From David A. Davis, a Letter of Gratitude

On Consecration Sunday, November 26, we will offer our 2018 pledges during worship and we will consecrate our giving during a special time in the service. Make your pledge now or learn more on the Annual Stewardship page. The following Sunday, December 3, we will give thanks to God.

Stewardship: Celebrating God's Abundance

Nassau Church Stewardship 2018

To the Body of Christ at Nassau Presbyterian Church,

As I sit to write this letter of gratitude to you, our Reformation Sunday morning experience here at Nassau Church is so fresh: a wonderful lecture folks can’t stop talking about, vibrant worship, an adult baptism, new members, great hymns, Bibles for second graders, a stunning presentation on our outreach and partnership in Malawi. A memorable morning like so many when we gather here on the Lord’s Day. I know you must join me in affirming that Nassau Presbyterian Church is such a gift from God.

God continues to bless our congregation in so many ways. What a privilege it is for us to pass forward what has been entrusted to us when it comes to worship, fellowship, discipleship, education, service, outreach, and advocacy. By all measures the ministry of Nassau Presbyterian Church is robust, healthy, and vibrant. I invite you to join me in expressing thanks to God for our life together. As I said at the end of my sermon on October 22:

The Body of Christ, today at Nassau Presbyterian Church. For your work of faith, your labor of love, your steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ — thanks be to God!

I also want to personally thank each of you who support Nassau Church with your financial gift and pledge. Every single contribution helps to make this congregation the thriving community of faith that it is. Every gift is important and adds to the rich tapestry of our life together. Thank you!

It is with a grateful heart that I ask for your financial support for Nassau Presbyterian Church in 2018. As we enter this season of gratitude, as a congregation we are once again committing to a time of prayerful discernment about our generosity, our giving, our ministry. In prayer for ourselves and for one another, let us ask God to lead us and inspire us.

So that God might be glorified, we might be faithful, and our life together as the Body of Christ might continue to grow and flourish by God’s grace and in the power of God’s Spirit.

With Grace and Peace,

David A. Davis


Posted in About

Christmas Joy gifts have helped Menaul School change lives for generations

Gary Lucero Jr., a sophomore at the Presbyterian related Menaul School, has 20/20 vision that sees the promise of the future and the richness of the past.

He looks forward to the year 2020 when he will graduate from Menaul, a racial ethnic secondary school, and envisions himself well prepared to enter college and young adulthood thanks to his time there. He also looks back on years past and sees the impact of the school on his family members. His family’s history on the Albuquerque campus began more than a century ago.

“A lot of my family has gone there, so there’s a very big legacy, and that is important to me,” Gary says. One of Gary’s maternal great grandfathers, Jose I. Candelaria, a 1916 Menaul graduate, became pastor of Albuquerque’s Second United Presbyterian Church. In addition to serving at Second, Candelaria helped start several congregations in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado.

Joe Candelaria, Gary’s grandfather and a 1950 Menaul graduate, worked for many years as a public school industrial education teacher. Menaul honored him with the Harper C. Donaldson Outstanding Alumni Award this year, citing his commitment to the values that Menaul seeks to instill through Christian education.

Two of Gary’s paternal great grandparents, Ofene Garcia, a 1934 graduate, and Carlota Romero, a 1937 graduate, met at Menaul and later married. Both were active in the Presbyterian Church throughout their lives.

“I come from a caring family, and they have done things to help the church and the school, and I am very proud of that,” he says. Gary has 28 relatives who attended Menaul, and his family continues its commitment to both the church and the school.

“Menaul School has made an impact on our lives, and we are beyond grateful for the opportunity to have our son attend such a wonderful place,” says Gary’s mother, Joanne Lucero.

While appreciative of the legacy he inherited, Gary also sees how the Menaul experience is shaping his future. “The small classes help a lot, and the
teachers and the coaches are very supportive,” Gary says. “I love it here.” Gary is a high-achieving student and is on the track and basketball teams.

Today Menaul students are beginning new legacies. Most come from homes where neither parent has attended college, and many sacrifice to send  their child to the school because it sends nearly every graduate to schools of higher learning.

