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Presby Pages

First Presbyterian Church

100 Main Street / POB 212

Stanhope, NJ   07874

(973) 347-5142 / office



Rev. Hugh J. Matlack, Pastor, hmatlack@optonline.net

Janet Zeas, Church Secretary, fpcstanhope@optonline.net

Holly O=Mahoney, Financial Secretary, (973) 398-6463

Brian Davenport, Treasurer, (973) 398-6194

Kathy Gardner, Deacon=s Moderator, (973) 398-3185

Linda McCabe, Clerk of Session, (973) 584-0282

October 2018


Important peacemaking includes advance planning, risk management and adopting good and appropriate boundaries.

More recently in the news, we have watched with horror the revelations about Roman Catholic clergy misconduct and sexual abuse of children.  The cover-ups are a horror too.

What do we do in our congregation and denomination to protect the vulnerable, especially children?  Our session has long adopted a sexual misconduct policy meant to practice due diligence to keep kids safe while at church; to have a process to hear complaints or allegations; to screen employees.  Our Newton Presbytery requires all clergy such as myself to attend boundary training workshops every three years.  We also sign a misconduct policy; we are, like anyone else, called to exercise the highest level of good behavior so that all are safe as we go about our duties.  If an allegation in our presbytery takes place, there is a known and fair process to field the accusation; to follow-up with inquiry; to hold accountable any abuser; to protect the safety and well-being of a potential victim.

It is awkward to describe this issue and the protection in place to mitigate against incidents; much worse is to fail to implement them and have the innocent suffer.

Our denomination tracks clergy who have been convicted of sexual assault within the church courts.  They are not allowed to relocate without the receiving presbytery and church knowing of their record, a deliberate effort of transparency.  The list is public, on the pcusa.org website.

I wish nothing bad would ever happen because of an assault of any kind, including sexual assault.  Our preparation and enforced policies are a principled effort to make harm difficult and rare.

This Sunday, October 7th, is World Communion Sunday

and we will receive the Peacemaking and Global Witness Offering


            Choir practices for the Christmas Cantata will be Thursday evenings, 6:30 pm and during the Open Hour (9:05 am) each Sunday, each time in the choir rehearsal room.  Bonnie Reed will be directing and has picked out an exciting and lovely cantata for us to sing.  Any and all voices are welcome.


            If you have special music you would like to perform on a Sunday, please let Rev. Matlack know.  We will work together to make it happen.


            The American Red Cross sponsored blood drive will be Saturday, October 27th, 9:00 am to 2:00 pm in the downstairs of the CE Building (where the choir rehearses).  You may sign-up during church or you may use the website, www.redcrossblood.org  See Ken Reed if you would like to help out with logistics that day.  We can always use donations of goodies, to help donors ‘recharge.’


            We have started up Sunday School again and it is very kid-friendly (of course!), hands-on, experiential, all-ages appropriate.  Right now, we are focusing on learning about the Good Samaritan parable from Luke’s Gospel.  Children three and up are eligible and welcome.


            Good neighbors reach out and help those in need.  During church, we are signing-up donors to bring a specific item to supply health / hygiene kits distributed to those affected by a disaster.  They will be packed up on October 21st and sent off to Presbyterian Disaster Assistance.  Watch for the sign-up sheets during worship to see what item you can contribute.


            We are having worship in the Fellowship Hall for the second service.  The scripture focus will be on the Good Samaritan parable; there will be plenty of special and engaging music.  Following the service, a trio of deacons will have readied coffee and goodies.  All will be together for this service, kids and adults.

            The first service will be in the sanctuary.


With Fall’s arrival, Presbyterian Women has several projects to be undertaken.   We will soon be sending out promotional and fundraising letters for a “Dinnerless Dinner.”  Your generosity and kindness in supporting us advances our important and effective mission work.  Thanks! 

Again this year we will be participating in the “Operation Christmas Child” project, sponsored by Samaritan’s Purse.   The final collection date for the boxes will be Sunday, November 11th.   Information will be distributed in the near future in the announcements and newsletter.  The project is to fill a shoebox with Christmas gifts (no toothpaste or candy) to be sent to disadvantaged children worldwide, especially in areas stricken by disaster.  The theme this year is declare his glory among the nations, Psalm 96:3.

The next PW meeting will be Tuesday, November 6th at 10:00 am in the Conference Room.  All women of the church are welcome to attend our meetings and enjoy a time of Bible study, Christian camaraderie  and a business part of the meeting when discussions take place regarding our mission work.


            We will be distributing soon a brochure about The Present Word quarterly Bible study.  Each week has scripture readings; it is self-directed; it can also include a class study; it is inexpensive, $6.00 for a student booklet.  Information will be available during church.

Did you know?

Our church sponsors Pack 151 and they meet regularly in our facility. 

They are having a food drive of their own and will be donating to our Food Bank in November.  See Beth Cahill if you would like to learn more about this organization.


            We monthly send a team to the food kitchen in Newton – at the First Presbyterian Church – to volunteer by helping to prepare and serve a meal and clean-up afterwards.  Typically we are needed on the third or fourth Monday; contact Barbara Noffke if you would like to help, b.noffke@comcast.net


            The Presbytery of Newton is offering a workshop to help congregations figure out their local calling and next steps in ministry and mission.  This discernment process can help us learn more clearly what God is wanting for us to be and do.  The training session will be Thursday, October 18th, 6:30 to 8:30 pm at the presbytery office on Route 10 in Randolph.  See Rev. Matlack if you would like to go with him and others.


