Sunday Worship: Online at 10 am. Outdoors at 10 am.


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Click here for a worship bulletin for this Sunday.

Watch our Online Worship moment from Sunday, August 9. 

Current Status - Worship Protocols

Outdoor Worship weekly starting on July 12th.

I wanted to share an update on the status of the church building. Weekly outdoor worship began on July 12th. We will also continue having online/conference call worship at 10:00 am as well. These two different kinds of worship events will enable you to spend time with God and with each other in whatever way feels safe and life-giving to you. 


As we begin to gather again in person, we will use the best science and guidance available to keep people safe. Consider your attendance at outdoor worship as a covenant you are making with your entire faith community. In your baptism, God called you to "live among God’s faithful people; hear the word of God and share in the Lord’s Supper; proclaim the good news of God in Christ through word and deed; serve all people following the example of Jesus; and strive for justice and peace in all the earth." God has entrusted to you the responsibility to love your neighbor as yourself. This is something you can do, and I've seen it happen in amazing ways since this pandemic began. 

This covenant asks you, with God's help and to the best of your abilities, to do the following: 
  • Outdoor worship will take place in the parking area near the church offices (parallel to Pascack Road). We ask, if you can, to park in the main lot and walk outside the building to the worship area.
  • You will need to bring your own chairs. The Property Committee will mark spots six feet apart where you can sit. Please make no physical contact with people beyond members of your own household and maintain the six foot distance from other members of the congregation. 
  • A mask or scarf over nose and mouth is required at all times, except momentarily to receive the sacrament or to lead through an assigned speaking part. 
  • Only attend worship and receive communion if you are non symptomatic for the COVID-19 virus or other transmittable disease that could compromise the health of another congregant.  
  • Please RSVP by the Thursday before worship if you are planning to attend. You can do so by calling the church office (201-391-4224) or visiting our website (www.clc4u.com). The RSVP system will be put in place on Monday. We need to keep a list of everyone who attended worship for the purpose of contact tracing. 
  • Materials for worship (bulletin, communion elements, and prayer cards) will be kept in individual plastic bags that you will pick up when you attend worship. 
  • If you bring an offering envelope to worship, there will be a plate near the bulletin bags where it can be deposited. If you can, consider giving electronically (www.clc4u.com/give) and leave your envelopes at home. 
  • The building will be closed except for one bathroom near the church office. Please only use that facility in an emergency and respect the six foot distancing rules. 
  • In the event that we will need to cancel outdoor worship due to weather, an email notice will be sent out prior to worship. An announcement will also be on our answering machine and you can check that prior to worship. 
  • If you are a high-risk individual, we invite you to worship online or via conference call. 

Adding outdoor worship to our Sunday morning schedule is a big adjustment. But I know we can do this faithfully and safely. We will all need to be a little flexible as we live into this new normal together. The church is more than just a building; the church is always the people who have been made part of Jesus' body. Together, we will do the holy things needed to proclaim the good news of Jesus and to take care of each other. The Church Council, Property Committee, Worship Committee, musicians, and I will keep doing what we can to make this transition as seamless as possible.

 

Twice A Week Prayer Meetings



Reminder: prayer meeting via conference call every Tuesday and Thursday at 12:30 pm. Dial (425) 436-6310 and enter the access code 559455.

Racial Justice - Clergy Group Updates

Upcoming Events
Starting July 29, 9 participants are doing a six-week study on Anxious to Talk About It: Helping White Christians Talk Faithfully about Racism?.

The following letter was published/sent on June 19
Dear Friends,

Thank you for signing up for the recent Interfaith Gathering on Race and Justice. It was a beginning. We mourned together, got to know one another, listened to each other, and shared ideas for creating a better future. The following are our suggested actions, many of which were summarized verbally at our Gathering, which was sponsored by the Westwood Area Clergy Council and attended by many clergy from the Upper Pascack Valley Clergy Council, as well. Our intent in holding this and any future gathering is to make a real and positive difference – not just to comfort one another. And so, please find below a list of actions you can take to promote justice.

Gather. Get together with other people, including people who are different from yourself. Taking account of health directives, join with them in peaceful protest, for dialogue and fellowship, to study relevant texts and issues, and/or for prayer. Right now, most get- togethers will be virtual. One way or another, be in the company of others. Look friends, coworkers, neighbors, and new acquaintances in the eye – even if it’s through Skype, Meet, FaceTime, or Zoom. Allow yourself to feel their humanity – and your own. In the first meeting of the Westwood Area Clergy Council, we met community members, offered prayers appropriate to this moment, and began to talk about our next, practical steps (outlined below). The second Community Event continue and deepen our discussion on “Issues of Race & Creating a More Just Community.” We will send out an email once the date and agenda are set. If you would like to be part of the planning, please contact Rev. Wayne Jones at revwaysr@msn.com.

