Adult Education – September 2017

Standing Before God

The Protestant Reformation in the 1500s prompted over 500 years of reform and shaped ministry to God’s people for centuries. Let’s celebrate the past and act in the present.

Sundays, 9:15 a.m, in the Assembly Room unless otherwise noted.

For a look at Adult Education offerings through October, download the brochure: AE Sep-Oct 2017 (pdf).

Young Adults in Ministry: Nassau’s Mission Dollars at Work

Katie McGee and Jonathan Freeman

September 10

Katie and Jonathan have both served God and the church this year as Young Adult Volunteers with the PCUSA. Come and hear their stories about why they chose to do a YAV year, what that meant for their life and work, and how their experience has impacted their plans and their future. The YAV motto is “A lifetime of change” – That’s a lot of promise!

Katie McGee has a degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Alabama. She worked as a Presbyterian Disaster Assistance YAV in the Center at Ferncliff Camp, outside of Little Rock, AR. Thailand and an Elephant Nature Park are in her future, but there’s more.

Jonathan Freeman has a degree in Christian Education from Presbyterian College in Clinton, South Carolina. His YAV site was in Indianapolis, where he focused on interfaith dialogue and service with Habitat for Humanity. He will move one to an internship for the Waddell Fellowship program with the University of Georgia’s Presbyterian Student Center.

Healthcare Headwinds: New Jersey’s Stake in the ACA Fight

Jackie Cornell

September 17

What impact would federal health care changes and the repeal of the Affordable Care Act have on New Jersey’s health, families, state budget and economy? A leader from New Jersey Policy Perspective, which has been on the front lines of the fight to preserve the ACA, will join us to discuss the organization’s analyses of the devastating impact, what New Jersey can do to protect the gains we’ve made, and how you can get involved.

Jackie Cornell, Director of Development & External Affairs, leads NJPP’s fundraising and outreach efforts. Before joining NJPP in August 2017, Jackie served in many leading policy and political roles in New Jersey. She was appointed by President Barack Obama as the regional director of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; has served as Congressman Rush Holt’s political director and outreach director; founded and led New Leaders Council – New Jersey; and has held crucial positions with Obama for America, Organizing for America, New Jersey Citizen Action and Planned Parenthood. She comes to NJPP from the New Jersey Hospital Association, where she worked as the senior director of Federal Relations and Regulatory Affairs.

Passionate about leadership development, Jackie currently serves on the National Programs Committee for the New Leaders Council as well as the on the Advisory Board of the New Jersey chapter. She is also adjunct faculty at The College of New Jersey, teaching courses in women and public policy and feminist advocacy.

Beginning September 17

In-Depth Bible Study: First Corinthians

George Hunsinger

9:15 AM
Maclean House

George Hunsinger returns for the 21st year to lead this verse-by-verse examination of the First Letter of Paul to the Corinthians.In this epistle the Corinthian congregation wrestles with doctrinal and ethical issues in conversation with their “founding pastor,” Paul, and Paul offers compelling good news in his understanding of the cross the resurrection, worship, and life together in Christian community.

Bibles are available for use during the class. Find them on the Deacon Desk by the church kitchen. New members are always welcome. Class meets next door in Maclean House (Garden Entrance).

George Hunsinger is Professor of Systematic Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary and founder of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture.

Old Problems for a New Administration

Sandra Matsen

September 24

Come and examine an overview of important and difficult policy decisions awaiting our new Governor and State Legislature in 2018. Join a discussion of these issues and learn where you can find candidate positions to help you make your choice when you vote on November 7.

Sandra Matsen currently serves as the League of Women Voters of New Jersey legislative agent representing the members’ policy interests in Trenton.  A member of the League since the early 1980s she has held numerous local and state League positions, serving as president from 1999-2003.