            Our appreciation and thanks to the deacons for sponsoring and hosting the coffee hours, brunch really, during July and August after the service.  Each time was excellent.  We will be having worship in the Fellowship Hall for the second service only (first service will be in the sanctuary) on the third Sundays of October, November and December.  Coffee and goodies afterwards will be provided. 

The deacons have made gifts over the summer to Stanhope first responders, the American Legion Ambulance Corp and the Fire Department.

You will hear news about the upcoming Thanksgiving baskets, Christmas gifts, pie sale and more.


            Sadly, we officially transferred the Wyckoff family to the Dover Delaware Presbyterian Church.  They are missed!  Their new church welcomes them during worship on the 14th.

            Our thanks to Rich Palmer’s company, who donated a dehumidifier to the church office.

            We are reserving 25% of the peacemaking offering to send to the Red Ribbon Fellowship in Elizabeth, NJ, a ministry of the First Presbyterian Church there to HIV positive individuals.

            We will be hiring soon a janitor for pay; the work has been done by volunteer effort for most of this year.

            Hugh (and Jo!) will be going to Montreat in North Carolina near Asheville for a conference, the second week of October.  If a pastoral emergency arises, please call Kathy Gardner, moderator of the deacons – 973.398.3185.  She can arrange for you to be assisted.

            The finance committee is working hard to retool and energize again our endowment fund.  Watch for important updates . . .

            We baptized Mr. Ryder Joseph Phelps last Sunday, September 30th, one day before he turned one-year-old.  Blessings to Candace and Dennis, his parents, along with the rest of their family and friends who attended the service.

            Kay Raastad, who had a pacemaker implanted and is doing well; Dee Whitehead, at Heath Village and finishing up rehab; Maribeth Weber, who had extensive back surgery and is home; Bruce Berringer, feeling some better; Gloria Lake, who had medical tests; Barbara Frank, who is home doing well; Herman Barkwood, treatment; Catherine Barry, who has applied for a clinical nursing program; Bill and Candi DeLarr, former members in South Carolina who are doing ok; John and Sandy Burgio, at the Cape right now – Sandy’s mom had to be relocated during the hurricane; JoAnn Anner’s “aunt” Lorraine who died recently – she was Jo’s surrogate mother at age ten after her parents died; Ken Reed, who had a significant birthday last month!; Dave and Nancy Hoyt, who celebrated sixty years of marriage in September – congratulations!; Carley Miller, who fell and hurt her leg; Shirley Batson, who has medical follow-up she is doing. Our prayers also go out for those we list each Sunday, in our families and among our friends and with our neighbors.

Summer 2018

            Summer finally seems to have arrived; I felt like we had late March – early April weather through mid-June.  I hope you are enjoying the warmer temperatures, going outside, being outside – when it was January, did we not wish for these days?  Now that we have our new heating / cooling systems for the sanctuary and fellowship hall, we can be confident we will be comfortable during worship and afterwards at the refreshment / coffee hour.  So come one, come all.  We will have one service at 9:00 am through all of July and August and the first Sunday in September, the 2nd.  We promise it will be pleasant for you at church each and every Sunday!

            We will be celebrating our 180th Anniversary on Sunday, July 8th, 9:00 am, with communion (as the first communion for our congregation was the second Sunday in July).  Following the service, we will have a covered dish luncheon in the Fellowship Hall.  Bring something good to eat and share; we will provide the rest.

We will be having ONE SERVICE during July, August and September 2nd

at 9:00 am in the AC cooled sanctuary

            If you have already made an extra mile donation toward the costs of our membership, the “apportionment” assessed by the Presbyterian Church (USA) for administrative costs of being a national church, then please receive our thanks.  If not, you are welcome to make an above and beyond regular giving gift of $35.00 per member of your household to help our congregation cover this considerable cost.  Please mark your check or envelope (your box has a special envelope for “initial offering”) “per capita” and we will receive your generous gift happily.  Right now, the Finance Committee reports we are $10,000 short of receipts over expenses.  Giving toward the per capita and keeping your regular giving up to date will help bridge this huge income gap.  Thanks!

            Rev. Matlack is ready and willing to offer a summer-time Bible study, using the Kerygma resource “Your Bible, the Study Begins.”  It is an introductory overview of basic issues, like the two divisions of the Bible as Old and New Testaments, its history, how to read the Bible profitably and more.  It is a six week study and Hugh is planning on meeting after the refreshments on Sundays in July and August – or provide a video leadership guide on You Tube; or meet on-line through Go To Meeting.  If you have a class time better for you than Sunday morning, then let him know and we will work up a group.  Sign up on Sunday morning.  The resource book has a nominal cost, if you would like to reimburse the church for its expense.

            If you can provide special spiritual music during worship over the summer, let us know.  There will be a sign-up sheet for that as well.

            The deacons are providing refreshments after each service starting in July through the end of August.  Stay for a while after church and enjoy!
            The deacons also provided 25 sandwiches to the Habitat “Building Blitz” in Mine Hill, where they build three houses in ten days. 

JULY 29th
            The pulpit is available on this Sunday if you would like to bring the message.  Let Barbara Costanza or Rev. Matlack know if you are interested or can help.  Thanks!  (Hugh and Jo will be attending his son Jack’s wedding on Saturday, July 28th, in Oxford, NJ, at Jack’s Barn [!]; Jack and his fiancé Abby Legge live happily in Berlin, Germany).

