vibrating. Reverently he thought, “This is not an experience limited to a happening almost 2,000 years ago. It is the daily companionship with the Lord that makes up the Christian’s life.”
In the inspiration of those moments, he wrote a poem. He later said the words and phrases came quickly. That same evening he composed a musical setting, and in doing so gave to the world a song that has now become extremely well-known, “In the Garden,” which became one of the most loved Gospel hymns of all time.
 But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping . . . 
Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? . . .
Jesus saith unto her, Mary.
She turned herself, and saith unto Him,
Rabboni, which is to say, Master.

– John 20:11,15,16
 
Please let us continue to pray for Anne Allen & Family (including Anne’s daughters, Liz & family and Sara & Boyd Lowry & Family); Ed Archbold; Rich Balch & family (on the recent passing of Rich’s Mother, Eleanor); Laura Bird-Bennett & Family; Okey Chenoweth & Family (on the recent passing of Jane); Rich Dethmers; Beryl Ferrari; Jean Franklin; Terry Gilligan & Family; Colleen Janssen & Family; Eric Lundquist & Family; Connie Sinkway and the Sinkway/Emery Family;  Rev. Jerry Wright and his family; Barbara Zucchino & Family; the Ruth Rankin Leaper Family.
 
 CCGR PRAYER RESOURCES – 
 
Are you looking for a quite place to pray, or others to pray for you?
 
CCGR’s sanctuary continues to beopen for prayer each Wednesday from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Please feel free to come by anytime during those hours, for prayer in solitude and the peaceful surrounding of our church. Feel free to stay as long as you’d like. Know that all precautions have been taken to make our sanctuary a safe place. Please use the entrance/exit doors adjacent to the Memorial Garden.
 
It gives us comfort knowing our church has a small group ‘CCGR Prayer Chain’. We share prayer needs in confidence on a regular basis for those prayers shared with us that you would like to be kept private. If you have a need for prayer that you feel you would like us to share confidentially amongst the small group Prayer Chain, please email requests to Candy Hall at candy.hallccgr@gmail.com and Donna Nihen at blackvelvet1299@aol.com, and of course, Pastor Terry at pastor@communitychurchgr.com
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 unprecedented time, please remember supporting Community Church in your time of giving. In addition to mailing contributions, you may access CCGR’s website and donate on-line, as well:  https://communitychurchgr.com
Community Thrift Shop
The Community Thrift Shop is now open — with limited hours — to receive donations of clothes, linens, and shoes. They are now beginning to receive fall and winter items, in addition to summer.
If you have any ‘bric-a-brac’, please call before you drop off, as the need for these items changes weekly.
 
Their current ‘limited’ hours are:
Monday: Drop-off Only (10 a.m. – 2 p.m.)
Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday: Open for Sales (10 a.m. – 4 p.m.)
Wednesday &  Friday: Closed
 
 (85 Godwin Avenue, Midland Park  — in the lower level behind Kings Shopping Center; 201-652-7661)
 
*Please remember to mention ‘Community Church’ (#3), as we will receive a percentage of any of our donated items.
God Bless!Pray
~Donna
P.S. —-
A Message from CCGR’s Office Staff — Josh Gottheimer’s Office Outreach of Support:
For your information only — Barbara Zucchino (from our church office)  suggested I share the following:
 “Katie (201-803-0560), from Josh Gottheimer’s office,  called our church office relaying that any members of our congregation having problems with social security, unemployment, grants, etc., can call her for help.”  (Gotheimer’s main office # is 201-389-1100.)

PLEASE NOTE:  (If you do end up calling, we suggest you do not provide any personal information, i.e., social security number, bank account number, etc.)

 

Weekly Update August 10

Dear CCGR Family,
Pastor Terry’s recent sermon from Sunday, 8/2 reminds us that no matter what life brings our way, we can “triumph over tragedy”.   https://youtu.be/t4S0Eh5-iLQ.
 
All of us face difficult and challenging circumstances — circumstances causing deep pain and sorrow. People disappoint us, illness strikes, we can experience loss, our family is broken, we lose a job, our own limitations can cause frustration — all which can lead to feeling hopeless. And, it’s so natural to want to know ‘why’ things have occurred and to wonder what possible way God could bring something good from them. 
 
