Small Groups for Fall 2022

This Fall brings a wonderful diversity of topics, leaders, and platforms, all designed to deepen your knowledge, faith, and community. Whether you opt for in-person or virtual groups, the promise that the Holy Spirit is present when two or more are gathered in God’s name remains a constant.

Click on the Small Group Name to read more.

Start
Time

SUN

MON

TUE

WED

THU

10 a.m. (Main)Line Davis
12 p.m. (Main)Line Berg
1:30 p.m. (Main)Line Wehrheim
4 p.m. (Main)Line
(grades 4-8)
7 p.m.
Movies Adventures in Barth (Main)Line Vanderkam
  Art of Faithfulness
  Spiritual Practices
7:30 p.m. Sacred Photography

The End of the (Main)Line? The Surprising Past & Uncertain Future of an America Protestant Powerhouse

Linked In Learning Series

As Presbyterians, we are part of a much wider stream within American Protestant life, often called the Mainline. This tradition was long a powerhouse, which wielded vast influence across all sectors of society. But in recent years most of the headlines it has garnered have centered on its decline. In this series we will revisit the Mainline’s surprising past, paying especially close attention to how this unwieldy Protestant coalition navigated the fierce challenges of the 20th-century public square. Along the way we will also wrestle with the uncertainties of the Mainline’s present and future. In this moment of flux and crisis, where might God be leading us?

Weekly small groups will read Martin Luther King, Jr. Letter from Birmingham Jail, Henry Emerson Fosdicks’ Shall The Fundamentalists Win? as well as recent articles and studies highlighting pivotal moments, remarkable leaders and upcoming challenges of our Protestant tradition.

Join us Sunday mornings at 9:30 AM in the Assembly Room as Heath Carter, Associate Professor of American Christianity at Princeton Theological Seminary, will talk through the wider societal context and continuing impact of the selected readings. Carter specializes in the intersection of Christianity and American public life in the 20th century. Pastor Dave Davis will address these same themes and challenges in his Sunday sermon adding stories of the early church from the Book of Acts as reference and inspiration.



Mondays, October 17-November 14, 12:00-1:15 p.m.
In-person and outdoors at the home of Corrie Berg in Princeton, NJ.

Register Here
Corrie Berg, is the Director of Educational Ministries and always delighted to talk about Bible stories, whether it’s with grown ups or with children. She finds that she often learns the most by discussing the stories of our faith with the people of our church.

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End of the (Main) Line? – just for Kids (4th-8th graders)

Mondays, October 17-November 14, 4:00-5:00 p.m.
In-person and outdoors at the home of Corrie Berg in Princeton, NJ.

Register Here
Corrie Berg is the Director of Educational Ministries and counts small groups as one of the great joys of her job. They offer precious opportunities to build relationships and deepen faith with her church family.

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Mondays, October 17-November 14,  1:30-3:00 p.m.
In-person at the home of Carol Wehrheim in Skillman, NJ

Register Here
Carol Wehrheim is Clerk of Session. She finds small groups a necessary part of her life with Nassau Church, and enjoys playing cornhole.

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Tuesdays, October 18-November 15, 7:00-8:30 p.m.
In-person at the home of Mary and Jim Vanderkam in Princeton, NJ.

Register Here
After retiring, Mary and Jim Vanderkam moved to the Princeton area to be closer to their children and grandchildren. Mary was an educator who taught in several contexts, in the classroom, private tutoring, and adult education. Jim was most recently a professor of Hebrew Scriptures at the University of Notre Dame, with interests in Jewish literature such as the Dead Sea Scrolls. Mary and Jim have much appreciated being members of small groups at Nassau.

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Wednesdays, October 19-November 16, 10:00-11:00 a.m.
Virtual on Zoom

Register Here
Dave Davis has been pastor and head-of-staff at Nassau since the fall of 2000. His PhD in Homiletics from Princeton Theological Seminary focused on preaching as a corporate act and the active role of the listener in the preaching event. He has published two sermon collections A Kingdom You Can Taste and Lord, Teach Us to Pray.

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Additional Small Group Options


Five Came Back…and Made Great Movies!

Sundays, October 16-November 13, 7:00-8:00 p.m.
Virtual on Zoom

This group is full

Led by Frank Capra, five established and well respected Hollywood filmmakers answered the U.S. Government’s call to cover World War Two by filming documentaries aimed at inspiring support. Each artist felt the brutal impact of war and returned deeply affected by what they witnessed and filmed. Inspired by the Netflix documentary and the book, Five Came Back by film journalist Mark Harris, this group will watch and discuss five classic post war films through the lens of artists grappling with atrocity induced trauma and confusing social conflict. Movies: Treasure of the Sierra Madre; My Darling Clementine; I Remember Mama; The Best Years of Our Lives; It’s a Wonderful Life

Marshall McKnight, a lifelong movie buff, has been a Nassau Church member since 2011. He is a deacon and is active on the Mass Incarceration Task Force. He also serves on the Adult Education and Membership Committees. He was a journalist for seven years and for the last 18 has worked for the State of New Jersey.

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Adventures in Barth, Season 6

Mondays, October 10-November 14, 7:00-8:30 p.m.
Virtual on Zoom

This group is full

Get “Barth Smart” as we dive into Barth’s rich Christology, including the provocative “The Judge Judged in Our Place.” First-timers and experts are welcome as we gather around this rigorous challenge to church and world. Reading is ~40 pages/week.

Mark Edwards joined Nassau as Director of Youth Ministries in 2013. He is a lifelong Presbyterian and holds a PhD from Princeton Theological Seminary. He also teaches at Princeton University, The College of New Jersey, and Princeton Theological Seminary. Mark is married to Janine and they have two great kids, lots of animals, and a bunch of backpacks. His new book is Christ Is Time: The Gospel according to Karl Barth (and the Red Hot Chili Peppers).

