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November 2017

Harvest Success

Praise God for all that He did in our midst as we “Shared the Joy” at Harvest Fest on Sunday, October 15th.  Over 180 members and friends attended the Harvest Fest service and our attendance for the field festivities doubled last year’s!   Throughout the day we saw God doing amazing things!  Special gift bags were given out to first time visitors, nearly 100% of our Sunday school children and youth attended the service, the youth group challenged us with a powerful skit, “The Harvest Carol.”  The Sunday school children blessed us with a special harvest song and the combined choir and praise team introduced us to a powerful new song, “Old Church Choir,” that rocked the house!  A special word of thanks goes to Sandy Reidy who organized the entire event, to our praise team leaders who orchestrated the complex technology, to Jay Johnson for an amazing set up and take down, and for our many volunteers who pitched in and did whatever had to be done.  One of the most obvious joys was seeing so many new neighborhood children who came out and joined in the fun.  We may never fully know the extent of the eternal blessings that resulted from our faith and obedience, but we are certain that many seeds of faith and hope in Jesus Christ were planted.  Now that Harvest Fest is over, let’s continue to “Share the Joy!”  

Digital Sign Outreach

 The trustees are continuing the work related to the design, location and permits for a new digital church sign that will become an important outreach component of our ministry.  The estimated cost of the sign is around $26,000 and about $18,000 has already been donated for its purchase.   About $8,000 is still needed and installation will begin when all the funds have been received.  If you would like to offer a gift toward the sign, checks can be made out to Cross Keys United Methodist Church, please designate “Sign Fund” in the memo section of your check.

Our Finance Committee chairperson, Rich Fowler, has urged our members and friends to offer “sign” donations that are over and above our regular weekly gifts.  The weekly offerings to the General Fund are critical for funding our daily ministries here at Cross Keys and our margin for operations is very slim.   As always, thank you for your generous support and for your commitment to expanding our outreach and other ministries.

October 2017

Great Improvements!

Your contribution to the Building Improvement Fund are making a difference!  Special thanks go to the trustees who have undertaken several capital improvement projects that will serve our church for many years to come.  Most recently the parking areas in front and behind the education building and corresponding entrances and exits were repaved.  The job required removing the old asphalt, grading the subsurface to promote draining away from the building, resurfacing and line painting.   The church steeple was repaired to fix wind damage caused by a late winter storm and new roofing surfaces were installed on the flank roofs of Faith Hall.  Several rotting or dangerous trees were also removed from the property.  The next large project may be the conversion to a system of solar powered electrical generation.  After working with several previous vendors, the trustees recently retained a company who they believe will be able to get the project rolling.  Your continued financial support that makes such projects possible and helps to ensure that our facility is safe and that it brings honor to the Lord.


Outreach Expanding

In a historic action, the Administrative Council met on September 6 and approved the purchase of a new digital church sign.  The rough design provided by Astro Sign Company in Glassboro blends the traditional look of our church with attractive contemporary styled messages about our ministries and outreach.  If all township approvals are met and a permit is issued, the sign will most likely be installed in the front grassy area perpendicular to Main Street and located approximately between the church building and Faith Hall.

The total cost of the sign will be about $26,000.  Excitement about this new outreach opportunity is so great that approximately $18,000 has already been donated for its purchase.   About $8,000 is still needed and installation will begin when all the funds have been received.  If you would like to offer a gift toward the sign, checks can be made out to Cross Keys United Methodist Church, please designate “Sign Fund” in the memo section of your check.  Our Finance Committee chairperson, Rich Fowler, has urged our members and friends to offer “sign” donations that are over and above our regular weekly gifts.  The weekly offerings to the General Fund are critical for funding our daily ministries here at Cross Keys and our margin for operations is very slim.   As always, thank you for your generous support and for your commitment to expanding our outreach and other ministries. 

“You who bring good news to Zion, go up on a high mountain.

You who bring good news to Jerusalem, lift up your voice with a shout, lift it up,

do not be afraid; say t the towns of Judah,

“Here is your God!”


