"He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require
of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?"
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Welcome to Old First Church

Join us for our regular service at 10:30 AM.

Rev. Joyce A. Phipps


  October 2016
Pastor’s Message: Walking For Others<.b>

Sunday, October 16 is the date of the 36th annual CROP Hunger Walk. The purpose of this five mile walk is to raise money to provide for hunger relief in Monmouth County and abroad. We don’t often think of Monmouth County, one of the wealthiest in New Jersey, as having people who experience hunger, but there are pockets of poverty here as elsewhere. The walk begins at Red Bank High School where participants can also see what a refugee camp looks like. CROP walks are sponsored by Church World Service, a faith based ecumenical organization founded in 1946 by 17 denominations in the wake of the refugee crisis following World War II.

We are now experiencing the largest refugee crisis in 70 years with more than 60 million people displaced by war and violence. Sponsoring a CROP Walk walker will help alleviate poverty and hunger.


Friday October 14 and Saturday October 15: Cardboard Box City sponsored by Family Promise of Monmouth County: This 7th annual event will be held at the grounds of Church of Christ in Tinton Falls from 6 PM Friday through breakfast on Saturday.

Sunday, October 16: CROP Walk begins at Red Bank High School. Registration is from 1 to 2 PM.

Sunday, October 30: Bible Study at Noon. We wind up our yearlong study of Paul with an examination of reading Paul from a feminist --yes, that’s right -- perspective. Join us for a stimulating discussion.



In September, 2015, Old First divested our investments in fossil fuel companies and reinvested in the innovative UCF Beyond Fossil Fuels Moderate Balanced Fund. In late January, 2016, we joined a a gathering of 100 people in viewing a documentary entitled, Merchants of Doubt, followed by a Q&A session facilitated by a Rutgers University scholar on the influence of public opinion upon energy and climate change issues. After networking with several sponsors and attendees we joined in forming the Monmouth Community Climate Coalition (MCCC), in order to raise awareness of the climate crisis and take actions for solutions for a livable world. In July we participated in the People’s March for Climate Change in Philadelphia.

On Friday, October 7, hear Camille Parmesan, 2007 Noel Laureate, speak on Climate Change and Oceans at Monmouth University. This event is free but you must register. Go to the website at www.monmouthedu/school-of-science/deans-deansseminar.aspx


Old First Church has joined RAGE (Residents Against Giant Electric) in an official resolution against the proposal by JCP&L to establish Monster Power Lines 210 feet tall at intervals of 500 feet from Aberdeen to Red Bank. We are concerned about the environmental impact of the lines since the existing habitat within at least 100 feet of each side of the towers needs to be cleared, the impact on historic structures, especially the Poircy Park Nature Center, the impact of 230 kilovolt power lines on the health of our children, and the property values of residents along those lines.

The Board of Public Utilities has the authority to issue or deny the permit. If you care about these questions and the impact on your community, write the Board of Public Utilities, 44 S. Clinton Avenue, Trenton, NJ 08625. The phone number is (609) 777-3300.


Help the Calico Cat Thrift Shop, a store for the community operated by the Community Outreach Group that sells gently used items to persons who cannot afford even discount prices. It also has a food pantry. If you have a few hours during the week, the Calico Cat could use your help. Call (732) 671-0550 if you would like to help in this important ministry.

AAUW Bookstore: The Book Store will reopen on Saturday, September 10. When you buy a book, you support women's scholarships at local colleges.


Our newly redecorated Fellowship Hall with kitchen is a perfect place to have a celebration, whether it’s a baby shower, a going-away party, or an anniversary. Call the church office at 732-671-1905 for more details

During this election season, we hear this phrase a lot, that we have the power to shape the future by voting for this one or that one. In spite of all the campaign rhetoric, for us on the shore, Hurricane Sandy is not just a past event because New Jersey’s so-called rebuilding process has become a program mired in waste and inefficiency causing many homeowners to lose their patience.

Since Hurricane Sandy more than 7400 homes have been or are in the process of being raised, some more successfully than others. Many towns have changed the way they communicate with residents regarding storm warnings. A massive flood control project along Route 35 in Ocean County and the construction of new sea walls have begun. Using $300 million from the Federal Government, the State initiated home buy outs of properties at pre-Sandy home values; to date more than 200 have ben purchased and demolished. Sounds promising, yes?

But, wait! Have we really thought about the future and the effect of climate change on the Jersey Shore as well as other places? And what about all the new “luxury” building that is still being approved, taking up land that acts as a cushion against future storm devastation?

Long Branch has approved several major beachfront luxury condominium projects on land that could serve as a cushion. And Long Branch is not alone. Even further inland, newly planned development projects are leaving longtime residents, who were damaged by Hurricane Sandy, in the lurch, for many of these residents have been unable to return to their former homes -- homes that were not part of the state buy out deal.

The future of the Jersey Shore is in our hands. We have been given this earth by God to be stewards, caretakers, not exploiters. And we are exploiting the earth for the short term financial gain of developers. There are environmentally sensitive areas, and not just McClees Creek near the Navesink River. The destruction of habitat and what is termed “vacant land” by overdevelopment poses a serious danger to our future.

We must continue to be vigilant against those who would look only at a piece of land and see dollar signs. As the author of the Epistle known as 1 Timothy wrote: The love of money is the root of all evil. This evil is being visited upon us through such projects as the JCP&L monster power lines, so called “Village 35” which threatens Middletown Village directly, and huge building projects in Lincroft.

The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof. Protecting the earth for future generations is our responsibility. Not an easy task, but so necessary.

Rev. Joyce