SHORT HILLS, NJ - This past Sunday, thirty-six youth gathered at Community Congregational Church in Short Hills for a “Pilgrim Party,” where they partook in a special Thanksgiving-themed breakfast, played games like “Pin the Hat on the Turkey,” and learned a song about thanks to sing at Family Worship later that morning, while adorned with pilgrim hats and bonnets. The youth also packed thirty bags full of Thanksgiving trimmings, as well as long-term pantry staples like peanut butter, pasta, rice, and more, to be delivered to the Imani Center, an outreach program for high school students in Irvington. The thirty Thanksgiving bags were delivered to Irvington earlier this week, along with 150 turkeys and holiday boxes containing Thanksgiving meals that were funded by donations from church and community members.

“It’s important to us that when kids come to church, they not only learn about God through studying the Bible in Sunday School, but they also participate in hands-on activities that teach them about helping others and putting their faith into action,” says Rev. Jennifer Testa Hrynyk of Community Congregational Church. “We’re happy to provide multiple ways for kids and teens to get involved with their communities - through these projects on Sunday mornings, community service opportunities like our Oasis Food Pantry program in Irvington, and more.”

The next opportunity to pack meals for Irvington students is at Community Church’s Caroling & Tree Lighting event on Sunday, December 4 at 5:00pm; kids will participate in this service project and join their families and friends in toasting marshmallows for s’mores, enjoying tasty hot beverages, and singing Christmas carols around a beautiful outdoor tree. Children and teens are also invited to take part in Community Church’s Live-Animal Christmas Pageant, a dramatic presentation of the Christmas story featuring music, costumes, and live animals. As a Christmas service project, Community Church will offer $15 sponsorships for board game gifts for kids in Irvington. Parents are welcome to sign up their children for the pageant, make a board game donation, or find more information online via Community Church’s website,

Community Congregational Church is a Christ-centered community, guided and inspired by the Bible, where everyone is welcome. Worship is held on Sunday mornings at 10:30am. The church is located at 200 Hartshorn Drive in Short Hills, NJ. Directions and further information is available at