Artists Survey

Master weaver Armando Sosa is our 2016-2017 Artist-in-Residence. Armando lives and works in Hopewell.

Do you know a local artist who would make a valued Nassau Church Artist-in-Residence? The Worship and Arts Committee would like to learn more about local artists in the Princeton area whom we might consider for the coming year, especially those with connections to the congregation.

Artists can be writers, visual artists, and beyond. Current and previous Artists-in-Residence include a weaver, a theater director, a dancer and choreographer, and a poet.

Fill out the survey by Sunday, April 30, and learn more about the artist residency program on the Music and Arts page.

Posted in Music & Arts

All-Church Retreat Memorial Day Weekend

Friday, May 26 – Sunday, May 28

A great way (actually, the BEST way) to start your summer

  • Retreat begins with dinner on Friday, May 26 and ends after lunch on Sunday, May 28. Families are also welcome to stay at NorthBay through Sunday afternoon and continue to enjoy facilities and setting.
  • Cost is $130.00 for adults, $65.00 for children (3-10), under 3 are free. All food and access to facilities included. We do need to bring our own linen.
  • Rev. Austin Crenshaw Shelley, Director of Christian Education at Chestnut Hill Presbyterian Church. will lead the retreat. Austin is a huge fan of intergenerational ministry. “All-Church retreats are my jam!”

Registration deadline – EXTENDED to Monday, May 8.

Sign-up HERE.

Questions? Email or call Corrie Berg (, 609-924-0103 ext. 108). Scholarships are available.

Posted in Events, Trips

April Concerts

Westminster Conservatory Recital
John Paul Velez, jazz piano and Paul Hofreitter, upright bass

Thursday, April 20
12:15 PM, Niles Chapel

New School for Music Study Recital

Sunday, April 23
2:30 PM, Sanctuary

Mark your calendars!  The New School for Music Study, in partnership with Nassau Presbyterian Church, presents its spring Faculty Recital!  The recital will feature solo, duet and collaborative music by Bizet, Bolcolm, Debussy, Schubert, and MORE! Join us on Sunday, April 23 at 2:30 p.m. at Nassau Presbyterian Church for an afternoon of beautiful music!


Posted in Events

Adult Education – April

Download a copy of the print brochure here: Lent-2017 (pdf) for April 2 & 9

Brochure for Eastertide to be posted (pdf) for April 23

Reflecting on Lent in Art and History

Sundays, 9:15 am, in the Assembly Room, unless otherwise noted

See Lent through the eyes of diverse approaches — interpretative dance, art, historical reflection, and theological pondering.

April 2

A Historian Looks at the Crucifixion of Jesus

Dale Allison

How Christians and theologians interpret the last days of Jesus is one thing. What historians think of the sources and how they evaluate them is another. Come and hear an attempt to interpret the earliest sources for Jesus’ last days in their original first century context and ask, What can we really know happened? Today we’ll look at the crucifixion.

Dale Allison is professor of New Testament at Princeton Theological Seminary and author, most recently, of Night Comes: Death, Imagination, and the Last Things.

April 9

A Historian Looks at the Burial and Resurrection of Jesus

Dale Allison

In this session Dale Allison continues his discussion of historical sources in their original context, with an eye to Jesus’ burial and resurrection.

April 16

Easter Sunday – No Adult Education Classes


April 23

Why “Mister Rogers’ Neighboorhood” Worked (and what Fred was really like)

Eliot Daley

Eliot Daley will take us behind the scenes at “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” to describe the concept behind the program and the dynamics of interaction between Fred (Mister) Rogers and the viewing child that made him such a beloved member of American families.

While serving as associate minister of First Presbyterian Church of Princeton (now Nassau), Eliot Daley wrote many articles about the influence of TV on American families and children.  This led to his connection with Fred Rogers who invited Eliot to join him in producing “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.”  Eliot served as president of the production company and wrote many early episodes before management responsibilities eventually required his full attention.  In later decades, Eliot served as a management consultant in the health care field and now writes punditry posted at

In-Depth Bible Study

Ongoing through May 14
Class will not meet on April 16 or April 30

1st Corinthians

George Hunsinger

9:15 am

Maclean House

George Hunsinger returns for the 20th year to lead this verse-by-verse examination of the First Letter of Paul to the Corinthians. Bibles are available for use during the class. Find them on the Deacon Desk by the church kitchen. Class meets next door in Maclean House (Garden Entrance).

Lament: Voicing Our Cries

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

Explore the Christian practice of lament through the biblical text and other artistic resources. Each class will stand on its own,  addressing one of the five facets of lament. Taken as a whole, this series will allow you to construct your own psalm of lament, writing  proficiency not required.

