A Light in the Clearing

When the prophet Elijah, deep in the throes of an existential crisis, fled to Mount Horeb in search of God, he was met instead with the sound of sheer silence.

Natalie Pisarcik knows just how he felt.

“There was a time in my life where I was on the bottom,” Natalie testified during Sunday worship in her home congregation, First Presbyterian Church of Boonton, New Jersey. “I cannot even describe how hard and difficult that time was. Only those who have been there know how it feels.” 

Natalie’s story recollected a significant turning point in her life. “On that fateful day, I went for a walk in a wooded area where I kept repeating over and over in my wounded brain how I would end the pain. As I walked, I came across a field, which oddly seemed to call to me.  As I walked into the field, a beam of warm sunlight hit my face. It was at this exact moment that I realized I had a made a terrible mistake. It was like God was saying to me, ‘What are you doing? You have a reason to live.’ I was so overcome.”

Natalie found herself compelled to address the growing mental health crisis not only by sharing her story with her church, but also by getting her congregation more involved. The church’s board of deacons was persuaded to take immediate action to address the suicide crisis.

Because deacons in the Presbyterian tradition are called to a ministry of “compassion, witness, and service,” the board voted to designate the church’s share of the Peace & Global Witness Offering to support the New Jersey Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, an organization in which Natalie had participated for years.

Natalie’s personally moving experience resonates anew during the pandemic, and underlines the importance of this work. “Sadly, and tragically, our community has lost more people to suicide in 2020 than it has to COVID-19,” said Natalie.  

Through the Peace & Global Witness Offering, congregations are encouraged and equipped to find and address the anxiety and discord that is prevalent throughout world.  The offering supports ministries that work for reconciliation and facilitate healing. Half of the Peace & Global Witness Offering goes to the national church to address these issues around the world, 25% is retained by congregations for local peace and reconciliation work, and 25% goes to mid councils for similar ministries on the regional level.  And as you may be aware, our own church has used/will use our portion of the offering to support Neighbor to Neighbor of Jefferson County. Natalie has a message to share with us all during these unsettled times.  She reminds us to “listen and look for the light, and remember that you have a purpose, too. God is with you.”

Text PCUSAPEACE to 41444 to give to Peace & Global Witness or visit pcusa.org/peace-global for more information.

Souper Sunday

More than 30 years ago, the Souper Bowl of Caring began with a simple prayer from a single youth group…

“Lord, even as we enjoy the Souper Bowl football game, help us be mindful of those without a bowl of soup to eat.”

Since that day, more than $153 million has been raised for local charities across the country through Souper Bowl of Caring. Central Presbyterian Youth has raised $1700 for local charities in the last decade through the Souper Bowl of Caring mission! It has become a powerful movement that is transforming the time around the Big Game into the nation’s largest celebration of giving and serving.

Through this mission, CPC Youth learn what it’s like to make a positive difference in the world – as they collect food and raise money. Be part of this movement that is sharing God’s love with those in need.

Please give generously on Super Bowl Sunday. Every dollar and canned good donated will go to Neighbor to Neighbor of Jefferson County our 2020 Souper Bowl of Caring charity of choice.

Pentecost Sunday

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The First Third of Life, Your First Impression of the World

We all know the importance of a first impression. As kids, we all learned about strong handshakes and heard, “First impressions are the most lasting,” and “You don’t get a second chance at a first impression.”

Think of all the firsts in your life: your first best friend, your first day of school, your first car, your first job. And on a deeper level, your first understanding of family and your parents’ love, your first experience of God’s grace, your first connections with neighbors and your community.

Now, think of how all of those firsts played a part in who you are today—how you think and act, how you experience joy and hardship, and how you seek and understand God.

The vast majority of these experiences occur during “the first third of life”—the time from childhood through young adulthood when we all develop our first impressions of how the world works and how we fit into God’s plans for it.

The Pentecost Offering Is Your Chance to Help Make the Best Impression Possible
The ministries supported by the Pentecost Offering provide positive, faith-filled mentorship, experiences, and service—to support children, youth, and young adults as they grow and encourage them to consider what God has in store for their lives.

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2016 Men’s Survey

Take our Survey!The men’s group is looking for feedback and help in shaping our future. So, we ask all men of the church to take a few minutes of their time and fill out our survey. It’s very important to hear from as many of you as possible!  We look forward to having a great time together and doing the work of the Lord!

Confirmation Class

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On Sunday, April 29th, we were overjoyed to witness a group of six of our youth complete their Confirmation Class and be accepted as Members of Central Presbyterian Church through Professions of Faith. Congratulations to these fantastic youth!! To see a photo gallery of the event, and their celebratory trip to Playtime Pizza you can click HERE!