September 2020

The Epistle - LPC Newsletter

September 2020


Diane R. Ford - April 2018

Blessed be the God and Father-Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ – the God of all mercies and of all consolation – who consoles us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to console those who are in any affliction with the consolation with which we ourselves are consoled by God.  (2 Cor. 1:3-4)

Dear Siblings in Christ,

Know that the God who has made us is the God who has walked every step with us during these months of global, national, local and personal change and challenge.  The Spirit has provided opportunities we had not imagined before the pandemic.  This includes a ground swell in social justice work and the Church, as never before, being accessible on the World Wide Web.  There has also been great need of support and consolation for physical, mental, financial and spiritual health.  COVID-19, fires, hurricanes, racism, divisiveness, violence and the election season bring us to our knees in prayer and to our feet for action.  Fear not; we are made for this! Hear the Word of the Lord:

See, I am doing a new thing!
    Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
    and streams in the wasteland. (Is. 43:19)
Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. (Jn. 14:12)

Speaking of hearing the Word of the Lord, since March we have been using Zoom in order to worship online.  This has been a fruitful and exciting undertaking in many ways. Of course, there are regular attenders of LPC who are unable to join our Zoom worship services.  And there are some congregants who have said that they are ready and willing to gather with a group in the sanctuary to worship – with safety precautions in place.  Still, there are others who are not comfortable with gathering in groups yet.

LPC’s Session, Board of Deacons, and the “Futures Team” have engaged the congregation and one another in order to discern how we can best minister to all seeking to worship with LPC.  Though a date has not been set yet, we are close to having all the preparations necessary to have an integrated online and “in-house” worship service.

What will that look like? Some people will gather in our sanctuary and others will be on Zoom. The people in the sanctuary will wear masks, sit 6 feet away from one another, and be able to look at the large screen on the wall and see all the faces of those on Zoom.  We will be able to hear one another, whether you are in the sanctuary or on Zoom.  We are grateful for our music director Mike Kabash for his leadership and time spent with other tech-savvy members to make this integrated audio-visual experience possible.  Stay tuned to learn when we will launch our first integrated service!

In this month’s newsletter, The Epistle, describes the small group classes that are starting, the worship themes for the season, and our annual double-mission, the Back-to-School support and Food Drive.

Pastor Diane Ford

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LPC Food Drive

 

COVID-19 has aggravated normal end-of-summer food bank shortages and has created huge food emergencies for families who need help the most.

With this in mind, LPC is again planning to conduct a food drive for the benefit of COG in Middletown. Like last year, we will provide bags for congregation members to obtain food donations.

This year, we will staple the food bank announcements to the bags wearing masks and gloves and will let the bags sit for a week before distributing them.

The empty bags will be available for you to pick up at the church Monday-Thursday 9 AM to 2 PM beginning September 8th, Saturday 10 AM to 2 PM, or Sunday after service until 2 PM.

We ask that you give the bags to your friends and neighbors and ask them to fill them with food and leave them in front of their homes by 3:00 PM Saturday Sept. 19th. Your task will be to collect their filled bags that Saturday afternoon and bring them to church during the following week.

Last year we collected 101 bags of food for COG. Delicious Orchards has graciously donated 250 recyclable paper bags for us to use in lieu of the plastic bags we previously used.

This is a wonderful way to join with our friends and neighbors for a good cause and to provide an opportunity to make a difference locally.

Thank you.
Evangelism & Church Growth

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Back to School Gift Card Program

Calico Cat Food Pantry and Cupboard
Community Outreach Group Inc.,
P.O. Box 4041, 96 Kings Highway, Middletown, NJ 07748
“Back to School” Gift Card Program
August 2020

 

Dear COG Congregations of Faith,

 Greetings! This is our 23rd year that the Calico Cat Pantry and Cupboard of Community Outreach Group will continue to provide additional help to qualified families and their school-age children through our Back to School Program. The Pandemic crisis has put more pressure on the most vulnerable families located in the northern Monmouth County area.

 In the past, our Congregations have risen to the challenges of providing a little more financial help for families with school aged children. Right now, we have 84 children under the age of 18 to help! This year the need seems to be more critical given the effects of the pandemic. Many are seeking more help to feed their families and still provide for other necessities for their children. The Pandemic has caused lay-offs and cut-backs in salaries for lower income working families.

