The Open Door - Hillsdale United Methodist Church

The Open Door
November/December 2014
United Methodist Church
is a faith community,
offering opportunities
to all people seeking
to know God,
advance God’s kingdom,
and do God’s will,
by following
Jesus Christ.
United Methodist Church
Mailing address:
349 Hillsdale Avenue
Hillsdale, NJ 07642
Office telephone:
Fax telephone:
Parsonage telephone:
Email address:
[email protected]
Website address:
Rev. Brian Neville, Pastor
Lisa Schoelles, Layout/Images
Congregation, Articles
Please submit articles
for the Nov/Dec Open Door to
[email protected]
no later than December 15th
ince the end of summer my son,
Davy, has been telling me “winter
is coming, Dad.” When he asks “why
is it cold?” I try to explain to him that
it’s because we are farther away from
the sun and that we go from warm days
in summer, to cooler weather in the fall
and finally to cold, snowy weather in
winter. I’m not sure how much he understands at two, but I try anyways.
As you get this issue of The Open Door, you are likely thinking about your
plans for the gauntlet of the holiday seasons, from Thanksgiving to Christmas to
New Years. This time is often filled with family, big festive meals and lots of gifts
for loved ones.
For me, I’ll be watching the Lions play the Bears on Thanksgiving and looking
forward to a week of vacation with my family after Christmas Eve. But I want to
challenge you to think about more than food and presents this year. I want you to
think about how you can be in ministry with all the people you come in contact with
in this winter season.
I’ve shared before that people are more open to visiting church on Christmas
Eve than any other time in the year. Would an invitation from you be the nudge a
person needs for them to attend a service at our church?
But, of course, ministering to another person is about more than just inviting
them to church. You could talk with them about problems they are dealing with, you
could give them a simple, inexpensive gift, even something like making them a cup
of coffee could be just what a person needs. Lots of little things can add up to big
things in making a person feel loved, welcomed and invited. In the church, we
sometimes call it radical hospitality and we all need to do it as people that are a part
of God’s kingdom. Maybe you are especially gifted and you can do even more than
these simple gestures. Maybe you are good at facilitating reconciliation, or calming
people that easily become frazzled. Maybe you have money to give or medical
skills desperately needed in other parts of the world.
Whatever your gift, you are called to be a minister – that’s what it means to be a
follower of Jesus Christ. All people who put their trust in Jesus Christ are called by
God to do what they can to love God and love their
neighbor as themselves. As winter is coming, how can
you do that? What big or small role can you play in a
person’s life so that they may know God’s love for them?
I hope we, as a church, can make some big gestures that
announce to the world “we love you and so does God!”
Join with me in making sure this winter is not another
ho-hum year, but instead a chance to change the world by
changing people’s lives for God.
Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas and
Happy New Year from the Neville’s!
In Christ,
Pastor Brian Neville
From Your Lay Leader …
Submitted by Joanna Good
t’s getting close to holiday time . . . more to do and more to enjoy! More to think about and more to look forward to .
. . I hope! Time to think about being thankful, about blessings, and gifts. Because of the need to schedule and plan
ahead, it feels like the days of feasting and celebrating are almost here. Whoa, I thought, let’s slow it down and consider
what could make this holiday time worthy of its name (Holy-Day).
One way to slow down, is to be in the moment – only engage in one activity at a time, only think of one thing at a
time, and when it comes to being with friends and family, give them, one at a time, your full attention. Those who study
these things tell us such single mindedness (or mindfulness) can help to calm us, give us a greater appreciation of life.
The author, Trevor Hudson, (“A Mile in My Shoes”) put it this way: “Being present involves letting go of our constant
preoccupations, immersing ourselves in the here and now . . . If we are with another person, it means engaging with him
or her with all our heart, our mind, our soul, and our strength. Such wholehearted attention requires patience, time, and
disciplined effort. And it is one of the greatest gifts that we can give to those around us… .”
And then I came across this idea that will help to get us from Thanksgiving to Christmas in a
thankful frame of mind. We often talk about what we are thankful for at Thanksgiving. Well,
what if we start a Blessing Jar on turkey day and keep it going during Advent. Each day during
Advent, take time to write down something for which you are thankful, a blessing, and put it in the
jar. Then, on Christmas Day, pour out your blessings from the jar and read them. The gift of
thankfulness; no mall, no traffic, no shopping, and no wrapping required!
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of the Lord,
which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:4-7.
Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas to you, and enjoy your blessings one moment at a time!