The digital media files posted on the Nassau Presbyterian Church website are copyrighted by the pastors and presenting lecturers. These works are only for personal and educational use through a digital media player on a personal computer or using a personal digital media device (e.g., iPod). These works may not otherwise be archived or re-posted on the Internet, broadcast in any manner, distributed, transcribed or modified in any way without written permission of the presenting lecturer. The user of the audio file holds no license (of any form – expressed or implied) to any of the content of these files. The same applies to any PowerPoint® presentations.

Posted in Adult Education

September Start-Up

On Sunday, September 10, we return to our schedule of two services of worship at 9:15 and 11:00 am, and many programs soon kick off, including the following. Click through to learn more about any program and how to get involved.

Wednesday, Sep. 6 Adult Choir
Sunday, Sep. 10 Church School and Worship Explorers
Sunday, Sep. 10 11:00 Senior Bus Service
Sunday, Sep. 10 Small Groups Sign-up
Thursday, Sep. 14 Nassau Ringers
Sunday, Sep. 17 Youth Choirs
Sunday, Sep. 17 Youth Fellowship
Sunday, Sep. 17 Breaking Bread
Tuesday, Sep. 19 Grace Note Singers
Wednesday, Sep. 20 Children’s Choirs
Friday, Oct. 13 Club 3-4-5
Posted in About, Events

2017-18 Registration for Children & Youth

August 2017

Dear Families,

Warm greetings to you.  Planning is in full swing for the coming programming year at Nassau Presbyterian Church.  We are very much looking forward to welcoming you and your children, and our year together!

Register here for all church school, fellowship, and music opportunities! More details about each of the programs is available elsewhere on this website. Download a list of the program start dates here: NPC Start Up Dates 2017 (pdf)

With anticipation!

Corrie Berg (x108,

Mark Edwards (x109,

Ingrid Ladendorf (x105,

Posted in Children & Family Ministry, Music & Arts, Registration, Youth

When Compassion Leaves the Church

By David A. Davis. August 16, 2017. Adapted from “Filled,” preached on August 6. This essay was also published on

Before Jesus was a teacher, a healer, or a miracle-worker, he was one full of compassion.

IT should not have to be this difficult to find compassion among the followers of Jesus. According to the scripture, before Jesus was a teacher, a healer, or a miracle-worker, he was one full of compassion. In the Gospel of Matthew alone, Jesus three times sees a crowd and has compassion on them. When he comes upon two blind men sitting by the side of the road, he was full of compassion. Before he multiplied the loaves and fishes to feed the hungry multitudes, Jesus had compassion for them.

When Jesus saw the crowds, he didn’t pretend that he didn’t see them. He didn’t turn away or go find another spot. Jesus didn’t require them to listen to a sermon first, or to show their religious stripes, or pass a scripture test. He didn’t wait for them to ask, or make them beg, or convert them first. He didn’t expect them to justify themselves, their sickness, or their hunger. He didn’t demand they shout out, or bow down, or perform a sacrifice, or praise him, or express their gratitude first. He had compassion.

Jesus didn’t wait to find out if they could afford it. He didn’t check to see if they came from the right family. He didn’t search the Hebrew scripture for a justification. He didn’t stop to ask himself if they deserved it, or if they earned it, or if they even wanted it. He didn’t try to sort out the true believers first. He didn’t preach about a narrow way. He didn’t tell them to go and sell everything and give it to the poor. He had compassion.

Jesus didn’t wade into the crowd to see which ones agreed with him. He didn’t ask them if they bought into his interpretation of this text or that. He didn’t examine their views on piety, or temple practices, or the Sadducees and the Pharisees, or rendering under Caesar, or marriage, or heaven and hell, or even salvation. He didn’t require them to attest that he was the only way. He didn’t divide them into groups based on where they came from, or what dialect they spoke, or what side of the street they lived on, or who were haves and who were have nots.

He didn’t check to see who was pulling on their own bootstraps or who was trying to pull their own fair share. He didn’t wait to declare who was sicker or hungrier. He didn’t ridicule them, or question them, or demonize them, or label them, or tell them they were wrong, or yell at them. He didn’t lead with cynicism, or lack of trust, or fear. He led with compassion. He didn’t stoke their fear, or pit them against each other, or threaten them, or assume they were lying, or conclude they were out to get something they in no way deserved. He had compassion.