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Art of Faithfulness: Musica Divina

Mondays, October 17-November 7, 7:15-8:45PM
In-person, Niles Chapel in Nassau Church
A separate Zoom time may be provided with sufficient interest.

Register Here
The Art of Faithfulness continues this year and begins with exploring the connection between music and faith. We will use the practice of Musica Divina, supported by our art of listening, reflection, journaling and discussion to explore music and it’s power to lift our faith to new heights. Musica Divina is a practice that we will cultivate and every week we will use music selected for the group and by the group, anticipating meaningful experiences and conversations as a result. Bring an open heart and mind, your faith and a desire to grow in faith and your love of music, which we all share. And, watch for more Art of Faithfulness opportunities, to be communicated soon!

Kim Kleasen is a long time member of Nassau and the Adult Choir, is currently a Deacon and has gratefully worked on our Forward in Faith Together initiatives while on Session. During the pandemic, Kim completed a course in Spiritual Direction at General Theological Seminary and using those experiences partnered with Noel Werner to lead small groups in the Art of Faithfulness, evolving to more opportunities to use creative arts as a pathway to faith. At General Seminary, Kim worked with faculty and classes to develop and lead Musica Divina,  which she now joyfully brings to Nassau Church.

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Practices for Spiritual Growth

Mondays (bi-weekly), October 17 & 31, November 14 & 28, 7:00-8:00 p.m.
Virtual on Zoom

Register Here

Join us for a series on practices for spiritual growth, based on Sue Monk Kidd’s When the Heart Waits. Blending her own life experience with an intimate grasp of spirituality, Sue Monk Kidd relates the spiritual crisis that led her to a soul-saving discipline of “active waiting.” We will discuss Kidd’s insights and practices and how they may inform our own spiritual journeys. Aruna Bhargava, Lina Genovesi, Pat Costigan, and Liz Beasley will share leadership and facilitate discussions.

Liz Beasley retired from Rutgers in 2019 to spend as much time as possible with her grandchildren. She also takes classes in fiction-writing, co-chairs the activities committee for the Present Day Club, volunteers with Villages in Partnership, and serves as a deacon at Nassau Church.

Aruna Bhargava is a former college professor and an author of 8 books – fantasy/adventure for children and entrepreneurship/entrepreneur stories for adults. Aruna and her husband run a non-profit to help unemployed youth and underprivileged women in India to become entrepreneurs.

Patricia Costigan has a doctorate from Rutgers University in educational psychology with a focus on reading and learning disabilities and she works with a Child Study Team as a learning consultant in a local school district.

Lina Genovesi, a member of Nassau Church since April 2019, is an intellectual property attorney with a law firm in Greenwich, Connecticut. She spends her free time working on her memoir of growing up in Beirut, Lebanon. Her passion is helping seniors maintain optimum mental and physical health and a joyful wellbeing.

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The Sacred Art of Photography

In this session of Sacred Art, which will run for seven sessions, participants will create photographs in response to seven questions, three posed in the Old Testament, four posed by Jesus in the New Testament.

Download List (pdf)


The Sacred Art of Photography

Thursdays, October 20 & 27, November 3 & 10, December 1, 8, 15, 7:30-9:00 p.m.
Virtual on Zoom

This group is full

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Ned Walthall is a photographer based in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. He received his MFA from the Institute of Art and Design at New England College (formerly the New Hampshire Institute of Art). His work has been shown throughout the United States and abroad.

He and his partner, Mari Walthall, are currently at work on a photo book entitled Covid & Faith, in which they explore in some depth the ways in which the COVID-19 pandemic has transformed individuals’ spiritual practice and beliefs.

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Adult Education: Hearing from All Corners of Our Community

September 11 – October 16, 2022

9:30 a.m. | Assembly Room

We are blessed to live in a global community filled with faithful scholars and individuals doing excellent work near and far. Come meet new faces, hear current voices, and expand your world this Fall. Classes begin at 9:30 a.m. on Sundays in the Assembly Room.


Audio recordings will be posted below each class description.


September 11 | Sanyua Mojola

Faith and Epidemics in South Africa

Join us to examine how societies produce health and illness, especially how gender, race/ethnicity, aging and the life course and socio-economic status shape health outcomes. South Africa is currently battling the worst HIV epidemic in the world. It is also experiencing a severe chronic disease epidemic. Come learn the causes and consequences of the HIV epidemic among middle aged and older adults, as well as the impact of the growing chronic disease epidemic on experiences of aging in rural post-apartheid South Africa.


Sanyu Mojola is Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs and the Director of the Office of Population Research at Princeton University. She holds degrees from Durham University, UK, and the University of Chicago. Her first book, Love, Money and HIV: Becoming a Modern African Woman in the Age of AIDS won multiple awards. She is working on her second book, which investigates the production of racial health inequality in the US, using the case of the HIV epidemic in Washington D.C.

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September 18 | Lisa Bowens

Reception, Resistance, and Transformation: African American Readings of Paul

How have African Americans interpreted Paul and the Pauline epistles from the 1700s to the mid-twentieth century? Come learn about African American Pauline hermeneutics, or in layperson’s terms, black interpretation and how Pauline scripture, language, and tradition, is used to resist oppression and dehumanization.


Lisa Bowens is an Associate Professor of New Testament at Princeton Theological Seminary. She holds degrees from the University of North Carolina, Duke University and Princeton Theological Seminary. She is currently working on two commentary projects, one on 2 Corinthians and one on 1-2 Thessalonians.

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September 25 | Elise McKee

A Congo-Nassau Roof for Hope, Health, and Joy

Did you know that one expression of your Matthew 25 work this year was to provide a roof for women and girls at risk in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo? Come hear Elsie McKee tell about some of the poorest of the poor whom you have helped to save and serve. Your roof now covers the Women’s Center of FEBA (Femme Berceau de l’Abondance). This Center provides space for women and girls to find hope through fellowship and education, health through counseling and medical assistance for victims of violence and food support for destitute widows, and joy in being heard and welcomed. Elsie will be standing in for Maman Monique, the president of FEBA, telling stories and showing pictures of the new ‘Nassau’ roof!


