Religions and Spirituality

Press Releases

First Congregational Church of Westfield Celebrates Newly Restored Hall

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First Congregational Church of Westfield’s Patton Hall has been newly restored. The historic hall is home to the church’s social events and may be rented for meetings and celebrations.
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First Congregational Church exterior showing Patton Hall, built in 1912
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Patton Hall detail showing restored alcove
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Patton Hall illuminated at night

First Congregational Church of Westfield is celebrating a gift of its own this Christmas: A newly restored parish house.  Hidden from view for over 40 years, the hall’s window wall and skylight are once again exposed, filling the room with natural light on three sides and from above. The soaring space, warmed by dark wood trim, forms the heart of the church’s social events.  

Built in 1912 and named for an early minister, Patton Hall was modified over the years to accommodate the needs of a growing congregation. A portion was walled off to create an infant nursery and a drop ceiling was added during the 1970s energy crisis, sealing off the balcony and skylight above. 

With the completion of the restoration, the most dramatic architectural elements are once again visible, namely the exposed rafters, arched windows and wood trimmed skylight in the early 20th Century Craftsman style. The original Gothic-style chandeliers were refurbished and fitted with Edison-era bulbs.  Doors and woodwork were salvaged and reused and the light-blue nursery trim was stripped and returned to its original chestnut finish.   

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At the center of the room, an arched alcove with plaster detailing is lighted from above with leaded glass.  It can be fitted with a portable stage for events like the popular “October Surprise” cabaret. In a nod to the 21st Century, the alcove is installed with a 75 inch “smart” TV for meetings or movie nights. The hall is fully handicapped-accessible and includes a new bathroom and service kitchen. It can seat 120 people and is available for rental for meetings and celebrations.

The restoration was a labor of love for church member Keith Westerhold, who oversaw every detail with A. Paul Contracting of Hillside and architect Robert Algarin. He credits them with sharing his dedication to making the space look as close to the original as possible. Funds for the project, which included central air conditioning and a new nursery, were raised through the church’s Heritage Fund and a special churchwide appeal.

“Among the many blessings of a thriving congregation are members who are willing to contribute so generously to complete a project like this for future generations,” said Rev. Dr. Mark Boyea, FCC Senior Minister. “We welcome the community to experience both the room and the generosity of spirit that restored it over coffee following our weekly worship celebrations.” 

First Congregational Church is located at 125 Elmer Street in historic downtown Westfield. For more information on rentals or church programs, please visit fccofwestfield.org or call 908-233-2494.

 

 

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Westfield

Clark Police Make Arrest in Home Burglary Wednesday

January 17, 2018

CLARK, NJ – Clark Police arrested a suspect in connection with a residential burglary on Wednesday afternoon.

According to Police Chief Pedro Matos, police responded to a call from an alert resident in the area of Orchard Terrace and Hawthorne Drive around 1 p.m.   The resident reported seeing a suspicious blue BMW SUV in the area.

Once on the scene, officers located the SUV ...

Synopsis of Westfield Board of Education Organization Meeting Jan. 9

January 11, 2018

ORGANIZATION OF BOARD 

Business Administrator Dana Sullivan acknowledged Lynn Benner, Kent Diamond and Peggy Oster, who were elected to three-year terms on the Westfield Board of Education on Nov. 7, 2017, and sworn into office prior to the start of the Jan. 9, 2018 meeting.  Ms. Ohlig was nominated to continue as president of the Westfield Board of ...

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Free Self-Defense & Boxing Classes for Female Westfield High School Seniors at YETI MMA

January 18, 2018

A few weeks ago YETI MMA in Scotch Plains, NJ decided to give back to the community and offered to all female seniors at Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School free self-defense and boxing classes. The offer was in response to not only the on-going national movement of empowering our young women but also based upon the local and often unreported sexual assault and harassment of our young ...

Westfield Police Blotter: Reported Fraud & More

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Ahmad Komara, age 28, of North Brunswick, NJ, was arrested on the strength of an outstanding warrant for his arrest in the amount of $500. Subject was processed and posted bail.