            We are saddened to report the death of our beloved Joe Frey recently.  Our prayers for Betty Harris, his partner and wife, as well as their families and all of our congregation who will miss Joe terribly.  Thanks to so many who prepared and participated and attended the services and luncheon.  It is appreciated.
            In our prayers:  Herman Barkwood, treatments; Linda McCabe, slow recovery but doing better; Shirley Batson and her husband Tommy; Cat Barry, hurt her ankle on a rescue squad call; Peggy Findley, Dave Hoyt, Dee Whitehead, JoAnn Anner, and Scott Harris; Matthew Rosa, Jill Barry’s son, knee surgery; Maribeth Weber, back surgery soon; Sue Amella, recovered from a hurt leg; the concerns we have for our family and friends.  Offer up your prayers to God!

June 2018

Rev. Hugh J. Matlack, Pastor, hmatlack@optonline.net

Janet Zeas, Church Secretary, fpcstanhope@optonline.net

Holly O=Mahoney, Financial Secretary, (973) 398-6463

Brian Davenport, Treasurer, (973) 398-6194

Kathy Gardner, Deacon=s Moderator, (973) 398-3185

Linda McCabe, Clerk of Session, (973) 584-0282

            At the recent May Newton Presbytery meeting, I was installed as the new moderator for a term lasting one year.  I appreciate the honor of serving our Presbytery in this role; it is of course a volunteer responsibility.  When the presbytery meets, I will be moderating and directing its business; I will attend any ordinations of new candidates for becoming ministers of word and sacrament and the installations of new pastors; I have to go to the meetings of the Presbytery Coordinating Team, which is exactly five times a year.  So the amount of time is not arduous.
            My thanks to Carol Barry and Kathy Gardner, both of whom attended the meeting at lovely Johnsonburg Presbyterian Center.

        Owen Newson is calling for a Memorial Garden Workday on Saturday, June 2nd, 9:00 am; there will be plenty to do from weeding to planting.  The more the merrier.  See Owen for details.

            We will receive communion on Sunday, June 3rd, 8:15 and 10:00 am, in the sanctuary.

            In addition to the deacons offering tables for you to sell your goods, we are having a Blessing of the Animals, Saturday, June 9th, 9:00 am to noon and the next day (which is Stanhope Day) on Sunday, 1:00 to 4:00 pm all in front of the church (in the shade).  OSCAR is having a pet adoption here on Saturday, 10:00 am to noon, also the front of the church.

We need volunteers to staff the Stanhope Day table Sunday afternoon, Sunday, June 10th, noon to four pm.  We are asking to have a table on Main Street close to the church (and in the shade!) while providing literature about our church, the blessing of the animals taking place, water to give away to the thirsty, publicity about our 180th anniversary and maybe even Bible trivia.  We need a couple more friendly faces.  Let Rev. Matlack know if you can and will help.  Several elders have volunteered already so you will have a partner and company to pass the time.

The deacons still have tables to offer if you would like to sell your excess “stuff” on Stanhope’s Townwide Sale Day – Saturday, June 9th, beginning at 8:00 am.  The flyer is attached to the electronic delivery of the newsletter; print forms are available in the entryway to the sanctuary.

SUNDAY, JUNE 10TH IS CHILDRENS DAY at the second service
We are having Children’s Day, Sunday, June 10th, 10:00 am – the children and youth are organizing and leading the service (except the sermon, they requested!)  Come one; come all!

We are planning to have the newly established Chimes Choir ring at this service too – thanks to Carrie Kreider for her leadership and enthusiasm here along with a host of ding-a-lings (like Rev. Matlack).

Father’s Day, Sunday, June 17th, 8:15 and 10:00 am, sanctuary

We will have two services through the end of June

The Nuts and Bolts are not meeting in June

            The Supper Club is going to Polo’s Pub on Route 206 / 183 in Netcong on Saturday, June 23rd, 5:00 pm.  Call Nancy Hoyt by the Friday night before to let her know you will be going, 973.347.2490   The GPS address is 1515-50, NJ-183, Netcong, NJ 07857

            The deacons are providing twenty-five (25) sandwiches for the Habitat for Humanity building blitz on Tuesday, June 12th.  Eight houses of worship are making sandwiches and drinks and goodies for 150 workers / volunteers; three houses are being constructed over the course of ten or so days.  Wow!

            The session approved re-locating our “new” Roth oil tank to the former manse, 101 Main Street.  We were no longer using the new tank because of the heat pumps in the CE Building upstairs (no boiler anymore) and the manse needed a new tank.  All passed inspection just fine.  Our thanks to Marksmen Enterprises again for their good work.
            The elders also agreed to celebrate our congregation’s 180th anniversary on Sunday, July 8th, 9:00 am in the sanctuary with a special service followed by a covered dish luncheon in the Fellowship Hall.