Listen. It is important to hear the pain of people from all backgrounds and perspectives. We don’t have to – and won’t – agree with our neighbors on every political or policy decision. But we will never heal the many real – and even greater number of false – divisions among us without truly listening. As clergy, we are committed to having honest and difficult conversations with one another about racial prejudice and racial privilege. We also commit to continually educate ourselves by reading and listening to credible journalists, academicians, theologians, and activists. We encourage our congregants and larger communities to likewise gain new perspectives, information, and wisdom.

It has been said that it is the white community’s responsibility to educate itself and not necessarily ask black folk to teach white people about all the issues. Whatever your race or background, if you are interested in learning more, here are some reputable resources that you can read/watch to learn more about issues of race, policing, privilege, and justice:
  • Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
  • How to be an Anti-Racist by Abram X. Kendi
  • Chokehold by Paul Butler
  • The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
  • I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown
  • White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo and Michael Eric Dyson
  • Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • Emerson School System Resources on Family Conversations About Race
  • ADL Resources on Family Conversations on George Floyd, Racism, and Law Enforcement 
  • It’s also enlightening to watch celebrities take on this issue. Watch Emmanuel Acho’s Youtube series: “Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man.” Watch entertainers like Trevor Noah and John Oliver take on the issues of race and policing.

Give. As you are able, give of your time and money to help organizations working for justice. Each of the following organizations is supported by at least one, but not necessarily all, of the undersigned clergy. We urge you to explore these and other groups, to find one that fits your values and needs your contributions:
  • The Anti-Defamation League (ADL)
  • Black Visions Collective
  • Catholic Relief Services
  • Equal Justice Initiative (EJI)
  • Fair Fight
  • The George Floyd Memorial Fund
  • NAACP
  • National Black Catholic Congress (NBCC)
  • RFK Human Rights

Appreciate the Good. Offer support to the police officers, policy makers, activists, and officials who work for justice and the public good. Honor folks who do what is right, call out what is wrong, respond constructively during a crisis, and take concrete steps, with urgency, to ensure a better future. Collaborate with such people, write them notes of encouragement, and amplify their voices.

Advocate. Gathering, listening, giving, and appreciating the good may help us to know – even better than we do now – what changes in law, education, policing, and other aspects of our society may be necessary. Once you feel confident of a helpful next action, use your vote and your voice. Deploy your time and talent to achieve the enormous and holy goal that cannot be postponed: liberty and justice for all.
The following are Rev. Haveman’s recommendations from our first Interfaith Gathering on Race and Justice:
  • 8 Can’t Wait advocates for eight well-researched policies that reduce death at the hands of police.
  • Investigate the End Qualified Immunity Act now pending in Congress and, if you agree, advocate for its passage
  • Read and consider signing a letter to our political leaders from the Poor
  • People’s Campaign to End Systemic Racism

Sincerely,
Rev. Tom Pranchke, Zion Lutheran Church, President of the Westwood Area Clergy Council
Rev. Marc Stuzel, Christ Lutheran Church, Chair of the Upper Pascack Valley Clergy Council

The following letter was published/sent on June 4

To our congregants and to the public:

We, the undersigned members of the Westwood Area Interfaith Clergy Council and the Upper Pascack Valley Clergy Council, are united in our strong plea for justice. “Justice, justice you shall pursue” (Deuteronomy 16:20) is our mission as people of faith and as Americans. Yet, we must acknowledge the tragic extent to which our policing and our criminal justice system have themselves been unjust. Our history and our institutions today are tainted by systemic racism and implicit bias.

We will not “stand idly by” and witness the spilling of the “blood of our neighbor,” whom God asks us to love as we love ourselves (Leviticus 19:13-18). That passage and many others in the Bible require us to reject any form of oppression or prejudice. The Christian Gospels are likewise full of instructions and inspiration for loving and caring for our neighbors (Mark 12:29-31, Matthew 25). We operate under the conviction that all human beings are created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27 and hadith of the Prophet Muhammad related by Muslim). Therefore, Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel wrote, “Race prejudice is a treacherous denial of the existence of God.” As pastoral caregivers, faith leaders, and disciples of the ancient Prophets, we understand and validate righteous anger. Because of that same background, we oppose violence and promote hope.

Hope is no mere “wish” for something better. Hope is understood by many as a virtue implanted in us by God’s grace. Hope draws out the best in people. The promise of a better future fosters collaboration toward a shared purpose. Hope overcomes fear and inspires us to meet great challenges, in part through taking responsibility for our faults, righting our actions, and following through on our commitments.

People of faith must respond to the killing of George Floyd – and to so many other fatalities, injuries, deprivations, and insults to brothers and sisters of color – with deep mourning, empathy, reflection, soul-searching, and prayer. We must also offer hope and take action in the public sphere. Therefore, we recommend and will take part in the following actions, which we commend to people of all faiths and of no faith:

Gather. Get together with other people, including people who are different from yourself. Taking account of health directives, join with them in peaceful protest, for dialogue and fellowship, to study relevant texts and issues, and/or for prayer. Right now, most get- togethers will be virtual. One way or another, be in the company of others. Look friends, co-workers, neighbors, and new acquaintances in the eye – even if it’s through Skype, Meet, FaceTime, or Zoom. Allow yourself to feel their humanity – and your own. The Westwood Area Clergy Council is currently planning a gathering on Zoom (took place June 12th) that will include encouragement from Scripture and teachers, prayers of intercession and lament, breakout groups for deeper discussion, and social action. If you are interested in receiving more information, please contact Rev. Wayne Jones at revwaysr@msn.com.

Listen. It is important to hear the pain of people from all backgrounds and perspectives. We don’t have to – and won’t – agree with our neighbors on every political or policy decision. But we will never heal the many real – and even greater number of false – divisions among us without truly listening. As clergy, we are committed to having honest and difficult conversations with one another about racial prejudice and racial privilege. We also commit to continually educate ourselves by reading and listening to credible journalists, academicians, theologians, and activists. We encourage our congregants and larger communities to likewise gain new perspectives, information, and wisdom.

Give. As you are able, give of your time and money to help organizations working for justice. Each of the following organizations is supported by at least one, but not necessarily all, of the undersigned clergy. We urge you to explore these and other groups, to find one that fits your values and needs your contributions: The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Black Visions Collective, Catholic Relief Services, Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), The George Floyd Memorial Fund, NAACP, National Black Catholic Congress (NBCC), RFK Human Rights.

Appreciate the Good. Offer support to the police officers, policy makers, activists, and officials who work for justice and the public good. Honor folks who do what is right, call out what is wrong, respond constructively during a crisis, and take concrete steps, with urgency, to ensure a better future. Collaborate with such people, write them notes of encouragement, and amplify their voices.

Advocate. Gathering, listening, giving, and appreciating the good may help us to know – even better than we do now – what changes in law, education, policing, and other aspects of our society may be necessary. Once you feel confident of a helpful next action, use your vote and your voice. Deploy your time and talent to achieve the enormous and holy goal that cannot be postponed: liberty and justice for all.

We hope to see you for our Interfaith Gathering. To learn details and receive the Zoom link, please contact Rev. Wayne Jones at revwaysr@msn.com. In the meantime, may God bless you. Be well and do good!

Cantor Emeritus Dr. Mark Biddelman, Temple Emauel of the Pascack Valley, Woodcliff Lake
Rabbi David Bockman, Temple Beth Sholom of Pascack Valley, Park Ridge
Rev. Raymond Boyd, Park Ridge United Methodist Church, Park Ridge
Rev. Msgr. Joseph Chapel, St. Andrew Roman Catholic Church, Westwood
Rev. Bernard D. Glee, Mt. Zion Baptist Church, Westwood
Rabbi Emeritus Gerald Friedman, Temple Beth Sholom of Pascack Valley, Park Ridge
Rev. Rodney Haveman, Parkside Community Church, Westwood
Rev. Wayne M Jones, Westwood United Methodist Church
Rabbi Loren Monosov, Temple Emauel of the Pascack Valley, Woodcliff Lake
The Reverend Brian Neville, Hillsdale United Methodist Church, Hillsdale
Rabbi Dr. Debra Orenstein, Congregation B’nai Israel, Emerson
Pastor Thomas J. Pranschke, Zion Lutheran Church, Westwood
The Rev. Anthony Puca, Jr., Grace Episcopal Church, Westwood and Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, Hillsdale
Rev. Larissa Romero, Pascack Reformed Church, Park Ridge
Rev. Patrick Seo, Our Lady of Mercy Church, Park Ridge
Cantor Alan H. Sokoloff, Temple Emauel of the Pascack Valley, Woodcliff Lake
Rev. Marc A. Stutzel, Christ Lutheran Church, Woodcliff Lake
Rev. Mark Suriano, First Congregational United Church of Christ, Park Ridge
Rev. JerQuentin Sutton, Lebanon Baptist Church, Westwood, NJ
Interfaith Coordinator Esra Tozan, Peace Islands Institute, Hasbrouck Heights
Rev. Robert T Ulak, Our Lady of Mercy Church, Park Ridge

Caring

We love because Jesus loved us first! At CLC we live our faith out loud by making a difference in people's lives. Here are just a few ways we serve, love, and offer hope: 
 
Genesis Garden - 1000 lb of fresh produce every year
Disaster Relief Assistance 
Northern New Jersey Lutheran Youth Co-op
Support Center for Food Action (Englewood)
The Care Committee - serving those in crisis
Music, Choir, and More
Worship twice on Sunday
Trash & Treasure Sale - Supporting ministries all over the world
Partnership with the Tri-Boro Food Pantry
Support Seafarer's, Lutheran Social Ministries, and more.
Adult and Children Education
 


 

Learning

One of the main instructions given to the leaders of the church was to be able to teach. Leaders are also commanded to equip the saints so that they can also carry out the work of the minsitry, and this exactly what our skilled teachers desire to do. 

Coming to our services should be a time of worship and fellowship, but also of mental strengthening. Sermons are understandable but yet stimulating to the mind with respect to accurate doctrine and implication.