Our next Book Club selection is The Authenticity Project by Clare Pooley
“Everyone lies about their lives. What would happen if you shared the truth instead?” This is the question that eccentric artist Julian Jessop poses within a notebook he labels The Authenticity Project, before leaving it behind in Monica’s Cafe. When Monica discovers the notebook, not only does she add her own story to the book, she is determined to find a way to help Julian feel less lonely. And so it goes with the others who find the green notebook that will soon contain their deepest selves.
We’ll meet Tuesday, February 27th at 7pm in the meeting room to discuss it.
Our Valentine’s Ministry reached over 150 people this year, thanks to the generous and creative cardmaking by our members. What a wonderful occasion to spread God’s love and joy! Completed cards were donated to the homebound in our community and to local care facilities.
Holiday Food Drive
Our December Food Drive brought in over 300 pounds of food and $350 in monetary donations! Thank you for your generosity in making the holidays a bit easier for many families in need.
We accept donations monthly on the last Sunday from 10-12 in front of the church. Our next collection is the end of February.
Nearly 30 volunteers came out Saturday, December 9th to put together cookie care packages! The mission is in memory of Donna Wojcik. These busy elves baked, wrapped and delivered cookies to members of the local community. Thanks to all for another successful event spreading Christmas cheer!
CHRISTMAS GIFT DRIVE
The UMC at Mount Tabor ran another successful gift collection for the Jersey Battered Women’s Shelter, so that residents may “shop” for gifts for their families. Donations included clothing and toys for all ages, sports equipment, gift cards, books and more! Thank you to all our generous donors!
The Alison’s Angels Award – in memory of Alison Ober – is given annually to a church member who has given exceptional service to our church and the community at large. This year’s recipient is Janet Ryans, who for several years now has organized our monthly food drives for the Interfaith Food Pantry, along with her husband John. Always so generous with her time, Janet is an essential member of our church family. Congratulations Janet…the honor is well deserved!
Make a Joyful Noise!
Our Handbell Choir is back in full ring! The bell choir is open to anyone ages 8 and up. No knowledge of music necessary – just an interest and ability to commit to one rehearsal per week (Wednesday evenings). Contact the church for more details: 973-627-4243 or email [email protected]
We performed at Pastor Rosario’s farewell service on Sunday, June 11th. (Enjoy our January 8th performance below!)
Red Scarf Project
Our knitters and crocheters completed a dozen warm red scarves for the Red Scarf Project, a mission of the Foster Care to Success organization. These scarves will be placed in upcoming Valentine care packages sent to young adults aging out of the foster care system, as a beautiful reminder that they are loved and prayed for as they navigate their new journey.
Foster Care to Success is the oldest and largest national nonprofit organization working solely with college-bound foster youth, helping them graduate from college and transition to the workforce and into successful adulthood.
Bishop John R. Schol has appointed Jeannette Zajac as the new pastor of our congregation. Rev. Jeannette Zajac began her responsibilities on July 1st of this year.
Pastor Jeannette is no stranger to Mount Tabor, as she served as an Associate and Youth Pastor for several years under both Pastors Amanda and Rosario. Welcome back, Jeannette!
A Sad Goodbye…
On June 11th Pastor Rosario performed her last service with us before her retirement. We sent her off with a musical celebration including handbells, kazoos, accordian music and lots of food and fellowship. We are so very grateful for her hard work and time with our church. Pastor Rosario joined us in a time of flux; we were also in the midst of a global pandemic which required many changes and much flexibility in the way we worship. She rose to the challenge and we are a stronger community for it!
We wish her a happy retirement and best wishes for her & Alma moving forward into this new chapter.
Tour of the Food Pantry
Last January a group of UMC volunteers visited the Interfaith Food Pantry in Morris Plains to get a behind-the-scenes look at what happens to donations after our monthly food drives. These drives are part of our outreach mission to spread God’s love to the larger community. We were given a tour of the operation – including the sorting area, the warehouse and the “grocery,” which stocks everything from diapers to desserts.
When food donations come in, volunteers check expiration dates and sort into various categories. This is what we helped with…nearly 1,700 pounds of canned goods that morning alone! Then the items go into the warehouse to be pulled and stocked on the grocery shelves as needed for any of the 20 or so distribution days per month.
The pantry currently serves approximately 2,400 families, along with thousands of individuals, who may shop at the pantry once per month. It also serves local senior living communities, home-bound consumers and even some County College of Morris students. The need has increased exponentially due to Covid-19, according to Jayne Wenner, Volunteer Coordinator. Inflation has also made it much harder to put food on the table. Jayne says it’s fairly easy to fill the demand in the holiday season – November and December – as the community is in a giving mood. (Approximately 2,100 turkeys were donated in November alone!) It’s much more challenging during the rest of the year, especially in the summer months. What most people don’t realize is that food insecurity is a year-round issue for many families. For a list of most-needed items – including peanut butter, baby foods, pet foods and hearty soups – see their website.
In addition to food, Interfaith Food Pantry provides nutrition education and access to essential community resources. Their on-site kitchen has been used in the past for cooking classes – check out their YouTube channel – and they hope to be able to offer those in-person again soon.
Look for more volunteer opportunities in the months ahead.
Thanks to you we donated nearly 3,000 pounds of food and over $1,300 to the Interfaith Food Pantry in 2022! Your generosity made a difference to so many families – thank you!
Garden of Peace Ceremony
OUR BEAUTIFUL GARDEN OF PEACE was the tranquil venue for a remembrance ceremony on June 12, 2022.
Consider reserving a section of the garden for yourself or a loved one, knowing you or they are in a serene place overseen by church trustees committed to the garden’s preservation. Please see the dedicated tab above for more details about our special remembrance garden, more photos, and a video of the June 12th ceremony.