We hope your Congregation will help us by providing gift cards for this long standing and sorely needed program. We are suggesting providing gift cards in the amount of $20 so that the cards may be used at local clothing and shoe stores. We will be appreciative of any and all gifts.

The cards need to be received by September 15, 2020.

With sincerely gratitude for all that you do.

Margaret Fitzpatrick, Coordinator
Calico Cat Cupboard/Back to School Program
You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than this.

For your convenience you can mail or drop off a check for Back-to-School Card Program  – (mailbox or building if it’s open) at

Lincroft Presbyterian Church
270 Everett Road
Lincroft, NJ  07738

Please write the check to LPC and on the memo line indicate “Back to School Program.” We must have the check in hand by Sunday, September 13th.

Thank you for helping those families with children at Calico Cat who would be without if it were not for your donations.

In Christ,
LPC Deacons

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Join us outside for Community Yoga at LPC!

Have you noticed the Yoga sign on our lawn?  We now have community yoga in our church parking lot. Classes are taught at an Intermediate level and held Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8:30 am and Saturday mornings at 9:30 am.  Class is given by Regina Bliss Golden.   We are happy to be able to make use of our property in a unique way during the pandemic while also helping out a small business. More details are on the home page of LPC’s website.

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Diane Ford & Lincroft Presbyterian Church
are inviting you to our weekly online Zoom Worship Service

Topic: Virtual Church
Time: 10:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
 Every week on Sunday

Join Zoom Meeting

https://zoom.us/j/582266497

Meeting ID: 582 266 497

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Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/adD73V9f0w

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Christian Education and Spiritual Growth

______________________________________________

Into The Light

 Presbyterian Women 2020-2021
 Lincroft Presbyterian Church

 LPC Presbyterian Women
 Women’s Bible Study Group

  The 2020-2021 Curriculum:
   “Into the Light”
   “Finding Hope Through Prayers of Lament”

  from the Horizons Bible Study Program 2020-2021
Horizons is a magazine published for Presbyterian Women Groups

During this time of the corona virus we are meeting online using ZOOM technology. We welcome all new participants, including any non-LPC members. If you would like to attend  online using ZOOM – please call LPC’s office at 732-741-8921 with your name and email address and joining instructions will be provided.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020The Heart of Lament … Psalm 137; Matthew 27:45-56

Tuesday, October 27, 2020Lamenting Together … Psalm 137

Tuesday, November 24, 2020: Women’s Lament … Jeremiah 9:17-21; Matthew 2:16-18

December 2019: Special

Tuesday, January 26, 2021: Lamenting Death … John: 11:28-37

Tuesday, February 23, 2021: Lamenting Life … Job 3:1-4, 9-19, 24-26

Tuesday, March 23, 2021: Lament Over the City … Lamentations 5:1-22; Luke 23:26-31

Tuesday April 27, 2021: Creation Laments … Isaiah 24:4-6, 8, 19; Romans 8:19-23

Tuesday, May 25, 2021: God Laments… Hosea 11:1-9; Luke 12:41-44; (Matt. 23:37-39; Lk 13:34-35)

Tuesday, June 22, 2021: The End of Lament … Isaiah 23:6-10; Revelation 21:1-8

Meetings during the pandemic are via Zoom technology – 11:00 am, Fourth Tuesday of the month.

Newcomers are of course welcome
call 732-741-8921 for further information

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Fall Season Christian Education for You

The following offerings are designed to be online gatherings via Zoom:

Faith Formation at Home

For parents with young families, we want to equip you for engaging faith stories and topics in a fun and meaningful way. Our resource this year is “Growing in God’s Love: A Story Bible.” There are activities and downloadable resources.  In this time of COVID, it is especially important to find joy and peace in our faith. May this fall begin with a new routine of family faith talks and activities during your week.

On-line High School Sunday School with Jill

Students will explore Artwork available that reflect the Matthew 25 themes that Diane Ford will be covering in her sermons. We will be looking at the environment we are living in and discussing what God is calling us to do in our daily lives. We will also be looking at what service projects we might want to become involved in. When any high schoolers join us for worship on Sunday morning, they are sent to a Zoom break-out room for this class. On Communion Sundays the class will remain in the worship service the whole time.

Class with Pastor: Deeper Dive Bible Study

Weekly on Wednesdays, 6:00 – 7:00 PM beginning Sept 16 through mid-November. The Scripture of the previous Sunday’s service will be the focus.  Bring your study Bibles if you have them. Listen to the sermon live or recorded before each class, and bring your questions, insights and curiosity.