Although we may never make sense of some things, we must trust that suffering should not turn us away from God, but help us to identify with Him further and allow HIs Love to reach us and heal us. Rather than becoming bitter and resentful to God, when we turn our attention away from these circumstances and spend time with Him, we can help remedy these negative doubtful feelings.
 
As Randi Willey read from Romans 8:35-39, “Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword separate us from the love of Christ?” “NO, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
This passage reaffirms God’s love for all His children, and that no matter what happens to us (although we may not understand ‘why’),  we will never be without His love. If we have faith and believe in what Paul is preaching, we should never be afraid; “It is that relationship that will see us through our own tragedies in life.” If we look look to God for hope knowing that He cares for us unconditionally, and with the guidance of the presence of the Holy Spirit, we will find courage and peace in the midst of turmoil.
 
Until we reach heaven, difficulties will continue to occur. ‘Unanswerable’ turbulent times will always be a part of our life, many of which God uses ultimately for our own good and to help us grow spiritually and closer to Him. Two people might respond totally the opposite from the same tragedy; one may grow closer to God, while the other completely doubts God’s faithfulness.When we face tragedy, we have choices. We have the Lord to go to to depend on; yet, some people allow themselves to be destroyed by getting angry and resentful. As Christians, we have God’s promise that in eternity He will heal us from these sicknesses and troubles. But, in the meantime, on earth, our faith will help carry us through these challenging circumstances. He is by our side — in all ways.
 
 
 CCGR PRAYER RESOURCES – 
 
Are you looking for a quite place to pray, or others to pray for you?
 
CCGR’s sanctuary continues to beopen for prayer each Wednesday from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Please feel free to come by anytime during those hours, for prayer in solitude and the peaceful surrounding of our church. Feel free to stay as long as you’d like. Know that all precautions have been taken to make our sanctuary a safe place. Please use the entrance/exit doors adjacent to the Memorial Garden.
 
For those more ‘private’ prayer requests, it gives us comfort knowing our church has a small group ‘CCGR Prayer Chain’. We share prayer needs in confidence on a regular basis for those prayers shared with us that you would like to be kept private. If you have a need for prayer that you feel you would like us to share, please see the notation below under the ‘Praying for You’ section.
thumb imageAs many of us continue to remain close to home 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 — 
As you may know, Bob Van Ostenbridge had been released from the hospital almost two weeks ago, and is now in hospice care. Please keep Bob & Doris in your special prayers.
 
In addition, please continue to pray for Anne Allen & Family (including Anne’s daughters, Liz & family and Sara & Boyd Lowry & Family); Ed Archbold; Rich Balch & family (on the recent passing of Rich’s Mother, Eleanor); Laura Bird-Bennett & Family; Okey Chenoweth & Family (on the recent passing of Jane); Rich Dethmers; Beryl Ferrari; Jean Franklin; Terry Gilligan & Family; Colleen Janssen & Family; Eric Lundquist & Family; Connie Sinkway and the Sinkway/Emery Family;  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.comand 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.)
CCGR Book Discussion Group

Kim Franklin will host our next Zoom discussion on Friday, August 14th at 7:00 pm.
The novel chosen is Madame Fourcade’s Secret War by Lynne Olson.   Please check with the library for formats available.
All welcome!
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 unprecedented time, please remember supporting Community Church in your time of giving. In addition to mailing contributions, you may access CCGR’s website and donate on-line, as well:  https://communitychurchgr.com
Community Thrift Shop
The Community Thrift Shop is now open — with limited hours — to receive donations of clothes, linens, and shoes. They are now beginning to receive fall and winter items, in addition to summer.
If you have any ‘bric-a-brac’, please call before you drop off, as the need for these items changes weekly.
Their current ‘limited’ hours are:
Monday: Drop-off Only (10 a.m. – 2 p.m.)
Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday: Open for Sales (10 a.m. – 4 p.m.)
Wednesday &  Friday: Closed
 (85 Godwin Avenue, Midland Park  — in the lower level behind Kings Shopping Center; 201-652-7661)
*Please remember to mention ‘Community Church’ (#3), as we will receive a percentage of any of our donated items.
God Bless!Pray
~Donna
P.S. —- A Message from CCGR’s Office Staff — Josh Gottheimer’s Office Outreach of Support:
For your information only — Barbara Zucchino (from our church office)  suggested I share the following:
 “Katie (201-803-0560), from Josh Gottheimer’s office,  called our church office relaying that any members of our congregation having problems with social security, unemployment, grants, etc., can call her for help.”  (Gotheimer’s main office # is 201-389-1100.)
PLEASE NOTE:  (If you do end up calling, we suggest you do not provide any personal information, i.e., social security number, bank account number, etc.)