(Isaiah 40:9)

July 2017

59th Annual Chicken and Corn Cookout:

Saturday August 5, 3 – 7pm

The Chicken and Corn Cookout is one of the special traditions here at Cross Keys.  Our local skydivers have accepted another challenge to hit the target in our upper field and there will be plenty of fun to go around.  All hands will be needed on deck to make this year’s cookout another huge success.   Baked goods will be needed for the Country Store, your treasures needed for the yard sale, and lots of helpers that day to help us set up, take down, serve tables, operate our prayer station, husk corn, cook corn and more!  Contact Dawn Jennings if you can help out.  All proceeds from the cookout will be used to support our mission projects.  Tickets can be purchased in advance or at the door, $12.00 (adults), $7.00 (children). 

Cookout Activities and Events

3:00p  Dinner Begins

          -Sit Down (picnic style outdoor seating)

          -Take Out also available


7:00p  Last Dinner Served:

First step into our communities as ambassadors for Christ.


·         Inspiring Christian Music

·         Prizes for the Kids

·         Prayer Ministry on Site

·         Free Face Painting for the Kids

·         Home Made Baked Shop

·         Jersey Fresh Fruits & Vegetables

·         White Elephant Treasures (Begins at 8 am)

·         Menu

     -Country Style Bar-B-Q Chicken

     -Jersey Fresh Corn on the Cob (All you can eat)

     -Aunt Linda’s Famous Cucumber Salad

     -Summer Baked Beans


     -Ice Cream



June 2017

Baccalaureate Service

The Monroe Township Christian Ministerium will sponsor a special baccalaureate service to pray over our high school graduates.  The service will be held on Monday, June 19, 7:00p at the St. Mary’s Church in Williamstown.  Bibles will be handed out to the participating seniors and everyone is invited to attend. 


Several young men and women from our church are graduating from high school, college and graduate school.  On June 25th, we will pray over our graduates and also announce the recipients of this year’s scholarships.  We thank God for our young adults and continue to pray for them as they reach this important milestone and continue to bear witness for Christ in the World.  Congratulations: Lance Ferrell, Scott McGarity, Cara Norman, Morgan Richards, and Pastor Jaime.  

Gift Cards

Shop Rite Gift Cards are available year round. You can purchase them at church and use them for your weekly shopping.  Using gift cards at the register is an easy way to benefit and fundraise for Cross Keys Church. See Dawn Jennings to purchase gift cards.

Amazon Smile – A New Way to Donate to Church!

Do you have an Amazon account?  Would you like Cross Keys Church to receive a donation every time you purchase a qualifying item from Amazon?  Now you can!  You shop.  Amazon gives. Visit https://smile.amazon.com/ and sign in using your email address and Amazon password.  If you are new to Amazon you can create an account.  “Select a Charitable Organization to Start Shopping” and search for Cross Keys Church and select from the drop down list.  When you are ready to shop, simply log into https://smile.amazon.com and shop as usual.  Many items, but not every item, qualify for the automatic donation.  To see if purchasing an item will result in a donation look for “Eligible for  donation” under product information (usually where delivery information and in stock information is shown).

December 2016

Spirit of Generosity Sunday

On Sunday, November 20, we celebrated our strategic goals for 2017 that were adopted at our Annual Church Conference in October.  Prior to the service, members of the finance committee and administrative council pledged over $43,000 to help us accomplish strategic growth and outreach goals for 2017.  You can help us reach more children, youth, and adults during 2017 by climbing up to a new level of financial support.  Help us change lives by setting a goal or an estimate for your giving during 2017.  Your regular financial support will play a major role in reaching new friends and neighbors with the love and truth of Jesus.  Our strategic goals for 2017 are:

1.     Involve 12 new families in Sunday School/Worship.

2.     Strengthen our youth ministry by calling in a part-time youth pastor and by involving parents.

3.     Reach 6 new households from the Sterling Glen development (Fries Mill Road).

4.     Strengthen communication among our ministry teams by developing a unity covenant.

As disciples of our gracious Savior and Lord, we give, not because the church needs money, but so that our lifestyles will reflect the godly priorities we have adopted.  Please prayerfully consider climbing up another step.  If you haven’t already, please write down your estimate of giving for 2017 and place it in the offering plate or mail it to the church as soon as possible.  Thank you for helping us to get out of the pew and into the places where more children, youth and adults are searching for the love of Christ.  