The multiplication of the loaves and fishes is listed in the Christian tradition as one of the miracles of Jesus. But before “the Multiplication,” there was his compassion. Was such compassion remarkable? Yes. Was it miraculous? Perhaps. But was his compassion itself a miracle? No. Compassion ought not to be that much of a stretch for humankind. It shouldn’t be so unexpected. Compassion is not reserved for only the holiest or the most divine. Compassion ought to be so utterly human. The plea isn’t to just “have some compassion.” The example of Jesus is to be “filled with compassion.”

Today, now, there can’t be anything that is more important when bearing witness to the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus by communicating, living, breathing, and exhibiting compassion.

When it came to the crowds, his compassion always came first. It came before he looked up to heaven and blessed and broke the bread and gave it them, and before the Last Supper, and even before his crucifixion and resurrection. His compassion came before the canon of the New Testament took shape, before the Apostles’ Creed, before the King James Bible, before theology and doctrine, and before biblical interpretation. Long before the Reformation, and before liberals and conservatives, and literalists, and fundamentalists, and progressives and evangelicals, there was his compassion.

Long before people took on the name of Jesus, before Christians disagreed and argued about pretty much everything, before it became more important to be right rather than be faithful, before Christians became so enamored with who is in and who is out, there was his compassion. Before the Bible and Christianity and the name of Jesus were used to invoke violence and hate and slavery and oppression and exclusion, there was his compassion.

Before the expression “follow the money” became an adage in politics and business and corruption and life, the Christian should have been taught to “follow the compassion.” For Jesus, it would seem, it all started with compassion. When such compassion leaves the church, we face much bigger crises than membership, attendance, and denominational futures. Today, now, there can’t be anything that is more important when bearing witness to the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus by communicating, living, breathing, and exhibiting compassion. God knows it is way too hard to find these days.

David A. Davis
Nassau Presbyterian Church
Princeton, New Jersey

Posted in Mission

School Supplies for Westminster Children

Happy faces at the Get SET Backpack Giveaway 2015

Like Christmas, a new school year brings excitement and lots of new goodies. The supplies add up. In 2016 the average family spent $179 per student, just too much for many families in our area. We are joining with Westminster Presbyterian Church, our partner church in Trenton, to provide 200 backpacks filled with essentials for local kids.

Help us fill backpacks by choosing an item or two to donate from our Back-to-School display on the Great Wall. Or contribute an amount to the Back-to-School Fund and we’ll do the shopping:

  • Writer’s Workshop, $10
    (provides a 3-ring binder, loose leaf paper, composition books)
  • Pencil Case, $20
    (pencil pouch, pens, pencils, highlighters, erasers, crayons, pencil sharpener)
  • Homework Pack, $30
    (academic year planner, 1-subject notebook, index cards, glue sticks, portfolios, ruler)
  • Fully-Loaded Backpack, $80
    (all above in a backpack)

Supply and monetary donations can be dropped off in the church office through Sunday, September 3. Make checks out to Nassau Presbyterian Church, noting “Back-to-School” in the memo line.

Posted in Events

Adult Education – August 2017

The Heart of the Matter

Grab this summer opportunity to reflect on our role as Christians in a world of uncertainty, change, and anxiety. Come looking to claim your hope, Christian resilience, and the gifts God bestows for the work our times call us to do.

Coffee and bagels served at every class

For a look at the entire Summer offerings, download the brochure: AE Summer-2017 bro.

Justice for Our Children Matters

Shannon Daley-Harris

August 6, 11:15AM
Assembly Room

Most of us are aware of children who who don’t experience the love and justice God intends. And so we yearn for more inspiration, guidance, and sustenance from our faith so we can begin to close this gap between the world God intends and the one we know, between our Sunday worship and our weekday world in which children suffer injustice. What is God’s word to us in the tension between the vision and the reality? How can we draw on Scripture, story, and statistic to put our faith into action? What lessons can we take from biblical times, historic justice movements, and our own day to fuel our work for justice? Come for a time of learning, sharing, and taking action.