Elsie Tshimunyi McKee was born and reared in the Democratic Republic of Congo, in central Africa. She was the Archibald Alexander Professor of Reformation Studies and the History of Worship at Princeton Theological Seminary for 29 years and continues to be a member of Witherspoon St. Presbyterian Church. Since retiring, she has worked with Woman, Cradle of Abundance, Inc., the non-profit organization she and PTS friends established in 2013.

 

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October 2 | The Hashimi Family

When Returning Home Isn’t an Option: Starting Over From Scratch in New Jersey

When Taliban forces captured Afghanistan’s capital city in August 2021, Soraya Hashimi and her children fled the country in search of safety and freedom. The Hashimis are now our friends and neighbors in Princeton, settled here with sponsorship from Nassau Presbyterian Church and with support from many volunteers, but nothing about their flight from Kabul or building a new life in New Jersey has been simple or straightforward. Nor is their situation rare: according to the United Nations, over 100 million individuals worldwide are now displaced from their homes because of persecution, conflict, violence, or human rights violations. What is it like to build a new life from scratch? How do families face the challenges of long-term separation and immigration uncertainty? Join us to meet the Hashimi family and learn from their experience.


Soraya Hashimi and her two sons and four daughters were airlifted from Kabul in August 2021 as part of the “Operation Allies Welcome” program. After an extended stay in a resettlement camp in Texas, they arrived in Princeton in January 2022. Because Soraya’s husband was traveling when the crisis in Kabul escalated, he was separated from the rest of the family and is still waiting to be allowed to rejoin them here in New Jersey. Members of the family are working, attending school, polishing their English, and facing all the challenges of building a new life far from what once was home. The Mission and Outreach Committee and the many volunteers from Nassau Presbyterian Church and beyond are happy to welcome them as they have welcomed many previous refugee families to our community.

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October 9 | Farsijana Adeney-Risakotta

 God Calls Christians to Declare Justice and Peace in Indonesia

Being a PC(USA) mission co-worker in Indonesia is a blessing. Indonesia is the largest Muslim country in the world but also contains a significant Christian population. In Indonesia, the church and Muslims work together to reveal God’s love to the world. Come and learn how Christians in Indonesia strive to be salt and light and living witnesses in a Muslim-majority Indonesia.



Farsijana Adeney-Risakotta is a mission co-worker from PC(USA) who serves at Duta Wacana Christian University (DWCU). She holds a degrees in religion, theology and a PhD in anthropology. Currently, Farsijana is one of the visiting scholars at the Overseas Ministries Study Center (OMSC) at Princeton Theological Seminary and is excited to visit Presbyterian churches during her 9-month stay in the US sharing about her work and ministry in a multi-faith setting. When not traveling, Nassau Presbyterian Church will be her home church during her stay in Princeton.

 

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October 16 | Everlyn Nicodemus

A Journey to the Arts

Come meet this year’s Artist-in-Residence at the Overseas Ministries Study Center of Princeton. Nicodemus will share how her life has been marked by movement and how that movement is reflected in her art. She grew up on the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, moving across Europe – to Sweden, France and Belgium – before finally settling in the U.K. Her experience of racism and cultural trauma has prompted the creation of a unique body of work that uses unusual materials to explore human experience, from metal nettings and sisal to textiles and found objects.



Everlyn Nicodemus is one of the strongest feminist voices to emerge from Eastern Africa in the past 30 years and is an artist, writer and curator. Her research and curatorial interests focus on the history of Modern African Art. A Lutheran, Nicodemus has been worshiping at Nassau Presbyterian during her time in Princeton.

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Adult Education – May 15 & 22


On Sunday, May 22, we will begin our summer schedule: one Service of Worship at 10:00 a.m., with Adult Education in the Assembly Room at 11:15 a.m.

Rev. Thomas Bayes: Presbyterian Theologian for a Pandemic-time

Rev. Thomas Bayes (1701-1761) has been described as a theologian who dabbled in mathematics. Following the “rediscovery” of his work in the 1950s, Bayes is now recognized as a leading mathematical thinker. While much of his work focused on the topic of theodicy (if God is all good and powerful, why does evil exist?), his most influential writing has far-reaching applications in econometrics, pharmaceuticals, and public policy. Join us in reclaiming Bayes as one of the most influential Presbyterian theologians in the last three centuries. No graduate level mathematics, statistics or theology required.



May 15 | 9:30am, Assembly Room

Gordon Bryant is a member of the NPC Adult Education Committee and joined NPC in 1997.  Bryant became acquainted with Bayes while employed at Wharton Econometric Forecasting Associates (WEFA) after completing a graduate degree in Germanic Languages at the University of Pennsylvania.  In 1984, Bryant completed an MBA at Wharton and began a decade-long career in investment banking, including serving as a Senior Vice President at Lazard Freres. More recently, while employed by Booz Allen, Bryant served as Senior Renewable Energy Project Finance Advisor for a US Department of Defense renewable energy program.


May 22 | 11:15am, Assembly Room

Cynthia Miller grew up in Northbrook, Illinois, and currently lives in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. She attended Hanover College (where she majored in economics and minored in French and German) and received her M.B.A. from the College of William and Mary where she focused on advertising and marketing.  Miller is the Vice President for International and Domestic Market Solutions with Braun Research, based in Princeton, and ‘dabbles’ in statistics and regression analysis daily. She is a novel- and article-writer in her spare time who grew up Presbyterian and has been a member of Nassau since 1997.She especially enjoys being a part of the Adult Education Committee at our church.


Larry Alphs received his BS from Michigan State University and trained as a neuropharmacologist (PhD) and psychiatrist (MD) at the University of Chicago.  He practiced psychiatry as an academic psychiatric researcher for 10 years before joining the pharmaceutical industry. He has led programs in numerous CNS disorders.  Alphs has been involved in introducing CNS clinical trials in resource limited settings through initiation and ongoing consultation related to evaluating the value of injectable antipsychotics in Rwanda.