Upcoming Sermon Series
Submitted by Pastor Brian Neville
Please invite your friends and family to join us for these challenging and inspiring sermon series, Sundays at 10 am:
November “Treasure” - December “Advent” - January “Love To Stay”
Christmas Eve
Candlelight Services:
7:30 pm - Family
11 pm - Formal
Annual Church Conference
September 21, 2014
Administrative Committee Summaries
Nominations: Our Nominations & Leadership
Development team continues to seek individuals to serve
on our ministries. You don’t have to be a member of our
local church to serve on most of our ministries. All you
need is a willingness to share your talents. If you are interested in helping the church, please contact Pastor Brian so
we can match the right ministry for your gifts.
Annual performance evaluations for our employees were conducted by SPRC and salary recommendations will be discussed with Finance. Thereafter, recommendations will be submitted to Church Council for
possible discussion and approval.
Trustees: The Trustees continue with the improve-
Finance: Finance is preparing for the Fall Steward-
ments and maintenance of our buildings. A reminder to
all who use our facilities that we are experiencing various
outside doors being left unlocked. It is very important during the week to keep all outside doors locked for the security of our Nursery School.
ship campaign which will lead us to Stewardship Sunday
on November 23rd. Please be sure to read the article in this
Open Door regarding our Stewardship Campaign and note
that we are continuing our second year of A Future with
Hope in our Campaign.
United Methodist Women News
Submitted by Sue Moran & Vicki Brentnall
t has been a joy-filled fall for the UMW! On September 16, we were treated to an
awesome presentation by Bill Griffeth. The topic was “Genealogy and Faith: Can
faith be inherited?” A lively discussion followed. Thanks, Bill!
Our second annual UMW Sunday worship service has held on September
28. Thanks to Rev Pam Pierce and Vicki Brentnall for leading our special service and to Lisa Schoelles for capturing the
testimonies of the UMW ladies.
Our annual dinner meeting took place on October 7. An evening of fellowship, friendship and, of course, delicious
food was enjoyed by all. Thanks to Terry for the beautiful table arrangements. It was with great pleasure that we honored
Virginia Phillips, Kelly Kennedy, Lisa Lavitol, and Lisa Schoelles as this year’s Mission Recognition Pin recipients.
The evening closed with an inspired musical performance by members of the Men’s Group. Heartfelt thanks to Mike
Lavitol, Jay Ford, Mike Schoelles and Terry Good! It was a great night!
Upcoming UMW Events
Tuesday, November 18, 11 a.m., Annual planning meeting for 2015
Sunday, November 23, UMW Thanksgiving Bake Sale
General meeting/Holiday Outing - details tbd in the Sunday bulletins and at
We wish you a Blessed Holiday Season
Vicki Brentnall and Sue Moran
Thank You!
Submitted by Lisa Schoelles
am so honored,
and so humbled,
to receive a
UMW Mission
Recognition pin.
I feel hugged and
held close by all
your love and
Thank you for sharing with all of us, a
little of the history
and the missional
significance of this
recognition. I feel
that I’ve earned a
great privilege - to
now be a part of
this group of
individuals. I will
always wear this
pin proudly!
To know that our
UMW is giving a
missional gift to the UMW National Office, in the names of all of this year’s pin honors, adds to the enormity of the
experience! Like a matching gift - you recognizing our work, is, in turn, helping other women, children, and youth with
a mission gift. It’s so beautiful - the multitude and expansiveness of this honor!
Peace and blessings,,
Ministry Coordinators: We continue to seek
Christians called into a variety of ministries
within our church. Our greatest need is in the
following roles: Worship Committee Chairperson, VBS Team Coordinator, and a
variety of Sunday School support. If you, or
someone you know, is interested in serving in
one of these roles, or helping any other church
ministry, please contact the church office.
Collection Counters: The Finance Committee is always seeking counters to count and
record the offering after worship services.
Holidays are a particular time of need. This
service only takes about an hour and is done
in a team of 2 people. If you can help on any
given Sunday or Holiday, please contact Mike
Schoelles at 201-263-1179.
Be A Go-For! From time to time we need to
call upon volunteers to help out with various
situations. Perhaps someone is not feeling
well and could do with a helping hand. After
a hospital stay there is often a need. Would
you be prepared to assist when necessary?
Contact Cathy D’Eletto at 201-664-5231 to
Join us for STEW!
After Worship Service,
STEWardship Sunday, November 23rd!
The Men’s Group will be cooking up a
variety of stews as a Thank You luncheon
for our congregation, as we submit our
pledges of Time, Talent and Treasure to the
continued support of the Hillsdale United
Methodist Church, The Future With Hope
Campaign, and all our missions and ministries. And complete your luncheon with a
visit to the UMW Thanksgiving Bake Sale for
seasonal baked goods. YUM!
