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ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS, NJ – The Rev. Michael Riley, columnist and ordained minister, will continue his series of sermons on the “Parable of the Prodigal Son” during the 10 a.m. worship service this Sunday — Halloween — at the First Presbyterian Church.

The title of Sunday’s sermon is The Prodigal vs. The “Good Son.”

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Rev. Michael Riley to preach at First Presbyterian Church in Atlantic Highlands

The sermon, the third consecutive of the subject, 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, a copy of which is in the church sanctuary.

Also, during Sunday’s service, Riley will continue his “mystery bag” children’s sermon series in which youngsters put a small personal “treasure” in a brown paper bag and try to “stump the pastor.” Riley then picks one and creates a children’s message from its contents.


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Regular Sunday School classes begin after the children’s sermon. All area youngsters are invited to attend Sunday School.

The Rev. Dierdre Thomson will preach and administer Communion  on Nov. 7. Riley will preach on Nov. 14. 21 and 28 and the Rev. Barbara Macfie will be in the pulpit Dec. 5.

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.

All 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. A new municipal parking lot is available next to the Christian Education Building on Highland avenue.

Child care for four-year-olds and younger is provided during the worship service.


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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...