ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS --- The First Presbyterian Church will host a joint worship service and picnic with the Hope Presbyterian Church of Tinton Falls starting at 11 a.m. Sunday, July 26 at the municipal harbor gazebo.
The Rev. Paul F. Rack, pastor of both churches, will offer the Sunday message, entitled "Free Indeed," along with administering Holy Communion.
"Most people misunderstand freedom," Rack explained. "What we call freedom is really to be enslaved to the demands of our own egos. But to be truly free is to keep God’s Word.
"To act in harmony with what is good and true, is real freedom. Jesus comes to reveal this true freedom to us and give us the path to access it. In the end, true freedom is found in obedience to Jesus Christ, who is our true humanity in union with God."
Church choir director David Nunez will coordinated the music with Tess Neilsen, music director at the Hope church.
All area residents are invited to attend and casual clothes are encouraged. Hot dogs and water will be provided and attendees are asked to bring food to share.
Regular Sunday services are being held in the church's air-conditioned Fellowship Hall with the exception of the fourth Sunday during the summer months when they will be held at the Gazebo, the next one being scheduled for Aug. 23. The 125-year old church is located at Third and E. Highlands Aves.
Rack, who has been away for two weeks, will resume holding weekly Bible studies, called "Bible on the Bay," at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, July 29 at Sissy's Restaurant in the harbor, to which all area residents are also invited.
The First Presbyterian Church is also continuing its shorter, informal weekend service entitled a "Gathering in God's Love," at 7 p.m. on each Sunday evening in the church.
In celebrating its 125th anniversary, the church is dedicating itself to the support of the Atlantic Highlands food pantry. Members and friends are urged to donate canned goods and 125 coins onregular basis. For the summer the church is emphasizing the collection of items appropriate for children's lunches during the period when they are not getting lunch at school.
The food pantry is operated by the Association of Area Community Churches (AACC). First Presbyterian Church donors are asked to drop off canned goods and other non-perishable items in the entrance Narthex of the Atlantic Highlans church, located at Third and E. Highland Aves.