11/01 James Suessmann
11/02 Madison McCausland
11/03 Michael Koons
11/03 Melody Atkinson
11/04 Abigail Fox
11/04 Dean Bauer
11/05 Ann Lahm
11/05 Christina Fanelli
11/06 Chad Griffeth
11/08 Meredith Martin
11/10 Jacki Stewart
11/10 Raymond Kohan
11/13 Vicki Brentnall
11/14 Ashleigh Chang
11/15 Jeffrey Brentnall
11/15 Donna Porter
11/18 Brooklyn Bujas
11/19 Donna Koeniges
11/19 Christopher Conti
11/19 Myron Theilmeier
11/20 Richard Landau
11/20 Anna Rizzie
11/20 Steven Rizzie
11/21 Ashley Unger
11/22 Gordon Blinn
11/23 Florence Finger
11/23 Samuel Porter
11/23 Emily Keizer
11/24 A. Marguerite Torres
11/25 Joan Kartan
11/25 Jeanne Kohan
11/25 Addison Capogna
11/27 Bob Salvati
11/27 Derek Pflueger
11/30 Ava Kohan
12/01 Marina Mehta
12/01 Jeffrey Berger
12/03 Leah Fox
12/03 Lana Pinon
12/04 Pamela Pierce
12/04 Holly Bosley
12/04 Jack UssherKeushkerian
12/05 Kenneth Porter
12/06 Jeffrey Ross
12/07 Jennifer Fanelli
12/08 Lucille Kramer
12/08 Carolyn Vezza
12/08 Michelle Schaffner
12/10 Ryan Friend
12/12 Nicholas Benoit
12/13 Garren Pflueger
12/15 Elizabeth Janssen
12/16 Noelle Hoffman
12/16 Lilyanna Catalano
12/18 Ryan Drisgula
12/18 Hailee Dapolito
12/20 Lois Nacinovich
12/21 Nicholas Pescatore
12/22 Scott Allen
12/23 Elijah Torres
12/23 Amelia Martin
12/24 Anita Joseph
12/24 Lorraine Loew
12/29 Alyssa Martin
12/30 Bradon Davila
12/31 Charlie Hill
Soon it will be time for Christmas preparations.
Our children will be able to make gifts for their families on Sunday, December 14 from 2:00-4:00pm in Fellowship Hall.
All they need to bring is a smile and wear old clothes.
Adult and Teen volunteers are needed to help.
Please contact Jean Griffin if you would like to help. (201) 7221135.
Trustees Update
Submitted by Bob Salvati
Church and Nursery School Security
reminder to all who use our facilities that we are experiencing various outside doors
being left unlocked. It is very important during the week to keep all outside doors
locked for the security of our Nursery School.
If you unlock a door to enter, exit the same way and make sure the door is locked behind you.
Turn off all lights and close windows or blinds etc. in the area you are using.
ALL leaders of meetings or events are responsible for unlocking and relocking doors.
Do not assume someone else will lock up after you leave. There is no one else to do it.
Saturday - same as during the week
Sunday - The Nursery School Building is unlocked between 8 and 8:30am. All classrooms will be unlocked by 9:15am.
The Narthex Doors, both sets on Magnolia Street, are unlocked by 9:15am.
After the service all outside doors are locked at 11:30am. If you are staying in the building for any function or meeting, you are responsible for turning off lights, closing blinds, closing doors etc. Make sure when you leave, the outside
door is closed tight behind you.
AND please don't touch any of the thermostats in the building. They are pre-programmed. If you have a concern, ask
a Trustee. Any questions or concerns, please let us know.
Thanking You For Your Support
The Board of Trustees
Finance Committee Update
Submitted by Mike Schoelles
ell it is once again time for the holidays to begin. I just want to let everyone
know the deadlines for giving coming up in December. If you plan to give online
electronically please note that if the transaction is processed as a credit card or debit card
transaction, that it will take 2 business days to clear. If done as an electronic fund
transfer from a checking/savings account, it takes at least 3 business days to clear. If you
plan on donating electronically in December please keep these timelines in mind to
ensure the giving is processed in 2014:
 last day for electronic funds would be 12/26/2014
 and the last day for a credit/debit card transaction would be 12/27/2014
 If you would like to drop off cash or a check at the church, it must be received by noon on 12/31/2014 in the church
office in order to be included in your 2014 statement of giving.
We are also in the process of creating budgets for 2015 and I plan to meet with all mission leads and committees to
discuss appropriate budgets for next year. I look forward to talking with everyone and getting their input.