Shannon Daley-Harris is the Senior Religious Advisor and Proctor Institute Director for the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF). During her more than 26 years with CDF, she has created the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry and the National Observance of Children’s  Sabbaths. Her work includes speaking, preaching, leading retreats and workshops, and consulting with religious groups from the national to the local level. Her most recent book is Hope for the Future: Answering God’s Call to Justice for Our Children (Westminster John Knox Press, 2016).

The Religious Lives of Presidents Matter

David Mulford

August 13, 11:15AM
Assembly Room

Learn about the denominational affiliations of our presidents as they are reviewed, along with the role religion has played in the lives, both personal and political, of several of our presidents.

David E. Mulford is a retired Presbyterian minister who continues a life-long study of the American Presidency. He has taught classes and has spoken to numerous groups on the subject over the years.

Music Matters: There Is Nothing Like a Grateful Dead Concert

Tom Coogan

August 20, 11:15AM
Assembly Room

A peace-and-love community of itinerants, living hand to mouth at the fringes of society and calling each other Brother and Sister, continues to grow in numbers twenty years after the death of its leader. Come hear what the fans of the Grateful Dead have in common with another early religious movement of long ago; it’s more than long hair and sandals. (By agreement with the Adult Ed Committee, no single musical excerpt will be longer than 45 minutes).

Tom Coogan has been a member of Presbyterian churches for 22 years, and a fan of the Grateful Dead for 38 years. At Nassau Church, where he and his family have been members for 10 years, Tom has been a Deacon, a Session member, and a softball coach.

Vocation Matters: Pursuing a Life of Meaning Halfway across the World

Marisa Charles

August 27, 11:15AM
Assembly Room

Marisa Charles, an international development specialist raised at Nassau Church, reflects on her decade of work in Burma/Myanmar, which has coincided with the country’s ongoing transition to democracy. Explore the foundational experiences that prompted her life abroad, the joys and challenges of living in a country that is not your own, and the people, experiences, and local initiatives that give her hope for Myanmar’s future.

Marisa Charles is the Deputy Director of Tharthi Myay Foundation, a Myanmar NGO that supports local civil society initiatives for rights, justice, and equality. She’s been engaging with Burma/Myanmar issues for 10+ years. And for full disclosure, yes, she is Tom and Lynn Charles’ daughter and a  child of this church’s long history of mission engagement.

The digital media files posted on the Nassau Presbyterian Church website are copyrighted by the pastors and presenting lecturers. These works are only for personal and educational use through a digital media player on a personal computer or using a personal digital media device (e.g., iPod). These works may not otherwise be archived or re-posted on the Internet, broadcast in any manner, distributed, transcribed or modified in any way without written permission of the presenting lecturer. The user of the audio file holds no license (of any form – expressed or implied) to any of the content of these files. The same applies to any PowerPoint® presentations.

Posted in Adult Education

Loaves & Fishes, August 19

by Scott Harmon

Loaves and Fishes, not surprisingly, takes its name from the famous story known as ‘The Feeding of the 5,000.’ I would like to propose that it could have been named, ‘The Feeding of the Few Dozen.’ To be clear, I’m not suggesting that Jesus’ most famous miracle was somehow less miraculous than the account in Matthew. Rather, I’m questioning who was ‘fed.’

Sure, the multitudes were fed loaves and fishes. But based on my limited experience with Loaves and Fishes, there’s a lot more feeding going on than what is being served on plates. Volunteering for Loaves and Fishes, whether it’s donating food, or money or time, is an opportunity to be fed as well. It’s an opportunity to join and be a part of our community of faith in action, as we do what our Lord asked of us. As we prepare food, make meals, serve and clean up, we are serving our most vulnerable neighbors. And I think you will find that in the midst of all the hubub and action and swirl, if you can take a moment to breathe, you’ll find that you are being fed, too.

