As this tricentennial year of celebration draws to a close, we pause to give heartfelt thanks to all those who so generously gave of their leadership, love, and creativity during this joyous year of remembrance and renewal. I especially want to express gratitude to Bill Emmitt, Kris Emmitt and George Fricke who served so faithfully as chairs of the 300th Committee, and did a fantastic job leading the large and energetic group of folks who imagined and carried out the year’s festivities. The heart of the celebration took place during a picture-perfect weekend in June, when the community gathered for a parade down South Finley Avenue, the sanctuary was filled to capacity for a festive worship service that included many beloved past pastors and members, and hundreds gathered for a picnic under a large white tent at Ross Farm. During each month we celebrated a special focus of our ministry, noting how our present ministries and mission partnerships are inspired and influenced by our rich heritage. During the entire celebration our intent has been to reflect on and remember the past in order to be invigorated and renewed in the present and as we move into the future that Christ calls us to.

The Planning Council of Session is hard at work discerning the process we will follow to prayerfully map out a long range plan for the next 8 to 10 years, a plan that will give us new vision and focus for how we will share God’s love with our community and world in the decade ahead. Please be on the lookout for the ways you will be invited to be part of that prayerful discernment! As people of faith we are confident that God is good and loving and present, and that God has a plan for us. As the prophet Jeremiah puts it, “For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord.” And as the book of Proverbs instructs us, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”

I am inspired by these words from the final pages of A HISTORY of The Presbyterian Church in Basking Ridge, published in 1989. These words are as true now as they were the day they were written! “As one looks back over the history of the church, one is impressed with the faithfulness, spirituality, self-sacrifice, generosity, outreach and leadership of the people during good times and bad and always looking to the future . . . Gratitude to the past is best expressed by fidelity to the future . . . So we face tomorrow in a spirit of trust, devotion and expectancy, giving thanks to God for the privilege of being heirs of grace and servants of Jesus Christ. Let us welcome tomorrow!”

With joy and gratitude for all that has been, and all that is yet to be!

Reverend Dennis W Jones