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  • Writer's pictureRev. John Scotland

September 23, 2021 Message

Dear Members and Friends,

Whoever has the most books wins the race! That’s what I must have heard somewhere along in my life from my father James the pastor, and my mother Jeane the librarian. I seem to have a lot of their books. And Rev. Bill and Lynn Harvey were gracious enough to leave me some of theirs… and then there is the continual temptation of the book shelf in the hallway by the Thrift Shop here at Church that doesn’t let me walk by without browsing and selecting just one or two volumes (a day???). Where did all these books come from? Room 10 (Church Library) is full to overflowing… can’t put anymore in there. I have two bookshelves open at home, but only a fraction of what I have will fit there. I have already taken van loads of books to the Presbytery office one year and directly to Princeton Seminary for their annual book sale to support missionaries. Its almost like that old line about eating your peas because the starving children overseas would love to have them… Nope! They don’t need my books either.

I am sure Beth Bliss can commiserate with me that sometime in the past 30 years, books became less important because of the internet. Where did Barnes and Noble go? I hear that some people actually read on their electronic devices? What??? The feel of the book in your hands, gently opening and flexing the binding… carefully turning each page by the upper right hand corner (never from the bottom I hear my mother scold!) It seems life has conspired to make my hoarding obsession obsolete!

And so as I pack up all these books and put them in boxes… I remember, that one was from one of my favorite classes in college. Oh, I read that novel when I was in 8th grade. Hmmm, a book by MLK, can’t let that go. Walter Bruggeman, my favorite Old Testament scholar. Ellie Wiesel, James Cone, Gustavo Gutierrez, Niebuhr and Tillich, Barth, Calvin, Marylin Robinson (every book I can find!), Marjorie Suhocki, John Cobb… oh the list goes on. What memories.

Leaving is difficult. So many memories. As we welcomed our new members during the last two weeks at worship, we shook hands and as is our tradition, said to them “welcome to this ministry!” Thanks to everyone who welcomed us (Annie and I) to this ministry and for your partnership in the Gospel of Jesus!

Please join us LIVE on Sunday Mornings at 8:00 AM and/or 10:00 AM for singing, and 10:15 AM for worship. Use this link If you haven’t joined us for “virtual worship”, give me a call - you need to join us! The CHURCH WEBSITE is My email is My cell phone is (609) 457-2999.

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