So please, come, be fed. Be fed by making meat loaves or cookies. Be fed by donating to St. Mary’s. Be fed by feeding the less fortunate. Volunteer for Loaves and Fishes. August 19th at St. Mary’s Cathedral.

To Sign Up to donate food and/or volunteer on Saturday, August 19 – visit our SignUp Genius Page.

To find out more about leading a team, email Scott Harmon (

Meatloaf Recipe

Download a printable recipe here: Meatloaf Recipe (pdf)

  • 1 envelope Lipton Recipe Secrets Onion-Mushroom Soup Mix
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cup ketchup

Preheat oven to 350°.  Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.  Bake in a disposable loaf pan or form into a meatloaf and bake in any pan one hour or until done.  If you don’t use a disposable pan, please remove the meatloaf from the pan and wrap it in foil before you bring it to the church.

If possible, please drop off your meatloaves at the Nassau Presbyterian Church kitchen on Friday, August 18, by 12:00 p.m.   If that drop off time does not work for you, you can drop your meatloaves off anytime between now and August 18.  They can be placed in the freezer in the church kitchen – just look for the marked shelves.

Directions to St. Mary’s Cathedral

Download printable directions from Nassau Church here: Directions to St. Mary’s (pdf)

Or use the Google Map Location

151 North Warren Street, Trenton, NJ

  1. Take Route 1 South. (Where Route 1 and Business Route 1 divide, remain on Route 1 (that is, stay left).)
  2. Get off at the Perry Street exit. Make a left at the top of the exit ramp onto Perry Street.
  3. Proceed straight down Perry Street, through the intersections with North Stockton, North Montgomery and North Broad. You will soon see the Cathedral ahead of you, at the corner of Perry Street / Bank Street and North Warren Street.
  4. There is plenty of free secure parking behind the Cathedral.


Posted in Events, Mission

Adult Education – July 2017

The Heart of the Matter

Grab this summer opportunity to reflect on our role as Christians in a world of uncertainty, change, and anxiety. Come looking to claim your hope, Christian resilience, and the gifts God bestows for the work our times call us to do.

Coffee and bagels served at every class

For a look at the entire Summer offerings, download the brochure: AE Summer-2017 bro.

The digital media files posted on the Nassau Presbyterian Church website are copyrighted by the pastors and presenting lecturers. These works are only for personal and educational use through a digital media player on a personal computer or using a personal digital media device (e.g., iPod). These works may not otherwise be archived or re-posted on the Internet, broadcast in any manner, distributed, transcribed or modified in any way without written permission of the presenting lecturer. The user of the audio file holds no license (of any form – expressed or implied) to any of the content of these files. The same applies to any PowerPoint® presentations.

Mission Matters: Christianity in Taiwan Today

Jonathan Seitz

July 2, 11:15AM
Assembly Room

Come hear about what Presbyterians are doing in Taiwan today. Explore ongoing issues and challenges and questions that impact the future. You will have a chance to ask your questions of our mission coworker on the ground in Taiwan.

Jonathan Seitz has lived in East Asia for more than a decade, first in Beijing and Singapore, and now in Taipei after first going in 2005. Jonathan and Emily are two of about 120 PCUSA mission co-workers serving throughout the world. Jonathan teaches at Taiwan Graduate School of Theology. They also lived in New Jersey for about ten years. Jonathan did his MDiv and PhD at Princeton Theological Seminary and Emily did graduate school in library science at Rutgers. Nassau has proudly supported their work since 2013.

Advocacy and Change Matter: Writing Checks, Signing Petitions, and Protest Marches… Is That All There Is?

