Highlights from the June meeting
By Rev. John Shedwick
     Your Session met on Wednesday, June 21. After devotions presented by Barrie Dawson, the minutes of the previous Session meeting were approved.
     The pastor requested vacation time on June 29, from Aug. 8 to 11, and on Sept. 5. All requests were approved.
     The Mission Committee will be seeking a new missionary/missionaries to support, now that the Doyles are retiring; and reported that our Mission Sunday focus on Sept. 24 will be the various ways our congregation supports local mission.
     Financial reports were discussed, reviewed, and approved.
     The Building & Property Commission reported that Jim and Shirley Golding purchased new air conditioners for the annex; that we have two volunteers to mow the lawn; moved that a lawn mower be purchased from Bonnie Sweeney’s memorial fund; and reported that Diane and David Belcher will take over the responsibility of opening and closing the church on Sunday mornings.
     The Christian Education Commission reported on plans for Rally Day and reported that we have a full teaching staff for next fall.
     The Stewardship and Finance Commission began a discussion on how to make the best use of the bequest we received from the estate of Lois Cooper. Further discussion of Boscov’s Day will be held until September
     The Worship and Program Commission discussed the annual review of our music staff, reported that Paul Milio will fill the pulpit on July 9 and Scott Hartman from Bethany Christian Services will fill the pulpit July 16; and reported that Laura Seidelmann will be our new bell choir director.
     The Communication and Outreach Commission spoke of temporary signs to advertise our activities, and discussed a yard sale/event on Sept. 9 that is being chaired by Pat Diehl. Also, there will be a Blessing of the Pets on Saturday, Sept. 30 for our congregation and the community
     The Membership and Fellowship Commission will be planning two summer fellowship times, on July 16 and Aug. 13.
     Jeannie Mangano reported on her attendance at the June 20 Presbytery meeting at the Cinnaminson Church, at which time Dave Kershaw concluded his term as moderator.
     There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned with prayer.


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 2017 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 2017, 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.