ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS, NJ - The First Presbyterian Church will mark the first Sunday in Advent with a sermon by Pastor Michael Riley entitled "A Long Time Coming" during its 10 a.m. worship service.

   In the message, Riley will remind the congregation of how the Old Testament prophets awaited the coming of a Messiah, that their wait ended with the birth of Christ and that now, with the start of Advent, Christians wait as well for the Son of God to put on flesh and dwell among us.

   During the service, the first Advent candle will be lighted.

   Riley, who is a columnist for the Asbury Park Press, also will continue his "mystery bag" children's sermon series during which youngsters try to "stump the pastor" by placing personal "treasures" in brown paper bags. The pastor then creates a message from the contents of the bag.

   Sunday School, which is open to all area youngsters, begins following the children's sermon.

   The adult choir will also sing during the service.

   Riley, pastor since April, is a former Baptist minister studying for ordination in the Presbyterian Church USA. In addition to being a columnist, he is a staff writer and editorial writer at The Press. His column, "Only Human," appears on Fridays.

   The 121-year-old, handicapped accessible church at Third and E. Highland Aves., offers extra parking in a new municipal lot next to the Christian Education Building on East Highland Avenue.

   Child care for four-year-olds and younger continues to be provided during the regular worship service.