Just to clarify -- 
Saturday, June 9th

Tables to use to sell your goods, in the church parking lot

Blessing of the Animals, 9:00 am to noon

Pet Adoption with OSCAR, 10:00 am to noon

Book Sale open in the Fellowship Hall

We are hoping to have goodies to sell also

Sunday, June 10th

Church table at Stanhope Day, noon to four pm

Blessing of the Animals (again), 1:00 to 4:00 pm

Book Sale continues throughout the afternoon

From the Wyckoff family: 

Dear Hugh (and all the church family),

Thank you so much for book of memories.  We are deeply touched.  We want to thank you for your kind words.  Please know that though we are definitely planning to find another church home we will never forget the love and fellowship of our family at Stanhope.  Love, Marsha, Harold & Chris

In our prayers:  Joe Frey is under hospice care at home; Maribeth Weber had a birthday a couple of days ago and has a very sore back; Shirley Batson and husband Tommy Manzoni are working on doctor visits and health concerns; Peggy Findley is getting better and contemplating a procedure upcoming; Mitch Ellicott had two ortho surgeries and then PT and is going home; several Stanhopers were involved in the first response to the bus accident on I-80; Stephanie Pederson had a baby boy, Carson, blessings!; Rev. Karen Brostrom pastor of Andover Presbyterian was in and out of the hospital; Mary Walker’s daughter Rachel’s boyfriend died in a car accident on Mother’s Day – our condolences.  We have many church folk with family and friend responsibilities and duties – God’s blessings on your efforts of caring for others.

            The next meeting of the PW is Tuesday, June 5th, 10:00 am in the conference room downstairs by the choir rehearsal room.  Following the business portion of the meeting, they will be going to the Stonewood Restaurant in Cranberry.  There will be no meetings in July or August.
            Thanks to all who donated to the Blankets + offering in May.  This offering supports Church World Service’s mission to help victims of disasters wherever they occur.

Past month -->

Presby Pages for MAY 2018

First Presbyterian Church

100 Main Street / POB 212

Stanhope, NJ   07874

(973) 347-5142 / office



Rev. Hugh J. Matlack, Pastor, hmatlack@optonline.net

Janet Zeas, Church Secretary, fpcstanhope@optonline.net

Holly O=Mahoney, Financial Secretary, (973) 398-6463

Brian Davenport, Treasurer, (973) 398-6194

Kathy Gardner, Deacon=s Moderator, (973) 398-3185

Linda McCabe, Clerk of Session, (973) 584-0282

May 2018


            Even though I live and work in Stanhope, I joined the Roxbury Clergy Council so that I would have a regular clergy group with whom I can meet and I believe it has been beneficial.

The council is hosting an interfaith National Day of Prayer on Thursday, May 3rd, at Horseshoe Park Pavilion, Eyland Avenue, Succasunna.  I will be participating and I invite you to attend also.

The council is also organizing a First Responder’s Service on Tuesday, May 29th, 7:00 pm at the Succasunna United Methodist Church, 91 Main Street (07876).  I am hoping some of my volunteer colleagues from Stanhope / Netcong also will participate.  You are also welcome, of course.

And please remember, if you will, the Stanhope-Netcong Memorial Day Parade.  Look for details on the borough’s websites.  I know we will arrive by the lake around 1:30 pm for a memorial event. 


The next Presbytery meeting will be Tuesday, May 8th, beginning at 4:00 pm, Johnsonburg Presbyterian Center.  Besides the usual business, we will be examining a candidate for ordination as a pastor, Ian Clark; we will be honoring 25 years of the Nairobi Partnership between ourselves and three Kenyan presbyteries in the Presbyterian Church of East Africa.  Rev. Matlack is the Moderator-elect and will be installed as the new moderator, during the worship service right before dinner.

Prior to the Presbytery meeting itself, the Presbyterian Foundation is offering an one hour workshop of planned giving and an on-line tool they have developed to aid churches in planned giving.  If you would like to attend this mini-workshop, please let Rev. Matlack know soon. 


PW hosts an annual Mother/Daughter Covered Dish Dinner, this year on Saturday, May 12 at 6 pm in the Fellowship Hall (mark you calendar!). You will enjoy good food, entertainment and Christian camaraderie. Please bring a covered dish to share.  Beverages and dessert will be provided.  There is no increase in prices. Adults $5.00, children 5-12 $2.00 and children under 5 free.

Then, on the next day, Sunday, May 13th, there will be information and offering envelopes in the service bulletins to contribute to the Blankets+ mission work project sponsored by Church World Service. Offerings will be accepted until Sunday, June 3rd.

Please make your check payable to Presbyterian Women with a notation Blankets+ in the line of your check. These blankets are sent all over the world to needy people.  Giving a blanket to someone is like a warm hug from a mother.

Presbyterian Women met on Tuesday, May 1st – they meet on the first Tuesday of each month, in the morning.  All women of the church are always welcome.


                        The deacons are offering a table to use for Stanhope’s Townwide Yardsale Day, Saturday, June 9th to be set up in the parking lot.  A flyer is available for you in the sanctuary entryway and it will be attacked to the e-delivery of the newsletter.

            On Tuesday, June 12th, the deacons will be making fifty (yes, 50) sandwiches for volunteer workers on a building blitz for Habitat for Humanity in Mine Hill; they are constructing three houses in ten days.

            Our thanks to the participants at the First Annual Jigsaw Puzzle Contest.  It was a riot and benefited the deacon’s funds.  Thanks especially to Kris Kester and Beth Cahill, among others who helped out.

            We are now collecting empty RX medicine bottles and a container is available for your donation, in the vestibule to the sanctuary. 

We are trying to have a once-a-month theme Sunday at worship

For May, on the 13th, Mother’s Day, please wear a Sunday-best

hat and (for the women especially) white gloves

Please let Rev. Matlack or Barbara Costanza know if you have a theme idea

(Hugh’s as yet unapproved idea is ‘shorts Sunday’ on Children’s Day – we will see)


            We will be singing on Mother’s Day and Pentecost, May 13th and 20th, second service.  Practice is during the Open Hour, 9:30 am, sanctuary.  Thanks to Bonnie for directing and organizing; Ken for producing the recorded music.  You are welcome to join us for singing.


