ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS -- Area residents are invited to join the members and friends of the First Presbyterian Church for the 11 a.m. Sunday worship service, followed by the congregation's annual "Great Blessing of the Water" on the borough beach.

According to Rev. Paul F. Rack, the 12:30 p.m. blessing of the waters "affirms God's gifts of water, the means by which the Lord sustains all of life within the creation." It will be conducted by the pastor on the borough beach just west of the municipal yacht harbor.

The 11 a.m. service, his first of the year, will feature a sermon entitled "To Fulfill All Righteousness" and will be based on a Scripture reading from Matthew 3:13-17. It will be held at the nearly 127-year-old church at Third and East Highland avenues.

"Jesus is baptized by John, joining us in our humanity and in so doing being recognized by God," according to Rack. "Jesus’ experience changes the direction of his life.

"In our church we remember our baptism every Sunday. We too are recognized by God in Christ, and called to follow him as disciples.

The David Nunez-directed adult choir will perform during the service.

All area residents are also invited to attend the pastor's weekly "Bible by the Bay" Bible Study at 11 a.m. every Tuesday at Sissy's Restaurant in the municipal marina.