Harvest Success: October 23,  2016

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!  We are praising God for all that He did in our midst as we celebrated Harvest Fest Sunday on October 23rd.  178 members and friends attended the Harvest Fest service, ten special gift bags were given out to first time visitors, nearly 100% of our Sunday School children and youth attended the service, the youth group challenged us with a powerful skit, the children's, youth, and adult choirs and praise team inspired us with spirit filled songs, and lay servants led us with powerful prayers and presented God's Word.  We easily doubled our attendance at the outdoor festival, two thirds of those who attended were not regular attenders, several families joined us from the Children's Garden, two new attenders indicated they want to join our church, and two non-attenders shared that they want to begin attending, and we gave away all but two of our prayer shawls.  These are just some of the things that I saw God doing in our midst!  If everyone had an opportunity to share what they witnessed God doing, all the testimonies couldn’t be fitted into one worship service!   What a privilege that God would use us to reach new people in such a special way!  None of this would have been possible if we were not open to God's call to step out of our comfort zones and if we hadn't followed through with our sacrifices of time, energy, and prayer.  Well done good and faithful servants!  


Greater New Jersey Annual Conference: July 2016

Pastor Jeff and Brock Winans represented our church at the Greater New Jersey Annual Conference that convened from May 22 – 24.  The following are a few good news items that they were able to bring back to our church.  The A Future with Hope campaign raised about 24 million dollars during the last three years.  237 homes damaged by Hurricane Sandy were restored and malaria deaths in Africa were cut in half!  Praise God!  The campaign will phase out by the end of 2017 and transition into hope centers in each county to provide housing and human services in the name of Jesus Christ.  Twenty-four new church starts have been initiated since 2014.  Significant efforts at church revitalization have moved our conference from the middle ranking of vitality to fourth in the denomination. Finally, the new Mission and Resource Center (Conference Center in Ocean County) opened in April.  Praise God, the completed 5 million dollar facility is debt free.

Solar Generation: June 2016

Cross Keys is going solar!  We are pleased to announce that at its May 4, 2016 meeting the Administrative Council approved a proposal by the trustees to install two sets of solar panels that will reduce our cost of electricity by 50%.  The panels will provide electrical service for all four buildings and exterior lighting on the church grounds.  One set will be located behind and to the left of the back parking lot.  The other set will be located behind the parsonage to the right of the tall pines.  The estimated annual savings will be about $6,000 per year!  Special thanks go to the trustees and those who assisted them.  They spent countless hours to research the best options for our church and have done an incredible job in helping us to wisely manage the generous financial resources entrusted to us by our members and friends.

Concrete Improvements: June 2016

The cement mixer will be visiting our Cross Keys campus in mid-June, after the Children’s Garden breaks for the summer.  Several sidewalks will be repaired or replaced in order to correct some of the tripping hazards that have appeared over recent years.  Looking ahead to future projects, the trustees also conducted a cost analysis related to the following projects: Replacing the church and education building roofs, painting the interior and exterior of the education building, replacement of educational building black top, Faith Hall black top tacking and sealing, and the eventual replacement of the air conditioning condensers that cool Faith Hall.  In a recent self-evaluation our church scored extremely high on keeping our grounds and buildings beautiful.  We are pleased to bring honor to the Lord by taking care of the facilities that have been entrusted to us.  Our safe, clean, and up to date facilities are a powerful statement about the health and vitality of our church and the ministries we support.  

