Loading

2019 Annual Report Liberty Corner Presbyterian Church

Liberty Corner Presbyterian Church is a family-friendly church with a rich history and deep roots in the community. After a period of transition, change, reconciliation, and growth, the church is ready to ARISE!

In 2019, Liberty Corner Presbyterian Church developed a vision for its future as a Christ-centered community where all generations:

  • GATHER together as a family of believers to worship God,
  • GROW in relationship with God and with each other,
  • and GO out to serve and share the love of Jesus with our neighbors near and far.

God is on the move! Here’s how we experienced God at work as we sought to ARISE! in 2019.

WORSHIP

We experienced God through worship. We gathered in historic pews ...

...and rows of chairs and out on the lawn to worship God.

Weekly messages shared the vision of ARISE!, the promises of God through the I AM statements, an invitation to Come and See the Good News of Jesus Christ, and how we are Transformed by God from the inside out.

Children gathered to sing in worship for the Live Nativity and to share the story of Jesus’ birth through the Christmas Eve Pageant.

Worship Team, Covenant Choir, and Liberty Ringers taught us new songs, shared old favorites, and led us in worship through music.

“The traditional music ministry brings together the talents of over 40 individuals from all walks of life and ranging in ages from 5-85...”
"We have come to learn that the worship of God through song is what brings us together and, that togetherness with each other and God is what heals our souls and drives our spirits.” - Chuck Schneider, Director

We gathered in worship to celebrate the blessing of the years past ...

... the joy of second graders taking communion, the faith of our students joining the church ...

... and the baptism of five infants and one adult.

FELLOWSHIP

We gathered to have fun together! This summer, we went Out to Lunch with fellow church-goers to get to know one another.

At Gather, Grub and Games, multiple generations cheered for the Children’s Choir, enjoyed tacos, and laughed over games together.

We experienced God at work in the lives of young adults who met for lunch, hiked, picked apples, discussed movies, and visited local festivals.

CARE

Caregivers like Deacons, Stephen Ministers, DivorceCare, GriefShare, and Liberty ACA gathered around those in need of support, encouragement, and healing.

GriefShare expanded to offer sessions in spring, summer, and fall, and a new HolidayShare program during Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s holidays.

“The Stephen Ministry was blessed in 2019 with 20 Stephen Ministers who spent close to 700 hours caring for 38 care receivers, of whom 11 were new care receivers. God has blessed the 2019 recruitment efforts with seven Stephen Minister trainees who will be commissioned in April 2020 after completing 50 hours of training.” – Diana Leaf, Stephen Ministry Leader

“At DivorceCare, we celebrate God healing fragile hearts and easing troubled minds. In a group of nearly 20, where both genders and widely varying beliefs were represented, God created a safe place for people to share, learn, and grow together. We celebrate, too, the many close friendships God nurtured among the participants in the last year.” – Joyce Rogina, DivorceCare Leader

“The truly inspiring part of the GriefShare ministry is being able to watch God comfort and heal people going through what may be the worst part of their lives and know that it was God's love and support that made the all the difference.” – Scott Pfluger, GriefShare Leader

“In 2019 our ACA fellowship has expanded. Our circle regularly welcomes 12 to 16 people with newcomers stepping in weekly. More importantly, the people active in our recovery group are leaving their isolation and coming to believe in a power greater than themselves that many call God; some have expressed the reality that Jesus is the expression of that loving God. Very few of these folks are members of LCPC; most have no religious affiliation at all. Because of Liberty ACA, however, miracles are occurring. Praise God!” – David Cutler, ACA Leader

Building & Grounds

The Trustees completed a number of projects that maintain and enhance our buildings, grounds, and infrastructure with the goal of creating an inviting place to worship while being good stewards of the resources the Lord has entrusted to us.

  • A worship security plan
  • Electronic access control to two exterior doors
  • Upgraded WIFI
  • Two handicapped parking spaces near the Sanctuary
  • Repaired gravestone and markers in the cemetery
  • New roof over The Children’s Corner/Sunday school area

The Trustees also completed a number of projects that support The Children’s Corner (TCC) ministry, which included: building a new crib room, replacing walkie-talkies with UHF digital units, installing a new traffic barrier fence around the playground, and installing three new furnaces.

We are thankful for the volunteers and Boy Scouts who watered, weeded, mulched, and helped maintain our campus.

Spiritual Growth

Through Spiritual Growth classes and groups, adults grew in relationship with God. Faith Café offered insight in our own unique S.H.A.P.E. (spiritual gifts, heart, abilities, personality, experiences) for serving; enhanced the sermon messages about I AM; and helped us discover how God transforms us from the inside out. With two classes each Sunday, more adults attended.

“I have grown as a Christian as a result of participating in Faith Café over the years. I appreciate how well prepared the leaders are, the material is relevant and Bible-based and the format enables a deep dive into the material, the discussions are rich … I only wish we had two hours for each class instead of one!” – Sharon Szabo

“Faith Café completes and compliments my Sunday morning worship. The curriculum is coordinated with the Christian seasons/celebrations, preaching series and Arise recommendations. It provides opportunities for me to share my faith, meet other Christians who attend LCPC, develop Christian friendships, and grow in my walk with Christ. – Carol Becker

Small groups like Q Place, TraVERSEing the Word, LifePath, Journey, Newcomers Group, and men’s and women’s Bible studies encouraged relationships with each other and deepened our faith.

“The discussions flowed so freely, with deep sharing of experiences, questions, scripture, and needs. You make each person feel special, loved, and cared for!” – Diana Dezuzio

“TraVERSEing the Word came to me at a very crucial time in my life. Transitioning from college into adult life, I struggled with who I was and ultimately struggled in my relationship with scripture and with God. This group has not only strengthened my relationship with Christ, but has given me the ability to share my faith with others in an open environment and grow in my faith journey. God truly blessed me that day in guiding me to this group. It is the best part of my week!” – Heather Richards

“We feel very fortunate for the opportunity to take part in such a fabulous spiritual vehicle that has helped us grow our faith. After moving to New Jersey, this new church family warmly welcomed and invited us to attend TraVERSEing the Word, which has been such a great and rewarding experience! The group discussion and fellowship allow us to learn from each other’s experiences. You can feel God’s presence and love in the room. We look forward to each week and God guiding our hearts and drawing us nearer to him!” – Steph & Mike Bilo

“Studying God’s Word is a joy! Participating in Q Place Bible study brings knowledge, fellowship, and an increased understanding of what the Lord teaches and expects of us as we journey through this life.” – Participants in Q Place

Men of all ages met up for barbecue, good conversation, and to look for ways to engage their faith.

Moms in various stages of parenting started a new group, Common Threads, for fellowship, support, and growth.

Prayer

God connected with us in prayer, as we met for “In for Prayer” during the summer. We covered our leadership, congregation, and the pastor search in prayer with weekly “A Time for Prayer” meetings and 40 Weeks of Prayer as a congregation. Prayer chain and prayer groups continued to lift up personal prayers of the congregation and community.

“As a class, we pray and ask for prayer requests. The prayers encompass a wide range of needs, some for family, some for community, some for the world. How amazing to hear their concerns and then hear other students pray for them.” – Ginny Mayer Brown

Liberty Corner Kids

During Liberty Corner Kids, infants through elementary-age children build and strengthen a relationship with God and learn to care for others through hands-on activities, games, and Bible lessons.

