Dear CCGR Family,
Whether it be last week, today, or next month, we all should celebrate — each and everyday — being Americans and living in the USA — the ‘land of the free and home of the brave’ — offering us beautiful natural resources, freedom of speech, religious freedom, and a land of opportunity for us all.
Independence Day (4th of July) — the birthday of our beautiful country — the declaration of independence of our original thirteen colonies from Great Britain — is the one day each year all citizens of the United States of America take time to celebrate as a nation — pay tribute for the freedom and liberties our forefathers fought so hard for us all.  But, our forefathers didn’t do it alone. The colonists knew and believed wholeheartedly, that in order to reach their dream, they could not do it without the help of God. In order to move forward and prosper, they needed to ‘depend’ on the Lord… in all ways. (“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” – Proverbs 3: 5-6).
And, so, as Pastor Terry shared, 56 brave men signed the Declaration of Independence —  counting on God as their advisor, counselor, and ‘shoulder’ to lean on as they moved forward with hope and optimism for our independent America.   Not that the road ahead was smooth, as we know, but they relied on God for and trusted that He would be carrying them (and their families) through facing challenges, encountering horrific obstacles — some even died — as they forged ahead with their dream.  They suffered greatly; they paid a price for all people from that time forward, but they ‘depended’ on God, for help and shield, to carry on — ‘our’ help and shield.
And without question, His name was recognized in print in all their documents, proclamations, anthems, and so much more — then.
Although it is not a religious holiday (as are Christmas or Easter for many Americans),  July 4th is a time to stop, and to reflect on God’s goodness to us and how, as a nation, we’ve been blessed. As Nancy Walters read in Psalm 33: 12 – 22, “Happy is the nation whose God is the Lord”. It reminds each of us that, as the early colonists’ ‘depended’ on God, that our relationship with Him is what helps guide us through our lives, to help us make decisions, to give us comfort and hope, to turn to Him with issues we cannot understand. This is what He called them to do then, and for all His people to do always — to come to Him. And this is what God continues to desire most — for us to continue to live by these principles and follow HIm.
And so, as the people of our land has had God as their Lord since the beginning of time, America – unlike other countries — was built on the principles of Christianity. 

Without hesitation, they mentioned God in the Declaration of Independence and in the U.S. Constitution, then in the Pledge of Allegiance, as well as many patriotic hymns and anthems. Molded into the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia are these words from the Bible — “Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof”  (Leviticus 25:10).

God, our creator, gave us all life, and has made Himself available to us all.  But unlike those responsible for the independence of the thirteen colonies back then who acknowledged the root of their accomplishments, people have begun turning away from what the main focus in life is.  Today, the struggle for independence, in a way, still continues. People need to ‘depend’ more and more on God; He ‘who’ really has the final say. We ALL have a chance to choose our way.  And we have the opportunity to share this way. We have a chance to “be the light, and the salt.
Thank you, Pastor Terry, for this inspiring message,, the reflection of our blessed heritage — along with the wonderful, moving  patriotic music shared by Janet on the organ and piano, and, Stephanie Boudoin’s beautiful ‘The Lord’s Prayer‘.
And to Boyd, for his ongoing recording of our weekly virtual services.
Thought the following might be of interest — ‘America The Beautiful’. With reference to God in all stanzas, it communicates such a beautiful message to us all:
The lyrics of ‘America The Beautiful’ were written by Katherine Lee Batesand the music was composed by church organist and choir master Samuel A. Ward at Grace Episcopal Church in Newark, New Jersey. (Neither Bates or Ward never met.)
“In 1893, at the age of 33, Bates, an English professor at Wellesley College, had taken a train trip to Colorado Springs, Colorado, to teach a short summer school session at Colorado College. Several of the sights on her trip inspired her, and they found their way into her poem, including the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, the “White City” with its promise of the future contained within its gleaming white buildings; the wheat fields of America’s heartland Kansas, through which her train was riding on July 16; and the majestic view of the Great Plains from high atop Pikes Peak.“America the Beautiful” continues to be held in high esteem by a large number of Americans, and was even being considered before 1931 as a candidate to become the national anthem of the United States.”
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O beautiful for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain 
For purple mountain majesties, above the fruited plain 
America, America, God shed His grace on thee 
And crown thy good with brotherhood, from sea to shining sea. 
O beautiful for Pilgrim feet, whose stern impassioned stress 
A thoroughfare for freedom beat, across the wilderness 
America, America, God mend thine every flaw 
Confirm thy soul in self control, Thy liberty in law.
O beautiful for heroes proved, in liberating strife 
Who more than self their country loved, and mercy more than life 
America, America, May God they gold refine 
Till all success be nobleness, and every gain divine.
O beautiful for patriot dream, that sees beyond the years 
Thine alabaster cities gleam, undimmed by human tears 
America, America, God shed His grace on thee 
And crown thy good with brotherhood, from sea to shining sea.
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 and Donna Nihen at, and of course, Pastor Terry at (These requests will be shared only with the church small group Prayer Chain.)
Some Good News to Share!!
4th of July Food Drive - GRRC 2020.jpg
“The Religious Communities of Glen Rock thank all those who donated to their
food drive for the July 4th holiday. 100 bags of food were delivered to CUMAC
in Paterson. Shown standing in front of cars packed with over 100 bags of food
ready to be delivered to CUMAC in Paterson are Ed Koransky and Bob Berliner
of the Glen Rock Jewish Center, and Pastor Terry.
& Some Good & Happy News!
“CONGRATULATIONS to Heather Ricciardi and Gary Grofsick (pictured below),
 exchanging marriage vows — officiated by Pastor Terry —  at the Thielke Arboretum
 on a beautiful June 5 Spring day. Heather is the daughter of Karen and Bob Ricciardi,
 and granddaughter of the late Carol & John Thielke. As most of us know, the Thielke

Heather Ricciardi's Wedding at Arboretum.jpg

 Aboretum was named in honor of Carol Thielke for her loving tireless efforts and
 endless hours spent rehabilitating this beautiful Glen Rock oasis (with a little help
 from some volunteer friends.) What a tribute to Carol for Heather to have chose
 this perfect place for her wedding.”
 God Bless & Best Wishes, Heather and Gary!!
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,