Weekly Update – August 5, 2020

Dear CCGR Family,
Pastor Terry’s recent message from Sunday, 7/26,  (and Tom Chadwick’s scripture reading of James 5:13-16) couldn’t be a more appropriate reminder for all of us to be in ongoing communication with God. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LR8D_UUQJmk.
 
As Christians, our most powerful resource we have is communication with God through prayer — not as a last resort, but should be first and foremost in our lives. “Prayer has been, and always will be, our direct channel to the power, grace, and strength of God.”  HE listening to each of us;  HE hears our words whether we are silently speaking or out loud, HE loves each and everyone of us and wants to hear from us, and HE will respond — maybe not immediately; maybe not in the way you think, but in the way that is best for us — through Love. You might reflect on how God has worked in your life, or others, even during times of adversity. 
Prayer is simply talking with God. There is no right or wrong way. Our own way of praying is no less better than another’s, as long as it’s in all sincerity.  It is not in chanting a certain repetitive formula or quoting something eloquent or unique, but it is in what’s coming from your heart.  That’s all He wants to hear — exactly what we need in however we want to say it. Yet with regard to consistency or how to approach Him, we sometimes struggle.
 
God loves us and knows what we need. We don’t have to be concerned with Him not hearing us. And even though He knows everything we need, communicating with God connects His Spirit and ours, just as our earthly relationships earth can’t survive if the two parties don’t speak with each other. God is always there — standing by to hear from us.
 
We will find God when we seek Him with all our heart, through reading HIs Word and spending quality unhurried time alone with Him — maybe even writing your prayers in a journal, or speaking to Him during a walk in the park. Prayer need not only be individual; as a church, we pray together for each other collectively. As Paul says in scripture, “Carry one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Yes.., we  pray ‘together’ as a group while we are in physical attendance, but even if separated in our own homes, our group prayers continue by sharing weekly with you those prayers that have been passed on to us for our church family to pray, shared through our Weekly Updates.  This keeps us connected us as a ‘family’ and keeps us connected spiritually to who and for what we are praying for.
Even though we can’t make all decisions that happen surrounding us in life, we can ask God to help us with our own, and can ask Him to help other loved ones in our lives, or to thank Him for all He has given us.
We can trust God with these requests. Yes…, there is not a lack of problems in the world, but we can help do what we can do in our own little world  — with our prayer-hearing, prayer-answering God.
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” (Philippians 4:6)
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) (“God never promised a life without storms. But he promised to be with us when we face them.”)
 
We give thanks for these beautiful virtual services (to Boyd Lowry for his technical expertise), and as always, for the beautiful music Janet Montroy shares with us each week — including all the vocalists and instrumentalists that have continued to share their gifts with us!
 
 CCGR PRAYER RESOURCES – 
 
Are you looking for a quite place to pray, or others to pray for you?
 
CCGR’s sanctuary is now open for prayer each Wednesday from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Please feel free to come by anytime during those hours, for prayer in solitude and the peaceful surrounding of our church. Feel free to stay as long as you’d like. Know that all precautions have been taken to make our sanctuary a safe place. Please use the entrance/exit doors adjacent to the Memorial Garden.
 
For those more ‘private’ prayer requests, it gives us comfort knowing our church has a small group ‘CCGR Prayer Chain’. We share prayer needs in confidence on a regular basis for those prayers shared with us that you would like to be kept private. If you have a need for prayer that you feel you would like us to share, please see the notation below under the ‘Praying for You’ section.
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As many of us continue to remain close to home during this time — or take precautions when we do venture out —  we ask that you continue to keep each other in prayer. 
 