Adult Education – April 24, May 1 & 8

Faith ‘n Technology

From phones to drones; cars to Mars, technology is reshaping, indeed, remaking the worlds we live in. But what can our ancient and analog faith offer such brave new futures? These all-ages classes will plug into the big questions about belief in the digital age.  Gather around as we ask, “Should we have Faith in Technology?”


Audio recordings will be posted below each class description.




April 24 | 9:30am, Assembly Room

From Plato to Instagram: Truly Knowing the Shadows on the Wall

As more of life is spent online, and more knowledge is gained through digital media, how will we know what is true and real? This week explores the power of image, the nature of knowledge, and some ancient wisdom for escaping our computer caves.


May 1 | 9:30am, Assembly Room

Will Robots Pray to Electric Gods?: Machines, Cyborgs, and the Meaning of Humanity

Will organic people become obsolete hardware? This week we turn to questions of artificial intelligence and what it means to be human as we address the dreams and dystopias of robotic futures.


May 8 | 9:30am, Assembly Room

Beauty Great and Nano: The Brilliance of Nature

The heavens declare glory and beauty. But what about the nano scale cosmos below us? Our final session looks to the natural world for inspiration and hope as we contemplate the wonders our technology may achieve.


Mark Edwards

Mark Edwards is Director of Youth Ministry here at Nassau Presbyterian Church. In his spare time he teaches “Ethics and Technology” at nearby The College of New Jersey.

Adult Education – Lent ’22 Linked-In Learning Series

Reading Luke Backwards

Some stories are not meant to be read once and in order. Some stories are meant for us to revisit over and over again. The Gospel of Luke is such a story and our yearly journey through Lent provides an ideal opportunity to remember and learn anew the story of Jesus’s cross and resurrection anew, afresh, and perhaps from a different vantage point.

And so we invite you to read the Gospel of Luke backwards this season. In a world turned upside down by pandemics and politics alike, how might we approach Easter if we start at the foot of the cross, at the threshold of the empty tomb? And what if we end the story where it starts, in the arms of Mary? From the end to the beginning, Luke narrates a good news that transforms a ruptured world.


Audio recordings will be posted below each class description.


Eric Barreto is Weyerhaeuser Associate Professor of New Testament at Princeton Theological Seminary, an ordained Baptist minister, and a Nassau parent. He earned a BA in religion from Oklahoma Baptist University, an MDiv from Princeton Seminary, and a PhD in New Testament from Emory University. Prior to coming to Princeton Seminary, he served as associate professor of New Testament at Luther Seminary, and also taught as an adjunct professor at the Candler School of Theology and McAfee School of Theology.


March 6 | Luke 23:26-40

An Unjust Death

Lent and Easter invite us into multiple stories of the cross and resurrection. Luke’s account of the cross focuses on Jesus’ innocence and his unjust death at the hands of an empire that saw him as a threat to the order it had established. At the foot of the cross then, we meet a Jesus who stands alongside others unjustly and cruelly executed by the machinations of various empires. Thus, we stand at the foot of the cross grieving what we have seen: an innocent person whose life an empire tries to take but whom God redeems. 


March 13 | Luke 20:20-26

Confronting Caesar

In light of Luke’s account of the cross, we can turn afresh to a number of well-known Lukan passages, including Jesus’ famous and often misinterpreted call to “render unto Caesar.” Often, this verse is deployed to encourage us to keep separate the political and the religious. Instead, the story calls us to count carefully what actually belongs to God and how much is left for a Caesar who claims to possess the world. What belongs to God if not everything! And if that’s true, then what is left to give to Caesar?


March 20| Luke 14:15-24

The (Not So) Great Dinner

Luke loves stories about food, about gathering around tables with sinners and righteous alike. Here, Jesus tells a story about what a gathering usually deemed a great dinner, a picture of the feast that awaits us all in paradise. However, the Jesus Luke narrates consistently goes to the margins to find his dinner companions, not as a concession after all his friends have turned down his invitation. That is, this (not so) great dinner teaches us more about what a feast in heaven will not be like.


March 27 | Luke 6:20-26

Blessed Are…

Jesus’ Sermon on the Plain promises nothing less than a reversal of the order of a world that privileges raw power, excessive pride, unrestrained greed by highlighting the poor, the meek, the disinherited as beneficiaries and exemplars of God’s promised reign. Alongside blessing, Jesus also names woe to those who have already received their “consolation.”


April 3 | Luke 4:1-13

Power & Justice: Temptation in the Wilderness

Following on the heels of Jesus’ baptism and a voice from heaven naming him God’s beloved child, the Spirit drives Jesus into the wilderness. There, Jesus faces temptation, supported by the Spirit and the belief that God was with him. At the center of the temptation account is Satan’s promise to give Jesus all the kingdoms of the world, kingdoms Satan now controls. Jesus’ faithful response is an invitation to ponder the shape of power and how we might hone our expectations of God’s good reign.


April 10 | Luke 1:39-56

A Believer, A Prophet

We end where Luke’s narrative begins: with Mary’s faithful consent and her prophetic declaration. Typically, we read about Mary’s choice and her song in the Christmas season. In light of Good Friday’s cross and Easter’s promise of resurrection, how might Mary’s bold belief help us meet Jesus once again? This story will remind us of Mary’s faithful teaching of Jesus, the anguish and grief she must have experienced throughout Jesus’ life, as well as one of the sources of the prophetic and prayerful proclamation of God’s transformative kingdom that marked Jesus’ own ministry.

Lent 2022 Small Groups

Old rhythms and routines are returning in new ways. Small Group fellowship is also adapting to the new normal. This Lent brings a wonderful diversity of topics, leaders, and platforms, all designed to deepen your knowledge, faith, and community. Whether you opt for in-person or virtual groups, the promise that the Holy Spirit is present when two or more are gathered in God’s name remains a constant.