Melissa Martin is a third-year student at Princeton Theological Seminary.

April 2

Lament: Demanding Action

Can we demand God to act? Practically speaking, this may be the hardest part of the process of lament. Looking at examples in the prophets, we will work together to formulate our own “demands” of God.

April 9

Lament: Declaring Trust

The psalmist concludes the process of lament with a vow to offer God thanksgiving for God’s act. This vow not only expects action from God but necessitates an embodied response. Not only will we work to articulate these vows of thanksgiving, but then we will practice what we promise: a thanksgiving celebration!

Posted in Adult Education

Women Are Not for Rent, Children Are Not for Sale

Posted in Adult Education, Events

Adult Education – March 2017

Download a copy of the print brochure here: Lent-2017 (pdf)

Reflecting on Lent in Art and History

Sundays, 9:15 am, in the Assembly Room, unless otherwise noted

See Lent through the eyes of diverse approaches — interpretative dance, art, historical reflection, and theological pondering.

March 5

“I Am the Lord of the Dance, Said He”

Meagan Woods

Come and explore, through demonstration and discussion, dance’s ability to capture themes, characters, and storylines of lent.  Examine how particular movements can evoke emotive or narrative elements of scripture, and how the silent act of dance can expand our interpretations of text and song. Participants will be invited, but not required, to participate in gentle movements during the class.

Meagan Woods graduated with a BFA in dance from Rutgers University. Her company has presented original, high-caliber dance  pieces in venues across the Northeast and twice for TEDtalks. From 2011– 2012, Meagan Woods & Company served as artist-in-residence at Nassau Church.

March 12

Caravaggio’s Passion of Christ

Jason Oosting

Visualize Christ’s Passion through the eyes of a profane genius, Caravaggio. Examine several of his works of art, discussing both the  events of his turbulent life and his revolutionary painting style, focusing primarily on how it was intended to elicit powerful, emotional responses in viewers from the 17th century to the present.

Jason Oosting teaches Advanced Placement Art History at Montgomery High School. He lives in Hopewell with his wife Shari, two  sons Asher and Ezra, and two daughters Elia and Ada.

March 19

Fed at the Table

Eric Barreto

When we talk about “salvation,” what do we mean? For the Gospel of Luke, salvation is not a future reality for which we wait but a lived reality we can experience in the present day. Salvation is something we can taste, like a delicious meal. Salvation is something we  share with others like a marvelous meal. Salvation is here and now. In the Gospel of Luke, such salvation is tangible, real, and  life-altering. For Jesus in Luke then, the table is not just a place to eat but a symbolic center of belonging. The table in Luke is a  welcoming space where sinner and righteous alike are looking for sustenance from God.

Eric Barreto is Weyerhaeuser Associate Professor of New Testament at Princeton Theological Seminary, an ordained Baptist minister,  and a Nassau parent.

March 26

Cultural Trauma and Conflict in England’s Reformations: Two Tudor Stories

Alastair Bellany

Explore two short documents that reveal radically different experiences of England’s sixteenth-century religious struggles: a  gentleman’s lament for the lost religious world of his Catholic youth and a sympathetic account of a poor Protestant woman’s  willingness to sacrifice her own life in the struggle against “Antichrist and the devil.”

Alastair Bellany is Professor of History at Rutgers University, and works on the political and cultural history of sixteenth- and  seventeenth-century Britain. He is the author most recently of The Murder of King James I, co-written with Thomas Cogswell, and  published by Yale University Press.

This series continues April 2 and 9 with Dale Allison, A Historian Looks at the Crucifixion, Burial, and Resurrection of Jesus.

In-Depth Bible Study

Ongoing through May 21

1st Corinthians

George Hunsinger

9:15 am

Maclean House

George Hunsinger returns for the 20th year to lead this verse-by-verse examination of the First Letter of Paul to the Corinthians. Bibles are available for use during the class. Find them on the Deacon Desk by the church kitchen. Class meets next door in Maclean House (Garden Entrance).

Lament: Voicing Our Cries

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

Explore the Christian practice of lament through the biblical text and other artistic resources. Each class will stand on its own,  addressing one of the five facets of lament. Taken as a whole, this series will allow you to construct your own psalm of lament, writing  proficiency not required.

Melissa Martin is a third-year student at Princeton Theological Seminary.

March 5

Lament: What Is It?

In a world filled with evil, we sometimes find ourselves overwhelmed and frustrated. Families deteriorate, relationships are broken,  and power is abused. As people who believe in the goodness of God, come and look at lament as a response to the problem of evil.