Your gifts to the Christmas Joy Offering will help Menaul open the doors of opportunity for more students to begin their own legacies. Half of your gift will go to help Presbyterian-related racial ethnic schools and colleges train future leaders for our church and society, and the other half will go to help past and present church workers and their families who are in critical financial need.

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Posted in Mission, Offering

Christmas Joy gifts help bring about happy endings after tragedies strike

In 2014, Elisabeth Scotland’s college graduation day turned from joy and celebration to trauma and heartache in an instant.

After receiving her diploma from Boston University, Elisabeth, along with family and friends, went to a baseball game at Fenway Park. While waiting for an elevator, Elisabeth casually leaned against the elevator doors. The doors opened at the wrong time, and Elisabeth fell 20 feet down the elevator shaft. Her multiple injuries included a brain injury that put her in a coma for a week.

Her parents, Rev. John and Anne Scotland, spent two months in Boston by Elisabeth’s side during her hospitalization and rehabilitation. The congregation John serves, Community Presbyterian in Brigantine, New Jersey, graciously granted John leave, but there were living expenses in Boston to be paid, and someone had to fulfill John’s pastoral duties while he was away.

Thanks to a Shared Grant from the Presbytery of West Jersey and the Assistance Program of the Board of Pensions, the Scotlands’ expenses in
Boston were covered, and a newly ordained pastor from Community Presbyterian handled the congregation’s pastoral duties during John’s absence.

Caring Presbyterians in West Jersey Presbytery rallied around the Scotlands with prayers and financial gifts. Another crucial component of their support came from Presbyterians across the country who had given to the Christmas Joy Offering, which supports the Assistance Program of the Board of Pensions.

The Christmas Joy Offering gifts also helped the Scotlands two years earlier when Superstorm Sandy damaged thousands of homes in their island community. Four feet of water flooded their basement, ruining the heating system, electrical panels, appliances, and other possessions. They received an Emergency Assistance Grant from the Board of Pensions to help with replacement costs.

“I think the emotional support was more important than the financial support,” John says. He explains that it was comforting to “know that somebody outside the community knew we were hurting and wanted to help.”

Thankfully, life is much better these days for the Scotlands and their community. In early 2017, Elisabeth, now an accountant in Philadelphia, passed her CPA exam. Also this year, John and Anne made a gift to the Assistance Program to help others get the kind of help they received.

“Having a Presbyterian family was a big blessing to us and helped us come through tragedy,” he says.

The Christmas Joy Offering is one way the Presbyterian family blesses people in need. Half of your gift will help current and retired church leaders and their families who are in critical financial need. The other half will help Presbyterian-related racial ethnic schools and colleges train future  leaders. Your gift will make a difference for the church today and tomorrow.

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Posted in Mission, Offering

Christmas Joy gifts help ensure dignity for a faithful church servant’s final years.

As an urban minister for more than 40 years, Bob Forsberg dedicated his willing hands, generous heart, and sharp mind to serving people society
had cast aside.

Last year however, at age 91, the mental capacity that had served this Presbyterian minister so well began to fade. His memory loss became so debilitating that Bob, after years focused on helping others, found himself in need of help.

Bob’s retirement income was enough to pay the bills at his retirement community in Oakland, California, but he had few other resources. Before retirement, Bob had earned a modest salary at Wider City Parish, serving among economically disadvantaged people in New Haven, Connecticut.

Bob believed he should be paid no more than the average worker in his impoverished neighborhood. He and his family qualified for public housing and made their home there. Yet Bob was adept at leveraging ministry funds from churches and charitable foundations for initiatives ranging from youth work to affordable housing. He advocated for better schools in his community and for civil rights, both locally and nationally.

In retirement, Bob relocated to the West Coast to be near his children. He eventually moved to a retirement community and functioned well in an independent living unit until last year. When dementia forced him to move into a memory care unit, the added service was more than Bob could afford over the long term. His children were grieved by the possibility of having to move their father to another facility.

“We looked around at places nearby in the price range that we could afford, but it was very upsetting to see those conditions and to think about my dad being in those circumstances,” says his daughter, Barbara Forsberg.