The Wired Word: Men’s Group Bible & Current Events

New participants welcome!  To receive dates, times and your monthly reading material, contact Frank or the church office.

Women’s Bible Study

Monthly, fourth Tuesdays, 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM
New Participants encouraged to join this stimulating study.  For more information please contact Dawn or the church office.  Please see page 7 for details.

New This Fall: Facing Racism for Beginners – 6 classes

A pre-recorded Video of Pastor Diane will guide this study. Bring your Bible and your favorite beverage to this small-group conversation.  You can create a schedule custom-fit for partners or small groups to meet. Week 1 will be available September 20.  Reading materials and links for videos will be made available September 14 in an email and on our webpage..

“Racism is the opposite of what God intends for humanity. It is the rejection of the other, which is entirely contrary to the Word of God incarnate in Jesus Christ. It is a form of idolatry that elevates human-made hierarchies of value over divinely-given free grace,” – Churchwide Antiracism Policy, (p. 4)

Week 1: Biblical Imperative to Antiracism
Creation; Image of God; God Loves Diversity; God Loves Justice

Week 2: Envisioning a New Way of Life Together
Beloved Community; New Creation

Week 3: PC(USA) and Racial Reconciliation
The Great Ends of the Church; The Confession of 1967; Council on Church and Race

Week 4: Racism 101
Race; White Supremacy; Racism

Week 5: Enduring Legacy of Racism in the US
Economics; Education; Policing; Mass Incarceration; Immigration

Week 6: Responding as a Community of Faith
Grace; Confession; Repentance

Resource: Facing Racism: Churchwide Antiracism Policy Study Guides.
Approved by 2016 General Assembly of the PC(USA)

 

Sharing Jesus Every Day in All Ways

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Sermon Series & Scripture Readings this Fall: Matthew 25

As we begin the Fall Season, Pastor Diane Ford will approach the topics of poverty, racism and being a vital church.  These are the three elements in our denomination’s “Matthew 25” movement.

You can read ahead, and then after you’ve heard the Sunday sermon and worship service, join Pastor Diane on Wednesdays, 6:00-7:00 PM to take an even deeper dive into the Scripture.

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Date Special Days Scripture
Sep 13 Communion Matt. 18:21-35
A lesson in forgiveness in a parable about debts & debtors.
Sep 20 Matt. 20:1-16
The parable of the laborers: the last will be first.
Sep 27 Matt. 21:23-32
Will you follow me?
Oct 4 World Communion Sunday Matt. 21:33-46
A parable about a vineyard, wicked tenants and the owner’s son.
Oct 11 Mental Health Awareness Matt. 22:1-14
The Kingdom is like a banquet: many are called, few are chosen.
Oct 18 Matt. 17:15-22
Whose face is on the coin?
Oct 25 Matt. 22:34-46
The greatest commandment.
Nov 1 All Saints Day and Communion Matt 5:1-12
The Beatitudes: blessed are you; your reward is great in heaven.
Nov 8  – Matthew 25:1-13
Parable of ten bridesmaids: keep awake, the Lord is coming.
Nov 15  – Matthew 25:14-30
Parable of talents: Good, trustworthy servants are rewarded
Nov 22 Be the Matthew 25 Church Matt 25:31-46
Just as you did it to the least, you did it to me.

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Not In My Food

Not in my food

Food is essential to life. But for too long the food industry has been introducing more and more

refined foods, with too many mystery ingredients, to our supermarkets, our tables and our bodies  while engaging the production practices that harm people who work in the food industry, the earth, the water, and the climate.

It doesn’t have to be this way. At Earthjustice, we advocate for safer, healthier, and more sustainable farming practices, and for safe and healthy food for our families. We’re taking legal actions that are:

  • Advancing sustainable agriculture by protecting farmworkers and children, and advocating for farming practices that protect the environment and our climate.
  • Targeting the most harmful chemicals on our farms and in our food, such as the pesticide chlorpyrifos, which causes brain damage in children and poisons farmworkers.
  • Reforming our broken chemical system by fighting for the public’s right to know, reforming the Toxic Substances Control Act, and creating momentum for more effective regulation.
  • Making our food safer by eliminating the GRAS rule loophole so companies can’t continue to put chemicals and additives in our food and food packaging without independent testing or full disclosure.

We can’t allow Big Food to harm our environment, our climate, or our health through practices that are irresponsible and unsustainable – and we need to hold our government accountable to act in the public interest.