            See Carrie Krieder if you would like to ring the chimes.  We have ten willing participants so far . . . more are welcome.  Watch the announcements for more information.

There will be one service on Sunday, May 27th, 10:00 am


            For town-wide tag / yard sale day, Saturday, June 9th, 9:00 am to noon, at the church outside, we are hosting Oscar pet rescue for an animal adoption and Rev. Matlack will be doing a blessing of the animals too.  So come on out and shop among our parking lot vendors, check out the critters and have Spot blessed.

            We will be repeating the blessing of the animals on the next day, Stanhope Day, Sunday, June 10th, 1:00 to 4:00 pm.


            Men of the church who are available during the daytime will gather in the MacNeill Room for lunch and conversation followed by light work around the facilities or outside this month.  Our next meeting will be Tuesday, May 15th, noon.  Join us!

            In our prayers – Faye Jaeger is out of PT and staying with her daughter in New York state; Bud Barry had successful surgery and is feeling great; the Wyckoffs moved to Delaware (address below) and are doing well; Joe Frey is working on his health issues; Shirley Batson had a procedure recently and is doing well; Peggy Findley is recovering more and more, got out of the house recently for more than a doctor visit – yay!; Dave Hoyt is hanging in there; JoAnn Anner is making the doctor rounds; Scott Harris is doing ok; Owen Newson had ortho surgery and is recovering well; Owen Kester has recovered well; our condolences to the Stewart family on their house that burned; Bonnie Reed is recovering well from her procedure; David Miller and his daughter Carley have moved to Hopatcong; Dave Riser and Charlotte Neggia are both back from the southland, Florida, now that we have Spring finally . . .!

            Samantha Bream will be going to College of St. Rose in Albany this Fall.  Congratulations Sam!

            The Wyckoffs – Harold and Marsha, Chris, live at:

            Wild Meadows

            907 Jonathan Drive

            Dover, DE  19901

The National Day of Prayer is an annual day of observance held on the first Thursday of May, designated by the United States Congress, when people are asked "to turn to God in prayer and meditation."

You are invited to join the Roxbury community and surrounding area to pray for our neighborhoods, the nation and our world at this event.  Held rain or shine.

Questions? Contact Rev. David Holwick at  973-584-2677.

Thursday, May 4, 2017 at 7pm
Horseshoe Lake Pavilion
72 Eyland Avenue
Succasunna NJ


         This board is hosting a “Paint and Sip Fundraiser” on Friday, June 1st, 7:00 to 9:00 pm at the Hilltop Fire House, with proceeds to benefit local church food banks like ours.  Call or text Sharon Still at 201.874.9634; cost is $40 per person, due by May 15th.  More information is on the flyers on the church bulletin boards.

APRIL 2018

First Presbyterian Church

100 Main Street / POB 212

Stanhope, NJ   07874

(973) 347-5142 / office



Rev. Hugh J. Matlack, Pastor, hmatlack@optonline.net

Janet Zeas, Church Secretary, fpcstanhope@optonline.net

Holly O=Mahoney, Financial Secretary, (973) 398-6463

Brian Davenport, Treasurer, (973) 398-6194

Kathy Gardner, Deacon=s Moderator, (973) 398-3185

Linda McCabe, Clerk of Session, (973) 584-0282



            Let me express my appreciation for the amazing Good Friday cantata our church and choral singers from Andover Presbyterian and St. Michael Roman Catholic churches produced last month.  Wow – you felt like you were there.  Our thanks to Bonnie Reed, who directed; Ken Reed, our techno-wizard; Frankie Greenhalgh, who narrated; all of our musicians, including the brave soloists.  We had an improved sound system, thanks to the Milovichs.  I recruited worshipers to help bring in the cross (Scott Barry and Mike Soccio), do the offering (Bob Milovich), usher and adjust the lighting (Harold Wyckoff).  It was a group effort.

            My thanks to Janet Zeas, our church’s secretary, who efficiently got all the bulletins ready for all the services, Palm Sunday to Easter.

            And speaking of Harold, along with Marsha and Chris the Wyckoffs are moving to Delaware the middle of this month.  Our church will not be the same without them.  They will be missed.



            The Inaugural Jigsaw Puzzle Competition Event will be Saturday, April 14th, 2:00 to 5:00 pm in Fellowship Hall; cost is $25 per up-to-four member team; there are prizes for competing successfully; the proceeds go to the deacons’ work.  Attached is the flyer.  Sign up now!

            The deacons are also going to be renting out tables for the Stanhope Townwide Yard / Garage / Tag Sale Day, Saturday, June 9th with the cost $20 per table.  The flyer is also attached.

            The deacons do good work for our congregation – most recently, visiting our shut-ins, bringing to them Easter flowers. 


Eat dinner at the Outback on Thursday, April 5th, 4:00 to 9:00 pm and earn funds for our church!

Mention to your server you are from Stanhope Presbyterian Church . . .




There were ten members present at the February 6th meeting and some went to Polo’s Restaurant in Netcong for lunch after the meeting.  We continue reading and discussing “Knowing the Historic Jesus,” an informative and very interesting presentation by Carol Barry.  PW prepared the “Dinnerless Dinner” letters sent out to the congregation in March.  We truly appreciate your help in contributing to this fundraising event, thus enabling us to continue with our mission work.

All women of the church are more than welcome to attend our meetings and join us in our Bible study and business part of the Women’s Society.



