ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS -- The Rev. Paul F. Rack will preach on Advent this Sunday, which he describes as the most apocalyptic of all liturgical seasons, during the 11 a.m. worship service at the First Presbyterian Church.
His sermon is entitled "The War on Advent" and is based on Jeremiah 33:14-16, Thessalonians 3:9-13 and Luke 21:39-45.
According to the pastor, "The end of the world is a major theme … not as in the world’s destruction; God loves the creation and always renews it. The "end" of the world, as in the goal, purpose, destiny, and essence of the creation, is Jesus Christ, God’s love incarnate.
"Unless we realize that he comes not to affirm our petty, unjust, and violent systems, but to reveal another, true world beneath and above this one, we miss the point of both Advent and the Nativity/Incarnation. There is a reason why our culture wants to bury, forget and erase Advent."
Organist David Nunez will accompany the adult choir in its singing of the offertory anthem and Communion music.
The services will resume being held in the church sanctuary after being conducted in Fellowship Hall since the beginning of summer.
Sunday School classes for school-aged children will begin at 11 a.m. Sunday and all area parents are invited to sign up their children by calling Elder Ruth Churak at 732 801-4756 or the church office at 732 291-9265. Child care for younger children will continue to be provided during Sunday School and worship service.
Weekly Bible Study, entitled " Bible-by-the-Bay, is being conducted by the pastor at 11:15 a.m. Wednesdays at Sissy's Restaurant in the municipal yacht harbor. All area residents are invited to attend.
The church's Worship & Spiritual Life Committee is asking that grocery store gift cards be purchased and placed on the church's Christmas Giving Tree for donation to the needy.
The cards are to be placed in red envelopes, provided by the committee, from Nov. 29 through through Sunday, Dec. 20. Once collected they will be given to the Atlantic Highlands Food Pantry, which will distribute them to needy area families.
In addition to putting up the Giving Tree, members of the congregation will be decorating the church sanctuary for Christmas after Sunday's service.
In celebrating its 125th anniversary this year, the church is rededicating itself to supporting the Food Pantry. Members and friends are urged to donated non-perishable food stuffs on a regular basis. November's particular goal is the donation of 125 after-school snacks and 125 coins for the anniversary jug, located in the back of the church.
The food pantry is operated by the Area Association of Community Churches (AACC). Donors are asked to drop off items in the Narthex of the church, which is located at Third & E. Highland Aves.
The First Presbyterian Church's Christmas Eve service will be held at 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 24.