Grace United Presbyterian Church Spring 2020 Newsletter

Grace United Presbyterian Church

Spring 2020 Newsletter

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Grace United Presbyterian Church is a community of audacious hope, unconditional welcome, and sustaining connection for all of God's children, of all ages, races, cultures, financial situations, political affiliations, sexual orientations, gender identities or expressions, family compositions, and physical, cognitive, or emotional developmental abilities. Whoever you are, however you are, wherever you are on your journey of faith, you are welcome at Grace United Presbyterian Church.

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You can give to Grace united Presbyterian Church online! Make a one time special gift or set up a recurring offering. We're so grateful for your support!

Statement on COVID-19

We take seriously the danger posed by the global outbreak of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), especially to medically fragile and vulnerable populations. Our goal is to conduct our life as a community of faith as normally as possible, while doing our best to keep everyone as safe and healthy as possible.

For this reason, at this point, we are planning to hold all events, services, and gatherings as planned, but encourage folks who are not feeling well, or are at risk, to stay home. We will stream our worship services, including Good Friday, on Facebook Live for those who can’t (or choose not to) join us in person.

This being said, we will follow the direction of local health officials and the Wayne Township Schools. If they close and/or suspend extracurricular activities, we will do the same. Any changes will be announced on our web site, Facebook page, and via email blast.

Lent Sermon Series: UnClobbering Scripture

For the five Sundays of Lent, beginning on March 1st, I’ll be preaching a sermon series called “UnClobbber: Taking the Punch out of the ‘Clobber Passages.’” The term “Clobber Passages” refers to the six passages of Scripture (out of more than 31,000 verses) that have been used to condemn homosexuality. Taken out of context and quoted in countless articles, sermons, and church meetings, they have been used to bludgeon God’s LGBTQ+ children, often to death.

Lent is a season of self-examination and repentance, so as repentance for the way the Church (universal, not necessarily our particular congregation) has misused our holy texts to harm LGBTQ+ people, each Sunday we will “unclobber” one (or two) of these passages, situating it in its ancient historical context, looking at the original biblical languages, connecting it to the Big Story of Scripture, and seeking to understand more fully what’s going on in these passages and what they would have communicated to their first hearers. Then we’ll ask ourselves if they still mean what we think they mean, and if they still seem to prohibit loving, committed same-gender relationships in the present day.

For some this will be a breath of fresh air; for others it may be troubling and challenging; for everyone, I hope it will be thought-provoking and educational. By way of a content warning, I expect that our close study of these passages will involve frank discussion of human sex and sexuality that may make some folks uncomfortable.

We will be looking at the following passages:

            March 1           Genesis 19

            March 8           Leviticus 18:22 & 20:13

            March 15         Romans 1:26-27

            March 22         1 Corinthians 6:9-11

            March 29         1 Timothy 1:8-10

I hope you will join us on the Lenten journey.


Holy Week and Easter at Grace United

Holy Week this year begins on Palm Sunday, April 5, as we remember Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem to cries of “Hosanna!” with a carpet of palm branches, at the same time remembering how quickly “Hosanna!” turned to “Crucify him!” You're invited to join us for worship and Communion at 10:15 AM.

Maundy Thursday is the day we remember Jesus’ last supper with his closest followers and the new commandment, “that you love one another just as I have loved you” (John 13:34). A Maundy Thursday Communion Service will be held on Thursday, April 9 at 7:00 PM at Wayne Presbyterian Church (1200 Alps Rd.)

On Good Friday, we remember Jesus’ betrayal, arrest, trial, execution, death, and burial. During our reflective, contemplative Tenebrae (“darkness”) service on Friday, April 10 at 7:00 PM, we will dwell together in the darkness as we wait with hope for the coming of the dawn.

Easter Sunday, April 12th at 10:30 AM, we will rejoice together in the mystery of the empty tomb, the promise of new life, and Christ’s triumph over the powers of sin and death!

Come, and be transformed.

Pancake Breakfast & Easter Egg Hunt

Join us for our fourth annual Pancake Breakfast and Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, April 11 from 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM.

We will begin serving breakfast at 9:00 AM and will be served throughout; there will be arts, crafts, games, contests, and raffles. The egg hunt will start at 10:00 AM. Children of all ages are invited to participate!

RSVP today!

Rummage Sale

Our annual Rummage Sale will be held on Saturday, April 25 from 9 AM-4 PM. Clothes, housewares, toys, games, records, books, and more! All income from the rummage sale will be used to support our partners in mission at Grace Calvary Community Church in Machakos, Kenya, and at OASIS and Eva’s Village.

If you have items you would like to donate, you can bring them to the church or call (862) 248-5582 or email to arrange for pickup.

Classical Concerts at Grace

Join us on Saturday, March 28 at 7:00 PM as Classical Concerts at Grace presents the Andrew Nieporent Band!

The remaining concerts of our spring season are:

  • April 11-- Edison Pereya
  • May 30-- Riverside Guitar Duo
  • June 20-- Bajo Pontino

All Classical Concerts at Grace are on Saturdays at 7:00 PM, and are free and open to the public.

Ecclesia Reformanda, our church transformation prayer and study group, meets the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month at 6:30 PM. The table is wide, you are welcome, and your voice and perspectives are important. Please come to our next meeting on Wednesday, March 25 at 6:30 PM!


Be sure to follow our Facebook page for daily inspiration, weekly sermon reflections and a livestream of our Sunday worship services at 10:30 AM!

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Grace United Presbyterian Church

981 Preakness Ave., Wayne, NJ 07470

(862) 248-5582