george_hancockstefanFor the past few weeks, the American public held its breath to find out what the Congress will be doing by August 2. Would the Senate, the House and the President come to an agreement so that the country will not default on its debt? No matter which commentator one would listen to there was bad news. Not only was there bad news, but one group would excoriate the other for not producing results. In talking with my friends, some of them became so involved that they listened to the news every waking moment, while others decided to turn to the news again on August 2, when they would find out what happened.

In the midst of this constant barrage of bad news, it sounds almost ostentatious to produce a series of concerts called The Good News at the Gazebo! Yet throughout his earthly journey Jesus proclaimed the good news. The Gospel of Mark opens with these words, “The beginning of the gospel (good news) of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” (Mark 1:1) The Gospel of Luke introduces the beginning of his ministry in the Nazareth synagogues when he says, “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom to the prisoners and recovery of sight to the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (Luke 4:18-19)

In all four gospels, the good news about Jesus is proclaimed. The good news is the presence of Jesus, God among us. The good news is in the teaching and the healing of Jesus. The good news is on Good Friday when Jesus Christ dies on the cross. The Good News is on the Resurrection Sunday when he rises from the dead. The Good News is on The Day of Ascension when he ascends to the throne of God the Father. The Good News is on Pentecost when he sends the Holy Spirit to guide, teach and protect his church. The Good News is that the same Jesus who was on this earth and ascended to the Father, will come for the second time as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

This Good News was entrusted to those who love Jesus and wanted to follow Him. Before His ascension to the Father, he told the disciples. “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation (Mark 16:15). The same concept is in the Gospel of Matthew where we read, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I will be with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Mt.28:18-20)

It is this gospel, this good news, that we want to proclaim each Saturday in August at the Atlantic Highlands Gazebo beginning at 7 p.m. We invite you to come and hear the good news in song. The four groups, Michael J. Maione, Prazym5, Hans Soul and Carl and Laurie Gentry are presenting different styles of music, but the goal is the same – to proclaim the good news. The good news is to proclaim what God has done for us in Christ; the good news is to share what God is doing today in our time; the good news is to live in His joy; the good news is to challenge everyone to have a closer walk with God.


We treat each of our patients as part of the family at Atlantic Highlands Animal Hospital. We offer top-quality surgical and dental treatments for cats and dogs. For the best pet care in the Atlantic Highlands, NJ, call us at (732) 291-4400.

We invite you to come for Good News, Good Music, and Good Food. Come and be a part of this fellowship. Invite others to come along with you so that we will become a community of good news for the glory of Jesus Christ who came to proclaim the good news of the Kingdom of God. Come.

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Rev. Dr. George Hancock-Stefan

George Hancock-Stefan

Pastor George Hancock-Stefan completed 30 years as the pastor of the great congregation at Central Baptist Church in Atlantic Highlands in 2020. Those 30 years have been a blessed time for him, his wife...