ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS - The Rev. Kathy Genus will focus Sunday on the words of John the Baptist at the First Presbyterian Church.

Her sermon, the second of four Genus December Advent messages, is entitled "Sounds of the Wilderness." It is part of her Advent series called "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?"

"John speaks words in the wilderness,"  Genus reports. "We wonder who is in the wilderness to hear his words. Yet his message is filled with a sound that has traveled throughout time.The wilderness is not a friendly place and it has hard lessons for us all, particularly as we prepare ourselves to deepen our relationship with God and prepare to live a life reflective of that relationship." 

Sunday's scripture will be Mark 1:1-18 and Psalm 85:1-2,8-13

All area residents are invited to attend the 10 a.m. service at the festively decorated 127-year-old church at Third and East Highland avenues, which will feature Genus' message and the lighting of the second Advent candle .   

"Our Advent series will explore the idea of time," she says. "We will wrestle with the idea of God entering into our time through the birth of Jesus and, as a result, our sense of time and purpose is forever distorted.

"Time is no longer how we perceive it. We are not to prepare for God to arrive because God is here now. Advent reminds us to awaken from our slumber, to see God anew, to live a life that responds to Emmanuel. God with us in the here and now."

She will also peach on Sunday, Dec. 17th and Friday, Dec. 24th, Christmas Eve.

Genus lives in Toms River and has served congregations in the Monmouth and Elizabeth Presbyteries as a director of Christian Education. She was previously the pastor of Osceola Presbyterian Church in Clark Township.

She is a graduate of New Brunswick Theological Seminary and is a certified Christian educator.