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 Enote photo sept 3 2017 2

Dear Friends in Christ, 

How was your summer?  Hope you and your loved ones had an enjoyable and relaxing summer.  My summer was filled with excitement and memorable events.  I moved to Bridgewater, started to worship here and work with my amazing church staff, got to know many through “meet and greet” home gatherings, and launched several new exciting projects for BUMC.  Finally my husband and I enjoyed a nice relaxing vacation in Jersey shore last week.  Overall, it was a good and invigorating summer for my body, mind, and soul.  

One of the books that I recently read was "Spiritual Direction" by Henri Nouwen, who is arguably the most famous Christian spiritual writer and speaker of our generation.  This book talks about the wisdom for the long journey of faith for Christians.  Nouwen says, "The spiritual life rests on paradox.  Without solitude, it is virtually impossible to live the spiritual life.  Yet we cannot live our spiritual lives alone.  Although we need solitude to know God, we require a faithful community to hold us accountable." (page 4)


Therefore, Nouwen recommends us to re-examine three areas of our lives:  

First, look within to the heart:  We need to learn how to listen to the word of God, ever present within our hearts.  

Second, look to God in the book:  We need disciplines of study and spiritual practice to discern the word of God in words of Scriptures.   


Third, look to others in our community.  We need a church or faith community that provides opportunities for worshipping and sharing, engaging in mutual correction and bearing of burdens, confessing faults, offering forgiveness, and celebrating life.

After all, we need guides: spiritual friends, a spiritual director, or a spiritual accountability group that can function for us as a safe place to bear our souls.  It is my sincere desire and hope that our church will be that safe haven for all of us.   


Now, September is upon us.  It means our Fall Season is beginning.  Our church is gearing up for the season with many exciting and meaningful opportunities for you.  If you have not been in church for a while, now is the time to re-activate yourself.  Let us be more intentional about bringing our bodies and hearts to the fellowship of the church.  After all, this is your church – it is the home of your soul.  It's time to come home.  

Today is the last Fire Pit service and I invite you to come and enjoy a beautiful summer evening with us.  This Sunday Rev. Laura Steele will preach and we are going to have a special prayer and offering for all the people and communities in Texas and Louisiana whose lives have been uprooted by the Hurricane Harvey.  

Our Open House Sunday will be Sept. 10 and there will be a combined worship service at 10:30 a.m. followed by a picnic lunch.  The first day of Sunday School will be Sept. 17 and an Installation Service for new pastors will be at 4 p.m. followed by a dinner reception.  Rev. Dr. Drew Dyson will be our key note speaker, and many community leaders and friends are invited to come to this celebration.       

I am excited about our fall season, and what God is going to do for us and through us.  So, get yourself ready for a vital and exciting fall season.  Please keep your church in your daily prayers, because we need God to guide our steps forward and upward.


With deep gratitude,


Rev. Jennifer

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Bridgewater United Methodist Church
651 Country Club Rd.
Bridgewater, New Jersey 08807

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