For those of you who know the Chenoweths (who have attended several church functions), we are sad to share that Jane passed away this past Sunday. Please keep Okey and his daughter Carol and family is your prayers. Okey’s address is 55 Andrew Drive, Oakland, NJ 07436, should you wish to send a note of condolence.
 
Please continue to pray for our church members, families, and those close to us who have shared a special part of our lives — We continue to keep Bob & Doris Van Ostenbridge in our special prayers.
Anne Allen & Family (including Anne’s daughters, Liz & family and Sara & Boyd Lowry & Family); Ed Archbold; Rich Balch & family (on the recent passing of Rich’s Mother, Eleanor); Laura Bird-Bennett & Family; Rich Dethmers, Beryl Ferrari; Jean Franklin; Terry Gilligan & Family; Colleen Janssen & Family; Eric Lundquist & Family; Connie Sinkway and the Sinkway/Emery Family;  Rev. Jerry Wright and his family; Barbara Zucchino & Family; & Rich Balch & family (on the recent passing of Rich’s Mother, Eleanor); 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.)
 
CCGR Book Discussion Group
Kim Franklin will host our next Zoom discussion on Friday, August 14th at 7:00 pm.
The novel chosen is Madame Fourcade’s Secret War by Lynne Olson.   Please check with the library for formats available.
All welcome!
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 unprecedented time, please remember supporting Community Church in your time of giving. In addition to mailing contributions, you may access CCGR’s website and donate on-line, as well:  https://communitychurchgr.com
God Bless!Pray
~Donna

Weekly update July 27

Dear CCGR Family,
“A Christian is someone who allows the spirit of Christ to come into their lives, filling them full with the Love of God. In turn they love their neighbor as much as they’ve themselves.”
Pastor Terry emphasizes in his message from Sunday, 7/19, to “let the Spirit of God direct you completely in your actions.” “If we live by the Holy Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit.”  Listen, or register,  to what he has to say: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KtkslXsNFVQ.
“Treat others the way you’d like to be treated yourself.” Or, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” (Leviticus 19:18).  “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and all your strength,” (Deuteronomy 6:5).These are two of the greatest of commandments and or laws that were handed down from the earliest of days …, even before Jesus.
 
These are God’s ultimate wishes — loving God completely and caring for others as yourself. In all your moments of life….when you are undecided about something…, think what would show your love for God most, and that for others, as well. “WWJD?”
 
Years and years before Jesus’ birth, people, i.e., the Galatians, thought that if they were obedient (i.e., if they obeyed the ‘laws’/’commandments’ — if they did a good deed), they would be assured a place in God’s Kingdom.  The Galatians weren’t unlike many people of today — thinking that as long as they did (or do) something good, and were obedient, they’d be on God’s good side and that they’d be assured of a place in Heaven.
 
But again, it is far more than that. We are all God’s children, and He loves each of us. However, we do not ‘earn’ a place in His Kingdom like we earn a gold star, or a scout merit badge — by following rules. Salvation is earned more than from just making ourselves feel good from being good or kind, and checking off an ‘accomplished’ chart at the end of the day.
 
If we are being good or kind in response to trusting in the grace of God — and having Him at the core of the reasoning for what we’re doing to reach out, etc., then we are doing what pleases Him. Being led by the Holy Spirit, sharing conversations with God, listening to Him through His  Word — and truly believing that our ‘love’ for Christ is the foundation in guiding us in all we do, is all He desires. He wants us to totally rely on Him, and the Holy Spirit, to base our decisions on. His desire is for us to accept the ‘gift of grace’ we have all been given. 
 
“Grace in Christianity — according to wikipedia is: “Grace is fovour, the free and undeserved help that God gives us to respond to his call to become children of God, adoptive sons, partakers of the divine nature and of eternal life.” It is understood by Christians to be a spontaneous gift from God to people ‘generous, free and totally unexpected and undeserved’.” “Grace is the opposite of karma, which is all about getting what you deserve. Grace is getting what you don’t deserve.”
 