March 12

Lament: Addressing God

Following a pattern in the psalms, analyze how the psalmist addresses God. What gives the psalmist the right to talk to God in this  way? To answer this question, we will seek to define the different roles that both we and God inhabit. Once we define these roles and  how they relate to one another, we will work together to write an address to God.

March 19

Lament: Filing a Complaint

The psalmist is not bashful. The practice of lament not only includes acknowledging God’s authority; it also includes filing a complaint  to that authority. Looking to biblical sources like Job and Habakkuk, learn more about what it means to file a complaint to God, even daring to do so ourselves.

March 26

Lament: Declaring Trust

Walking through a history of God’s providence in the lives of God’s people, the psalmist declares trust in a living and loving God.  Before we turn to our own lives, we will recount God’s care as recorded in the Bible. Come and share stories, and construct personal statements of trust in God.

This series continues April 2 and 9 with “Demanding Action,” and “Offering Thanksgiving.

Posted in Adult Education, Events

Letter: “A prayer for acceptance, respect, and love”

We are writing as multi-faith community leaders who are concerned about the growing number of hate crimes that we are seeing in our country. We want to speak up and speak out against any acts of hate directed at a particular group and we hope that parents, teachers and other community leaders will add their voice to ours so that everyone will learn why these actions must not be tolerated in any community and those who commit these crimes should be found and help responsible.

We know from studying history and from each of our own traditions why it is so critical to love your neighbor as yourself, to accept the orphan, widow, and stranger and to demonstrate respect for people of different faiths and backgrounds. We hear the hate speech coming from too many places in our country and we want to counter that speech with language of love and trust and acceptance and honor.

We know of Muslims who feel threatened today by certain policies and statements being made in many public forums and then we witnessed acts of hatred directed at a Jewish cemeteries. This is not only disrespectful to the deceased and their families but it also violates so many of our religious traditions of demonstrating honor to people after they pass away and honoring religious institutions. These actions must stop.

In Princeton, we are proud of the multi-faith voices that come together to celebrate certain national holidays and to unite in support of certain values that are key to our religious traditions and to our country. When the times call for us to speak out against religious discrimination and anti-Semitic acts like we have witnessed this week – we do so as well.

When we gather in our own congregations for communal worship, or when we come together as families and individuals for private reflection and prayer, let’s add a prayer in our own religious tradition for not only peace but also for the end of violence and hatred, a prayer for acceptance and respect and love. Perhaps this prayer from the Jewish prayer book could inspire us all:

May we see the day when war and bloodshed cease, when a great peace will embrace the whole world. Then nation will not threaten nation and humanity will not again know war.

For all who live on earth shall realize we have not come into being to hate or to destroy. We have come into being to praise, to labor, and to love.
Compassionate God bless the leaders of all nations with the power of compassion. Fulfill the promise conveyed in Scripture: I will bring peace to the land and you shall lie down, and no one shall terrify you.

I will rid the land of vicious beasts and it shall not be ravaged by war. Let love and justice flow like a mighty stream. Let peace fill the earth as the waters fill the sea.

Rabbi Adam Feldman
The Jewish Center of Princeton

Rev. David A. Davis
Nassau Presbyterian Church

Rev. Jana Purkish-Brash
Princeton United Methodist Church

Rev. Bob Moore
Coalition for Peace Action

Leaders of the Princeton Clergy Association

Posted in Events

Mission Partners: February 2017

Mission Partnership Quarterly

As you read about Nassau’s three mayor partnerships in Trenton, Malawi, and Burma/Myanmar, you will see very different emphases in three very different contexts: In Trenton, a Unity Rally calling for a prophetic and compassionate response to Muslins, immigrants and refugees; at CETANA the preparations to open a new English language center in the village of Kanpetlet, and with Villages in Partnership a focus on digging wells for need irrigation for crop security.

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

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

Update from VIP (Villages in Partnership)

by Loretta Wells

Solar Irrigation

As the impacts of climate change become more pronounced, the weather conditions during the growing season in Malawi have become more unpredictable. Because of this, Villages in Partnership is investing in irrigation technology. This will allow the villagers we partner with to become less dependent on the weather for the success of their harvests. Thanks to the incredible generosity of our supporters, we were able to raise enough money to bring solar irrigation to two of our villages in 2017. Hundreds of villagers will now be on the path to food security!