As always, if anyone has any questions regarding the church’s financial position or suggestions for the Finance
Committee please let me know. I would love to share anything you want to know.
Peace and blessings,
Mike Schoelles
Endowment Update
Submitted by Mike Schoelles
he HUMC endowment fund is a year old. It is hard to believe that the endowment fund is now a year old and we
have had another anonymous donor. Thanks to all who have
given to start this important fund. Note that this could be an
option if you have additional funds you wish to donate before
year end to get the tax breaks. I am including the information
from last year as a refresher for everyone.
What is an endowment fund? An endowment fund is used to invest the donations in a specified fund or funds
(similar to mutual funds) and use the interest from those funds as either operating funds for the church or reinvested for
future use leaving the original donations in the fund for perpetuity. In the beginning we will be reinvesting the dividends until such time that the dividends are substantial or we need to draw on the dividends.
Who manages these funds? We have chosen to use the Greater NJ Annual Conference to manage the funds. This
will ensure that the funds the money is invested in meet the guidelines that the United Methodist Church has set up.
Why an Endowment Fund, we have plenty of options already? We wanted to provide an option for those who
wish to donate to the church now, that will last in perpetuity. Yes, we ask for your time, talent and donations to sustain
the mission of the church, we are asking for your generous donations to the Fellowship Hall project, and this is just
another area that you can donate to the church that will carry us into the future.
How can I donate? You can make a donation now by giving a check and writing Endowment on the memo line,
you can make an electronic donation securely online, you can remember the church in your will. You can also transfer
funds from current tax sheltered accounts – Lois Nacinovich, Cindy Griffith or myself can provide you with the details
to transfer those funds. You should work with your financial advisor on a strategy that is best for you. If you need an
advisor please keep in mind that Jim Geitz, from our congregation, provides these services and would gladly provide
you with a confidential consultation without any obligations.
What if I have further questions? Please feel free to contact me at 201-263-1179 or [email protected]
and I would be happy to answer any further questions you might have.
Peace and blessings,
Mike Schoelles
Submitted by Mike Schoelles
ow that the fall is upon us it is time to start our Stewardship campaign leading us up to Stewardship Sunday on
November 23rd. You will be getting a letter in November along with a pledge card. We ask that you fill out your
pledge card and bring it with you to service on November 23 rd. If you are unable to join us then please return it to the
office by November 30th at the latest.
I will also be leading a small, 4 week Bible study in November called
“Treasure”. We will be meeting after church on Sunday November 2,
9 and 16 and before church on Sunday, November 23 rd. Please contact
the office or me directly at 201-263-1179 or [email protected]
if you would like to join the group (this helps us facilitate ordering the
correct number of books). Hope to see you in November.
The Men’s Group will also be sponsoring a Thanksgiving celebration
after service on Sunday, November 23rd to celebrate Stewardship Sunday. Further details will be in the bulletin. Look for more information
in your mailboxes soon.
Peace and blessings,
Mike Schoelles
Sunday School Update
Submitted by Ellen Stratton
t the end of October, the Sunday School will have completed eight
weeks of study. The children in grades four through eighth are now
working with the same Bible. Many received their first Bible from our
church on Laity Sunday when Pastor Neville visited the Sunday School
and distributed Bibles. The teachers have said working with the same
Bible version improves class participation and reduces confusion.
I appreciate the approval by the Church Council of an increase in the
budget to achieve this uniformity.
Currently there are 36 children registered in grades pre-K through 8th,
led by eight teachers, with an additional 12 High School aged participating in Sunday School on the second and fourth Sundays.
The High School class is a new venture, meeting in the youth room, and is staffed by visiting teachers from
our congregation. We have a need for additional visiting teachers in 2015. Emily Neville has been supporting
the visiting lead teacher on each occurrence of this class. Her enthusiasm and energy, along with her skills, has
been greatly appreciated. Thanks so far to Janet Castrillion, Kierstin Arvello, and Rocco Vezza for their leadership. In November, Lay Leader, Dr. Joanna Good and Church Council Chair, Tammy Molinelli will lead the
class along with Emily Neville. The teens are happy to have this opportunity and genuinely feel the church
cares about them. A huge thanks to Donna Porter who has prepared a variety of foods for this Sunday morning
class. We have secured a gently used but much improved TV and DVR player for the youth room. Thanks to
John and Janet Castrillion for making that possible. Contact me if you’d like to participate in any aspect of this
exciting ministry to our youth.
Thanks also to the following who have substituted in various classes: Laura-Jean Arvelo, Michelle Rausch,
Donna Koeniges, Janet Hoffman, Andy Hoffman and Donna Porter.
