The first thing you will notice about the church is that it is on a quiet road in the Sourland Mountains in central New Jersey. It’s sometimes hard to find, even with a GPS! It’s tucked into the woods on a small lot and has very little formal landscaping. It is, in a very real sense, part of the mountain that gives it much of its character.
The one-room church building is solidly built of natural brown and gray fieldstone collected from the mountain in 1843 when it was lovingly built by the congregation at that time. When you enter the church, you can feel the history of the place, feel the presence of the many congregants who have come before you, and sense the existence of something larger than yourself. It is a quiet place where it’s easy to meditate, easy to pray. The dark, century-old wooden rafters look down on you with grace. The simple décor signals that the priority in this church is not outward display; the priority is the inner life of each person there, the warmth within.
The congregation itself, though small, is super-friendly and welcoming. No one who visits the church will feel pressured, but neither will they feel ignored. We are fairly informal, and we introduce ourselves to visitors immediately. We let visitors take it at their own pace — they decide how much involvement they want. We want visitors to focus on their own spiritual needs, not on any social stress that sometimes accompanies a first visit to a new church.
Our church service is tied together by a theme chosen by the pastor, guided by the Biblical passages selected for that Sunday. The hymns, readings, children’s sermon, and adults’ sermon all fit together to help the congregation focus on an important aspect of the Christian journey. Often the congregant who reads the scripture passage says a few words about what the passage means to them. Others are free to make comments or connections if they wish. There is always a chance to bring up a prayer request during the Celebrations and Concerns portion of the service. One way the congregation supports each other is through prayer, and there is a free exchange of praises and needs brought up during this time.
As you can see from other sections of the web site, we also grow as a church family through our mission of giving: to the food bank, to the cat sanctuary, to the homeless shelter, and to the soup kitchen. As we live Jesus’ call to serve others, we find ourselves growing closer to God and to each other.
We hope you will consider visiting “the little church with the big heart.”