Clean water is often the number one priority for villagers when VIP first approaches a village to explore a partnership. That is why Villages in Partnership has been focused on the construction of wells almost since our inception. While we have built and repaired countless shallow wells and water holes, we now focus more on the construction of the deeper borehole wells which are generally cleaner and reach deeper into the water table. To date, VIP has drilled 20 borehole wells, and we are drilling 7 more in 2017! These borehole wells will provide safe drinking water for thousands of villagers.



Read previous reports…ONLINE

We are looking forward to working 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 & Joyce MacKichan Walker

In January, Joyce MacKichan Walker and Sue Jennings, a member of the mission committee and board member of Cetana Educational Foundation, traveled to Myanmar to see our mission partner Cetana’s work firsthand. A day after arriving in Yangon they joined others from Cetana and a group from Metta Partners on a flight to Bagan and then a long, bumpy ride into the Chin hills to Kanpetlet, a gateway to the Natma Taung National Park, a wildlife conservation area noted for its diverse flora and fauna. In Kanpetlet Cetana and Metta Partners are working to improve the teaching of English in the government school. Joyce spent a morning observing classroom instruction while Sue joined a discussion with the school’s principal regarding long term needs. Janet Powers, a retired Gettysburg College professor and ESL expert who has volunteered her services to Cetana, spent her time in Kanpetlet doing a brief evaluation in preparation for a month-long stay in the spring, when she will conduct teacher training workshops. Nassau Church’s support will make this visit possible and will also fund a fledgling, independent English language learning center to be housed in a local church. Improving English instruction is crucial if the standard of living is to be raised in one of the poorest regions of Myanmar. Young people need English to find employment in the local tourism industry, which, since the opening of the country, is poised to take off. And English language skill will also enable some local children to advance beyond the primary level to secondary and post-secondary education, for which English proficiency is a requirement. The children in Myanmar, even in these remote areas, have the same dreams that our own children have, but they face formidable challenges. It was inspiring for Joyce and Sue to spend time with them.

Returning to civilization, Joyce and Sue visited the new quarters of Cetana’s learning center in Yangon. Joyce also had a chance to speak at a chapel gathering at the Myanmar Institute of Theology, the site of another Cetana-initiated English language program, where she brought greetings from Nassau Church and emphasized our fellowship with the people of Myanmar. Joyce and Sue then joined up with a Cetana-sponsored tour of Myanmar–from the archaeological sites in Bagan, to Mandalay, and to Kyaing Tong in remote Shan state, where Cetana has another regional learning center.

Cetana sponsors a yearly trip to Myanmar and encourages Nassau members to participate. Watch for details this summer about the 2018 tour.

Read previous reports…ONLINE

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

Update from Westminster Presbyterian Church

by Rev. Karen Hernandez-Granzen

Westminster Presbyterian Church is being called to play a pivotal role during this challenging post-election season. For over 35 years, instead of fleeing the city and its many challenges as many mainline churches did starting in the 60’s, God chose to bless our congregation with the faith, courage, hope and 75-plus partners including Nassau needed to continue seeking shalom of the city through a ministry of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18).  Until recently, most of our resources and programs have been focused on racial reconciliation, becoming a multiracial and multicultural worshiping congregation, improving the low quality of public schools in Trenton, working to dismantle mass incarceration, ministering to reentry / returning citizens and their families, reaching out to young adults who feel disenfranchised by the traditional church through Bethany House of Hospitality, yet still called to serve the city of Trenton, assisting immigrants to acquire English proficiency to support the education of their children and to secure gainful employment, and becoming a welcoming congregation for the LBGTQ-plus community. Now we are also responding to the call of keeping our own Democratic and Republican members united in the midst of our differences in order to talk and walk  the Gospel of Jesus Christ for such a time as this!

Most recently, as the Vice-Chair of United Mercer Interfaith Organization (UMIO) and a founding member of Trenton Mayor Eric E. Jackson’s Latino Advisory Council, I was asked to help organize a Trenton Unity Rally in response to all the recent executive orders that are negatively impacting Muslims, immigrants, refugees, and may eventually affect the LBGTQ-plus community. I was deeply encouraged when every colleague and musician that I invited didn’t hesitate to say “¡Si!” / “Yes!” to participating. Over 250 attended even though the Unity Rally was organized in less than a week! Together we represented Muslims, rabbis and grandsons of Holocaust survivors, Sikhs, the LGBTQ-plus community, and Christians of various denominations. I truly must confess that I was very prideful of all the Presbyterian members representing Nassau, Ewing, Lawrenceville, Flemington, Dutch Neck, Slackwood, and Westminster congregations. I believe that this Unity Rally is only the beginning of many ways that the PCUSA can respond to God’s call to a prophetic and compassionate. Ministry.

