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The Bridge

Looking to give and serve this holiday season? Check out in this issue how you help out by… ֍ Making a pledge on Consecration Sunday

֍ Decorating the Sanctuary

֍ Donating items for packing bagged lunches ֍ Purchasing an Angel Tree gift for Elijah’s Promise A bimonthly publication of Bridgewater United Methodist Church NOVEMBER & DECEMBER 2017 VOLUME 2, ISSUE 4


Letter from the Pastor Dearest BUMC, Fall is upon us and the cool air is creeping in! I love to take a deep breath on a cold, crisp, Fall evening and just breathe the air. It reminds me of the worship song “Breathe” that goes like this: “This is the air I breathe…This is the air I breathe…Your holy presence living in me….This is my daily bread…Your very word spoken to me. And I, I, I…I I'm desperate for you….And I I'm lost without you…This is the air I breathe….This is the air I breathe…Your holy presence living in me.” The past few months have been nothing short of busy for me starting in July as your new Associate Pastor, returning to full-time theological studies at Drew Seminary in the end of August, and balancing time with my wonderful family. I’m reminded, through all the business, to just stop and breathe in God’s Holy presence. Sometimes, in the craziness of life, we are desperate for God’s Divine peace. And, as the song goes, we are always lost without God. God is the air I breathe. If with every breath we take, we are filled with the Holy Spirit, the business melts away. We let go, and we let God. In just a few short months I can feel God’s holy presence permeating throughout our church. With the start of Sunday School, I’ve seen the spark in the hearts of our children. With the start of our youth program I’ve seen the passionate fire for God burning in our young adults. And, I see the peaceful presence of the Holy Spirit in the souls of our entire church family. As I reflect on the past few months, really all I can say is “thank you”. Thank you BUMC for welcoming my family and I as one of your own and thank you God for guiding us to this amazing church. I know the future is full of Divine opportunity, as long as we just “breathe”. In the love of Jesus Christ our Lord, Pastor Laura

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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. 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

Looking to join a small group for Advent? Numerous studies are 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

starting up in person and online in mid- to late-November. See the back page for more details.

CHILDREN’S CORNER AT BUMC 651 Country Club Road, Bridgewater, NJ 08807 908-526-9596

For questions or comments about this publication, please contact Veronica Sydlowski at thebridgebumc@gmail.com

www.theccorner.org || childbumc@gmail.com Ages 2-6 || Full and Half Day Programs

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A

Vision

for

the

By: Veronica Sydlowski “Where do we want to go as a church?” This question has been the topic of discussion over the past several years— through Team Vital and over the course of the 12 summer meet and greets that Rev. Dr. Jennifer Cho attended with over 150 church members. During the meet and greets and individual meetings, Rev. Jennifer listened to the joys, strengths, concerns, and areas for improvement for Bridgewater United Methodist Church. Since Team Vital was coming to the close of its 18 month run and new staff and clergy were starting at their positions, it was an ideal time to start a strategic team. The Vision and Strategic Planning team is comprised of 10 members of the congregation with a diversity of ideas and backgrounds and is in the process of coming up with a strategic plan. It is important to note that this new team is not a “Team Vital 2.0” as the chair Gerry Tamburro states that this visioning and strategic planning team is “looking forward” and is discerning what the priorities are and putting the energy into those areas. 3 | | November/December

Fu ture

“We want to put markers in place to capture the new energy, joy, and camaraderie our staff brings,” says Gerry, “as well as capture Rev. Cho’s gifts and diversity and help her plan a roadmap for her ministry.” Over the past few months the Vision and Strategic Planning team has been meeting monthly to determine the role of the team, what the strategy should be, gathering different viewpoints, and discerning priorities. The team is also working with Jack Scharf, a volunteer coach, as well as using Jorge Acevado’s book Vital Churches to help move the team forward. The team itself will be short term, as once the strategy has been decided upon, the team will meet quarterly to talk about the progress of the strategic plan. The team will also work closely with the Church Council and Staff Parish committee on making sure there is action and accountability of all strategies. A strategic plan is part of a healthy organization. Gerry says that a strategy allows an organization to do things that support the end goal. “Strategic planning involves vision, mission and outside-of-thebox thinking.”


