CLARK, NJ: The kids are back to school, football season is underway and Osceola Presbyterian Church is inviting the community to help kick off a new year filled with new opportunities.
“As pastor of Osceola I am most excited about our renewed commitment to deepening our faith for all generations,” said Rev. Kathy Genus. “Children, youth and adults together will have opportunities to learn and grow in the faith, share what their faith means to them through relationships and opportunities to serve to others. We will also build our relationships by having some fun together! We are a church on the move, a church that is eager to serve Christ in our neighborhood and the world and we are eager for others to join us on this journey!”
On Sunday, Sept. 11, the Clark church will hold an informal worship service at 10 a.m. where members will be invited to talk about how God is working in their lives as well as upcoming opportunities to share the love of Jesus Christ outside the church walls.
After worship, the Osceola Food Pantry Committee will host a free luncheon to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the church’s expanded food pantry program. The committee is asking people to bring a non-perishable food donation to help restock the pantry shelves after a busy summer.
At 9 a.m., Osceola will hold a special kick-off event on the church’s front lawn (weather permitting.) Parents will be able to register their children for Sunday School (which begins on Sunday, Sept. 18), and there will be games and crafts for kids.
"Registering children for Sunday School is a wonderful way to develop spiritual growth,” said Alice Dietze, head of Osceola’s Sunday School program. “The kids get to learn more about the Christian faith through Bible stories, songs, crafts, and games. Most especially, we want our Sunday School students to feel that church is a place where they are welcomed and loved."
At the kick-off event, you’ll also be able to find out about other classes, activities and service opportunities offered at Osceola.
The church is planning a variety of Bible education opportunities for adults, including three different Bible studies at 9 a.m. on Sunday mornings. There will be an Introduction to the Bible class, a traditional Bible study of the Apostle Paul and the Book of Romans, and a class called The Wired Word that focuses on current events through a Biblical lens. All three will begin on Sept. 18.
The Wired Word will also be offered at 7 p.m. on Wednesday evenings, beginning Sept. 14, for those who can’t come on Sunday mornings. A recent Wired Word lesson looked at stories about a mega lottery jackpot and presented relevant scripture passages, asking students to think about the ways that the Lord and to reflect on whether an abundance of material possessions would fulfill them spiritually or bring them happiness.
Osceola members are looking forward to an exciting year of mission participation and giving. The church will partner with Stop Hunger Now to host an event at 11 a.m. on Sunday Oct. 2. Volunteers will work together to package 10,000 meals that combine rice, soy, dehydrated vegetables and a packet containing 23 essential vitamins and minerals to benefit hungry children and families around the world.
“I’m really excited about giving our congregation more opportunities to get involved with hands-on mission opportunities,” said Paul Hadsall, co-chair of Osceola’s Mission Commission. “We’ve always had a passion for feeding people, and partnering with Stop Hunger Now gives us a chance to do that in a new way. There will be jobs for people of any age or physical ability level, so I’m hoping that everyone will get involved – and maybe bring a friend to church that day who might also want to help out.”
Osceola will be launching a new small group ministry initiative this fall to help members better connect with each other and with the community. The first event is part of a Family Fun Days series, which will start on Saturday, Sept. 24 with a movie night and cupcake competition that runs from 4-8 p.m. There will be a pumpkin carving and trunk or treat event in the church parking lot from 4-8 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 29. A game night is in the works for November.
There are other activities outside the Family Fun Days series that are also planned for the fall. On Sunday, Oct. 16, there will be a one-day greeting card-making class after worship, beginning at approximately 11 a.m. “Make a Joyful Noise” is a discernment and discovery small group that will explore traditional hymns and popular praise music and experience how they help us grow in our faith. The group will meet at the church on Tuesday evening in October from 7-8:30 p.m. and is open to youth and adults of all musical ability levels. Those who play musical instruments are asked to bring them, if possible.
“I’m looking forward to these new opportunities to get to know members of our congregation outside of Sunday worship,” said Nancy Iaria, co-chair of Osceola’s Adult Ministries Commission. “Making new and deeper connections will help us strengthen our church family bonds.”
The church’s Youth Group, open to students in grades 6-12, will hold its first meeting of the year on Tuesday, Sept. 20, from 6-8 p.m. with a barbecue at the home of organizers Alice and Jim Dietze. Regular meetings are held on select Tuesday evenings at the church – contact the office for more information.
All activities are open the members of the community. For more information, call the church office at 908-276-5300 weekdays between 9 a.m. and noon, or visit Osceola’s website, http://osceolapresbyterianchurch.org, and Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/OsceolaNJ/
Osceola Presbyterian Church is located at 1689 Raritan Road, right off the Garden State Parkway at Exit 136 in Clark, near its borders with Cranford and Linden.