Sermons & News

But Timothy has just now come to us from you, and has brought us the good news of your faith and love. (1 Thessalonians 3: 6)

Please also visit Upcoming Events     View a recent service: St. Peter's YouTube Channel Livestreams

All the COVID-19 metrics continue to be GREEN in New Jersey. You may still wear a face mask if you feel more comfortable.
If you do not feel well, PLEASE stay home and contact the church office or clergy for a home visit

November 17, 2023

Beloved in Christ,

Science has shown a direct link between smell and memory.  I know that to be true from personal experience from walking into my grandparents’ house in Livingston, NJ on Thanksgiving for many, many years.  The smell of roasting turkey still reminds me of home and family.

But there was something a bit extra special about my grandparents’ kitchen.  It was small in comparison to today’s homes (maybe 100 sq. ft.). Three people in that kitchen was a crowd!  Oddly, it was carpeted; and it had two doors that were usually kept closed, which made the room extremely cozy in the best ways. The overall effect of that kitchen is part of my cherished holiday memories.

Many of us will spend a large amount of time in our kitchens over the next week, perhaps a bit out of a sense of duty, but mostly out of love.  Many of us express our love through caring for our loved ones by offering them food they enjoy.  It is time to revisit old family recipes and favorites that, sometimes, only get made once a year.  The abundance of food can be overwhelming!

I remember my grandmother had a cornucopia on the table made with real fruit. After a full dinner with too many side dishes to count, dessert with several kinds of pie and ice cream, plus nuts and after-dinner mints, she would always ask if we wanted a piece of fruit!  It’s hard for me to pass up a pear, but after so much food, I think I took it home with me.

The only reference I have for so much abundance is God’s banquet table.  Scripture tells us that we will neither hunger nor thirst anymore when we are in God’s realm. As a child, I think it always shocked me that after such a big meal the previous night, at some point the next day, I would get hungry again, which didn’t feel possible 12 hours earlier.

Part of our human condition is hunger, and it is not only for food.  In the Beatitudes (Matt. 5:1-12), Jesus reminds us, "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled." We seek to be in right relationship with God AND each other. I believe it is the basis for the work that we have to do to bring about God's kingdom here on earth.

We gather around the altar during worship to be fed with Christ’s body and blood.  I like the metaphor of the altar being like a kitchen table where the family gathers for camaraderie and nourishment. And I find it comforting to think that those who we love and see no longer are gathered at their own table just beyond the veil. Together we feast, gathering strength and endurance, and thus fortified, we can continue to seek righteousness until all are filled.

We do remember all who struggle with the holidays for various reasons, especially those who are food insecure. Let’s help them make memories of delightful holiday smells.

In Christ,

Rev. Valerie+

Go to the calendar on our home page: Upcoming Events

Sign up for Remind texts. Info here: Remind Texts


Click on one of the dates below to listen

                        08 Oct 2023      01 Oct 2023

                        24 Sept 2023      17 Sept 2023    10 Sept 2023       03 Sept 2023

                        20 Aug 2023    27 Aug 2023

                        30 July 2023      23 July 2023    16 July 2023    09 July 2023    02 July 2023

                        25 June 2023      18 June 2023      11 June 2023      04 June 2023 Trinity Sunday

                        28 May 2023 Pentecost      21 May 2023      14 May 2023       07 May 2023

                        30 April 2023    23 April 2023    16 April 2023      09 April 2023 Easter Sunday

                        08 April 2023 Easter Vigil    07 April 2023 Good Friday     02 April 2023 Palm Sunday

                        26 March 2023      19 March 2023      12 March 2023      05 March 2023

                        26 Feb 2023      Ash Wednesday      19 Feb 2023      12 Feb 2023    05 Feb 2023

                        29 Jan 2023      22 Jan 2023      14 Jan 2023      08 Jan 2023      01 Jan 2023

Good News

See recent issues of our parish newsletter:

December 2023 Good News

November 2023 Good News

October 2023 Good News

September 2023 Good News

Hard copies of our newsletter can be mailed upon advance request.


Parish Photos

Visit us on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter for more content.