Click on the Small Group Name to read more.

Start
Time

SUN

MON

TUE

WED

THU

10 a.m. Reading Luke
11 a.m.
12 p.m. Cradling Abundance
4 p.m. Art of
Faithfulness
Reading Luke
(grades 4-7)
7 p.m.
Movies – Backwards Reading Luke Reading Luke
  Christ is Time
7:30 p.m. Photographing Lent Photographing Lent

Reading Luke Backwards

Linked In Learning Series
Some stories are not meant to be read once and in order. Some stories are meant for us to revisit over and over again. The Gospel of Luke is such a story and our yearly journey through Lent provides an ideal opportunity to remember and learn anew the story of Jesus’s cross and resurrection anew, afresh, and perhaps from a different vantage point.

And so we invite you to read the Gospel of Luke backwards this season. In a world turned upside down by pandemics and politics alike, how might we approach Easter if we start at the foot of the cross, at the threshold of the empty tomb? And what if we end the story where it starts, in the arms of Mary? From the end to the beginning, Luke narrates a Good News that transforms a ruptured world.

Join us each Sunday morning as Eric D. Barreto, Weyerhaeuser Associate Professor of New Testament at Princeton Theological Seminary, leads us (backwards) through the Gospel of Luke, examining not only the Biblical and historical context of Luke’s narrative of Jesus’ life and ministry but also its timely and timeless impact on our lives today. Get linked-in for Lent! Each week small groups will study these Lukan texts from a more personal and contemplative point of view, and Pastor Davis will preach them in worship.



Mondays, February 28 – April 4, 10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
In-person and outdoors at the home of Corrie Berg in Princeton, NJ.

This group is full
Corrie Berg, is the Director of Educational Ministries and always delighted to talk about Bible stories, whether it’s with grown ups or with children. She finds that she often learns the most by discussing the stories of our faith with the people of our church.

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Reading Luke Backwards – just for Kids (4th-8th graders)

Mondays, February 28 – April 4, 4:00-5:00 p.m.
In-person and outdoors at the home of Corrie Berg in Princeton, NJ.

Register Here
Corrie Berg is the Director of Educational Ministries and always delighted to talk about Bible stories, whether it’s with grown ups or with children. She finds that she often learns the most by discussing the stories of our faith with the people of our church.

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Tuesdays, March 1 – April 5, 7:00-8:30 p.m.
In-person at the home of Thomas and Trevor in Kingston, NJ.

Register Here
Thomas VanWart and Trevor Thorton have been attending Nassau Church for two years, becoming members just before the pandemic started, and now they are Deacons. Relocating to the area from Kansas City, they are currently building their small homestead in Kingston with a Corgi (Luna), 11 Chickens (Emmy Lou, Queen Elizabeth, Reba, Dolly, Stacey, Fran, Abby, Iris, RBG, Marily Robinson, and Nina), and a growing garden.

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Thursdays, March 3 – April 7, 7:00-8:00 p.m.
Virtual on Zoom

Register Here

Mani Pulimood has been worshiping at NPC for a long time, with his wife, Monisha, and two sons, Nikhil and Philip. He enjoys participating in and leading small groups at Nassau. He has authored a book, Spiritual Dimensions – Musings on Life and Faith. One of his favorite ministries is online evangelism (https://twitter.com/ManiPulimood). He also enjoys biking and hiking.

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Additional Small Group Options


Art of Faithfulness

Sundays, March 6 – April 10, 4:00-5:30 p.m.
Virtual on Zoom

This group is full

This spring the Art of Faithfulness continues! Join us as we look at the creative arts as a pathway to experiencing God’s presence in our lives, individually and collectively. We will explore a variety of creative art forms, including the creativity that God has given each of us, to reflect and discuss how they relate to and express our faith.

Kim Kleasen is a long time member of Nassau and the Adult Choir, is currently on Session and working on our Forward in Faith Together initiatives. During the pandemic she completed a course of study on Spiritual Direction at General Theological Seminary where she deeply explored the connections of our creativity and faith.

Noel Werner is in his 16th year as the Director of Music at Nassau and currently serving as Dean of the Central NJ Chapter of the American Guild of Organists. He enjoys discovering the power of music, poetry, and visual arts on our virtual platforms during the pandemic.

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Let’s Begin at the End; at the Movies

Sundays, February 27 – April 10, 7:00-8:00 p.m.
Virtual on Zoom

This group is full

Throughout art and literature we find stories told by using reverse chronology narratives, telling a story in reverse order of events on a timeline. Cinema plays more than a bit part in that mix. We will look at six films that employ a variation of this ancient storytelling technique while enjoying film classics that begin with Mank, a 2020 film about the making of the 1941 masterpiece Citizen Kane. We will conclude the series with a screening of Citizen Kane. On the first Sunday we will talk about ourselves and get to know each other and dip our toes in the reverse chronology story pool. The next six weeks we will see the above films listed in the order shown ahead of our scheduled time together. We will then discuss that week’s movie during our time together.
Movie selections include: Mank; Slumdog Millionaire; Into the Wild; Forrest Gump; Amadeus; Citizen Kane.

Marshall McKnight, a lifelong movie buff, has been a Nassau Church member since 2011. He is a deacon and is active on the Mass Incarceration Task Force. He also serves on the Adult Education and Membership Committees. He was a journalist for seven years and for the last 17 has worked for the State of New Jersey.

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Christ is Time

Mondays, February 28 – April 4, 7:00-8:30 p.m.
Virtual on Zoom

Register Here

Get “Barth Smart” as we encounter Mark’s favorite volume in the Church Dogmatics. Addressing our understanding of humanity and temporality, Karl rethinks and arguably solves the meta-question, “What is time?”  First-timers and experts are welcome as we gather around this rigorous challenge to mind and heart, church and world, and clock and calendar. Reading is ~40 pages/week.

