ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS -- The Rev. Paul F. Rack will conduct a Candlemas service at 7 p.m. Saturday at the First Presbyterian Church.

       At the regular 11 a.m. Sunday worship, the pastor will preach on Jesus' resistance against what the temple had become in a sermon entitled "Jesus Against the Market," based on John 2:13-25.

       According to Rack the  temple had become "a place dedicated to exploitation and profit," which he says "should cause us to ask what we have become, if we embrace the same values.
       "How, in following Jesus, do we purify our own temples, our bodies, our communities, restoring them to wholeness, goodness and love?" he asks.

       The David Nunez-directed adult choir will perform during the Sunday service, singing “We Bring the Sacrifice of Praise” as the introit and “The Lily of the Valley" as the offertory anthem.

       Saturday's Candlemas is part of the church's newly initiated Saturday service and will be a special candlelight service to commemorate Jesus' recognition in the temple and his bringing God's light to the world.      

     At 10 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 21, the church will offer area residents an opportunity to learn about the Enneagram, which, according to Rack, is "a powerful tool for personal development and interpersonal relationships." The event, led by Rack, will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the church.

       The pastor has been trained at the Enneagram Institute, Stone Ridge, NY.

       The introduction to Enneagram had been scheduled Jan. 24 but was postponed due to weather conditions.

       The church is marking its 125th anniversary this year by dedicating itself to the support of the local food pantry. Members and friends are urged to donate canned goods and money through the church for the pantry on a regular basis.

       The food pantry is operated by the Area Association of Community Churches (AACC) and is located in the United Methodist Church at Third and E. Lincoln Aves. Donors from the First Presbyterian Church are asked to drop off canned goods and other non-perishable food stuffs in the entrance Narthex at the Presbyterian church, located at Third and E. Highland Aves.

       Area residents are also invited to attend the weekly Bible Study, which is held at 11 a.m. on Wednesdays at Sissy's Restaurant at the municipal yacht harbor.