Thanks to gifts made to the Christmas Joy Offering, Bob didn’t have to move. Help from the Assistance Program of the Board of Pensions has enabled him to receive high-quality care in familiar surroundings.

“For a family like ours and for a person like my dad, who has served his entire career in the Presbyterian Church, it has really been a lifesaver,” Barbara shares. “I don’t know if he would be doing so well if we had to move him to another place.”

Barbara notes that it was generosity, a trait that Bob so faithfully incarnated, that came to Bob’s aid in his time of need.

“This is a very moving thing,” Barbara says, “and the irony is I don’t know if he is even aware of it in his mental state. But certainly for those of us who are caring for him, it is a wonderful circle.”

That circle of caring is possible because of congregations like ours that give to the Christmas Joy Offering. Half of the Offering will help past and
present church workers and their families who are facing critical financial circumstances. The other half goes to Presbyterian-related racial ethnic
schools and colleges to train future leaders.

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Posted in Mission, Offering

PC(USA) Christmas Joy Offering

Follow Christ’s Lead This Advent Season

Every year, society expects us to celebrate the holiday season even bigger and better than years before. This year, coming together to reclaim Advent and Christmas can be both humbling and fulfilling. As we excitedly await the birth of Christ, it’s important to remember the reason for the season: the newborn Servant of All.

With Christ at the center this holiday season, we can follow in his example of servant leadership by serving our brothers and sisters in faith. Through the Christmas Joy Offering, we are able to support those in our community and give them the gift of hope.

Funds from the Christmas Joy Offering help the Assistance Program of the Board of Pensions provide critical financial assistance to eligible workers in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and their families, and to qualifying retired church workers and their families.

The Christmas Joy Offering also supports the education and development of our future leaders at Presbyterian-related racial ethnic schools and colleges. These schools are dedicated to creating opportunities and environments for racial ethnic students built on a foundation of Christian values. The Offering benefits Menaul School and Presbyterian Pan American School, two secondary schools that ready students for a path of higher learning, as well as Stillman College, where graduates are prepared for lives of leadership and service.

By giving to the Christmas Joy Offering, we can share in the hope of Christ and celebrate his leadership by providing support to our church workers, racial ethnic young people, and their families.

Ways to Give:


Posted in Mission, Offering

Nov. 5 – Time Change & Half-Marathon

Daylight Saving Time will end on Sunday, November 5. We’ll “fall back” by setting the clocks back an hour.

The Princeton Half Marathon is also on Sunday, November 5, from 7:00-11:00 AM. We will have both services as usual. Allot some extra time getting to church, especially the 9:15 AM service. Check the route map below to plan your trip.
Posted in Events

Nassau honored for generosity to SHUPP

September 24, 2017: Bill & Pam Wakefield accept a commemorative bowl in honor of Nassau Presbyterian Church’s ongoing support of Send Hunger Packing Princeton.

Last month, at the annual fundraiser for SHUPP (Send Hunger Packing Princeton), Nassau was presented with a beautiful bowl and thanked for our ongoing support, generosity, and kindness.

Almost 420 kids in Princeton Public Schools, equating to 2 in each classroom are eligible for free and reduced price lunches on school days. Until SHUPP these kids could and did get pretty hungry on weekends and holidays. Through a collaborative effort coordinated by Princeton Human Services Commission, Mercer Street Friends and the Princeton School District. a group of committed volunteers pack and distribute weekend food backpacks to children in the Princeton schools and at the Princeton Nursery School. To date, SHUPP has distributed almost 100,000 meals!  That translates into a lot of healthier, rested, brighter and happier children.

Thank you Nassau members, your generous monthly hunger donations are helping to make this happen.

For more information, see Send Hunger Packing Princeton

Posted in Mission

Concerts – November 2017

Westminster Conservatory at Nassau
Thursday, November 16

On Thursday, November 16 at 12:15 p.m. the series Westminster Conservatory at Nassau will present flutist Barbara Highton Williams and pianist Ikumi Hiraiwa in recital.  Both performers are members of the Westminster Conservatory teaching faculty.  The recital will take place in the Niles Chapel and is open to the public free of charge.

The program on November 16 is entitled “Colors of Minor,” and comprises J.S. Bach’s Sonata in B Minor, BWV 1030 for flute and piano, Ferruccio Busoni’s Albumblatt: Andantino, and Sonate by Melanie Bonis.

 Westminster Conservatory at Nassau recitals will resume on January 18, 2018 with a performance by Timothy Urban, baritone, and Kathy Shanklin, piano.

Westminster Conservatory of Music

The New School for Music Study
Sunday, November 19

Join us Sunday, November 19, at 2:30 p.m. in the Sanctuary for an afternoon of dance music in a New School for Music Study faculty piano recital. This recital will feature Baroque dance suites by Bach, music from Puerto Rico and the Greek Isles, and everything in between. Proceeds from the recital will benefit Presbyterian Disaster Assistance’s relief work in Puerto

New School for Music Study

Posted in Events, Music & Arts

Arm in Arm – Fall 2017 Benefit

Inviting all Nassau friends to Arm In Arm’s 2017 Fall Benefit


Wednesday, November 15
Cherry Valley Country Club, Skillman

Come on out for a great evening in support of a great cause as we continue to work together to help families in Mercer County in need of food, housing and job support. 100% of proceeds will support Arm In Arm in our mission and programs that serve more than 5,000 local families every year.

6:30 pm  Cocktail and hors d’oeuvres reception

7:30 pm  A compelling conversation featuring distinguished panelists:

  • Johannes Haushofer, Assistant Professor of Psychology and Public Affairs, Princeton University
  • The Rev. Karen Hernandez-Granzen, Pastor of Trenton’s Westminster Presbyterian Church and 2017 Community Partner-in-Residence at Princeton University’s PACE Center for Civic Engagement
  • Marygrace Billek, MSSW, Director of Mercer County Department of Human Services
  • Panel moderator: Landon Jones, author and former managing editor of People magazine

8:30 pm  Coffee and dessert

RSVP by November 6 by calling 609-396-9355, ext. 15, or by reserving online at

Posted in Events, Mission

Mission Partnership Quarterly – October 2017

Challenge abounds at home and in countries around the world. This month, we invite you to celebrate the small miracles of education empowered by our partners in Trenton and in Burma/Myanmar, and the joy of even basic medical care offered in Malawi by our own Dr. Barbara Edwards, and her new VIP friends. Join us – the need is great and the work force could use some new and renewed support.

As always, we welcome your questions, suggestions, and support as we seek to deepen our commitments beyond the Nassau Church community.

For the Mission & Outreach Committee,

Joyce MacKichan Walker, staff

Mission Partnership Quarterly Email Newsletter

Updates and events from our local and global mission partners. Four issues annually. Sign up to receive these updates in your email.


Villages in Partnership

Wondering how you can get involved with our newest mission partner? Please contact Loretta Wells,

This Sunday, October 29, come to the Assembly Room at 12:15 p.m. to hear Barbara Edwards speak about her trip to Malawai (picture above) this past May with Villages in Partnership’s medical mission group.

Hear how twenty-four Americans worked with local Malawians to create four pop-up medical clinics that served over five thousand people in three days. Barbara Edwards is a general internist with a private practice at The University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro. She is also the Medical Director of the  Bristol-Myers Squibb Community Health Center, which serves over 8000 patients, many uninsured or underinsured. Edwards worked in Liberia, West Africa, in 1988 as a medical student and has always wanted to return to work in Africa. “When Steve Heinzel-Nelson came to speak at Nassau about Villages in Partnership, I knew God was calling me to serve.”.

Westminster Presbyterian Church

Interested in visiting Westminster’s 11 AM worship and meeting our partners? Contact Patti Daley,

Memories of Princeton University’s 14th Community Action Week at Westminster Presbyterian Church
Ashley Hodges, Class of 2021, Princeton University

On September 6, 2017, Trenton students tackled their first day and experienced the jitters of returning back-to-school marking the end of their summer vacation. While the schoolyards once again became populated with young, bright minds and positive souls, Westminster Presbyterian Church organized community-based events that involved Princeton students in a positive interaction with the Trenton community. With the help of the students, WPC planned and participated in activities that supported the children and parents of Trenton. The Princeton students, young adults who come from all over the United States and as far as the United Kingdom and Turkey, enjoyed working with WPC and immersing themselves within the Trenton community. Holly Cunningham, a first year at the university, noted that she and her group “were eager to give the students of Trenton a chance to get excited to start the new school year.”