Food Barrel

There is a food barrel in the entry way of Faith Hall.  Please bring in can goods or non-perishable food items to help someone in need.  All the items will go to the food pantry at Our Lady of Peace in town.

New Gift Card Program

We have received new information that will enable us to implement our gift card program again.  You can order gift cards for everyday purchase, such as gas and groceries, at the face value and our Missions program gets a percentage based on the card.   See Dawn Jennings for more details.

South Jersey Food Bank

The Food Bank has continued to bless 80 - 120 families each month.  Joanna Campbell is looking for some new church volunteers willing to come out for a couple of hours on the third (3rd) Saturday of the month.  The ministerium chose to discontinue the food bank and Cross Keys picked it up.  There are fewer churches participating, so fewer church volunteers and more recipient volunteers.   While we encourage recipients to help, we love to see a strong showing of our members.  No one has to commit to every month, just come when you can!  The next food bank is Saturday, October 17.  See Joanna Campbell or Dawn Jennings for more information. 

Community Bible Study Begins

Gifted Bible teacher, Roy Kreiser, will begin a new Bible Study on the Gospel of Mark.  The text will be the guide for participants and one of Roy’s key goals is to work together in such a way that we “allow the text to speak for itself.”  No questions will be too simple as we explore what life was like for Jesus and the first century Christians.  Most of all, everyone who attends will be strengthened and encouraged as we discover why the teachings of the Bible still apply to us today. 

The Kreiser study will be offered in the Sunny Estates development every first and third Monday from 9:30–10:30 am, beginning on Monday, September 21.  Joanne Jones will host the study at her home located at 1 Parker Lane, Williamstown, NJ.   Members of the church and community are invited to attend.   




Altar Flowers and Memorial Vase

The flower order forms for 2016 are on the bulletin board in the narthex of the Church. 

The altar flowers are $35 (includes both vases) and a memorial vase is $35. If you have a very special date that you want to have church flowers commemorated, now is the time to secure it by signing the order form.Please make all checks payable to Cross Keys United Methodist Church and clearly identify them as Flower Donations. Please submit all payments in the offering plate.After the second service, the flowers are yours on the Sunday you’ve dedicated them. If you have any questions, contact Sandy Cox or Donna Stephan at flowers@crosskeyschurch.org This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . In the subject line of your email please use "flower order CKUMC."

A Future With Hope

As the new year unfolds, we continue with or efforts to support the United Methodist Greater New Jersey mission initiative, A Future with Hope. Our goal is to repair 300–500 homes damaged by Hurricane Sandy and to save thousands of lives in Africa with mosquito nets that prevent malaria. The communion offering on the first Sunday of each month during 2014 is designated for the A Future with Hope ministry. Thank you for your dedication to help us carry the love of Christ beyond the walls of our local church.

Prayer With Us

The E-mail Prayer Chain is a vital part of our ministry at the Cross Keys Church. Anytime of the day or night you can submit a prayer request or praise and also be alerted to needs related to our members and friends for which you can pray. If you would like to be on the E-mail Prayer Chain please contact our administrator, Sam Sprengle, at admin@crosskeyschurch.org and provide him with your email address. Prayer Chain members will also receive a summary listing the requests that were lifted up during the previous Sunday services.

Another way that you can stay in touch is by becoming a member of our Facebook Group (Cross Keys United Methodist Church), which can be accessed through our website (http://crosskeyschurch.org).  

Prayer Devotionals

 You may have noticed that a monthly devotional accompanies each Sunday Prayer List that is emailed to prayer chain members.  We hope that future devotional thoughts will arise out of the prayer times of prayer chain members.  If you have a contribution that you would like to share please send it to Jerry Furniss (see below).  Topics can be anything that might be encouraging, inspiring, thought provoking, biblically educational, or just a fun subject that might help others in their personal time in the Spirit.  Jerry can also help find scripture references related to your devotion and in the general process of editing.  We’d love to hear from you!   For information or to submit a devotion contact Jerry Furniss at geraldfu@comcast.net or 856-881-2563.  


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