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by Reverend Lynn Santulli | March 14, 2020
Who we are in the midst of difficult times says a lot about our character and what we truly believe. It is hard to believe that someone can hold to an understanding of a God who provides when they hoard cases of toilet paper. We all have our fears and I am not advocating not taking appropriate precautions and acting responsibly...but I would also encourage us to act kindly as well.Remember our neighbors, remember those in need, remember not everyone has the resources we might have to weather this storm, so taking opportunities to reach out during these days is of increased importance.
We all need to make our own decisions based on the best information we have. Listenng to those in office and those working to protect our safety is very important. But taking time to turn off the news and tune into God's Spirit is of great importance as well. In Christ we find our peace and can give voice to our concerns. In Christ we can hear His word to us, words of comfort and hope, words of challenge and calls to courage. In Christ we can find our center and will journey through these days together as disciples in Christ.
At CAPC we are working to offer a variety of ways to worship and serve, mindful of the ways outlined to protect our health. We hope that if you have questions, you will reach out to us. Please know I hold you all in prayer as together (in Christ) we face the challenges before us.
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” ~ Isaiah 41:10
“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you." ~ Psalm 56:3
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” ~ Philippians 4:6-7
“Peace is what I leave with you; it is my own peace that I give you. I do not give it as the world does. Do not be worried and upset; do not be afraid.” ~ John 14:27
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” ~ 2 Timothy 1:7
by Rev Lynn Santulli | November 26, 2019
I am reminded that our faith life is no different in some ways than our body life. If we don't exerccise our body, things start to roll over in places you didn't even know could roll. The burden of weight isn't flattering, but neither is flabby faith. I mean, think about it, that body you are investing in will eventually go the way of all the earth (no, I am no advocating adopting my kind of lifestyle), but it is't eternal. Our bodies all have an expiration date. Faith, however, is an element of the eternal. Why then would we wish to invest all of our time and energy into looking good in lieu of investing time in toning what ultimately will bring us good? TAlk about return on investment!
There is a balance to be struck here, of course, but I hope during this Thanksgiving and Advent season we don't just say thanks (although that is a good start), but we stretch and live our thanks, making it a practice of our daily lives. How do we do that? One way is making it part of our daily routine. Here are some suggestions, and you may have others to add as well:
1. Take a few minutes each morning and take some deep breaths, stretch and allow yourself to be in the moment and reflect on the blessings in your life. What are you ultimately getting up for? That can be a very good question. Is it for love of family? A belief that your life can make a beautiful and lasting difference in the world around you? Connect your life with a higher purpose than just 'getting through another day.' It helps bring perspective and reminds you that our lives are mysterious, wondrous gifts to be embraced. Yes, no matter the challenges and aches and pains we face.
2. Be thankful to the people you meet. If someone holds a door open for you, say thank you (I am often amazed at how many people don't do this!). If someone gets your coffee for you, thank them and wish them well on their day. This doesn't have to be a long or ponderous exchange (better if it is not, frankly, but keep it moving and keep it honest). Recognize if someone has gone th extra mile for you or is working to help you solve a problem. Be mindful of treating everyone with respect and dignity. We never know the challenges another is facing. Living thankfully brings benefits to you and to others as well.
3. Do something for people in need. Donate. Serve. Give. Do. Help. It will bring joy to your soul as well as make the world a better place. Those who volunteer and work for the good of others are reported as being happier and at a better peace with themselves. Who doesn't want more of that?
4. Try to reframe negative thoughts. Ask yourself the question as to why you are feeling angry or a little low? Are you tired and need to give yourself a rest? Exercising is also remembering to relax those muscles in between. We need to relax a bit between our faith exercises as well. Schedule some time for you so you can be in a good place. You cannot draw from an empty well. God calls us to times as rest and we can be thankful in finding rest in those times.
5. If you suspect that there is something more going on in your life, seek help. Don't try to go it alone. Reach out to your pastor or doctor, to a friend or someone you can trust. Definitely be praying about it and be open to how God answers. There is a phone number for people who are willing to listen and will not, nor cannot, share your story with others. Give them a call...and remember to say 'thank you' for their ministry as well.
6. Nurture your mind as well as your soul. Don't starve your soul because life is demanding too much. Take a few minutes to read an article, listen to a moving piece of music, read your Bible (which if you read daily will truly bring strength and set the tone for your day). Fill your soul with good things (like empty calories that bring no lasting value, reach for the richer, deeper experiences that will nurture your spirit in healthy ways that will bring lasting benefit).
7. Worship. Readjust your mindset so that worship is not something you have to do but something you want to do, are priviledged to do and see it as the blessing it is designed to be. Sit back and enter worship with a time of silence, breathing deeply, and practice presence. This is your time to be with God in a place that is surrounded by others who are also seeking God's peace. Listen to the music and allow it to flow into your soul. Follow the flow of the service. It is like a good coach who can lead you from flab to fav! Enter with an open heart, asking God to speak to your heart even as you give thanks for God's presence in your life. Nope, being at home and turning on the TV or popping in a CD will never replace the beauty and mysterious presence of Christ in the midst of His church as they gather. Be a regular part of that gift.
8. Sing. Go ahead and sing your thanks. Make up your own song (being in your car by yourself may be a good place to practice this exercise!). If you cannot make up your own song or write your own lyrics to a tune you know, sing along to your favorite hymn or song (remember to keep it positive). However you do it, make a joyful noise to the Lord It is a sign of thanksgiving and praise and lifts your soul.