 

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Kehrry Bernard, age 21, of Elizabeth, NJ, was arrested on the strength of an outstanding warrant for her arrest in the amount of $250 from ...

Point View's Q1 2018 Newsletter Available Now

Point View Wealth Management's First Quarter of 2018 edition of Outlook has published, featuring articles offering a wide range of topics for investors as we enter the New Year, such as:

Potential risks to your investments in 2018;
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Are You Ready for the 2018 Tax Season?

2018 tax filing season begins Jan. 29.

 

Tax returns due April 17. The IRS set the Jan. 29 opening date.

 

The IRS expects that the earliest date the EITC/ACTC related refunds will be available in taxpayers' bank accounts (or on debit cards if they chose direct deposit) is Feb. 27, 2018 — providing that there are no other issues ...

Westfield High School Students Perform with Central Jersey Orchestra

Three Westfield High School students — Junlin Yi, Kevin Li and Kelly Eagan — performed with the Central Jersey Music Educators Association Region Orchestra on Jan. 7 at the CJMEA concert held in Montgomery High School. 

According to Craig Stanton, Westfield High School Orchestra Director, "Every year hundreds of students prepare and audition for the ...

Addressing Anxiety in Adolescents

January 16, 2018

Anxiety can be one of the most unpleasant emotions that people feel. The word “anxiety” describes periods of fear, worry, nervousness, and restlessness.

Anxiety comes with thoughts of danger and helplessness. Life experiences, especially those that occurred in childhood and adolescence, often determine our perception and expectations of threats and vulnerability.

We react with ...

Garwood Family Center YMCA Students Honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Garwood Family Center YMCA students honored the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by learning about his role in history.

The Garwood Family Center YMCA is a branch of the Westfield Area YMCA. To learn more about full-day and half-day early learning programs, summer camp, and before and after school care for Garwood students, contact Director Shannon McGillis Jackson ...

Dog Found in Roselle Still Being Held at Newark Shelter

A dog that was found on Jan. 9 is still being held at the Newark Animal Shelter because no owner has claimed him. 

Roselle Police said the dog was found in the area of the Roselle side of Warinanco Park. The dog has a distinct blue eye and brown eye. Police also said the animal was checked and had no chip or tags. 

The Newark Animal Shelter has ...

Governor Signs Legislation — Breastfeeding is Now a Protected Category Under the NJ Law Against Discrimination

Effective Monday, January 8, 2018, the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination was amended to include breastfeeding as a protected status. As a result, an employer cannot refuse to hire, cannot discharge and cannot treat someone adversely with regard to the terms, conditions or privileges of their employment because that employee is breastfeeding and needs workplace ...

The New Tax Plan: When It Comes To Real Estate, There are Still Winners

Let’s see who wins and who may lose.

We have all heard a lot about the new tax plan. Depending on your individual financial situation, you may have a positive or negative take on the tax bill. But how does it impact real estate? That also depends on a few things, like where you are buying a house, how much money you have, and what you intend to do with it.

The new tax plan has had a ...

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Mark Zuckerberg Should Be Concerned About His Legacy; Punishing Legitimate Media Organizations and Small Businesses Isn’t the Answer; Regulation Is

Facebook recently announced it will be changing its feed and algorithms so that news from publishers and posts from businesses will be relegated in favor of posts about your neighbor’s cat. 

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that Facebook is making these changes because he is concerned about his legacy and that of the company he founded. If ...

Obituaries

Feb 28, 1946 - Dec 28, 2017
Mary Jo (Wade) Juelis, 71, formerly of Westfield, died peacefully on Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017, ...
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Raccoon Attacks Hillsborough Woman and Her Dog

January 17, 2018

HILLSBOROUGH, NJ — A raccoon attacked a 63-year-old woman and her dog a few steps outside the front door of her residence Tuesday morning, according to police.

Irene Rothschild told police she had walked out the front door of her home at 424 Bigley Road with her dog around 11 a.m. when the raccoon attacked, biting and scratching the dog.

Neighbors on social media say Rothschild ...