ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS, NJ – Rev. Michael Riley, columnist and minister, will begin a series of sermons on the Parable of the Prodigal Son during Sunday’s 10 a.m. worship service at the First Presbyerian Church.

The series is inspired by Henri Nouwen’s book “The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming,” which, in turn, was inspired by Rembrandt’s painting of the scene. The title of Sunday’s sermon is “The Younger Son Leaves.”

On Sunday, Oct. 24, Riley continues the series with a sermon entitled “The Younger Son Returns.”

On both Sundays, the church’s regular irregular preacher will also continue his popular “mystery bag” children’s sermon series in which youngsters try to “stump the pastor” by putting a small personal “treasure” in a brown paper bag. Riley then picks one and creates a children’s message from the contents.

The Sunday School classes begin after the children’s sermon, during which this Sunday the children will sing “Jesus Loves Me.”


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All area children are welcome.

Riley will return again to the pulpit on Sunday, Oct. 31, Halloween. The Rev. Dierdre Thomson will preach and administer Communion on Nov. 7.

Riley has been an ordained minister for over 20 years and is an author and reporter-columnist for the Asbury Park Press. His weekly column, “Only Human,” appears on Friday in The Press.

Area residents and visitors are invited to worship at the 120-year-old handicapped accessible church at the corner of Third and E. Highland Aves. Child care is provided during worship services.


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Avatar of Allan Dean

Allan Dean

Allan Dean is editor, publisher, and founder of the Atlantic Highlands Herald. Published since 1999 and selected in 2000 by the Borough of Atlantic Highlands as one of their official newspapers, making...