Sam Daley-Harris

July 9, 11:15AM
Assembly Room

Are you hungry for a bigger voice in our democracy? Are you frustrated by the options you see: writing more checks, signing more petitions, and joining more protests or counter-protests? Are you wondering if that’s all there is? Sam Daley-Harris answers no, there’s so much more. For Daley-Harris the key is connecting with an organization committed to helping dissolve the powerlessness, but that’s not an easy task. Join Sam as he guides us around the pitfalls and on a path to making a profound difference on issues like getting money out of politics, climate change, ending global and
domestic poverty, and reducing the Pentagon budget.

Sam Daley-Harris founded the anti-poverty lobby RESULTS in 1980 and founded the Center for Citizen Empowerment and Transformation (CCET) in 2012. CCET helps non-profits train their members to create champions in Congress and the media for their cause. Daley-Harris coached Citizens Climate Lobby the first seven years of its existence and is author of Reclaiming Our Democracy: Healing the Break between People and Government. Ashoka (Everyone a Changemaker) founder Bill Drayton called Daley-Harris “one of the certified great social entrepreneurs of the last decades.”

The Constitution Matters: Reviewing the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2016–17 Term

Larry Stratton

July 16, 11:15AM
Assembly Room

Explore the U.S. Supreme Court’s cases regarding playgrounds and religious school funding; the scope of the duty of prosecutors to give defendants exculpatory evidence; presidential appointees and congressional recesses; gerrymandered congressional districts; land use regulation and takings; and other hot-button legal issues in the overall context of the judiciary’s place on the constitutional map following Justice Neil Gorsuch’s elevation to the U.S. Supreme Court to fill the seat of the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

Lawrence M. Stratton is Director of Waynesburg University’s Stover Center for Constitutional Studies and Moral Leadership, and Assistant Professor of Ethics and Constitutional Law at Waynesburg. Dr. Stratton received his M.Div. and Ph.D. in Christian Social Ethics from Princeton Theological  Seminary and also has a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and B.S. in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. As a field education intern at Nassau Presbyterian during his M.Div. studies, Dr. Stratton began an ongoing exploration of American constitutional  law in relation to insights from the Christian faith during many sessions at Nassau Presbyterian beginning in the fall of 2001.

The Constitution Matters in the Age of Trump

Keith Whittington

July 23, 11:15AM
Assembly Room

Come and explore constitutional issues in the Trump administration. Included will be an examination of the Supreme Court confirmation politics.

Keith E. Whittington is the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Politics at Princeton University. He is the author of several books on American  constitutional history, the U.S. Supreme Court, and the U.S. presidency. He has two forthcoming books, one on the history of judicial review of federal statutes and one on free speech on college campuses.

The Presidency Matters: What God Wrought?

Mark Herr

July 30, 11:15AM
Assembly Room

No, not Samuel B. Morse, but Trumpalooza. Come for a post mortem of the 2016 election and an interpretation of the first six months of life under the presidency of Donald J. Trump.

Mark Herr is a Managing Director and Head of Corporate Communications of Point72 Asset Management, L.P. He is responsible for creating and  overseeing the firm’s enterprise-wide internal and external communications strategy and operations. Previously, Mr. Herr was a member of the administration of New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman, serving as the Director and Assistant Attorney General in charge of New Jersey’s  Division of Consumer Affairs and Bureau of Securities. Mark is a member of Nassau Presbyterian Church.


Posted in Adult Education

Mission Partnership Quarterly – June 2017

June has brought opportunities to be particularly present with each of our three major mission partners. Read about the experiences of Dr. Barbara Edwards in Malawi with Villages in Partnership, and about 30 of Nassau’s members and  friends who worshiped on Pentecost Sunday with the Westminster Presbyterian Church in Trenton. Our third partner, Cetana in Myanmar, was present in spirit as their board met on our third floor over Memorial Day weekend , beautifully hosted and fed by Nassau’s Susan and Michael Jennings. All these encounters emphasize the major characteristic of partnerships that thrive – strongly nurtured relationships. Look for the signs!

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.

