Friends, we appreciate your patience and understanding as we navigate this ever changing situation. Please see the below for the most up to date status of our worship and ministry programming.
We invite you to join us for worship on Livestream: Click here
We will begin to meet again in-person starting June 20th For details Click here.
We will be live on Saturday 5 pm and Sunday at 9:30 am and 10:30 am
You can also watch our services as recorded content later.
OPPORTUNITIES TO GIVE AND SUPPORT OUR MISSION:
- Mail your regular offering into the office at 1070 Hooper Ave, Toms River, NJ 08753, Attn: Colleen. Make your checks payable to PCTR
- Give online. Just click Here!
- Text your contribution. This secure method of payment is quick and easy to set up and use. Just text the amount you’d like to donate to 732-627-2971. The first time you text, the system will send you a link to set up your account. Future donations can be made simply by texting the dollar amount you wish to give to 732-627-2971.
- Set-up a reoccurring auto-bill pay with your bank. Contact your bank for the specific instructions.
- While watching the Livestream (either live or recorded) you can click the “Donate” button before you watch the broadcast or during the broadcast. You’ll find the “Donate” button just next to the “Watch” button before you launch the service or in the upper left hand corner of your screen during the service. (Note: this button will eventually disappear from your screen while you’re watching the video, but will reappear if you move your mouse.)
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” – Philippians 4:4
It has been a long and chaotic three months and God has been so good! I am grateful for technology that has allowed us to stay connected, even as I have longed to be with you in-person. Many of you also expressed a deep desire to be with one another in worship through the survey last week.
You may have heard that Governor Murphy has lifted the indoor gathering limits to allow for 50 people and outdoor gatherings to allow for any number of people for worship. Our Session has adopted a plan to begin in-person worship starting next week. All are invited to come to an outdoor worship service on Saturday, June 20 at 5:00 pm. Then, on the weekend of June 27 and 28, our normal worship services will be open for up to 50 people per service for in-person worship.
Along with the capacity limits there are many other accommodations that are being made to lovingly ensure the safety of one another and our community. Please see the enclosed information for more details. With these further accommodations, there are also new opportunities for ministry. We need more people to be involved in our hospitality efforts surrounding the services and you could serve a meaningful part in our transition back. Email [email protected] if you have questions or are interested in serving.
We know that everyone’s situation is not the same and, for some, it is not the right time to return to in-person worship. Not only do we respect that decision, we are encouraging anyone who fits the high risk profile (adults over 65 or anyone with underlying medical or immune system concerns) and anyone who is ill or been in contact with anyone who is ill to continue to worship with us via Livestream or Facebook. We will also continue to check on you as we want to know how you are doing and how we can care for you.
Pastor Robbie Ytterberg
Dear Friends –
What a wild time we are living in! We are all experiencing new things and things we probably never felt possible. We are being asked to completely upturn our lives to find a new way forward. This isn’t the first time in history, but it may be the first time for us. As a church we are trying to figure out how to navigate forward into this uncharted territory.
The people of God have frequently moved out of the known and into the unknown. When God brought them out of Egypt, He led them through the wilderness, the unknown, toward the Promised Land. At times they were afraid, at times they complained and at times they took solace in remembering God was not only with them but was going before them.
“They have already heard that you, Lord, are with these people and that you, Lord,
have been seen face to face… and that you go before them…” – Numbers 14:13
God is going before us, will we go and meet Him there? I hope that you will, that you will stay with us on this journey, and that we can move with God, into His future together. On this adventure we have the opportunity to experience life together and to express the love of Jesus Christ in new ways. Here are some of the opportunities that lie before us:
- Worship Exclusively Online – starting March 21, until it is prudent to gather together again, we will worship online only. We will be broadcasting all of our regularly scheduled services (5 pm Saturday, 9:30 and 10:30 am Sundays) on our Livestream channel and on Facebook so you can keep a bit of your normal routine. For instructions of how to participate in worship click here.
- Giving – almost all of our costs are fixed (salaries, mortgage, utilities, insurance, etc.) at about $23,000 per week. Additionally, almost all of our income comes through your offerings. As we worship online and are not able to put offerings in the plate, we still need your financial support as we strive to not just get by, but thrive in this extraordinary time. For the various ways you can continue to give, click here.
