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ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS -- The Rev. Paul F. Rack will focus on John the Baptizer during Sunday's worship service at the First Presbyterian Church.

His sermon Sunday is entitled "The Peace" and will be based on Zephanian 3:14-20; Phillippians 4:4-7 and Luke 3:7-18.

The theme of the pastor's message gives specific instructions to people as to how they ought to behave to get ready for the Messiah.

According to Rack, the message has to do with justice and fairness and integrity. The prophet Zephaniah and the apostle Paul urge people to be joyful. Clearly, we are to live in the consciousness of God’s promises being fulfilled, and goodness, blessings, and peace being established among us.  Even if this fulfillment is not completely apparent to us now, we still live in it by faith and trust.  It turns out that peace is the way to peace.

Organist David Nunez will accompany the adult choir in its singing of the offertory anthem, and Communion music.

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, 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.

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