            Our monthly gathering is Tuesday, April 17th, noon in the MacNeill Room.  We probably will have some work to do outside, if it has stopped snowing by then.  Any and all men available during the daytime are welcome.  Bring a bag lunch, enjoy some conversation and then we do an hour or so light work around the facilities / property.

            This meeting will be our last opportunity to say goodbye to one of our faithful members, nicknamed because of his prodigious work ethic, “The Beast.”



            The elders approved our church’s sponsoring and joining an already functioning team in the North Jersey Christian Softball League.  We previously, years ago, had one or two teams in the league just ourselves.  Players include Brian Davenport, Samantha Bream, Earl Bream, Jack Lauterhahn and Rev. Matlack.  We are checking to see if we can have “wildcat” participants – those who can show up for a game here and there.  We will let you know.



            We will be baptizing the Estwin family’s newborn, Chloe, on Sunday, April 15th at the 10:00 am service.

            In our prayers:  Peggy Findley, hurt her knee and is recovering at home; Bonnie Reed, abdominal surgery; Owen Newson, ortho surgery on his knee; Shirley Batson, PET scan and doc visits; Owen Kester, hurt his arm and has a cast; David Miller, knee surgery recovery going well and has moved to Hopatcong, along with daughter, Carley; Joe Frey, medical issues; Dave Hoyt, feeling some better; JoAnn Anner, doc visits coming up; Scott Harris; Stephanie Hance had her fourth child, Jaden; Willadene and Terry Karns are embarking on a five week car trip to Arizona and back; Stephanie Peterson is due in May; Vi Lozier is doing well; Ralph Wallace hurt his knee and is hanging in there; the memorial for Dorothy Abramowitz was at her daughter’s home in Forest Lakes in early March; Catherine Barry had oral surgery and is doing well; Dee Whitehead is back home and doing pretty well.

The Wyckoffs are moving to Delaware in the middle of this month.  We will provide the essential and new contact information in next month’s newsletter.

March 2018 


            I am reading through Hebrews in my morning devotions and the main question has been, how do we figure out who Jesus is and how important is he?  We have the same question today and it is no less urgent or controversial.  The writer of Hebrews is working through a process of elimination.  Jesus is greater than the angels, who are after all created creatures doing God’s bidding; he is greater than Moses, under whose leadership the children of Israel did not achieve God’s holy “rest;” he is greater than any temple high priest, who unlike Jesus, not only performs sacrifices to atone for the sins of the people but also his own. 

            This much we know about Jesus, For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin (4:15).  We can then approach God with humble confidence, knowing Jesus can shoulder our sins – like any good high priest – while also transcending them in the mind of God because he is sinless.  He achieves the goal we can never reach; his sacrifice is to our eternal benefit.  Such is grace.  Let’s glory in our Christ this Lenten season. 

CHILI “SUPPER” after church on the 18th

            We are hosting a Chili Cookoff / luncheon on Sunday, March 18th, after second service, in the Fellowship Hall.  Bring your best chili to share and eat.  While Jesus counsels us against judging each other as people, he did not mean chili!  Your thumbs up for different chilis will be recognized.  Come and enjoy.  We will have complete table set-ups and refreshments for you.  A flyer is attached . . .


Communion on Sunday, March 4th and

Special music and hymn sing of favorites on Sunday, March 11th 


Ten members were present at the February 6th meeting and some went to Polo’s Restaurant for lunch after the meeting.  We are continuing to read and discuss “Knowing the Historic Jesus,” an informative and interesting topic led by Carol Barry.  Thanks for her leadership.

Our next meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 6th at 10 am in the Conference Room.  Please bring your own lunch this time.  Following lunch we will be preparing “Dinnerless Dinner” letters to be sent out to the congregation.  We truly appreciate your contributing to this fundraising event, thus enabling us to continue with our mission work. The deadline for responses will be Sunday, March 18th. 

            Any and all women of the church are more than welcome to attend our meetings and join us in our Bible study and business part of the Women’s Society. 

Palm Sunday is March 25th, both services

We will be receiving the One Great Hour of Sharing Offering


Maundy Thursday Service is March 29th, 7:00 pm, sanctuary

We will be celebrating the Last Supper during this service

Good Friday Services, Friday, March 30th

Ecumenical Cross Walk, beginning at our church, 11:00 am

Big Choir cantata, Once Upon a Tree

7:00 pm, sanctuary

Easter Day services, Sunday, April 1st

Sunrise at 7:00 am, Musconetcong Park in Stanhope (by the lake)

Two services of worship, 8:15 and 10:00 am, in the sanctuary



            The deacons are hosting a puzzle party and contest on Saturday, April 14th, 2:00 pm in Fellowship Hall.  See the attached flyer for more information.

We need cereal for the food pantry – drop off your donation

in the sanctuary vestibule, please!



            Our own Stanhope Presbyterian Church team begins play in April, after practicing up in March and hoping for survivors.  We will let you know of the game schedule so you may cheer us on.


            Each month men of the church available during the daytime gather in the MacNeill Room for lunch and conversation followed by light work around the facilities or outside.  Our next meeting is Tuesday, March 20th, noon.  Join us!


Save the date!

The fundraising committee has reserved

Thursday, April 5th to go to the Outback Steakhouse together.

Exact time and details of this adventure are forthcoming . . .  soon!



