ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS, NJ — The First Presbyterian Church celebrated Reformation Sunday with a performance by a bagpiper and drummer highlighting the worship service.

   Playing were bagpiper Jim McHarg and his daughter Jamie on drums. The special music at the Oct. 30 service followed in the tradition of the Church of Scotland, the mother church of Presbyterianism.


Pastor Michael Riley with bagpiper Jim McHarg and his daughter, drummer Jamie McHarg, following the Reformation Sunder service at the Atlantic Highlands Presbyterian Church. Photo by PETER E. DONOGHUE

   The start of the Protestant Reformation is traditionally marked on Oct. 31, the day in 1517 when Martin Luther reportedly nailed his “ninety-five theses” to the door of a church in Wittenberg, Germany in protest of the Roman Catholic Church’s sale of indulgences to absolve sinners of punishment.


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   In addition to the special music, Pastor Michael Riley observed Reformation Sunday with a sermon on the four pillars upon which the Reformed Protestant faith rests: “Christ alone, Grace alone, Scripture alone, Faith alone.”

   This Sunday, the Rev. Barbara A. Macfie will preach on “A Time To Remember, A Time To Prepare.” Her sermon will will reflect on a passage in Joshua discussing the parable of the Ten Virgins.

   She will also administer Holy Communion.

   Riley will act as liturgist and will continue his “mystery bag” children’s sermon series where youngsters try to “stump the pastor” by placing a personal “treasure” in a brown paper bag. He then picks a bag and creates a children’s message from its contents.

   The pastor will be back in the pulpit next week.

   Regular Sunday School, which is open to all area children, will resume next Sunday.

   The pastor’s weekly Genesis Bible Study is being held at 7:30 p.m. each Wednesday.

   The adult choir rehearses at 7:30 p.m on Thursdays in the church and is seeking new members.

   Macfie has been an ordained Presbyterian minister for 12 years and is a counselor who concentrates on her private practice at Phoenix Counseling Center, Metuchen,

   Riley is an author and Asbury Park Press columnist, as well as the leader of the 121-year-old handicapped accessible church at Third and E. Highland Aves.

   Child care is provided during all Sunday worship services.                        

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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...