50 California Street, Suite 500 – San Francisco, CA. 94111 —- Earthjustice.org

There is a better way. At Earthjustice, we’re pursuing it every day. Your support helps advance our critical work. Thank you for donating today. 

Citizen’s Petition to Stephen Hahn, Commissioner, FDA

Petition:

Commissioner Hahn,

The GRAS exemption was created for common ingredients like vinegar, salt, and vegetable oil. But the rule introduced by the FDA in 1997 and finalized in 2016 relaxed procedures, and manufacturers now exploit this exemption at the expense of our health and safety. The result is that food companies are allowed to create and add to our foods new food additives without any independent review, and without FDA approval.

As a physician and a scientist, you understand that independent review is critical for any new ingredients or additives that can affect human health. And the FDA is required to conduct premarket review of any new substance before it can be used in or come in contact with food. I urge you to act in the public interest and close the loophole by reforming the GRAS rule.

We are what we eat. But right now, the Big Food companies won’t tell us what we’re eating. As a concerned citizen and Earthjustice member, I’m urging you to take action to protect our food, our health and safety, and our future.

The address to send this petition to is:
EARTHJUSTICE
GIFT PROCESSING CENTER
PO BOX 96346
WASHINGTON, DC  20077-7953

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AmazonSmile Benefits LPC

AmazonSmile is a website operated by Amazon with the same products, prices, and shopping features as Amazon.com. The difference is that when you shop on AmazonSmile, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products to the charitable organization of your choice.  Did you know that Lincroft Presbyterian Church has registered with Amazon as a charitable organization and can benefit from your purchase of eligible products on AmazonSmile?  And you can do this while still using your Amazon Prime membership benefits.  So next time you’re doing online shopping at Amazon, start instead at smile.amazon.com, login with your usual e-mail address and password, use the “Change Your Charity” link to select Lincroft Presbyterian Church, and choose products marked “eligible for AmazonSmile donation” to start earning Amazon donations for LPC – just for shopping online like you normally do!
Rob

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Help Keep Middletown Clean

Middletown New Jersey is the first town in New Jersey to own and operate a Styrofoam recycling machine. It is located at the Kane’s Lane recycling Center. The center is open only on weekends during the COVID-19 crisis. All clean Styrofoam may be processed there.
Joanne

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CHARITABLE DONATIONS
2020 TAX LAW CHANGES

Tax law has changed for 2020 with regard to charitable donations.  In general, charitable donations are included in a section of itemized deductions.  It is the greater of your itemized deductions total or your standard deduction that you subtract from your adjusted gross income to calculate your taxable income.

For the 2020 tax year however, $300 of your charitable donations will be a direct reduction from your gross income to calculate your adjusted gross income.

As a result, for the 90% of taxpayers who take the standard deduction they will be able to write off up to $300 of charitable donations.  Should their top dollars be taxed at 20%, this amounts to a $60 reduction in their income taxes.

A special note: for taxpayers subject to Required Minimum Distributions who take advantage of the Qualified Charitable Distribution provision, $300 of your charitable donations should be from your regular checking account to take advantage of this tax savings.

Should you have any questions contact Doug Irwin at 908-461-1764.

Doug Irwin is a retired CPA, a tax preparer with AARP Tax Aid Service, a consultant in accounting and tax matters and presents seminars on personal income taxes, IRAs, Social Security / Medicare, and basic investing.

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IRA REQUIRED MINIMUM DISTRIBUTIONS
AND
QUALIFIED CHARITABLE DISTRIBUTIONS

Though Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) are suspended for 2020, you can still take advantage of making Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCDs) from your Individual Retirement Account (IRA).  To be able to take advantage of QCDs you must be over the age of 70 1/2.

The advantage of a QCD distribution is that it is exempt from income taxes.  And as such cannot be included in the charitable donation section of itemized deductions.

Everyone’s taxes are different so it is worth running the numbers to see if a QCD could reduce your taxes.  In the majority of cases there would be a tax savings.

Should you wish to further explore this strategy contact Doug Irwin at 908-461-1764.

Doug Irwin is a retired CPA, a tax preparer with AARP Tax Aid Service, a consultant in accounting and tax matters and presents seminars on personal income taxes, IRAs, social security / medicare, and basic investing.

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LPC-photo-01

Lincroft Presbyterian Church
Sharing Jesus Every Day… In All Ways

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