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IN THIS ISSUE: Meet Our 2 New Pastors PAGES 4-6

4-H Fundraiser PAGE 7

Upcoming Events PAGE 9

Vacation Bible School PAGE 10

A bimonthly publication of Bridgewater United Methodist Church JULY & AUGUST 2017 VOLUME 2, ISSUE 2


Letter from the Pastor Dear Bridgewater Church Family and Friends, Greetings in the name of our Lord! I am truly excited to be appointed as your new Senior Pastor. My husband, Rev. Dr. Brandon Cho, joins me in extending our love to each of you. As a way of sharing about myself and my ministry, I thought I would answer the following questions: What led you to decide to become a pastor? Although I enjoyed working as a business woman, I knew that God was calling me to be in ministry. I had an opportunity to go to Eastern Europe for mission work for six months, I was deeply moved by what I saw and what I experienced in that mission field. My work to address human suffering and poverty convinced me that God was calling me to be a pastor and spread God’s message of faith, hope, and love with everyone. What is your favorite memory of church growing up and why? I have so many wonderful memories of growing up in church. One aspect has to do with music. Singing in my church choir gave me so much joy and contentment. Music to me is the universal language everyone understands and everyone is able to connect with God and others. What is your favorite scripture verse and why? As I pray for our BUMC, Jeremiah 29:11 came to my mind, “For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.” I firmly believe that God has a tremendous plan for us as God’s body of Christ, and I look forward to discerning with you that divine plan for our congregation. What ministries or areas are you most passionate about? I am passionate about Building up a vital congregation supported by vital disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world, Sharing God’s amazing love with everyone in the church and in the community, Making and Nurturing disciples among young people and young-at-hearts, and Celebrating a great time with you in knowing God, loving God, and serving God together. How do you see your role as the senior pastor at BUMC? The role of a senior pastor is unique and crucial. For our BUMC, I will seek to be a good listener to everyone. Continues on page 3 1 | | July/August


Pastoral & Church Staff 651 Country Club Road Bridgewater, NJ 08807 908-526-1414 bridgewaterumc.org office@bridgewaterumc.org Vision Statement: We invite all people into an accepting and loving community of peace and refuge that makes disciples of Jesus Christ to impact lives through mission and service.

Rev. Dr. Jennifer Cho, Senior Pastor Rev. Laura Steele, Associate Pastor of Spiritual Formation Rev. June Tamburro, Associate Pastor of Discipleship Evan Currie, Director of Music/Organist Mary Beth Gruber, Finance Manager/Treasurer Nick Jankucic, Property Manager Janet Ledbetter, Administrative Assistant Diana T. Berenter, Childcare Coordinator Jeanne Alusik, Director of Children’s Corner For questions or comments about this publication, please contact Veronica Sydlowski at thebridgebumc@gmail.com

CHILDREN’S CORNER AT BUMC We are a Stephen Ministry congregation and all calls/ emails are confidential. To reach a Stephen Minister, please contact stephenmin@bridgewater umc.org or 908.872.0503

651 Country Club Road Bridgewater, NJ 08807 908-526-9596 www.theccorner.org childbumc@gmail.com Ages 2-6 Full and Half Day Programs

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Letter from the Pastor (continued) I will provide a healthy working environment which promotes unity, harmony, and positive energy. I will create a good and effective team work among the church staff. Lastly, I will follow the example of Jesus who said that he came not to be served, but to serve. What are your hopes and dreams for BUMC? I will be spending quite a bit of time for the next several months to listen to the prayers, hopes and dreams of all our members and friends. My simple goal is to guide and empower our church to become a vital congregation that is Christ-centered and Spirit-led. A more concrete picture of our shared vision for BUMC will be formed after my series of listening meetings with all of you. What would people be surprised to know about you? I don’t know about surprises, but I love dogs. If you are a dog lover, you are my friend no matter what. Brandon and I enjoy sharing a good meal and good conversation with friends. We love God and love people. My first Sunday with you will be July 2. Brandon and I look forward to worshipping God and celebrating Holy Communion with you. Hope to greet you warmly on that Sunday. God Bless! Peace and Grace, Rev. Jennifer Cho

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Meet New Senior Pastor, Rev. Dr. Jennifer Cho Rev. Dr. Jennifer Cho is passionate about building vital congregations and making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. She received her Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary and her Doctorate of Ministry from Drew Theological School. She served as the senior pastor of First UMC of Newton for the past five years. Prior to coming to Newton in July 2012, she served United Methodist Churches in Mt. Tabor, Westfield, and Englewood. She is the currently serving as the vice chair of the Board of Pensions, a Circuit Elder in the Skylands District, and a member of Conference Board of Ordained Ministry. She is a certified Natural Church

Development coach as well as a candidacy mentor and ministry coach. She also led the Commission on Equitable Compensation as chair, and served on the Sessions Team, Nomination Committee, and District Board of Church Location and Building. Before accepting her call to full-time ministry, she worked as the Executive Director of Human Resources for Samsung. She also worked as a short-term missionary in Ukraine and Poland. Rev. Cho is married to the Rev. Dr. Brandon Cho who is serving as the senior pastor of the Morristown UMC. They have two adult children, Elizabeth and Timothy as well as a beautiful rescue dog named Mika. Rev. Cho’s hobbies include traveling, gardening, swimming, hiking, cooking, reading, and singing.