Events such as a back-to-school backpack drive and carnival helped benefit both the community of Trenton while allowing the Princeton students to be involved in community service activities through an annual program called Community Action. For the past 14 years, Princeton’s Community Action has partnered with WPC while making the effort to ensure that each years’ events are better than the last. Prior to the planned events, the Princeton students were prompted by WPC to go out into the Trenton community and encourage the residents of the church’s surrounding neighborhoods to attend the back-to-school backpack drive and carnival. This year, the backpack drive provided over two hundred and eight backpacks and school supplies to students in the Trenton area. Over one hundred of these backpacks were donated by Nassau. All the backpacks were filled with an array of school supplies. With donation of $1,000 from Nassau, Get SET was able to purchase much needed scientific and algebraic calculators.

The recipients of the backpacks are children of all races from Westminster, Get SET After School Program, Sprout State University, School of the Arts (K thru 12), Howard’s Healthy Choices After School and Summer Camp, and Beracah Apostalic Church; a Hispanic/Latino immigrant church.

The back-to-school carnival brought together over 200 children and parents who enjoyed various festivities such as face painting, circus acts, games, candy, and prizes. These events were coordinated by WPC and the Princeton students and made a positive impact on Trenton’s residents who expressed great gratitude for the church’s involvement within the community.

At the end of it all, the students of Princeton and Trenton were able to exchange aspects of kindness, thankfulness and service. With the help of WPC, the students of Trenton will returned to the classroom prepared and ready to go to tackle the new year while the Princeton students will recall the lasting experiences they shared within the unique Trenton community.

WPC Facebook Links:

Community Action Week 2017 @ Westminster: Prepping for Giveaways

Community Action Week 2017 @ Westminster: Distribution

Community Action Week 2017 @ Westminster: Carnival

Cetena Educational Foundation

Your ideas for making this a vital partnership are welcome. For more information, contact Sue Jennings,

The Cetana board has been distressed by recent events in Myanmar/Burma. The persecution and violence conducted by the military against the Rohingya in Rakhine State constitute an enormous step backwards for the country. In view of this setback, Cetana intends to redouble its efforts to advance educational opportunities for Myanmar youth. We continue to believe that education is crucial for political, economic, and humanitarian progress.The project in Kanpetlet in Chin State, where Nassau Church has provided significant financial support, is going ahead as planned. Metta Partners, Cetana’s partner in this venture, will be on the ground again in January visiting the schools and talking to the teachers before the ESL volunteer supported by Nassau Church, Janet Powers, returns to the village in April to conduct teacher training.
In January Cetana’s flagship learning center in Yangon will welcome Martha Spector, a volunteer who will conduct business English training classes. These classes are very helpful for students who want to find jobs in the developing economy in Myanmar. Martha is a retired lawyer and business executive with an MBA. She has spent time in Southeast Asia. As a native speaker with business skills, she will be able to make a major contribution to Cetana’s course offerings.
Cetana has also benefited from an award from the DeBoer Foundation, which enabled Khoo Kyaw San, the Cetana executive director at the learning center in Yangon, to participate in a fellowship program for mid-career professionals in not-for-profit organizations. The program gave Khoo Kyaw San valuable training in strategic planning, leadership, and fundraising, as well as an opportunity to network with other NGOs.

Finally, Lois Young, a Nassau Church member, will be leading the trip to Myanmar/Burma in January. The group will travel to Yangon, Bagan, one of the world’s greatest archaeological sites, Kalaw, the site of an elephant sanctuary and forest recovery project, and Inle Lake.  During the tour participants will have an opportunity in Yangon to see Cetana’s work firsthand. Last minute spots may be available, if you are interested, contact Sue Jennings.

Posted in Mission Partner