Update from Villages in Partnership

by Barbara Edwards

Every year the Allentown NJ based non-profit Villages in Partnership sends a medical team to Malawi. This year’s 28 person team, largely composed of doctors, nurses and nursing students, treated over 5000 patients in the deeply impoverished villages of Malawi from May 9-20. I represented Nassau Presbyterian Church as a member of this year’s team. Among other amazing experiences we spent a day away from the clinics and at local primary schools:

Wednesday was a great, fun, exhausting day. I think we are all a bit tired from everything we’ve already done this week. We never stop moving here but it is always interesting and fun. Wednesday most of the group went to visit local primary schools. They helped to clean the schools by sweeping with the local homemade brooms (made with small branches held together in your hand) and then mopping with old t-shirts on their hands and knees. Then they went to visit the classrooms where they spoke with the students. The students had lots of questions such as, “What do you eat in America? What do you do for fun? How many languages do you speak? Do you have HIV/AIDS in America? Did you bring a car over with you on the plane?”

While they were at the schools, a few of us went to a village to help cook our lunch. We prepared a large community meal for well over 100 people. We cooked outside under the trees over small fires that they built between bricks. They used corn cobs, sticks and corn stalks for fuel. We chopped greens, shelled peas, pole beans, and ground nuts (peanuts). We ground up the peanuts with a giant mortar and pestle and added them to the food. They also roasted peanuts and ground that up for the most delicious peanut butter I have ever tasted. We fetched water from the well and carried it back to the cooking area about 200 yards on our heads! We also helped to cook nsima, the local version of cooked cornmeal. With the nsima we made “relishes” that are eaten alongside mustard greens, pumpkin leaves, and sweet potato leaves cooked with tomatoes and ground nuts, okra, pigeon peas, and goat cooked with tomatoes. All the food was delicious! We sat on the ground in groups of 3-4 and ate out of shared bowls using our right hand. Yes, we wash our hands beforehand by pouring water from a cup over them. After the meal we all thanked the village and the chief for providing such a wonderful meal for us! We all feel blessed to be here.

We are looking forward to continuing our work with VIP and will keep you updated as to how you may become involved. Any questions? Please contact Loretta Wells at

Update from Cetana Educational Foundation

by Sue Jennings

Nassau members will have a chance to see firsthand the work of our mission partner Cetana if they join a trip to Myanmar/Burma in January 2018. This will be the third trip since the Nassau/Cetana partnership began four years ago. This time participants will travel to Kanpetlet in Chin state where Nassau is supporting a teacher training project. Joyce MacKichan Walker traveled there with Sue Jennings this past January to get an overview of the project.

Kanpetlet is near Natma Taung National Park, a place of pristine natural beauty that provides opportunities for  birdwatchers, hikers, photographers, and orchid fanciers. Participants in the January 2018 tour will visit the Kanpetlet schools where Cetana is working and have a chance to meet the local leaders involved in the project. In addition, the tour will include stops in Yangon to see the Cetana flagship learning center and the country’s most revered temple, Shwedagon Pagoda; in Bagan, one of the world’s best preserved archaeological sites, where many of the two thousand plus temples date back to the 11th century; in KyaingTong on the border with Thailand, where Cynthia Paul, a beneficiary of Cetana scholarship support, now runs an English learning center; and at Inle lake, famous for its floating gardens and markets and exquisite craft workshops.

The tour is a rare opportunity for travelers to get an inside look at Myanmar/Burma and its fascinating, complex culture. We will have daily contact with local people, who have a reputation for friendliness and generosity; we will have access to monasteries, schools, and other institutions that the casual tourist never sees; and we will see the results of the Myanmar people’s resilience and ingenuity, which make our partnership so rewarding.

Exact dates and the itinerary for the trip are not yet set, but we are planning on a stay of approximately 15 days and looking for a minimum of 10 participants (maximum 16). The exact cost will depend on the number of participants and number of nights (last year for 17 nights the cost was $4600 pp, double occupancy, excluding international airfare). Some financial assistance is available for those with need. Please contact Sue or Michael Jennings ( or Joyce MacKichan Walker (609-924-0103, x103, BEFORE JULY 9 if you are interested. Deposits will not be due till early August.