To Contact Rev. Jennifer Cho: 908-526-1414 ext. 3 jennifer1cho@gmail.com

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Meet New Associate Pastor of Spiritual Formation, Rev. Laura Steele By: Veronica Sydlowski It was a moment (Pastor) Laura would never forget. After spending a long week of digging holes into the rocky, mountainous dirt, in sun and rain, she and her fellow other five high schoolers and two adult chaperones had completed a double decker ramp for a woman in a wheelchair. As the woman came down her new ramp for the first time, she began to cry. By the time she reached the end of the ramp everyone was in tears. While it was one of Pastor Laura’s favorite church memories of her childhood, it was just the beginning in her path to ministry. Pastor Laura Steele grew up in New Jersey and became active as a youth at Cranford United Methodist Church. She served as president of her youth group, served on committees for youth in the area and state, and attended mission trips. Pastor Laura stated, “Becoming a part of the youth programming at my church was the point in my life where my faith truly became my own.” Outside of church she was active in sports as a state ranked track and field athlete and in 1998 she was ranked 3rd in

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the nation in girl’s wrestling. She graduated from Centenary College in 2005 with her degree in theater and moved to New York City where she was in many off-Broadway shows. She met her husband, Lou, also an actor, and in 2013 they moved to Alexandria, Virginia. They started their own theater company “QuackenSteele Theatre Co.” and produced their first production to rave reviews. While living in Virginia, Pastor Laura worked as the Director of Christian Formation for Del Ray United Methodist Church where she oversaw the Christian Education Programs,


Drama Club, Sports “Being a teenager is I have been moved by the such a stressful time; Ministry Program, Youth Programs, I’ve learned how faith of the youth I have Prayground Worship important it is to have worked with in so many Service, Family ways—it is a strong and passionate good faith role models Programs, and and how sometimes faith that deserves nurturing.” Community Events. just having someone “My call to service to talk to is important from God had always existed; however, I for our young adults.” didn’t realize I was being led to full-time ministry until finally joining the staff of Del Pastor Laura also enjoys bringing the arts – Ray UMC,” said Pastor Laura. “Once I performing arts, dance, theater, music, dedicated my life and vocation to God – I visual arts – and incorporating them into knew this was it.” her ministry in whatever form that might present itself. Pastor Laura will continue to In her role as Associate Pastor of Spiritual attend seminary full-time while serving Formation she will be working on the Bridgewater United Methodist Church overall mission of the church with an (BUMC). She is also a mother to Juliet, emphasis on the youth ministries – born in 2014, and Lucas, born in November something that she is very passionate about. 2016. “I have been moved by the faith of the youth I have worked with in so many ways – it is a strong and passionate faith that deserves nurturing,” said Pastor Laura.

To Contact Pastor Laura Steele: 908-526-1414 ext. 6 PastorLauraSteele@gmail.com

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Wednesday through Friday August 9—11, 2017

North Branch Park The Somerset County 4-H Fair will be held at North Branch Park Wednesday, August 9 through Friday, August 11. Every year Bridgewater United Methodist Church (BUMC) runs a pizza concession stand and have been able to raise an average of $4,200 after expenses to go towards various ministries. At the BUMC booth, only pizza, soda, water, and iced tea is sold. At the fair, the various organizations all sell unique food products and BUMC is the only booth selling pizza! The congregation is needed to help out in a variety of ways to make the booth a success:

DONATE ITEMS • 12 oz. cans of Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite, Root Beer, Orange Soda, Grade Soda, Mountain Dew of Pepsi • 16.9 oz. bottle of water • 18.5 oz. bottle of Pure Leaf Unsweetened Iced Tea 7 | | July/August


MONETARY DONATIONS • Cash donations to help purchase whatever beverages are needed • Donations to cover the annual fixed cost of $500 for the pizza warming oven rental

VOLUNTEER • Help with a truck or trailer to bring the concession stand flooring pallets, tables, and drinks to the fair for set up and then back to church at the end of the fair • Volunteering for a shift (or two) to warm pizza or serve customers. Shift times are: ◊ 8:30-10:30am ◊ 10:30am-1:30pm ◊ 1:30-4:30pm ◊ 4:30-7:30pm ◊ 7:30-10:00pm • Anyone interested in volunteering can sign up online at: http://signup.com/go/sMOxGBm. Alternatively, volunteers are welcome to contact Christine or Lynn to sign up.

COME TO THE FAIR • Attend the fair with friends and family and have them patronize the booth!

For more information or to sign up, please contact one of the co-chairs: Christine Dombrowski 908-208-6110 or cjdombrow@gmail.com Lynn Khesghi 908-500-9613 or khesghi4@yahoo.com

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July & August Highlights To see more events and details, please visit our online calendar at bridgewaterumc.org. All events take place at church unless otherwise noted.

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Service at Fire Pit by Lower Parking Lot

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Wednesdays at the Fire Pit Begin 7-7:30pm

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Family Promise Visits Volunteers needed for spending time with guests, providing meals

Children & Families Ministry Pool Party (infant-4th grade) Suozzo Home; contact church for address

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AUGUST 2017 Vacation Bible School 9am-12pm

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North Branch Park, Bridgewater, NJ

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Children & Families Ministry Lake Day (infant-4th grade) Round Valley Recreation Area, Lebanon, NJ

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Wednesdays at the Fire Pit 7-7:30 • July & August

Join us for music, prayer, scripture, conversation, and roasted marshmallows July/August | | 11

The Bridge - July & August 2017  

Bridgewater UMC || The Bridge || July & August 2017 || Volume 2, Issue 2

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