Highlights from the January meeting
     Your Session met on Wednesday, Jan. 17. After devotions were presented by Rev. Shedwick, the minutes of the previous Session meeting were approved.
     Pastor's report: Rev. Shedwick drove 479 miles on church business in December, which included 11 home visits, 3 hospital visits, 3 counseling sessions, 3 funerals and 5 in-home communion offerings. The ushers for February are: Mike Camilli (Feb. 4), Dave Geserick (Feb. 11), Brad Gilmore (Feb. 18) and Connie Harley (Feb. 25).
     Session reorganization: This year's committees are: Building and Property: Brad Gilmore (chair) Jake Mangano, Dave Geserick; Christian Education: Jeanne Mangano (chair), Bonnie Dawson, Arin Sheehan; Communication and Outreach: Barrie Dawson, chair and sole member; Membership and Fellowship: Barbara Daugherty, chair and sole member; Stewardship and Finance: Mike Camilli (chair), Jesse Butler, Nick Zorio; Worship and Program: John Pitchford (chair), Connie Harley, Lori Taylor; Clerk of Session: Denise Pitchford, alternate: Barbara Daugherty; Board of Trustees president: Brad Gilmore; Nominating committee elders: Barbara Daugherty (chair), Connie Harley, Barrie Dawson. The Session also approved the list of treasurers for our groups. See Rev. Shedwick or an elder if you have questions.  
     Mission: On Sunday, Jan. 21, Rev. Shedwick told the congregation of the $5,000 our church received from the West Jersey Presbytery as seed money for a new mission project. The plan is to solicit ideas from the congregation during the Feb. 11 congregational meeting that will be presented to the Mission Committee. That group will then present final project plans to the Session for approval, hopefully at the February meeting. The church must make the WJP aware of what it plans to do by Easter.
     Building and Property: The cold weather and an inordinate number of service calls to our provider have delayed the installation of the new church air conditioning/heating units that were to have been in place by mid-January. We have no firm installation date at this time. ... A donation has been made to cover replacement costs for the windows on the Fourth Street side of Fellowship Hall.
     Christian Education: The envelopes given out to our Sunday School children have resulted in more donations. ... Our Sunday School teachers will do individual Lenten celebrations with their classes.
     Stewardship and Finance: Liz Billings requested that the deacons be represented on the Visitation Report Committee, and her request was approved. She will be the deacon representative. ... The Lois Cooper bequest money is in the process of being turned over to Merrill Lynch for investment. Some paperwork still stands in the way. ... There are no new developments with the Electronic Fund Transfer donation plan to be run in conjunction with the Presbyterian Foundation.
     Worship and Program: Elders will help serve communion during the Feb. 18 worship service. ... The Youth Group's annual pancake breakfast will begin after church that day. ... The annual meager meal will be served on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 14, and elders were asked to sign up and assist. ... Elder Jake Mangano will provide the sermon on March 4, when Rev. Shedwick is on vacation.
     Communication and Outreach: Bids from four companies were shared with Session members for a two-sided sidewalk-type sign with changeable letters to promote church activities. Money for the sign will come from the Memorial Fund. ... The elders preferred a rectangular sign that is 60 inches wide, 48 inches tall and 30 inches deep that comes with letters that are 5 inches tall. It was suggested that we try to find a similar sign with some sort of covering to prevent vandalism and the theft of letters. ... Our payment for the church website comes due Jan. 19, and we will remain with the same provider for another year.
     Membership and fellowship: A sign-up sheet will be posted for sandwich and dessert contributions for our annual congregational meeting and luncheon on Feb. 11 in Fellowship Hall.
     New business: Annual reports from our 2017 committee chairmen are due Jan. 28. ... It was suggested that the church create formal job descriptions for all paid employees and that they all be evaluated annually. The Session is to discuss that at its February meeting.

Stewardship and Finance Committee chairman
     Anytime is a good time to reflect on and give thanks for all the Lord has given us -- our spirituality, our family and our good friends. 
     Obviously, our spirituality is the most important thing we have to give thanks for, because without this, what would our relationships with family and friends really mean? 
     The conduit of our spirituality is, of course, our church. As someone who was born into and spent the vast majority of his life as part of a different denomination, I can tell you first-hand of my great appreciation for our denomination, our church and our congregation. 
     And it is this appreciation that has inspired me to make this heartfelt plea to our congregation:
     Our church, the First Presbyterian Church of Woodbury Heights, is one of the approximately 60 Presbyterian churches that comprise the West Jersey Presbytery. The presbytery provides spiritual, emotional and, when necessary, even financial guidance to our pastor, our church and our congregation. 
     In return, the presbytery asks each church to provide its fair share of financial support. Each church member is asked to pay a fixed amount annually -- called per capita -- to help the church meet its obligation. The amount each member has been asked to pay in 2018 is approximately $40. 
     Each year, our church chooses to pay the full amount it owes to the West Jersey Presbytery, even though it might not collect the full amount from its members. No matter what, the church must come up with the difference from its general fund -- often several thousand dollars.
     So let’s show what our church really means to us by paying our per capita in 2018, so that our church and our presbytery can continue to function as the spiritual foundation that all of us need so badly in our world today.
"For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ."

-- 1 Corinthians 12:12