We all are sinners, so to speak, but we all have the gift of God’s grace of forgiveness, to have the hope of salvation, if we only go to Him. As Harry Horeisch read from Galatians 5:22-26, the Holy Spirit in us gives the us opportunity to grow in our character …, and to be more like Jesus. This is what is God’s desire — for us to ‘Live by the Spirit’ — and to have the ‘Fruit of the Spirit in us at all times –in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control; and “the grace of God will always remain with us and in us.”
 
Ways of Showing Grace to Others:
WordsBe kind and gentle in what you say and do. “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Proverbs 15:1 (ESV)
Love One AnotherLove one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.” Romans 12:10 (ESV)
Let It Go: Letting it go is one of the easiest ways to extend grace to others. Respond to others with grace. Sometimes people are going to be rude. Instead of responding to others harshly, keep a calm spirit. “It is an honor for a man to keep aloof from strife, but every fool will be quarreling.” Proverbs 20:3 (ESV)
Be There: Sometimes your presence is all that’s needed to show someone they’re loved. Be happy with the person who’s happy. Be sad with the person who’s sad. “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” Romans 12:15 (ESV)

Forgive: When someone asks you to forgive, do so graciously and without correction.

“For if you forgive others their trespasses, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Matthew 6:14-15
Learn to Ask for Forgiveness: Be quick to apologize when you make a mistake or have wronged someone else. “So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First, be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.” Matthew 5:23-24 (ESV)
Watch the Way You Speak: Be careful how you express yourself. “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” Ephesians 4:29 (ESV)
Gratitude: Say thank you often and let people know how much you appreciate them. “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (ESV)
Take an Interest in Others: Learn about the people, ask them questions, listen and care. “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” Philippians 2:3 (ESV)
Look for Needs and Opportunities: Simple everyday kindnesses and actions often help in great ways. Here are a few ideas to start with….
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As many of us continue to remain close to home 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 Rich Dethmers (Vern’s second oldest son), following his recent surgery for a kidney removal.
In addition, please continue prayers for Ed Archbold who facing medical challenges.
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.)
“A GENUINE ACT OF KINDNESS”
Connie Cassata (CCGR) - Mask Making Photo.png
Here is a picture of our own Connie Cassatta who has been making masks with the Paramus Women’s Club since COVID began. She has donated 50 masks to be given to the Christian Health Care Center through Madeleine Barry. (CCGR may just keep a few of these beauties just in case). THANK YOU, CONNIE… FOR ALL YOU DO!!
 
Wednesday Solitude Prayer and Reflection in Sanctuary!!
Community Church’s sanctuary will continue to be open for prayer on Wednesdays (only) from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Anyone is welcomed to come to the church anytime between those hours, for individual quiet prayer and reflection. Please use the entrance/exit doors adjacent to the Memorial Garden. Know that all precautions have been taken for everyone’s safety.
CCGR Book Discussion Group
Kim Franklin will host our next Zoom discussion on Friday, August 14th at 7:00 pm.
The novel chosen is Madame Fourcade’s Secret War by Lynne Olson.   Please check with the library for formats available.
All welcome!
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 unprecedented time, please remember supporting Community Church in your time of giving. In addition to mailing contributions, you may access CCGR’s website and donate on-line, as well:  https://communitychurchgr.com
God Bless!Pray
~Donna