December is always busy; no surprise to any of us. On Sunday, December 14, the Sunday School will
present in the worship service a Christmas program. Mark your calendars now. Also that Sunday, there will be
the annual White Gift collection. The White Gift is a donated item for any aged person that will be given out
for Christmas to needy families in our community. The program coordinator for our church is Lois Kohan,
semi-retired Town Nurse. Lois, working with the Town of Hillsdale, will ensure your gift is matched to a person in need. Wrap your gift in plain white tissue and bring it to worship on Sunday, December 14. Our
children will collect the gifts that day as they roll a wagon through the Sanctuary.
I am enjoying my role as the Superintendent. Your support of our program is very much appreciated and is
also essential. Thanks to my able assistant John Castrillion who has been at my side every week. Wishing you
the blessings of the holidays ahead. See you in church.
In Christ,
Ellen Stratton
Mixed Bowling League
Submitted by Sylvia Kleister
e have started another year of wonderful fellowship and fun! Our mixed league
bowls at 7:30 pm on Thursdays, through May 2015. The league is open to all
adults, all skill levels.
We need one more team bowler! Why not join us for a weekly evening of fun?
Cannot commit to a full season? Substitute bowlers who wish to bowl occasionally
are always welcome to join us!
Anyone interested in joining or learning more about our league, please contact
Sylvia Kleister at 201-666-1317 or speak with any of our church bowlers.
Institute 2014
astor Brian,
Carolyn Vezza,
Doug Kennedy, and
Lisa Schoelles attended
the Leadership Institute
held at the UMC Church
of the Resurrection in
Kansas on Sept 24-27.
This dynamic leadership
forum focused on how to
answer Christ’s call to
“serve in the present age”.
Reach out to Doug, Lisa,
Carolyn, or Pastor Brian to
learn more about this
inspiring and challenging
trip, and please let Pastor
Brian know if you’d like to
attend next year.
Congratulations & Welcome
to our New Members
Cathy Bailey, Gerry Costello,
Joseph & Janet Gemignani, and Michelle Rausch
Hillsdale UMC Recognized
uring the October 14th town council meeting, the
Hillsdale Mayor, Council, and Hillsdale Environmental Commission presented a certificate of appreciation
to Mike Schoelles for his outstanding efforts to help with
the Beechwood trail repairwork this past June.
Mike represented Hillsdale United Methodist Church as
part of our Change The World mission work. Well done!
Hillsdale United Nursery School
Submitted by Carol Stalter
illsdale Unite Nursery School kicked off its 41st Year with an enrollment of 111 students, which increased
to 112 in October!
“Fun Fridays” began with “B is for Building!” Children brought a lunch and after eating spent an hour
building on the playground. Bagel and Pizza lunches return in October.
On Oct. 13 & 14, dads were invited into the classrooms to experience their child’s morning routine. “Dads
& Donuts” was a huge success. Thank you to Jason Degise for donating the Demarest Farm donuts!
Our playground is shaping up nicely! The play structure directly outside the doors had to be removed to
comply with NJ state code. In its place, a picnic table was purchased in memory of Beverly Taup, former Education Director for over 20 years. Also, Eagle Scout Ryan Viceconte, Troop 109, built sandboxes for our playground. Ryan, a Pascack Valley senior, built the boxes on Columbus Day weekend. We are thrilled to have
sandboxes for the children to play in!
We wish you a Happy Holiday Season
Carol Stalter
Thank You!
Submitted by Dorothy DeSandre
eptember 14th was a very special Sunday for
me. You presented me with the Faith in Service award. I am so grateful to you all. These past
48 years have been filled with wonderful memories.
Singing in the choir with Ray Frasche’s leadership for the last 20 years - has been a pure pleasure. All
the members of the choir have given me their love
and help. There are times - when our voices are
lifted in song - God’s presence is there. My thanks
and gratitude to you, my church family, for your
show of love.
God bless you all with my love to you!
Dorothy DeSandre
Read The Open Door Online!
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e honor the recent passing of our beloved ones,
and keep their families and friends in our
Sybil Speake (Pat Martin’s mother)
Muriel Pfiefer
“Remembrance” Chorale
Come, listen to Tammy Conti sing as a member of the
Pro Arte Chorale in this beautiful chorale performance,
dedicated to All Souls. “Remembrance” November 16th
3pm. West Side Presbyterian Church, Ridgewood.
Call 201-497-8400 or visit
for tickets.
Advertise your business in The Open Door.
Call 201-664-5231 or email [email protected] for details
The Open Door
Hillsdale United Methodist Church
349 Hillsdale Avenue
Hillsdale, NJ 07642