There are many other things you can do, but the number eight is a holy number. It is the sign of God's new creation and the world in all its freshness. It is what I hope we can all experience this season. So be thankful. Be inspiried. Be reminded. Be worshipful. Live the joy that Christ has promised. Exercise the right way to grow in faith and understanding and you will be blessed.
by Pastor Lynn | June 13, 2019
by Lynn Santulli | April 15, 2019
Holy Week is taken very seriously at CAPC and we invite you to journey with us. Following are the highlights of the week:
Palm Sunday - joyous chaos yields to palm waving, soaring hymns as we celebrate Jesus' entry into Jerusalem (and our hearts). Sunday, April 14 at 10:30 am.
Maundy Thursday - Thursday, April 18 at 7:30 pm - Christ instituted the sacrament of Communion as a commandment at the Last Supper, we honor that sacrament and offer the ritual of washing of the feet (voluntary) and at the end of service we strip the chancel.
Good Friday/Tenebrae Service - the Service of Shadows or Tenebrae is the retelling of the last hours of Jesus' life on earth through readings and music. In the soaring sanctuary of CAPC, this retelling is especially powerful. Friday, April 19 at 7:30 pm.
And of course we joyously celebrate Christ's Resurrection on Easter Sunday, April 21 at 10:30 am! Congregation is invited to sing portions of Handel's Messiah at the end of service (always a favorite) and children and families are invited to a special coffee fellowship which includes games for the children and special treats for all.
Come, let us worship our God!
by Pastor Lynn | February 12, 2019
November 25, 2018
Advent for people whose hearts are tuned to someting more lasting than the passing fad is a season to prepare for what I feel is the penultimate holy day (I still hold Easter as a holier day). It is celebatory in nature not because of what parties we get invited to, but rather because we recognize that Christ is the true gift of love in our lives that nothing else could ever replace. Advent is a journey of discovery--taking stock of where we are, making a plan to move forward, opening ourselves so that the sacred can be revealed.
We hope that you will want something more out of life as well, something eternal and deep and lasting. We hope that you will want to come and join us on this amazing journey. Come to church. Take a devotional (and actually use it). Attend the three-part class 'Who Needs Christmas" or even just join us for a concert, a Journey to Bethlehem or a service of Lessons and Carols. It's up to you.
We know its difficult. Life can be challenging, Christmas can overtake us and overwhelm our agendas. It just doesn't have to be that way. There is another road and we hope to see you there.
August 1, 2016
2 Corinthians 1:2
by The Reverend Lynn Santulli | February 14, 2015
Worship & Reflect During Lent at CAPC in Plainfield, NJAsh Wednesday is February 18, 2015. Join us 5 p.m. at Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Churh in Plainfield, NJ, as we host an evening of quiet mediation though our lighted labarinth, worship, and a simple soup & bread supper to note the beginning of the Lentan Season. Lent is a period of preparation as we encounter the Cross and the Resurrection of Christ, our Savior. Here at Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church you will find numerous opportunities to journey through Lent in a way that not only meets the demands of your schedule, but (and we think even more importantly) deepens your faith and understanding. Through worship that is authentic, warm and uplifting, educational experiences that challenge and inform, devotions that encourage and so much more, you are invited to join us on the journey of Lent and grow.
Lent at CAPCView a complete list of our Lentan worship and study services by way of the image below. Our journey will include an online Lenten study of the Gospel of Mark , Lenten devotionals, Crescent Concerts' Festival of Organists, a retracing of the last 24 hours of Jesus earthbound life prior to the cruxifiction, the joy of Palm Sunday, communion on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday Tenebrae Worship with musical lead from Crescent Concerts, and the joy of Easter Sunday worship. Also, in the document, is information on our Soup Kitchen if you wish to serve the community during the season.
by Reverend Lynn Santulli | January 14, 2015
It is an image that came to mind as we begin this new year. Where are we off to? Will our year ahead be filled with exploration and challenge? Will we push the limits, our limits, and realize that we can be so much more? How will we grow as a community of faith and who will we meet along the way?
CAPC is a church on the move. We are 'out there' in ministry and mission, especially our Soup Kitchen that continues to attract new volunteers who share how they enjoy their time together, making a difference in the world. They share how they almost feel guilty because they are having so much fun ministering. But why can't it be that way?
People come to worship and are moved not only by being in this space with which we are blessed to worship, but are touched by the incredible level of music, by the prayers and words that are shared. Some are surprised that they feel so immediately 'at home' and some sit silently with tears welling up and express gratitude for 'just being here and being so welcomed.' One woman shared that she had been in a lot of different churches, and each one taught her something different, but this church, she said, taught her about love. I cannot think of a better testimony for a church that seeks to live the Gospel.
We have all the other ministries that you will find at other churches, Sunday School and adult education opportunities, book groups and Bible studies, but you will find something more here as well. Outstanding music offerings by very talented and professional musicians and singers. You will find opportunities to serve and learn and grow. You will find a chance to leave your mark here in this place as you answer where God is calling you to make a difference.
Who knows what the future holds, but we know who holds the future. We might ask you the same question, 'Where are you off to today?" We'd love to hear your response.
by Laura Villanueva | October 25, 2014
Find yourself or a friend in this video montage or be inspired and come to service or worship at CAPC in Plainfield, New Jersey, to join our life of faith, worship, study, celebration, and service.
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