Weekly Update July 20

Dear CCGR Family,
What a blessing — to have these virtual services come to us in the comfort of our own homes! We can never tire of encouraging words, reassurance, and to be reminded we all have the gift of the blessing of our God — our advocate — especially in challenging times as we are all experiencing now.
We are all a family; we have the same Father and the creator of us all and all the earth surrounding us. He cares deeply about each and everyone of us, and we all have the gift of ‘faith’ to help us through our times of uncertainty — if only we would ‘let go, and let faith and trust in’. We all have the gift of knowing we have God, our Father, to turn our concerns, our doubts, and our fears over to, to give us strength and confidence to help us get through.   As Pastor Terry shared in his last week’s sermon (https://youtu.be/FskiCT89IaQ),  “we must have faith that God will get us through the pandemic. If we persist in our faith and call on the strength of God, we will.” Gary Montroy’s scripture reading (Ephesians 3:13-21) from Paul’s prayer in his letter to the Ephesians portrays how strong a man’s faith was. Even though he was nearing the end of his life, was in jail because of his deep faith, and had suffered a great deal along the way, it was Paul who wanted desperately to emphasize his deep love of God and what he knew to be the Truth with the discouraged Ephesians (who he had acquired a deep connection with) — before they completely lost heart.
 Paul prayed endlessly for the Ephesians to grow in their knowledge of God’s love and how they could rely on Him. He prayed to God to strengthen their reasoning; that their conscience would become more sensitive; and for Him to give them the will to pursue what they knew in their hearts was right. Overall, he prayed for a deepening, stronger relationship with God for each of them.
Faith …. “confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1) is the gift we all have at our fingertips to get us through whatever it is that we find difficult to face. Sometimes, doubt interferes, fear gets in the way, depletion of enthusiasm and loss of encouragement to go on take over. And yes, we each have setbacks in our lives that sometimes become roadblocks to moving forward; we each have questions about what the future will bring, and, yes, we all are wondering what’s happening in our world, and wondering what’s next regarding this pandemic we are in together. None of us know. But we do know that we have God by our side – and as long as we have ‘genuine faith’ (even “as small as a mustard seed”), it will grow and help each of us “overcome our struggles”! He wants us to depend on Him, and put our faith and trust that He’ll do right by us.
Thank you to Janet Montroy and Jody Sinkway for sharing such an inspirational and meaningful Hymn Sing. Really appreciate Janet’s sharing the background information with us of the composer Harry Emerson Fosdick and his “God of Grace and God of Glory” — written while the U.S. was right in the midst of the Great
Depression between the two World Wars. The words are so pertinent to what we are dealing with today —- ‘Grant us wisdom; grant us courage, for the facing of this hour’ — as are the beautiful “Amazing Grace” and “Lift High the Cross”. You might want to go back and re-listen to them (see link above), or even sing along again with Jody and Janet — bringing to life so much of God’s Love for us.
And, to Boyd Lowry, a continued huge appreciation for your talented gift to us all!
A Special Treat from CCGR’s Chancel Choir:
Speaking of CCGR’s gifted music program — how blessed we are at CCGR to have such beautiful voices led by our talented Choir Director. Below link will take you to the Chancel Choir (shown in thumbnail print print), singing ‘virtually’ together one of their’s (and our’s) favorite anthems “Sing Praise to the Lord Above”. It was recorded remotely in Glen Rock, Hawthorne, Midland Park, Fair Lawn, Mahwah, and Wharton, NJ, and Lake George, NY. Click on this link and you’ll see/hear our amazing talented choir members. Thank you to Janet, Jeanne, Robin, Gail, Laura, Jo Anne, Randi, Peter, & Rusty for this beautiful ‘Sunday Surprise’

Made with Acapella

As many of us continue to remain close to home during this time — or take precautions when we do venture out —  we ask that you continue to keep each other in prayer. 
thumb imagePlease add Rich Dethmers (Vern’s second oldest son) to your prayer list who just recently had surgery to remove a kidney. We’ve gotten word that the surgery went well; however, continued prayers are needed to help him through his recovery.
In addition, Ed Archbold is currently facing medical challenges; please add Ed to your list, as well.
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.comand 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.)
 
 
Some New News to Share!!
Beginning this coming week, Community Church’s sanctuary will be open for prayer on Wednesdays (only) from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. We are welcome to come to the church anytime between those hours, for individual quiet prayer and reflection. Please use the entrance/exit doors adjacent to the Memorial Garden. Know that all precautions have been taken for everyone’s safety.
CCGR Book Discussion Group

 

Kim Franklin will host our next Zoom discussion on Friday, August 14th at 7:00 pm.
The novel chosen is Madame Fourcade’s Secret War by Lynne Olson.   Please check with the library for formats available.
All welcome!
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 unprecedented time, please remember supporting Community Church in your time of giving.
 
~God Bless,
PrayDonna
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