- Online Community – We are striving to create opportunities for us to connect and grow with one another even while we are physically separate. I would encourage you to follow us on facebook.com/pctrnj as a starting place. If we don’t have your email, let us know you would like to be included in our electronic communication by sending an email to [email protected]. For how to set up at Facebook account, click here.
- Prayer – We have a team of people including pastors who are available to pray with or for you. Send an email to [email protected] or call 732-349-1331.
- Resources for Isolated – Most of us are isolated or isolating at this time but if it is unwise or not possible for you to get groceries, prescriptions, or have other unforeseen needs please reach out for help. You can call 732-349-1331 ext. 247 or email [email protected].
Our God goes before us! As we step into this new season of life together, I am confident that we will find His faithful and loving presence uniting us to one another even from afar.
Pastor Robbie Ytterberg
Please view this video message from Pastor Robbie at his home on March 17, 2020.
As COVID-19 continues to spread, you are probably aware of the increased urgency and responsiveness of various agencies. On one hand, this is well founded and will hopefully mobilize our country to be sensible and vigilant. On the other hand, you may feel the stress and anxiety rising, maybe even within you.
Yet, as followers of Jesus we have confidence, not that all the circumstances will go our way or that we will avoid the trials. We have confidence that He is our Good Shepherd (John 10) and that we are the sheep under His care. So rather than anxiety, I invite you to trust and worship:
“Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker; for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care.” – Psalm 95:6-7
We have faith and are being pro-active to mitigate the risk of exposure and spread of the virus. To this end, Session has decided on the following course of action:
- As we seek to be people of trust and worship in these days, we will continue regularly scheduled worship services with the following sensible protocols:
- Additional cleaning and disinfecting of hard and heavy-use surfaces (counters, door handles pews, etc);
- Hands-free greetings (waves and foot taps);
- Additional hand sanitizer stations;
- Spacing out worship participants;
- Offering will be received without passing plates;
- No Communion celebration on April 4 and 5;
- If you do not feel well (even slightly) please worship from home;
- If you are not comfortable or feel you are at risk joining us in worship, please worship with us from home. Both traditional (9:30 am Sundays) and contemporary (5:00 pm Saturdays) services are accessible online, live or recorded through our Livestream channel, https://livestream.com/pctr
- Effective Monday, March 16th, all activities of the church (except worship) will temporarily cease to meet in person (prayer and study groups, youth and children’s ministry activities, Session, deacons, etc). Efforts will be made to facilitate connections, growth and ministry remotely. Stay tuned over the coming days as opportunities unfold.
- Effective Monday, March 16th, the church building will be closed to outside groups until further notice.
- The Session is continuing to monitor the developments and the needs of our community. We anticipate there will be further disruptions in the coming days and there may be opportunities for us to serve and love our neighbors in need. Please pray with us for our community and country, and as plans emerge be prepared if you are able to help.
Every day we are hearing more and more about the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). There is simultaneously a lot of hype and reason for genuine concern. In the midst of it all, we chose to remember and put our trust in this:
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.” – Psalm 46:1-3
It may feel like the earth is giving way and the mountains are quaking, but God is still in control!
We have been monitoring the recommendations from the CDC and WHO, and would recommend you do the same (*see below for general precautions). In this way we can all do our part to stop the spread of this virus and protect our vulnerable neighbors. Here are some of the precautions we are taking at the church:
- Additional cleaning and disinfecting of heavy-use surfaces (doors, handles, etc) with Virex
- Hands-free greetings in worship – feel free to give a wave, an elbow bump or a foot tap
- Additional hand sanitizer stations around the building
- Online worship services available if you are unable to join us – both Traditional and Contemporary are accessible, live or recorded through our Livestream channel, https://livestream.com/pctr
- The Session and commissions will continue to monitor the situation and send updates, related to our ministry together, via email and/or the website, https://pctr.org
Please join me in prayer for our neighbors near and far, for God’s merciful hand on those who are suffering and grieving, and for wisdom for all in leadership who are making decisions that affect others. If there are other ways that you can help serve those who are affected by this situation, we will strive to let you know how together we can serve our neighbors in Jesus’ name!
Presbyterian Church of Toms River
*General individual precautions include but should not be limited to:
- Wash your hands with soap and water often (use hand-sanitizer if that’s not possible)
- Clean your eyeglasses with soap and water as well if that pertains to you
- Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and throw them away afterwards
- Try not to touch your face
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched services daily
- Self-isolation—if you are ill, please remain in your home away from others
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick