Congregational Building Survey

This short form will help us understand the needs of all the churches in the Presbytery. If you have any questions, the Property Management and Support Team is available to assist you by calling the Presbytery office at (973) 429-2500 or sending an email to [email protected].

Holy Week and Easter Events in Newark Presbytery

We wanted to share some of the activities happening at the churches of Newark Presbytery during Holy Week and Easter:

If not specifically listed, Palm Sunday and Easter services will be at normal worship times.

Bloomfield Presbyterian Church on the Green

147 Broad St
Bloomfield, NJ 07003

  • March 25, – Palm Sunday Worship
  • March 29, 8:00pm – Maundy Thursday Tenebrae Worship with Watchung Presbyterian Church (in Chapel)
  • March 30, 8:00pm – Good Friday Worship Service of Word, Art and Song with Central Presbyterian Church of Montclair (in Chapel)
  • April 1, 6:30am – Easter Sunrise Worship (in Manse Backyard)
    10:45am – Easter Worship with communion

Central Presbyterian Church

46 Park St
Montclair, NJ 07042

  • March 25, 10:00am – Palm Sunday Worship
  • March 29, 6:30pm – Maundy Thursday Soup Supper (Junior Room) and Worship with communion (Sanctuary)
  • March 30, 8:00pm – Good Friday Worship Service of Word, Art and Song (Bloomfield Church on the Green Chapel)
  • April 1, 10:00am – Easter Worship
    Following Worship – Easter Egg Hunt

Elmwood United Presbyterian Church (East)

135 Elmwood Ave
East Orange, NJ 07018

  • March 25, 9:30am – Palm Sunday Worship with communion (regular worship with communion alsoat other campuses)
  • March 29, 7:00pm – Maundy Thursday Dinner and Worship through the Arts with communion
  • March 30, 12:00pm – Good Friday Seven Last Words of Jesus Worship
  • April 1, 6:00am – Easter Sunrise Worship
    9:30am – Easter Worship (regular worship also at other campuses)

First Presbyterian Church at Caldwell

326 Bloomfield Ave
Caldwell, NJ 07006

  • March 25, 8:30am – Palm Sunday Worship
    10:00am – Palm Sunday Worship
  • March 28, 6:15pm – Christ in the Passover Dinner (in Room 120)
  • March 29, 7:30pm – Maundy Thursday Worship
  • March 30, 12:00pm – Good Friday Reflection and Meditation (in Chapel)
    7:30pm – Good Friday Tenebrae Worship
  • March 31, 8:00pm – Easter Vigil Worship
  • April 1, 6:15am – Easter Sunrise Worship (in Old Burying Ground)
    9:00am – Easter Festival Worship
    11:00am – Easter Festival Worship

First Presbyterian Church of Verona

10 Fairview Ave
Verona, NJ 07044

  • March 25, 10:15am – Palm Sunday Worship with three choirs singing The Palms
  • March 29, 6:30pm – Maundy Thursday Soup Supper and Worship with communion
  • March 30, 10:00am-2:00pm – Good Friday Children’s Workshop including lunch and an egg
    hunt ($10)
    12:00pm – Good Friday Reflective Worship
  • April 1, 10:15am – Easter Worship with communion and the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s

Grace Presbyterian Church

153 Grove St
Montclair, NJ 07042

  • March 25, 10:00am – Palm Sunday Worship
  • March 29, 8:00pm – Maundy Thursday Worship (in Fellowship Hall)
  • March 30, 8:00pm – Good Friday Worship
  • April 1, 7:00am – Easter Sunrise Service
    9:00am – Easter Egg Hunt
    10:00am – Easter Worship

The Presbyterian Church of Livingston

271 W Northfield Rd
Livingston, NJ 07039

  • March 25, 10:30am – Palm Sunday Worship with communion
    5:30pm – Seder Dinner (in Fellowship Hall)
  • March 28, 12:00pm – Lenten Luncheon with Service of Healing and Anointing
  • March 29, 6:30PM – Dinner (6:30pm) and Maundy Thursday Worship (7:30pm) (in Fellowship Hall)
  • March 30, 12:00pm – Ecumenical Good Friday Service (at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church)
    7:30pm – Tenebrae Service (at Livingston United Methodist Church)
  • April 1, 10:30am – Easter Worship with communion
    12:00pm – Easter Egg Hunt

Presbyterian Church of Upper Montclair

53 Norwood Ave
Upper Montclair, NJ 07043

  • March 25, 10:00am – Palm Sunday Worship
  • March 29, 7:30pm – Maundy Thursday Tenebrae Worship with communion
  • April 1, 9:00am – Easter Worship
    10:15am – Easter Egg Hunt and Coffee Hour
    11:00am – Easter Worship – family service

Prospect Presbyterian Church

646 Prospect St
Maplewood, NJ 07040

  • March 25, 10:30am – Palm Sunday Worship
  • March 29, 7:30pm – Maundy Thursday Worship
  • April 1, 8:00am – Easter Worship
    8:45am – Easter Breakfast
    10:30am – Easter Worship

Roseville Presbyterian Church

36 Roseville Ave
Newark, NJ 07107

  • March 25, 10:30am – Palm Sunday Worship
  • March 30, 11:00am – The 7 Last Words of Jesus sponsored by the Newark Chapter of the National Black Presbyterian Caucus
    12:00pm – Good Friday Fish Fry
  • April 1, 10:30 am – Easter Worship
    Following Worship – Easter Egg Hunt

United Presbyterian Church of West Orange

20 Old Indian Rd
West Orange, NJ 07052

  • March 25, 10:30am – Palm Sunday Worship
  • March 29, 6:00pm – Maundy Thursday Dinner (6:00pm) and Worship (7:00pm)
  • March 30, 7:30pm – Good Friday Worship
  • March 31, 1:00pm – Easter Egg Hunt
  • April 1, 7:00am – Easter Worship
    10:30am – Easter Worship

Wyoming Presbyterian Church

432 Wyoming Ave
Millburn, NJ 07041

  • March 25, 10:00am – Palm Sunday Worship
  • March 30, 7:30pm – Good Friday Worship and Dinner (Fellowship Hall) and Tenebrae Worship (Sanctuary)
  • April 1, 9:30am – Easter Worship
    11:00am – Easter Worship

Holy Week – Making Room for Jesus

Our lives are busy. And Holy Week is a busy week in the church. No matter what Holy Week looks like for your church – whether you have events planned each day, or only on Sundays – it can be hard to simply spend time with Jesus. We miss the forest for the trees or, rather, miss Jesus for all the planning related to Jesus.

Even the disciples struggled with this. After the last supper with the disciples, Jesus asks a few of them to accompany him on a walk. Jesus knows he will need some time by himself as he prepares for the terrible events ahead of him, but wants friends nearby, praying with and for him. They can’t join him in his personal struggle, but they can support him in it.

Jesus asks his friends to simply stay awake and pray nearby. But every time he goes to check on them, they are asleep! Yes, they have had long days, and spent much energy as they dined and conversed at dinner. Yes, they have been filled with food and wine. Yes, it’s late. We understand why they are sleepy, but we also know the urgency of Jesus’ need for friendship and support at this moment.

We also fall asleep in these urgent moments. We can get so caught up in the details, that we forget to stay awake and spend time with Jesus. So – if you’ve planned Maundy Thursday and Good Friday services, what are ways that you can engage in, and not simply lead them? Can other people lead what you’ve planned? If your church will be open for prayer or self-guided stations of the cross, spend time practicing what you have prepared. If you are having a community meal, make sure to spend some time enjoying the meal and the company around you. Even at the last supper together,  Jesus truly engaged and enjoyed his time with his friends.

Find the time and space and practices that create holy moments for you to connect with Jesus. All he asks is that we stay awake and be with him. No, we will never fully understand what he was facing on the cross, but we can be with him, as Christ is always with us. This Holy Week, let’s stay awake.

With a Calling for Racial Reconciliation, Reverend Brings Social Injustice to the Forefront

Story originally published in Fordham News, from Fordham University

by Tanisia Morris

Several years ago, the Rev. Terri Ofori was leading a prayer service at a university chapel that was open to all members of its community when an older alumnus approached her with a prayer request.

“He said, ‘I have an issue and I need your prayers,’” recalled Ofori. “He said, ‘When I was a student here back in the ‘60s, there were no women, and there were certainly no people that looked like you here, and I’m having a hard time adjusting.’”

Ofori, who is the chaplain to the Synod Commission of the Synod of the Northeast PC (USA), suggested that they meet over breakfast to talk.

“I think he thought that I was going to be upset, but I told him I could relate to feeling marginalized,” she said, explaining that instead of having a “knee-jerk” reaction to his comment, she sought to spark a conversation. “He thought he was marginalized too—even though he had a lot of privilege. In his mind, he was being pushed to the side.”

The interaction was one of many experiences that made her realize that race remains a sensitive topic in many churches.

“I’ve always felt that I was called for racial reconciliation,” said Ofori, who serves as the college chaplain and director of spiritual life at Bloomfield College.  “I believe the Church should lead the way in racial reconciliation and inclusion of all people.”

As an interim transitional pastor, Ofori has helped integrate Protestant churches in the Northeast and provided guidance to church leaders seeking to strengthen their ministry. She has served as chaplain in a number of institutions, including Brown University, Wellesley, Emerson, Simmons College, and Harvard.

Most recently, Ofori, who is currently studying Christian Spirituality and Spiritual Direction at the Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education (GRE – Fordham University), was one of three religious leaders who were selected as a Robert L. Washington Scholar. Representing the Africa diaspora, she is the first woman in the Synod to be accepted to the inaugural two-year program.

“We meet as a cohort with a team of leaders and we talk about leadership issues as it pertains to our community and what’s needed,” said Ofori, who recently visited Ghana, West Africa to meet with church leaders about women’s leadership in the country. “What we’re finding is that leadership models in the past have been mostly centered on white males. This is an opportunity to get people of color in leadership roles.”

Rocking the Boat

Though Ofori always knew that ministering to others was her destiny, she didn’t always feel comfortable in the spotlight.

“I never wanted to be in charge because of the perception that women had to be quiet and submissive,” she said. “But I realized that women are actually called to be leaders.”

She found inspiration in her ministry from the courageous stories of Catholic saints after taking Women Mystics with Shannon M. McAlister, Ph.D., assistant professor of spirituality at GRE.  Contemplative Action, a course taught by her advisor Fr. Francis X McAloon, S.J., also helped her to approach multidimensional issues like race and social injustice, she said.

“One of the things that I have learned from Catholic teachings is the quiet contemplation that comes before action,” she said. “A lot of times, people don’t want to rock the boat. In challenging situations, people may ask, ‘What would Jesus do?’  Some people think he would just fold his hands and pray, but he was a person of contemplation and action. He was a social justice figure, and he was actually controversial in that he challenged power structures.”

Having been born into poverty to a teenage mother in Philadelphia, Ofori said she faced many obstacles throughout her childhood. She found solace in an after-school program at a local church, where some of the teachers would sing gospel songs as they welcomed the students off of the school bus. With the help of scholarships, she went on to pursue degrees in theology, formation, and ministry.

Standing Up for the Vulnerable

These days, she is determined to pay it forward. An interim minister of the United Church of Spring Valley in Rockland County, New York, Ofori believes that religious leaders and institutions have an obligation to stand up for vulnerable members in society.

Her convictions led her co-found the Pan African Youth Leadership Academy (P.A.Y.L.A.) Project with her husband David Ofori Jr., an ordained ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church (USA). P.A.Y.L.A. provides academic support and leadership development to at-risk black youth in the New York metropolitan area. Rev. Ofori also leads a support group for minority women at Bloomfield who are grappling with issues such as homelessness, mental health, and poverty.

“Sometimes people don’t feel good about themselves because they’re not told good things about themselves,” she said. “I always tell them that you don’t always know where people come from and the struggles they’ve had to overcome. I do this because of where I came from.”

Active Shooter Response Training- March 24

Road Trip to Broad Street Ministries


The VAB is planning a road trip and you are invited! Join us on Thursday, April 19, 2018 as we travel to visit Broad Street Ministries in Philadelphia in our quest to learn what has been accomplished in other urban areas. We will meet at the Presbytery office at 11:00 a.m. and journey to Philadelphia together but we need you to RSVP to Barbara Smith at [email protected] so we are sure we have enough vehicles.

Lent: A Time of Reflection and Rest

Lent is a strange time for pastors and other leaders in the church. We teach and preach that Lent is a time of self-reflection and examination, a time of renewing the connection to the salvation and new life given to us in Christ, time to shed bad habits that we just can’t shake. And yet…all of the work we do to create opportunities and spaces for this reflection and renewal makes this a very busy time for our leaders.

Instead of attending to our own prayer lives and Sabbath practices with increased vigilance, we spend extra time preparing special worship and meals. And this is not to say that extra time we spend working isn’t life-giving, or that it is unfulfilling. Most of us gain a great sense of life and renewal in doing this work for and with others. However, church leaders are notoriously bad at following our own teachings.

Lent originated with the preparation of new Christian converts for baptism on Easter. They spent time practicing being Christians – studying and memorizing creeds, praying together, fasting, shedding the material and psychological attachments that were anchoring them to their old lives. For those of us who have been Christians, for a little or a long while, we can forget what called us here in the first place. Even prayer, worship and study can become routine instead of new and exciting.

What are some Lent practices that help us reflect and breathe life into our regular routines of Christian life? Perhaps we change up our schedules. Take a few extra days off during these weeks. Or sleep in a few days a week when we have evening activities for church. If sleeping in isn’t possible, what else can you stop doing during Lent? Giving up a duty for a season can give you some breathing room to rest a bit, as well as seeing what really does need to be done, and what you might be able to give up.

Maybe you try something new – take a class, make extra coffee dates with friends, or schedule a game night, do something you are terrible at but love. You could take 10-20 minutes each day just to sit with yourself and pray, or dream about the future, or read or create something just for yourself. Don’t think about all the things you haven’t finished yet. They will still be there when you are done with your break.

It doesn’t need to be a huge change, but it does take a bit of thought and planning. Like the early Christian converts, we have to be deliberate about changing our lives to shed old habits, and embrace new life. We have to practice what we preach this Lent, both for our own sake and for those we lead.

From the Vision Accountability Board

In 2016, the Presbytery of Newark sent the following overture to the 222nd General Assembly. This overture was ultimately passed with the bracketed and underlined text included:

“The Presbytery of Newark respectfully overtures the 222nd General Assembly (2016) to do the following:”

1. Encourage the ministries and agencies of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to be aware of the presence of slavery [and forced labor] in international chains of commerce.

2. Encourage the ministries and agencies of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to inquire of each vendor with which they do business (a) that the vendor [ascertain and/or] disclose the nature and extent of slavery [and forced labor] in its supply chains, (b) that the vendor disclose the programs and strategies that it has adopted to eradicate slavery [and forced labor] from its supply chains, and (c) that the vendor provide to the inquiring ministry or agency those reports, analyses, and other materials that confirm or otherwise illuminate the vendor’s representations.

3. Encourage the ministries and agencies that invest in companies to inquire of each company in which they make an investment (a) that the company [ascertain and/or] disclose the nature and extent of slavery [and forced labor] in its supply chains, (b) that the company disclose the programs and strategies that it has adopted to eradicate slavery [and forced labor] from its supply chains, and (c) that the company provide to the inquiring ministry or agency those reports, analyses, and other materials that confirm or otherwise illuminate the company’s representations.

4. Encourage the ministries and agencies of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to do business with and make investments in those companies that (a) have a rigorous program intended to eradicate slavery [and forced labor] from their supply chains and (b) disclose those reports and other information that enable the ministries and agencies of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), and such other persons as may be interested, to understand and evaluate the program that is intended to eradicate slavery [and forced labor] from the company’s supply chains.”

Barbara Smith recently received an e-mail from Bob Boneberg, a member of Wyoming Presbyterian Church asking if the Presbytery of Newark might consider co-sponsoring an all-faith conference in Essex County so that “the different faiths may share (1) their understanding of the issue of modern slavery, (2) how the issue is addressed, if at all, within their faith, (3) resources that they may have created with respect to the issue, and (4) any common or joint initiatives that might be undertaken.” This event is being slated for some time in May.

The VAB, at their meeting on February 13, voted unanimously to co-sponsor this event, especially in light of the overture we sent to the 222nd General Assembly. Bob writes that there will be minimal, if any, demand on Presbytery resources. Bob will be present at our May Presbytery meeting to talk further about this effort.

Should you wish to become more personally involved, Bob can be reached at [email protected] or by phone at 973.886.6576.

It’s Official!

In June of 2015, the Synod of the Northeast at the request of the Presbytery of Newark voted to assume original jurisdiction. That vote became effective in August of 2015. Since that time, long hours and much hard work has gone into helping the Presbytery of Newark work through its various challenges. And now the long awaited day has come!

During our Presbytery Gathering on Saturday, February 10, 2018, we received word through Rev. Anita Wright, our Synod Commissioner, that original jurisdiction had been returned to the Presbytery of Newark. The full administrative Commission was dissolved, and a smaller Administration Commission with limited jurisdiction was put into place for specific matters.

Full Administrative Commission Dissolution Document

At our May 12 Presbytery Meeting, we will have the chance to recognize and thank the members of the Administrative Commission in person.  Please plan to be part of that thanks-giving!