As a board member of the Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund (LALDEF), Nassau’s 10-year plus partner, I invited our new Executive Director Adriana Abizadeh to prepare a statement that included immigrants’ stories. Ruling Elder Bill Wakefield is a founding member of the board, and I have been serving on the board for over 3 years. LALDEF adopted its organizational mission to defend the rights of the Latin American community, facilitate its access to health care and education, and advance cross-cultural understanding within the Mercer County region. LALDEF provides legal services, youth mentoring, and adult education among other services to the immigrant community of Mercer County. Nassau provided LALDEF with office space until we moved our offices to the Chambersburg neighborhood of Trenton over two years ago. Please read below Adriana’s statement which she shared at the Trenton Unity Rally.

I want to talk to you for a minute about the national response to Executive Orders that have come from our current administration. Immediately following the issuance of the order creating the Muslim Ban, attorneys and other concerned individuals flocked to the airports to provide legal support to travelers affected by the ban. They advocated jointly and with concerted efforts were able to get a stay for this ban and ultimately they were able to suspend the travel ban. This overwhelming show of support was well covered by the media and it is a testament to our system of checks and balances.

United we must continue to fight battles at the national level, so that organizations like LALDEF can work with families at the local level. Families are coming into our office and calling in everyday with fears and in need of counsel. Many families are full of anxiety and have concerns that their families will be torn apart. We must show them that there are people who care and that are willing to fight their battles with them. At LALDEF we are assisting families in the creation of safety plans and temporary custody agreements. We are referring clients to counseling that have found the political climate of the last few months too much to bear. Children are coming home telling their parents about their encounters with bullying and we are here to advocate on their behalf. What this nation needs now is education about these issues. This nation needs education on the underlying societal framework to realize the effects that the removal of immigrants would have, not only emotionally and physically to these individuals, but to this nation’s economy.

Our media has played a large role in sharing stories of immigrants affected by raids and torn apart by archaic and inadequate immigration policies. The Super Bowl displayed the power of media and it showcased that this great nation will not allow for large-scale hatred and its associated rhetoric. There were at least 4 commercials that I know of that aired during the game that provided pro-immigrant content. This is a testament to the power of media in our country as the Super Bowl was watched by an average of 111 million viewers. With their advertisements, these companies took public stances on a controversial issue in our nation’s history. Immigrants are welcome here. Together we can spread a message of love and we can combat fear.

On February 21, at the Senator Cory Booker and Senator Bob Menendez Rally in Newark New Jersey, I also read and submitted Adriana’s statement for public record. Please visit these links to read articles and see photos of the Trenton Unity Rally on February 6, 2017:

Trenton rallies against Islamophobia, bigotry

Read previous reports…ONLINE

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


Posted in Events, Mission, Mission Partner

Mass Incarceration Task Force meets Sunday, March 5

Sunday, March 5, 12:15-1:15 p.m. Niles Chapel – All are welcome!

Come hear about our latest initiative: tutoring at Trenton Area Soup Kitchen (T.A.S.K.). Also, sign up to join our 15 Nassau church prison pen pal letter-writers. Time for sharing & brainstorming new initiatives. Light snack provided.

Mass Incarceration Task Force meets in Niles Chapel the first Sunday of each month Sept- May, 12:15-1:15PM. For more information contact one of our co-chairs: Mary Beth Charters (609-937-6318, or Jonathan Shenk (609-314-6953, OR visit our web page at Mass Incarceration Task Force

Posted in Events

March Concerts

Westminster Conservatory Recital
Kevin Willois, flute and Kyu-Jung Rhee, piano

Thursday, March 16
12:15 PM, Niles Chapel

The next recital in the noontime series Westminster Conservatory at Nassau will feature music for flute and piano written by women.  The recital will take place on Thursday, March 16 at 12:15 p.m.  The performers, Kevin Willois, flute and Kyu-Jung Rhee, piano are members of the Westminster Conservatory faculty.  The recital will take place in the Niles Chapel and is open to the public free of charge.

The program on March 16 includes the Nocturne of Lili Boulanger, Cecile Chaminade’s Concertino, two works by Sofia Gubaidulina, Allegro Rustico and Sounds of the Forest, and Rhonda Larsen’s Lugnasa for flute alone.

The next Westminster Conservatory at Nassau recital will take place on April 20, and will feature John Paul Velez, jazz piano and Paul Hofreiter, upright bass.

Organ Recital: Catherine Rodland

Friday, March 31
8:00 PM, Sanctuary


Posted in Events, Music & Arts