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

Update from Westminster Presbyterian Church

by Angie Belmont

“We are standing on Holy Ground, and I know that there are angels all around. Let us praise Jesus now. We are standing in God’s presence on Holy Ground”.  On Pentecost Sunday, at Westminster Presbyterian Church, we sang Holy Ground led by the children of the church. As I looked around at all of the members, visitors, and guests, joined in song, I truly felt the presence of God. In an amazing multicultural, multigenerational, multimedia service, together with over 30 friends from Nassau Presbyterian Church, we participated in a song-filled, praise-filled, worship service that filled our hearts with love.

Our guest preacher was the Rev. Dr. Grace Ji-Sun Kim, professor of Earlham School of Religion, and co-editor of the book entitled, Intercultural Ministry: Hope for a Changing World. Pastor Karen shared the story of Westminster’s transformational story in its’ chapter 12. Pastor Karen and Rev. Dr. Kathie Sakenfeld also shared information about their book entitled, Faith of our Mothers, Living Still, which will be out in October.  Rev. Joanne Rodríguez, Rev. Patti Daley, Rev. Joyce MacKichan Walker, Rev. Wayne Meisel, and Rev. Dr. Marianne Rhebergen served as liturgist and officiants.

During the celebration of communion, Pastor Karen explained the meanings of the salutation “sawabona” and the response “sikona,” two South Africian phrases that mean “I see you, as you truly are” and the response “I exist” or “I am” not as you imagine, but as I truly am. Each person upon receiving communion, was given a hug and a “sawabona”. This traditional Westminster greeting, usually repeated during the benediction, reinforced the feeling of “una familia” throughout the worship service.

Westminster’s presence in the City of Trenton is a staple portion of the weekly “Seeking the Shalom of the City” PowerPoint presentation during our worship service. On Pentecost Sunday, various pictures were displayed highlighting the partnerships and events shared by Westminster and Nassau churches. Together, we are making a difference in the City and throughout the communities where our shared partnership has been a witness to God’s work through us.

Westminster’s Deacon, Crystal Jordan, a former caterer, prepared a delicious luncheon with funds provided by Nassau. The spirit of joyful communion during worship trickled down into our fellowship time. Many members of both churches remained after worship to break bread together as they got to know one another better.

Interested in visiting Westminster’s 11AM worship and meeting our partners? Contact Patti Daley ( Google directions from Nassau Church:

Posted in Events, Mission, Mission Partner, Trips

Ingrid Ladendorf to Direct Choirs for Children and Youth

Ingrid Ladendorf

Ingrid has worked with the Joyful Noise Choir since 2011. Above right, she works with the group this past May.

The choral director search committee is pleased to announce that Ingrid Ladendorf has been selected as our new Associate Director of Choirs for Children and Youth.

Ingrid has been the director of the Joyful Noise Choir and has directed numerous Pageants and Chancel Dramas since arriving at Nassau in 2010, and we are looking forward to her work with children and youth of all ages.

She holds degrees from Ithaca College and the Teachers College of Columbia University, is a Program Director and Childhood Advisor at the Diller-Quaile School of Music in Manhattan, and is an Adjunct Professor in music education at The College of New Jersey.

Ingrid will formally start on August 1, though you will certainly see her around this summer putting the plans together for an exciting first year with Carol Choir, Choir 345, the Middle School Choir, and Cantorei.

The committee was impressed not only by Ingrid’s considerable wealth of experience and creative teaching technique, but also by her extraordinary spiritual depth and her love for Christ’s church.

We are delighted to have found such a wonderful individual as Ingrid to be our new director for our children and youth!

With gratitude,

Noel Werner
Kim Kleasen
Shana Lindsey-Morgan
Rebekah Sterlacci
Kristen Ward

Posted in About, Children & Family Ministry, Music & Arts