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The Bridge

IN THIS ISSUE: Chancel Guild: Visualizing Worship PAGE 3

A Moment with a Member: The Stone Family PAGE 5

Meet the new Director of Traditional Worship PAGE 7

Upcoming Events PAGE 9

A bimonthly publication of Bridgewater United Methodist Church MARCH & APRIL 2017 VOLUME 1, ISSUE 6


Letter from the Pastor Greetings! While doing my chaplain rounds at RWJ Medical Center recently, a sweet little girl on the elevator looked up at me and asked, “Where are you going?” When I told her my destination, she looked at her mom excitedly and said, “Me, too. I will show you the way!” We stepped off the elevator and I followed my guide as she proudly took me to where I needed to go, albeit by a different route than I would have taken myself. We parted with a high-five, and I realized I had learned a new way to find my way around the maze of the hospital from a bold five-year-old. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the period of Lent in the Christian church. Lent began as a practice in the early church as a time of spiritual preparation for Easter. It was also when new converts who wanted to join the church were taught and mentored in the faith. During the Middle Ages, the emphasis during this 40-day period shifted to a season of repentance and self-examination. In our current time, many are aware of this season leading up to Easter, but not sure of how to proceed on the journey. Where are we going? We are headed towards the glory of the empty tomb and the saving promise of the risen Christ, but there are many paths we might follow to arrive at that destination. Some folks commit to fasting or giving up something as a way to turn their attention back towards God. Others take up practices such as devotional reading or Bible study, intentional times of prayer, mission or service, or a renewed commitment to Sabbath. If these seem intimidating or overwhelming given your busy schedule, I encourage you to join a small Lenten group where others will join you on the journey and perhaps show you a new path to Easter morning. We’ll be using the study, “Restored: Finding Redemption In Our Mess” by Tom Berlin. Together we’ll remember that God’s grace is bigger than any mess we might make or encounter in our lives, and that through the love and power of Jesus’ death and resurrection we can be restored to the image of God in which we were created. Where are you going? Easter? Me, too. Let me show you the way. Blessings,

Rev. June

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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. Vicki M. Brendler, Senior Pastor Rev. Ben Lee, Associate Pastor of Spiritual Formation Rev. June Tamburro, Associate Pastor of Discipleship Evan Currie, Director of Traditional Music and 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@gmail.com

CHILDREN’S AT BUMC Social Media Posts ofCORNER the Summer 651 Country Club Road, Bridgewater, NJ 08807

Like and follow us on Facebook to view pictures/videos and find out what’s going on at church

908-526-9596 • www.theccorner.org childbumc@gmail.com Ages 2-6 • Full and Half Day Programs

Are you getting the weekly pastoral email? These emails give information about what events are coming up, prayer updates, and needs for various ministries. If you would like to be added, please contact ofice@bridgewaterumc.org to be added to the list. March/April | | 2


Enhancing the Visual Worship Space By: Rishona Kumar, high school senior The sanctuary is completely quiet except for the occasional creaks and noises. Cathie West, coordinator of Chancel Guild, sits on the credence shelf at the front of the sanctuary looking at the rear stained glass window and in quiet prayer stating, “it just feels personal and calming.� She sits in the front row in quiet mediation while completing her flower arrangement. Cathie is one of several members responsible for creating the visual display in the sanctuary each Sunday. In the front of the sanctuary, a number of flowers and candles beautifully decorate and accommodate the space while the credence shelf holds various cloths and banners. These, along with the communion table, are decorated weekly to coordinate with each sermon. Cathie and fellows members use all types of items to fill up the large space, from lavishing banners and decadent flowers

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to various types of fabric and enormous bibles. Chancel Guild began in 1981 with Roger and Beverly Swanson and 20 other members, including Cathie. Each member signs up for a specific week to decorate and is appointed to create a display for the credence shelf along with decorating the communion table and chancel. Without any budget in the church for the Chancel Guild, money comes from donations for the purchases of flowers. Each member is also given a key to the church so that on their free time she can decorate. The Chancel Guild is also responsible for other aspects including decorating the sanctuary, narthex, and hall at Christmas, selling poinsettias at Christmas and bulb flowers at Easter. They change out the paraments for each church season (purple for Lent, blue for Advent, etc.) and make sure the candle on the communion table is in working order.