“The highlight of my every week is Sunday mornings! I love watching kids run down the hall out of Center Court to get to their classrooms and see their friends and teachers. I rejoice in knowing that those little running feet today, will make big footprints someday for Christ!” – Kelly Tancredi

“As we teach ages three through Kindergarten, we can celebrate the simple, honest way little children come to Jesus. They are an example to all of us. Just come … hear God’s Truth … embrace it and know we are all loved and we can share that love and Good News with everyone! What a blessing it is!” – Sue Grubb

“Sharing is caring, Miss Sue.” - Yoanna, age 3

“It's been a blessing and sometimes a challenge working with the second graders. Especially meaningful are the times when they are able to ask difficult questions as they try to understand spiritual matters. For example, ‘How can we follow Jesus if we can't see Him?’ It is wonderful to celebrate with the second graders and their families when the children receive the sacrament of communion for the first time, a meaningful step in their faith journeys.” – Debbie Owen

“The third graders were happy to receive their own NIV Adventure Bibles. It brings me great joy to see how open their hearts are to receive God’s Word. We talk about the meaning of the verses as we go around the table and take turns reading out loud. Every year, I am touched by how much they want to learn and how much they already understand.” – Carol Finfer

“Our fourth and fifth grade class has for many years included special needs students, some several years older. What a joy to see the students come together as a community that encompasses everyone.” – Ginny Mayer Brown

During VBS Sports Camp, children learned teamwork, perseverance, respect, sacrifice, and strategy through Bible stories, sports anecdotes, and sports skills training.

God was at work through the students and adult volunteers, who supported the week by coaching, role modeling ...

... preparing snacks, and sharing God’s word.

Student Ministry

Student Ministry experienced a year of transition as we said thank you and farewell to Steve and Tracy Janssen for over 10 years of ministry to the students of the church and community.

In December, Kelly Tancredi’s role expanded to encompass children from infants through high school as Director of Family Ministries.

Middle school students gathered weekly on Sunday mornings for faith conversations, lessons, and games. In October, middle school students went on a retreat to Lake Champion in Glen Spey, NY.

High school met on Sunday evenings, volunteered with Liberty Corner Kids, and tried something new by partnering with New Providence Presbyterian Church youth programs.

In May, nine students claimed their faith through the confirmation process.

“We graduated a great group of seniors who continue to make their faith a priority in college.” – Kevin Liguori

Students (3rd – 8th) grew in service and relationship with others through Give Love Away Projects like making hundreds of cookies for our college students, writing personal notes to children in Malawi, making prayer pretzels for the congregation, creating welcome gifts for guests of Ronald McDonald House and more.

The Children's Corner

The Children’s Corner (TCC) reached even more children and families in our community by offering them a Christ-centered preschool program.

With STEAM curriculum, monthly chapel time, music, special speakers, and opportunities to connect others, TCC provides a safe space for children to learn and grow.

In God’s timing, God blessed TCC with the ability to double the size of our infant care with a new infant room.

The school continued to strengthen the lives of our TCC families by providing opportunities for them to connect with other ministries at Liberty Corner Church. TCC Pizza Night offered the parents a chance to get to know one another.

In October, we celebrated TCC Sunday with a special worship service and a fun, fall festival afterward.

Mission

In 2019, we shared God’s love with neighbors near and far with in-kind donations, volunteer service, and financial gifts.

“I celebrate that God has given the gift of generosity to our congregation as evidenced by our giving love away through donations of coats and gifts to local families in need and children around the world!” - Beth Scheiderman

We “gathered around” Interfaith Hospitality guests with meals, a place to sleep, and welcome bags; created a meal train for a grieving family; purchased basic necessities for fire victims; and provided financial assistance for 13 families through the Deacon Benevolence Fund.

We knit prayer blankets and hats for babies, packed shoeboxes with gifts for children, donated books and puzzles, restocked Shepherd’s Pantry, and donated Easter egg candy and VBS snacks.

We answered the call to serve by volunteering for mission work days, weeding, baking, teaching, leading, going on mission trips, and handing out water and snacks at the Memorial Day parade.