Mark Edwards joined Nassau as Director of Youth Ministries in September of 2013. He is a lifelong Presbyterian and holds a PhD in Philosophy and Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary. He has taught at Princeton University, The College of New Jersey, and Princeton Theological Seminary. His Christ is Time: The Gospel according to Karl Barth is forthcoming in ‘22. Mark is married to Janine, and they have two great kids, a dog, a cat, seven chickens, and a bunch of bikes.

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Cradling Abundance

Tuesdays, March 8 – April 5, 12:00-1:00 pm
Virtual on Zoom

Register Here

Join friends from Witherspoon Street Presbyterian for conversations on Cradling Abundance: One African Christian’s Story of Empowering Women and Fighting Systemic Poverty by Monique Misenga Ngoie Mukuna & Elsie Tshimunyi McKee. Each week we will take a section of the book and consider specific questions pertaining to the text and spend time reflecting generally as well. We hope participants will invest in friendships with one another and Maman Monique through her writing.
A limited quantity of books will be available for purchase at Laybrinth Books on Nassau Street beginning Thursday, February 17 (ask at the check out counter). These can also be ordered from Amazon, Christianbook.com, or from the publisher InterVarsity Press.

Len Scales is the Part-Time Pastor for Mission & Outreach at Nassau. She and her husband Andrew are in their sixth year serving as the Presbyterian Chaplains at Princeton University and Executive Co-Directors of Princeton Presbyterians of the Westminster Foundation at Princeton.

Elsie McKee retired from teaching history at Princeton Theological Seminary last year. She was born and grew up in Congo, and for many years has supported theological education there. Since 2010 her primary focus has been working with her dear friend Maman Monique; in 2013 Elsie and friends established a small non-profit Woman, Cradle of Abundance, to assist Maman Monique’s ministry.

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The Sacred Art of Photography

The theme of Sacred Art of Photograph this spring will be Photographing Lent. Each group will prepare a Lenten photo journal that will consist, in the aggregate, of two photographs each group member produces during the week prior to the group meeting on Zoom.

The stimulus for these photographs will come from various scriptures and Lenten meditations provided daily at Nassau beginning on March 2, Ash Wednesday. You can sign up for this email list here:

Members will present two of their photographs for discussion on the evenings in which the group meets.


Photographing Lent (Tuesdays)

Tuesdays, March 1 – April 5, 7:30-8:30pm
Virtual on Zoom

Register Here

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Photographing Lent (Thursdays)

Thursdays, March 3, 17, 31,  and April 14, 21, 28, 7:30-8:30 p.m.
Virtual on Zoom

Register Here
Because of the “wonky” schedule, we are asking participants to register by email with Ned Walthall by clicking the box above.

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Ned Walthall is a photographer based in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. He received his MFA from the Institute of Art and Design at New England College (formerly the New Hampshire Institute of Art). His work has been shown throughout the United States and abroad.

He and his partner, Mari Walthall, are currently at work on a photo book entitled Covid & Faith, in which they explore in some depth the ways in which the COVID-19 pandemic has transformed individuals’ spiritual practice and beliefs.

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Adult Education – February 2022

Engaging Islam Graphic with 12 pointed star ceramic tiles, c.1442-43, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (www.metmuseum.org).

view graphic copyright

Welcome back to in-person Adult Education classes! We begin this month with a new series exploring the tenets and teachings of Islam. Come hear four excellent community leaders and scholars share their experiences of and expertise in this dynamic and rich tradition. Join us as we strive to be good neighbors to those in our community and conscientious citizens of the world.


Audio recordings will be posted below each class description.


Current Covid Protocols for Adult Education

Our presenters are fully vaccinated and will comply with our testing protocol for worship leaders. Social distancing will apply in the Assembly Room with seating limited to 40 and masking inside the building will continue.


February 6 | Imam Khalil Abdullah

Islam in Dialogue

In the early years of Islam, the emerging Muslim community endured many challenges. Muhammad the Prophet encouraged his followers to seek refuge in the nearby Christian kingdom of Ethiopia. We’ll look at that pivotal moment in history, which offers lessons on both Islam and living together.

Unfortunately, this session was not recorded.


Khalil Abdullah is the Assistant Dean for Muslim Life in the Office of Religious Life at Princeton University. He works closely with students on campus to support their diverse cultural and spiritual identities while helping to strengthen their religious literacy and mutual respect for others. In addition, Khalil offers pastoral care to students and regularly hosts campus dialogues on various topics related to faith, identity, and meaning.

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February 13 | Tehseen Thaver

The Qur’an: Text, Context, and Interpretation

This session will introduce participants to some key features of the Qur’an and its interpretive tradition in Islam. Through some specific examples from the Qur’an itself we will look at ways in which the interpretation of thorny and important matters has transformed over time. 


Tehseen Thaver is Assistant Professor of Religion/Islam at Princeton University. She teaches courses on the Qur’an and its interpretation, Sufism and Muslim Ethics, Muslim humanities, Shi‘ism, and religion and culture of Iran. Her research focuses on the multiple forms of Muslims’ engagement with scripture – pre-modern and modern, oral and textual, interpretive and performative.

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February 20 | Amaney Jamal


Islam and Muslim Experiences in the U.S. since 9/11

This week’s class in the Engaging Islam series jumps ahead about 1400 years.  We move from learning about the historical roots and sacred texts of Islam to the current experiences of Arab Americans living in our country in the two decades following the events of September 11, 2001. Dr. Jamal will discuss the persistent stereotypes surrounding Arab Americans and how a limited understanding of Islamic culture plays a role in anti-immigrant sentiments.


Amaney Jamal is Dean of the School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA) and the Edwards S. Sanford Professor of Politics. Jamal’s research and teaching focuses on the Middle East and North Africa, political development and democratization, inequality and economic segregation, Muslim immigration in the United States and Europe, and issues related to gender, race, religion and class. She previously served in numerous leadership roles on campus, including as chair of the Department of Politics Ad-Hoc Committee on Race and Diversity and as a member of the Dean of the Faculty Committee on Diversity. Jamal also directs the Workshop on Arab Political Development and the Bobst-American University of Beirut Collaborative Initiative.

