FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
OF WOODBURY HEIGHTS
Pastor's notes
"And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose."

-- Romans 8:28
News and notes from our pastor
     Congratulations to Liz Billings and Andrew Santora, who were married in our sanctuary on Saturday, Oct. 14.
     Get well wishes and prayers go out to Fran Lambert, Kim Sharp (who had surgery recently), Jim GoldingGinny NaylorDick ShawBen Boyce (in the hospital recently), Kathy Pedicone (after a bad fall), Glen Higgins (Winnie’s son – recovering from injuries in an auto accident), John McDevitt (Elisha Elliott’s brother-in-law), and Joe McDonnell (Pat’s husband). Prayers, too, for Jesse and Nancy Butler’s son and daughter-in-law, Robert and Phyma Perkins, after the loss of their home in a gas explosion.
  Thanks to Connie Harley and Mary Kay Reynolds who were at our table on Boscov’s Day, and to Pat Diehl who sold the coupons ahead of time. We made almost $450! Watch for it next year!
  Thanks, too, to Pat Diehl and all who helped her with the yard sale on Oct. 28, and to the whole Youth Group (especially Tracey Urion and Megan Geserick) and all whose cars made our Trunk or Treat so special.

December and January sermons
Dec 3: And Isaiah Spoke
Dec 10: And Jeremiah Spoke
Dec 17: And Malachi Said
Dec 24: 
     11 am Christmas Pageant: A Christmas Alphabet
       7:pm: And Micah Said
Dec 31: Rev. Shedwick on Vacation
Jan 7: And Jeremiah Spoke (Again)
Jan 14: Stop the World; I Want to Get On
Jan 21: No Trust; No Obedience; No Nothing
Jan 28: To Seek the Lord
Dear Friends:
     Black Friday has been an unofficial date on the calendar for quite some time. Cyber Monday made its appearance some years ago, but is here to stay. And Giving Tuesday (the day after Cyber Monday) showed up just recently.
     Giving Tuesday is a reminder from a lot of charities that if you make a donation before Dec. 31 that you can claim a tax deduction next spring.
     But here are a few thoughts about giving:
     Before you give, make sure the charity you are giving to is legitimate. Some scams are out there, trying to use similar sounding names to confuse possible donors. If a charity sounds unfamiliar to you, check them out online first. Charity Navigator is among the websites that can help with that.
                                          Before you give, even to a legitimate charity, do a                                            little research to find out how much of your gift is going                                        to administrative costs and NOT to help the hungry,                                            homeless, hurting, etc. 
                                          Be an educated giver so your gift makes a                                                        difference. Just as an example, I had a phone call a                                            few years ago seeking a donation to St. Jude’s                                                    Hospital – a worthy charity. 
                                           I asked the young man who was calling if he                                                  worked for the hospital or a fund-raising company the                                          hospital had hired. He admitted that it was the latter.           When I asked him how much of my donation would go to the hospital and how much to the company he worked for, he wouldn’t tell me. There’s a red flag! 
     That’s why our per-capita donation to the Presbyterian Church is so important – it pays all the administrative costs so that every dollar we give through the church to the hungry, homeless, hurting, etc. goes to meet those very needs!
     Before you give, remember that if you give one large donation to one charity, it will have a greater impact than by giving several small ones to several charities.
     By now, you are waiting for me to bring up giving to the church – our church, your church. 
     So, here it is: Think about what your church means to you, how it impacts your life, and how your participation in it makes us better able to reflect God’s light and love. 
     After all, the real meaning of Christmas, above and beyond the malls and Amazon and everything the world uses to define OUR holiday -- and it IS our holiday -- is the gift God gave us of His own Son. 
     It is Jesus’ birthday, but He gave us the gift of peace on earth, good will toward all, and eternal life. What gift could be better than that?
     May our giving reflect the fact that we are celebrating Christ-mas, not Mall-mas or Shopping-mas or Black-ink-at-the-end-of-the-year-mas!
                                                                                                      In Christ, John
     PS: Remember that our financial secretary, Dick Daugherty, must have your tithes/gifts in hand by Dec. 31 for you to claim a tax deduction in the spring.