Hearts For Honduras

The Hearts for Honduras School offers the poorest children in La Entrada, Honduras a comprehensive, Christ-centered education in a safe and nurturing environment. Students are empowered to reach their full potential to help break the cycle of poverty.

We celebrated God’s blessing at Hearts For Honduras in 2019, including:

  • First ever 9th grade class
  • 21 years of serving in God’s mission through Hearts For Honduras School
  • Our first year with a full-time, trained school counselor since the school was founded.
  • Entering our third year of the Teen Intern Program (New City Kids model) with continued growth and success.

Malawi Visions

Malawi Visions partners with Ministry of Hope which operates six community centers to serve the physical and spiritual needs of 6,000 impoverished orphan children in the remotest villages in Malawi, Africa.

A growing community of over 70 local volunteers supported Malawi Visions by sewing 200 skirts, assembling 24 battery boxes, and constructing wooden crates to ship three tons of material to Malawi.

We also saw God at work through:

  • Paul Sigmund and Stuart White’s three-week trip to Malawi
  • Construction of the sixth freestanding, solar powered library
  • Solar power to provide evening tutoring and homework opportunities
  • Expansion of a library into a three-room media center New Teen Intern program modeled after New City Kids
  • Continued sustainability through training and teaching opportunities
  • Community vegetable gardens

Endowment

As a church we celebrate the establishment and growth of the Endowment Fund. Grants to LCPC ministries have strengthened our reach beyond what is possible based on the church budget alone.

When grants are made from the Endowment Fund, the celebration element is sometimes more than a single year in developing. In reflecting on the past two years, we see two major grant areas that are cause for celebration, one locally and one internationally.

Within LCPC, recent endowment grants have provided assistance from The Center in developing a path forward for our church in the areas of pastoral search, staff development, and strategic planning.

The year 2019 marked the kick-off and initial implementation of the ARISE! three-year vision and plan: Gather, Grow, Go. Our church came together as one family at a special service in June to celebrate. Ongoing initiatives are focused on visitor and member engagement, enhanced spiritual growth, and new opportunities for connection and outreach.

In the international arena, we celebrate the major impact our grants have had in completing the building and furnishing libraries in Malawi in collaboration with our Ministry of Hope partners.

“The Libraries' Initiative has already enhanced the educational attainment of Ministry of Hope students at all levels of the six centers. We are attributing this great success to the establishment of the libraries. Thanks to Liberty Corner Church, the Malawi Visions Team and the leadership of Paul Sigmund for this great contribution to the development of our students.” - Dorica Kusamale, Executive Director, MOH

A New Lead Pastor

In 2019, the Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) worked diligently, meeting together, reading scripture, praying, and trusting God throughout the search for a new lead pastor.

The “wish list” included theologically sound, engaging teaching; leading through serving; someone relational and nurturing, as well as capable of managing and developing staff and volunteers.

Following interviews with many candidates, the PNC was completely unified and confident that God was calling Rev. Dr. Barnabas Sprinkle to serve Liberty Corner Presbyterian Church.

On November 3, the congregation voted to call Pastor Barnabas as Lead Pastor. God was truly at work in the search process!

On December 15, we said thank you and farewell to Pastor Peter Pendell, Interim Pastor, and his wife Elona after two years of ministry.

Thank you, Pastor Peter!

Stewardship & Financials

Growth in giving is a sign of a growing, vibrant church – fulfilling God’s calling both locally and around the world. In 2019 our giving increased from 2018, and several prior years of declining giving. We praise God for his faithfulness and thank you for supporting the work of Liberty Corner Presbyterian Church.

The financial statements and proposed 2020 budget are available here.

As we begin a new year of ministry, we are thankful for the many blessings of 2019. We know that God continues to move, and we will strive to work for God's kingdom as we GATHER, GROW, and GO in 2020.

To learn more about Liberty Corner Presbyterian Church, visit our website or follow us on social media @LibertyCornerChurch, @lcpc908, and @LCPChurch or come experience this community of faith.