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February 27 | Imam Jawad Bayat

A Child of Refugees: Becoming an Afghan-American Muslim

Jawad Bayat was born and raised in New Jersey to parents who sought refuge here during the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan in 1981. As he relates his personal story we will discover the inner landscape and tension that many people carry as a result of such major disruption and displacement. Assimilation, isolation, and integration are all part of being Afghan, American, and Muslim.


Imam Jawad Bayat serves as Manager of Pastoral Care and Clinical Pastoral Education for Penn Medicine Princeton Health and Princeton House Behavioral Health. He is a graduate of Hartford International University for Religion and Peace’s (formerly Hartford Seminary) Islamic Chaplaincy program, and is ecclesiastically endorsed by the Islamic Society of North America. Jawad completed his multi-year ACPE educator certification with the Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH, and became among the first Muslim ACPE certified pastoral care educator’s in its history.

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Graphic includes Twelve-Pointed Star-Shaped Tile, attributed to Khargird, Iran, (A.H. 846/ A.D. 1442–43), [Stonepaste; polychrome glaze within black wax resist outlines (cuerda seca technique), 15 7/8 in. x 15 7/8 in. x 1 1/4 in.]. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (www.metmuseum.org).

Adult Education – Advent 2021

Advent in…

From the Annunciation to the Alleluias, Advent is a season of Anticipation. In music, art, movement and speech, we look forward to the birth of Christ. Come, Lord Jesus!


Audio recordings will be posted below each class description.


Current Covid Protocols for Adult Education

Our presenters are fully vaccinated and will comply with our testing protocol for worship leaders. Social distancing will apply in the Assembly Room with seating limited to 40 and masking inside the building will continue.


November 28 | Elizabeth Steel

Advent in Pictures: Joy and Gladness

Joy is a central theme to the Advent narrative. We will explore the concept of “joy” in visual art and usher in the season by reflecting on how we are called to express joy in our own lives. By encountering a variety of different works, we will discern how we can be open to receiving and sharing God’s “joy and gladness” this season.


Elizabeth Steel is a fourth year student at Princeton Theological Seminary earning her MDiv and MA in Christian Education and Formation. With BA in Art History at the University of Virginia, she is exploring the capacity that art holds for theological reflection and formation, including an internship at the Princeton University Art Museum. She grew up in McLean, Virginia and didn’t know anybody could be anything other than Presbyterian until high school.

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December 5 | Paul Rorem

Advent in Song: Pandemic Hymnody

“Wake, Awake, for Night is Flying” may be an Advent hymn, but not in the modern sense.  It has more to do with the plague than with Christmas. And “How Brightly Beams the Morning Star” (How Fair, How Bright the Morning Star) may sound like it refers to the Epiphany star the Wise Men saw, but it doesn’t! These two hymns, (“Wachet auf” and “Wie schoen leuchtet der Morgenstern”) appended in tandem to a big book by Philipp Nicolai (1556-1608) and later favorites of J. S. Bach and F. Mendelssohn, became known as the King and Queen of German Chorales.


Paul Rorem is Princeton Theological Seminary’s Warfield Professor Emeritus of Ecclesiastical History, a title he now shares with his own doctor-father Karlfried Froehlich.  His courses covered St. Augustine, mysticism, women writers, and hymn texts as windows into church history in general.

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December 12 | Annalise Hume


Advent in Motion: The Word Became Flesh

During Advent, we turn our attention to the coming of our Incarnated Christ, the Word made Flesh. By also tuning in to our own bodily experiences, we can freshly experience the season this year. Together we will consider how and why embodied spiritual practices can enliven our faith. Then we will get up and play with a bit of movement for ourselves. All bodies are welcome!


Annalise Hume is a passionate, creative, down-to-earth Spiritual Director who loves listening and asking questions to help others recognize the movement of God in their life. She has a BFA in Dance from the University of Minnesota as well as an MDiv and MA in Christian Education from Princeton Theological Seminary.  In her spare time, you will find her playing with her toddler, watching Princeton tennis matches, and dreaming up her next trip.

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December 19 | Michael Morgan

Advent in Speech: Good Tidings of Great Joy

Join us as we explore and hear Luke 2:8-10 as if for the first time. What tools do orators use to highlight meaning and story in scripture? Through these tools we will discover the patterns, contradictions, and hidden gems in a passage we know (almost) too well.


Michael Dean Morgan and family (Shana, Dean, and Avery) joined Nassau Church in 2013. Michael is a professional actor, head of Voice and Speech at Rowan University, and a longtime adjunct professor of Speech Communication at Princeton Theological Seminary.

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Lenten Devotions 2022 – Call for Writers


Ash Wednesday, 3/2/22 – Easter Sunday, 4/17/22


Would you consider writing a meditation for our 2022 Lenten daily devotional series? We are always hoping to encourage new writers to join us. These messages of faith and encouragement have become a meaningful tradition for our community, and for many beyond the Nassau congregation. We will share these messages through a daily email, and later, when the season is complete, as a PDF that can be downloaded from our website.


Participating easy — here’s how:

“God’s Hands and the Holy Spirit,” from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. Original source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/basta-cosi/1547659026/ – Jean Bean.

Each writer will be provided a choice of scriptures and guidelines for writing. Choose one or two verses meaningful to you, write a short reflection on them, and include a sentence prayer to close your reflection. It can be in any literary form: Prose, poem, haiku, dialogue, etc. Examples of our recent devotionals can be found on our website here (link).

It need not be complicated; simply from your heart. We have resources and helpers to guide you through the process. Please join us.

If you have any questions about the process or if you’re ready to sign up, please email Karen Barrows.