            In our prayers – Ralph Wallace, injured knee on ice and is in PT; Dee Whitehead, back home – yay!; Vi Lozier, home now and doing pretty good; Joe Frey, more tests and doc visits; Marsha Wyckoff, PT; Dave Hoyt, doc visits and feeling better; JoAnn Anner, doc visits and some days better than others; Scott Harris, also up and down days; David Miller, knee replacement and home PT; Ethan Cahill, deer tick bite; Abramowitz and Yaeger families on death of their mom and our member, “Dot A to Z” – blessings; Carol Reed healed up and is in FLA to see her sister and enjoy some time away; Catherine Barry, oral surgery and doing ok; Gloria Lake, doing well enough with the “heart thingie” (!); Shirley Batson and her husband Tommy who have moved to Stanhope to her family homestead.  Our thoughts and prayers for all those for whom we have concern and responsibility, as well as the needs we see and hear in our world, like the recent school shooting in Florida.



            Newton Hospital and Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice are teaming up to provide a four (4) session program on “An Exploration of Grief:  the normal, natural and unavoidable reaction to loss.”  It will be offered on Tuesdays, 6:30 to 8:00 pm at the Romano Conference and Education Center, Room 100, Newton Hospital, 175 High Street.  The dates are:  April 10th, 17th, 24th and May 1st.  No cost!  To register, contact Randy Parks, hospital chaplain, Randolph.parks@atlantichealth.org or call 973.579.8625  Flyers are posted around the church on the bulletin boards.


When we receive the One Great Hour of Sharing Offering

on Palm Sunday, we will be helping to fund:

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance,

Presbyterian Hunger Program and Self-Development of People

Next newsletter -->

Presby Pages

First Presbyterian Church

100 Main Street / POB 212

Stanhope, NJ   07874

(973) 347-5142 / office



Rev. Hugh J. Matlack, Pastor, hmatlack@optonline.net

Janet Zeas, Church Secretary, fpcstanhope@optonline.net

Holly O=Mahoney, Financial Secretary, (973) 398-6463

Brian Davenport, Treasurer, (973) 398-6194

Kathy Gardner, Deacon=s Moderator, (973) 398-3185

Linda McCabe, Clerk of Session, (973) 584-0282


February 2018



            We have the odd and unusual calendar coincidence of Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day arriving together.  Sometimes the secular calendar and sacred and liturgical world overlap – like Christmas, yet in different ways of course.    Ash Wednesday begins the season of Lent, forty days of preparation prior to Holy Week and Easter Day.  It is a time of repentance and reflection, getting ready spiritually for the horror and the joy of those days.  Our own forty days ‘in the wilderness’ will produce testing and we hope refinement of purpose, as Christ’s own.

            Look over the schedule for February 14th; it is very creative and meaningful.  See you in church!




Wednesday, February 14th


Community Dinner in Fellowship Hall at 5:30 pm

Bring something good to eat and share


Renewal of Marriage Vows in the sanctuary at 6:30 pm



Ash Wednesday Worship Service in the sanctuary at 7:00 pm

You may receive the imposition of ashes, if you wish



            We had our best year for worship attendance in five, averaging 63, and recording four months out of 2017 when we had the highest attendance for that month within the five year span.  The budget report indicated we fell short of a balance by only $1200.  The success of the “Temperature Control” fund was felt in the warmth of our Fellowship Hall, where the meeting took place. 

            Reports were received by the committees and organizations of the church.  Our thanks were given for the work of Bette Van Patten, who retired in September; Travis Remshifski, who served as our custodian for most of the year; Janet Zeas, our church secretary; Bonnie Reed, who directed two cantatas; and Ken Reed, who has become our interim organist.  The congregation reviewed the Session’s budget for the church and voted to increase the pastor, Rev. Matlack’s, time to 90% or 36 hours (four and a half days) per week. 

            The two booklets are available in the sanctuary entryway.


We are celebrating Scout Sunday this Sunday,

February 4th, 10:00 am service

Our church now officially sponsors our own Cub Scout Pack 151!




            Bonnie Reed, our cantata director, is calling out all our singers for the Good Friday / Easter cantata – come one; come all!  The first practice and “read through” (is that a pun?!) will be this Thursday, February 1st, 6:30 pm,  in the choir rehearsal area, downstairs of the Christian Education Building.  We will be performing “Once Upon a Tree” this year.  The music books and a CD will be available for you to use; just bring your lovely voice.  The rehearsal schedule will be provided at the first practice.



            The year’s first meeting was held on January 9th in the downstairs Conference Room of the CE Building.  Even with the very cold weather, eight members were present.  Beginning with Bible study, PW addressed the topic of “Knowing the Historical Jesus,” prepared and led by Carol Barry.  The women appreciate Carol’s leadership of an informative and interesting discussion.

            As you can see in the annual meeting report, PW has generously given to 15 organizations and events.



The knitting program continues.  Throughout 2017, Carol Barry made beautiful blankets from donated eight inch crocheted squares, and given to veterans, the homebound, those in residential care or having special need.  PW considers this project to be a very valuable element of their mission work.

All women of the church are invited to become part of our Society and enjoy the Christian camaraderie of Bible study and prayer, fellowship, and often lunch at various restaurants in the area.



            Monthly men of the church who are available during the daytime gather in the MacNeill Room for lunch and conversation followed by light work around the facilities or outside.  Our next meeting will be Tuesday, February 20th, noon.  Join us!