They also decorate the sanctuary for weddings and funerals. Over the past few years Chancel Guild has been working hard to invite other members to join. Pam Lester joined a few years ago after Chancel Guild sponsored a flower arrangement class. Pam echoed similar sentiments as Cathie did about the peacefulness of decorating the credence shelf and noted “you definitely feel the presence of the Lord.” Nancy Manger, who has been part of Chancel Guild since the 1990s joined because “each week the front of the church was vibrant and different. This was my chance to be creative and help enhance the worship experience for everyone.” Veronica Sydlowski joined a few years ago and uses the time to spend mother/daughter time with her 5 year old daughter, Grace. “She helps me pick out the flowers, fabrics, and items and ‘assists’ me with putting it all together,” said Veronica.

Although those who are part of Chancel Guild enjoy being able to be creative, the group is open to anyone who might have an interest. Pam said, “I am the perfect example of anyone who has the desire can do this.” Veronica stated that she has been supported from the beginning. “When I started, Cathie came with me to show me the ropes and make sure I felt comfortable with all aspects from the shelf to the flowers. I was a little intimidated at first because so many of these ladies do an amazing job, but they’ve all been kind, gracious, and approachable which has helped me gain my own confidence with the displays I’ve created.” If you are interested in joining or would like more information on Chancel Guild, please contact Cathie West at cmcwest@gmail.com

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A Moment with a Member: The Stone Family By: Veronica Sydlowski As a child, Beth Stone, has vivid memories of ringing the bell in the bell tower at Succasunna United Methodist Church. “At the end of each service, someone would rush up there and ring it. I can remember it being so heavy and high up that to get started you’d have to reach so high and use your entire body weight to get it going. It would then pull you up so high off the ground that it felt like you were flying,” she recalled. Although the handbells she rings as part of the Jubilation Choir (alongside her daughters Katie and Julie) are significantly smaller, music is very central theme in the Stone family. Beth has been a member at Bridgewater United Methodist Church (BUMC) for 17 years and was initially attracted to the music programs. “I loved hearing the hymns I grew up with again and the bell choirs were beautiful,” said Beth. In addition to ringing in handbells she has also been leading the Cherub Choir (age 3-kindergarten) and has stepped in to direct Lyric Choir (1st-5th grade) as well. The children’s music ministries are one of her most passionate 5 | | March/April

ministries as she said, “where else do you get to sing your heart out and play with some of the cutest and most affectionate people in church?” Another ministry that drew Beth in was the youth program. When she first started visiting BUMC she remembered high school students sharing stories about a recent mission trip they had been on during a Sunday service. After hearing them speak Beth knew “I wanted that for any kids I might one day have.” Her daughters Julie and Katie have been involved in the youth ministries of church – starting in middle school with Junior Youth Fellowship (JYF) to now being both part of the Methodist Youth Fellowship (MYF) high school group. Beth shared how Cathi Reckenbeil (former Youth Director), the advisors, and other parents put her at ease before Katie went on her


first mission trip. She noted how welcoming everyone was towards Katie and then Julie three years later when she started in JYF. “Cathi has been supportive of all of us,” said Beth. “A counselor in times of trial, voice of reason when I’m an over reactive parent or the girls are unreasonable teenagers, and overall Godly influence that is always so positive.” Outside of church, Beth is the Director/ Instructor/Licensee of Kids’ MusicRound, a provider of interactive music and movement classes for infants through preschool. She has also been the treasurer of Children’s Corner, a preschool and ministry at BUMC, since 2011. Beth has been married to David, who she met in high school, for 23 years.

Katie is a senior and preparing to go off to college in the fall. She is one of the three MYF co-presidents and likes being part of the youth group because “I like the activities and people.” Julie is a freshman and both girls are aerialists (gymnastics on silks or trapeze). Julie says she also enjoys youth group. “I like youth group because of the close relationships you can form with other people and the family it creates,” says Julie. “I also value the bonds that have been created with the people the youth group helps on mission trips.” Beth’s hope is that BUMC will be able to keep the music and youth programs going since they have been such a vital part of her family’s experience and cherished memories.