 


 

Adult Education – Fall ’21 Linked-In Learning Series

Together Again: Biblical Stories of Reunion & Restoration

As we slowly return to cooperate worship and gatherings within our own community, come explore how earlier generations of believers have learned from and experienced reunion. Listen to familiar stories of redemption and reconciliation as well as ones where reunion is stalled, avoided, or only anticipated.


Audio recordings will be posted below each class description.


Current Covid Protocols for Adult Education

Our presenters are fully vaccinated and will comply with our testing protocol for worship leaders. Social distancing will apply in the Assembly Room with seating limited to 40 and masking inside the building will continue.


October 17 | Anne Stewart

Reunion and Repair

Jacob and Esau are the long-awaited twin sons born to Isaac and Rebekah. These brothers emerge from the womb already locked in conflict (see Genesis 25:19–34; 27:1–46). As they grow, the differences deepen and result in a dramatic power grab that fractures a family. Jacob must leave home to escape the vengeful wrath of his brother Esau. As these two prepare to meet again in Genesis 32 and 33, they have not seen each other for years. Jacob has gained wisdom and humility and prepares for the reunion with caution and savvy.


Anne Stewart is Vice President for External Relations at Princeton Theological Seminary.  She is a Presbyterian minister and the author of Poetic Ethics in Proverbs: Wisdom Literature and the Shaping of the Moral Self.  She is a graduate of Smith College, Princeton Theological Seminary (MDiv), and Emory University (PhD, Old Testament).  Anne grew up in central Pennsylvania and was raised in the faith at Camp Hill Presbyterian Church.


October 24 | Dennis Olsen

Two Reunions and a Reveal

Israel’s ancestor Jacob had twelve sons who eventually became the twelve tribes of the people of Israel. Joseph and his younger brother Benjamin were Jacob’s favored sons, born of Jacob’s favorite wife Rachel. The other brothers all knew it and resented their younger brothers. This favoritism provokes the brothers to commit a violent act that propels Joseph on an epic quest resulting in fame, power and wealth. After years of separation, Joseph has a surprise encounter with his brothers who do not recognize because they assume he died years ago.


Dennis T. Olson is the Charles T. Haley Professor of Old Testament Theology and Chair of the Biblical Studies Department at Princeton Theological Seminary. He earned his MDiv from Luther Theological Seminary and his MA, MPhil, and PhD from Yale University. An ordained Lutheran minister, he specializes in the Pentateuch and other narrative literature of the Old Testament.


October 31 | James VanderKam

Reunion with Torah

After being exiled in Babylon, the Jewish people finally return to Jerusalem to find their beloved city and temple in ruins. Nehemiah begins rebuilding the city walls while the priest Ezra seeks to rededicate the temple. Both these leaders were convinced that the national disasters of the past were caused by disobedience to the law and feared that their contemporaries were repeating the sins of their ancestors.  Therefore they and other leaders instituted practices that centered on the temple and were intended to ensure conformity with the law. In that way the restored nation could avoid the punishments meted out to generations past.


James VanderKam taught at North Carolina State University and at the University of Notre Dame where he was the O’Brien Professor of Hebrew Scriptures.  His areas of research are the Hebrew Bible and the literature of Early Judaism such as the Dead Sea Scrolls.  He and his wife, Mary, moved to Princeton in 2019 and became members of Nassau a few months later.


November 7 | Shane Berg

Reunion and Relationship

One of the most famous reunion stories in scripture is Jesus’ parable of the prodigal son. The embrace of the wayward son by his loving father, captured so poignantly in Rembrandt’s famous painting, is an enduring reminder of God’s compassion and love for us. This powerful image is key to our understanding of God’s grace and nature. The best-known stories in the Bible, however, often repay a fresh reading. A closer look will reveal a rich complexity and nuance that deepens our appreciation of this iconic parable.

Read the passages cited during the class.


Shane Berg is the Executive Vice President at Princeton Theological Seminary. Dr. Berg earned his MDiv degree from Princeton Theological Seminary and his PhD in New Testament and Ancient Christianity from Yale University. He served on the faculty of Princeton Theological Seminary for seven years as Assistant Professor of New Testament, and then joined the Seminary’s executive leadership team in January 2014. Around Nassau he is perhaps best known as Corrie Berg’s husband and the father of Anders, Mathias, and Soren.


November 14 | Theresa Thames

The Reunion that Wasn’t

If your family is anything like my own, family reunions can be…interesting. In our text, Matthew gives us a brief introduction to family systems theory by sharing an encounter between Jesus, his birth family, and the disciples. On first reading, Jesus’ response sounds harsh and gives us pause. However, Jesus’ jarring words model a more expansive understanding of family and widening of the circle.


Theresa Thames, an ordained Elder in the United Methodist Church, has been the Associate Dean of Religious Life and the Chapel at Princeton University since 2016. She is passionate about the intersections of theology, gender, organizational development, and social justice. A challenging preacher, thoughtful theologian, and devoted friend, Theresa is also a lover of life and a music connoisseur who prioritizes self-care and believes that freedom is not optional, rest is her strength, and radical joy is her resistance.


November 21 | Noel Werner

The Sound of Reunion

You might be surprised how much of our congregational song is based on the visions and poetry in Revelation. Starting with the reunion of God and the great company of saints in Revelation 7:9-17, we’ll explore the way in which this final book of the New Testament has inspired authors and composers for generations and created some of our most enduring songs. Together we’ll experience a little of what the great reunion might sound like through the prophetic witness of word and music.

Download the Revelation Lecture Playlist (PDF) for YouTube links and copyright information for the musical selections presented during the class.


Noel Werner
Noel Werner

Noel Werner has been the Director of Music at Nassau Presbyterian Church since 2006. He lectures on occasion at Westminster Choir College and Princeton Theological Seminary, and spearheads many cooperative music endeavors in the community, in addition to directing Nassau’s adult choir, coordinating Nassau’s extensive music program, and staffing Nassau’s Worship and Arts Committee.