Vision and Strategic Team Members: (Back row) Nicholas Schaber, Greg Sydlowski, Doug Parvin, Gerry Tamburro, Don Schulz, (seated) Jack Scharf, Christine Dombrowski, Pat Bodden, Linda DeLukey, Not pictured: Robin Bonner

“It also describes where you want your organization to go, not necessarily how you're going to get there.”

progress, and come back and ask members to find their area of passion and get involved.

Team members recently shared an update on what they had been working on in late October. They are currently in the process of deciphering which of the possible outcomes are truly strategic and which are more tactical as well as debating which four or five will become the highest priority and how to execute on them over the next few years.

Rev. Jennifer’s Vision 2020

Rev. Jennifer has established five areas as part of her “2020 Vision” including laity empowerment, leadership development, creating a welcoming and hospitable congregation, creating a united vision for the future and exploring the next phase of ministry and mission (see box for more details).

- A Welcome Center for New Visitors - Create intentional welcoming culture and process - Develop an effective follow-up on new visitors - Develop an effective assimilation process for new members

The Vision and Strategic Planning team will continue to provide updates on their work regularly, be fully transparent with the

Laity Empowerment:

- Strengthening Men's Ministry, Youth/Young Adult's Ministry

Leadership Development:

- Multiply Lay Servants’ Ministry (Men, Women, Youth)

Creating a Welcoming and Hospitable Congregation:

Creating a United Vision for the future:

- Engage in an intentional visioning process - Learn to think outside of the box

Explore the next phase of our ministry and mission

- Who are we? (Our identity) - Who is our neighbor? (Our context) - What is God calling us to do or become? (Our purpose)

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November 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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Vendor & Craft Fair 10am-3pm Fall Work Days 8am-12pm

Youth Group Apple Pie Making & Baking 9am-12pm Children & Families Ministry—Meal Packing for Elijah’s Promise 10am-12pm Bridgewater 3Ds Dinner Drewby’s Grill Pub, Manville, NJ

5:45-7:15pm

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Consecration Sunday and Lunch 9:15am & 10:30am with lunch at 11:30am Thanksgiving Eve Worship 8-9pm

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Festival Orchestra & Churchwide Christmas Lunch 10:30am A Service of Reflection for the Longest Night 7pm

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Hanging of the Greens, Movie “A Christmas Carol” and Lunch 10am-12pm for decorating and 12-2pm for movie and lunch Children & Families Ministry Christmas Cards and Cookies 4-6pm United Methodist Women (UMW) Cookie Exchange 9-11am Combined Worship Service with Holy Communion 10:30am

Christmas Eve SERVICES Combined Worship Service with Holy Communion 10:30am Outdoor Living Nativity — 4-6pm

Volunteer for 30 minute shifts to be part of the nativity outside of the church complete with lights, manger, and live animals!

Christmas Eve Services — 4:30pm, 9pm

4:30pm—Casual Family Worship with Christmas Pageant 9:00pm—Christmas Candlelight Service with Holy Communion November/December | | 6


This year’s advent study is “The Redemption of Scrooge” by Matt Rawle and examines how Jesus’ teachings can be found in Charles Dickens classic book “A Christmas Carol.” Through video and discussion with others in your group, reinvigorate your faith in the Advent season by looking at a familiar classic novel through the lens of faith. Small groups are meeting on various times and days as listed below. Sign up for any of the studies on the bulletin board outside of the church office. Contact Rev. June Tamburro at 908-526-1414 x8 with more questions.

Sundays (starts November 12) 9am (youth), 9:15am, 10:30am (at BUMC)

Thursdays (starts November 16) 10am (member’s home), 8pm (online)

Tuesdays (starts November 28) 1pm (member’s home), 7pm (at BUMC)

Fridays (starts November 17) 12pm (at BUMC)

Wednesdays (starts November 15) 7:30pm (at BUMC)

Saturdays (starts November 18) 9am (men’s group at BUMC) November/December | | 7

The Bridge - November and December  

Bridgewater UMC || The Bridge || November & December 2017 || Volume 2, Issue 4

The Bridge - November and December  

Bridgewater UMC || The Bridge || November & December 2017 || Volume 2, Issue 4

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