The Deacons will be meeting next on Sunday, February 25th

during the Open Hour (9:05 am) in the MacNeill Room

Session follows at 11:05 am, after second service, in the MacNeill Room


            In our prayers – Joe Frey, medical procedures; Marion Schomp, recent medical visits; Marsha Wyckoff, PT out-patient; Dee Whitehead, home after being in the hospital and rehab; Carol Reed, not feeling well and delaying a Florida visit to her sister; Dave Hoyt, continued medical follow-up; JoAnn Anner, feeling poorly too many days; Gloria Lake, recent medical procedure; Cat Barry, oral surgeon visit; David Miller, upcoming procedure in February; Viola Lozier, fell and cracked but did not break her pelvis and now is in Kessler for rehab; Kassie Bream, orthopedic pain in foot; our sympathy to Ken and Ginny DeMario on the death of his mother.

            We have a host of prayers each Sunday for family and friends – the list is long but it is based in our love for those close to us and our support for neighbors and co-workers and friends.



            We are hosting a Chili Supper on Sunday, March 18th, after second service, in the Fellowship Hall.  Bring your best chili to share and eat.  While Jesus counsels us against judging each other, as people, he did not mean chili!  Your thumbs up for different chilis will be recognized.  Come and enjoy.  We will have complete table set-ups and refreshments for you.



            We are sorry to hear the Wyckoffs are selling their house and moving to the Dover area of Delaware sometime this year.  With their departure, they are downsizing and have several items you may want (and if you would like to offer a donation for receiving same, that is ok too):  a Craftsman lawn mower; snowblower; generator; portable hammock (free-standing); portable storage shed, frame and cover; Craftsman wheelbarrow.  All are used, of course.  See Harold and Marsha for details.


If you are interested in playing softball in the North Jersey Christian Softball League, we are now sponsoring a team again.

See Rev. Matlack for details!



                        I (Hugh) am willing to add items to the newsletter as a part of a “marketplace” and they will also go on the website (fpcstanhope.org) but we are not receiving donated items at the church.  Our policy as Presbyterians means all material gifts must be approved by the Session in advance (books to the book sale and clothing to the bin and food for the pantry or medical equipment for loaning out are good, of course).  Information sharing otherwise is fine.  Check with me first and all will go well.    Thanks!


Presby Pages

First Presbyterian Church

100 Main Street / POB 212

Stanhope, NJ   07874

(973) 347-5142 / office



Rev. Hugh J. Matlack, Pastor, hmatlack@optonline.net

Janet Zeas, Church Secretary, fpcstanhope@optonline.net

Holly O=Mahoney, Financial Secretary, (973) 398-6463

Brian Davenport, Treasurer, (973) 398-6194

Kathy Gardner, Deacon=s Moderator, (973) 398-3185

Samantha Bream, Clerk of Session, (973) 527-5089

 January 2018


            Moving forward in life is typically a challenge.  We can get caught up in the past, our experiences, and have them override any new possibilities we could achieve.  We can also fail to learn from our mistakes in the past and repeat the same unhelpful patterns over and over.  We need the wisdom to know the difference – where are we going; what have we appreciated and learned along the way to guide us; what opportunities await us.

            This first Sunday in January, the 7th, 10:30 am, we will have a Listening Session on the future and direction of our congregation’s music program.  We will be listing our accomplishments; we will be cataloguing our assets, personal and practical; we will be invoking the Spirit to see what dreams and ideas and hopes we have for our music program.

            Please plan to make time following the second service, in the sanctuary, to participate in this discernment exercise for the future of our church’s music program.  While we will be having two services again come January, the second service will be conducted swiftly so that we can begin our session at 10:30 am.


            It is so much fun to put up and then relish the Christmas finery we have in our sanctuary.  We have all benefitted from having the greens and lights and candles and tree be displayed throughout Advent and Christmas. 

            No “gremlins” will sneak in and take everything down and neatly put them away.  We need you!  The job is not difficult or taxing; the more help the merrier.  So join us – it usually takes no more than an hour:  Saturday, January 6th, 9:00 am, in the sanctuary.


            PW will be meeting on Tuesday, January 9th, 10:00 am at Carol Barry’s home on Cranberry Lake.  Give Carol Barry a call for directions or if you have questions – 973.347.4551.

 We will be returning to having two services on

Sunday, January 7th, 8:15 and 10:00 am in the sanctuary

We will be receiving communion at both services

After the second service, there will be a Listening Session on the music program


            The congregation will be having its annual meeting at the end of January, on the 28th, following second service, in our cosy and warm Fellowship Hall.

            Groups within the church are encouraged to write out an annual report and submit it to the church office by Tuesday, January 16th, 9:00 am.  That way we can provide a booklet for members to review prior to the meeting.  Send it to fpcstanhope@optonline.net

            At the meeting, please bring soup or sandwiches to share and eat; the Session will provide whatever else we need.


            Our thanks to all who participated in the Advent and Christmas Eve services – lighting candles; singing in the Big Choir; leading worship; getting music out of the Allen Organ (Phil and Herman!); directing the choir (Bonnie!); working through the many bulletins and inserts (Janet!); reading from the Bible; we had lots and lots of participation and help.  The list could be longer; thanks to all!

            In our prayers – Joe Frey, in and out of the hospital; Gloria Lake, medical test; Dee Whitehead, in Hackettstown, out soon; Dave Hoyt, recovering and out to church on Christmas Eve!; JoAnn Anner, fibro pain; Catherine Barry, medical follow-up and thanks for narrating the cantata!; Scott Harris, recent same day procedure; Betty Alpaugh, in and out of the hospital and doing well.

            We have lots and lots of prayer requests each Sunday, showing our support for family and friends and neighbors.  Those prayers matter and we offer them to God in hope and thanksgiving.

            Have a happy and safe New Year!