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A note from the new Director of Traditional Worship & Organist Dear BUMC,

It is comforting to express to you all how much joy it gives me to walk through the front doors of the church each Sunday morning. Not only is this place a place of employment, but more importantly, a place where I too can worship along with you all. In my previous experiences as a church musician, it is very difficult to find a position that offers both musical and spiritual growth. I am so very thankful for this opportunity that you all have given me and look forward to maintaining and prospering this wonderful music ministry as your new Director of Traditional Music and Organist. For those with whom I may not have had the chance to speak with, I would like to give you all a little background about myself. I was born and raised just outside of Charlotte, North Carolina in the small town of Mount Holly. I began piano lessons at age 7 and organ lessons at age 13. After high school, I attended Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina, where I

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graduated with my Bachelor of Music, cum laude, in organ performance, with secondary concentrations in piano and vocal performance. While at Furman, I was involved with the Chamber Choir, Furman Singers, taught music theory, and held several church and accompanying positions. I was also fortunate enough to study abroad in Arezzo, Italy for a semester and complete additional internship studies at The Juilliard School in New York City. Currently, I am pursuing my Masters of Music in organ performance at the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. I am in my second semester of this program and an active member of multiple ensembles including The Rutgers University Glee Club, Kirkpatrick Choir, Baroque Ensemble, Chamber Ensemble, and the University Choir. It is my hope that I, along with the support of each of you, can continue to grow the music ministry at BUMC. It is clear that there has been a long standing traditional of


musical excellence in this congregation, and I look forward to maintaining this high caliber of music ministry. I pray and invite anyone who would like to contribute any musical gifts to come and speak with me. After all, I began my music ministry in my home church of First Methodist Church of Mount Holly when I was invited by my director to share my piano talents. Therefore, I realize the importance of encouraging and fostering individual musical

gifts, as well as the collective gifts. I look forward to what lies ahead, and from what I can see, it is a bright and moving music ministry. I invite you all to come up to the organ after the service so I can formally introduce myself and begin to place names and faces together. Respectfully, Evan W. Currie

You are cordially invited to the retirement party of

Rev. Dr. Vicki M. Brendler to honor her 40 years in ministry Sunday, April 30 • 6pm The Elks Lodge 375 Union Avenue, Bridgewater, NJ 08807

Tickets will be available soon. Please contact the church office at 908-526-1414 for more information. March/April | | 8


March & April Highlights To see more events and details, please visit our online calendar at bridgewaterumc.org. All events take place at church unless otherwise noted. MARCH 2017 Su

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United Methodist Women (UMW) Spring Luncheon: Climate Change 11:45am

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Ash Wednesday Service 12:00pm and 7:30pm

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World Day of Prayer 10am-12pm

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Meal Packing for Elijah’s Promise Children & Family Ministries (infant-4th grade)

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Holy Thursday Service 7:30pm

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Good Friday Service 7:30pm

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Retirement Party for Rev. Vicki Brendler The Elks Lodge, 375 Union Avenue, Bridgewater, NJ

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World Day of Prayer Over 170 countries celebrate World Day of Prayer and come together to worship and pray. Each year a different country prepares a worship service and this year the service was prepared by women in the Philippines. Contact Loretta Ark or Pat Bodden with any questions.

4/13 Holy Thursday Service—7:30pm 4/14 Good Friday Service—7:30pm 4/16 Easter Sunday Services— 6:30am, 9am, 10:30am 6:30pm—Sunrise Service at Fire Pit (weather permitting) 9am—Traditional Worship Service 10:30am—Contemporary Worship Service

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Do you ever feel that your life is a mess and question whether there is redemption? Over the course of Lent this study will use scripture, devotional tools, and the writings of Ignatius of Loyola, John of the Cross, St. Augustine, John Wesley, Evelyn Underhill, and others to encourages reflection and meditation. “Only then can we focus on the cross as the place where we truly surrender control, leave our mess, and find redemption. “

Small Group Lenten Study Groups are

forming and starting in early March. Contact Rev. June Tamburro at 908-526-1414 x8 or jtamburro@bridgewaterumc.org for more information on groups dates/time and locations. March/April | | 11

The Bridge - March & April  

The Bridge - March & April 2017

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