The First Presbyterian Church

of Verona

a church of caring people

10 Fairview Avenue
Verona, New Jersey 07044

Telephone: (973) 239-3561



Rev. Deborah Oosterbaan- Temporary Session moderator
Diane Battersby- Director of Music Ministry
Christina Turkington- Christian Education Facilitator

Happy 120th Anniversary to our church!



Mission Statement: We are a caring and welcoming church fully engaged in the mission and ministry of Jesus Christ.  Empowered by the Holy Spirit, we live and worship in joyful fellowship with God, proclaiming the Good News through an active program of Christian education and music for children, families and individuals of all ages.  We are committed to sharing our gifts and talents to implement God's will and to assume leadership in our community, guided by the principals of Christian love.



Sunday Morning Schedule

10:30am- Worship in the Sanctuary
Sunday School
Child Care

(Handicapped Accessible)



Click here to see our church!




  • Praise Choir
  • Senior Choir: Wednesday- 7:30pm

Children-Christian Education

  • Sunday School Program
  • Confirmation Class
  • Choirs
  • Teen Discussion Group

Women's & Men's Organizations

  • Caregiver Support Group
  • Bible Study Groups
  • Women's Breakfast Group
  • Sunday Supper Program
  • Senior Fellowship Luncheons
  • Thrift Shop



Special Events for September


Sunday, September 13th
        Sunday School Starts
      Church Picnic
      Rev. Dr. Julia Dawson's 19th
       Anniversary of her Ordination  
Saturday, September 19th
        Youth Choir Parties
Sunday, September 27th
        Family Apple & Pumpkin Picking



Church Calendar for September

Thrift Shop-     
          Open Sat. & Tues.- 10:00-1:00
          Open on Thursday nites- 5pm-8pm           
Choir Rehearsal Schedule:  
   Youth Choir- Sundays following Worship
     Senior Choir- Wednesdays- 7:30pm

Sept. 2nd
          Care-Giver's Support Group- 10:00am

Sept. 6th

                Worship Service - 10:15am
                Rev.  Bob Pryor- preaching
       Outreach Committee Mtg. following Worship

Sept. 13th

      19th Anniversary of Rev. Dr. Dawson's Ordination                             Worship Service - 10:15am
               Rev.  Dr. Julia Dawson- preaching
                        Teen Discussion Group
                    First Day of Sunday School
        Church Picnic following Worship

Sept 19th
             Youth Choir Party- for younger kids- 11:00am
             Youth Choir Party- for Teens- 12:00pm

Sept. 20th

       Worship Service & Sunday School- 9:30am
              Rev. Deborah Oosterbaan, preaching
       Christian Education Committee Mtg. following Worship

Sept. 21st
                 Trustee Meeting- 7:30pm 

Sept. 24th
                 Session Meeting- 7:30pm              
Sept. 27th
                        Peace Sunday
       Worship Service & Sunday School- 9:30am
           Rev. Deborah Oosterbaan, preaching
                  Teen Discussion Group
            Deacon's Meeting following Worship

Camp Johnsonburg Retreat- January, 2015


Church Board Members  2015


     Barbara Haimann
     Donna Kiel
     Joanne Kim
     Eileen Kuhn
     Deborah Michelsen
     Marilyn O'Neill
     Janice Tierney
     Margaret Whiting
    Dorman Craig- Clerk


     Felicita Burgos
     David Haimann
     Kathy Dougherty
     Kelsey Dougherty
     Matt Koroluk
     Eileen Kuhn
     Liz McGough
     Marcos Mercado
     Jacqueline Mescia
     Jennifer Quade
     Marion Shine
     Beverly Winkler
     Cianna Winkler


    Sue Betcher
    Michael Duhaney
    Douglas Hathaway
    Donna Lauckner
    Joyce Pressler



                           Church Financial Secretary: Doug Hathaway
                                    Treasurer: Joyce Pressler


       Rev. Dr. Julia Dawson's Sermon
            "God's Extended Family"
               May 10, 2015- Mother's Day

Psalm 98, John 15: 9-17

            It was a true gift when birds began to build their nest within eyesight of a couple’s kitchen window.  The wife watched occasionally as the nest was completed and the female bird took residence  Soon small eggs were seen as the female left to help secure food for the young ones.  As the eggs hatched into baby birds, the birds were regularly fed.  One day as the woman was watching it began to rain and the mother bird stayed on the nest protecting her babies.  As the rain became very heavy the mother bird spread her wings wider to protect her babies.  She never left the nest.  

            Mothers protect their young whether human or animal.  In God’s complete goodness and mercy, God has the capacity of both mother and father, since God made both male and female.  God’s love is all encompassing.  A mother’s love is love at its best.  I received great love from my own mother, and her love for our own family extended to helping others, and she had great love for children.  I was blessed to also receive love and guidance from an aunt who had no children of her own.  A true mother is one who is a care-giver, a protector, one who loves and is forgiving.

            Families are in relationship, just as God is in relationship with us..  We learn about relationship from God.  God’s family is an extended one for Jesus has given us two commandments:  To love God with all our being and to love one another.  Not just our birth family, but all God’s people. 

            In all three of the Synoptic Gospels, Matthew, Mark, and Luke, Jesus includes all people as his family.  I read from Mark 3:31:  “Then the mother and brothers of Jesus came and standing outside, they sent to him and called  him, Your mother and your brothers and sisters  are outside asking for you.  And Jesus replied, “Who are my mother and my brothers?”and looking at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers!  Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”

            Jesus was not denying his love for his family, but asking us to extend the boundaries of who is included in our family.

:Maya Angelou said,  “While I know myself as a creation of God, I am also obligated to realize and remember that everyone else and all living things  are also God’s creation.”

            Relationship with love is everything.  It asks us to live in community with people who are not just like us; It asks us to share our lives with those with whom we do not always agree; it requires us to forgive one another’s wrongs.  Love asks us to do hard things, but it envelops us in light showing us what it means to be loved.  Only our full relationship with God can do this for us.

            One of the employees at the hospital where I work delivers packages to all the units in the medical center.  Two or three months ago his wife died of cancer. Now he is a single parent to care for two teen-aged daughters.   I saw him last week while waiting for an elevator and I asked about his children.  He said, “With God’s help they are doing all right.  My wife was wonderful and trained our children well.  A door slams shut on you, but eventually God begins to open another door.  You go through a long dark tunnel, but God brings you eventually into the light.  God helps me and I have great faith.”  I said to him,  “What a difference it makes when God is part of our lives.” 

            As our relationships extend into community, we are asked to value right relationships over being right.  It requires mutual forbearance, empathy, and humility, and inevitably it requires the ability to forgive. 

            On this Mothers Day, 2015, it might be of interest for you to know, that women have been appointed to lead historic what is termed, tall steeple churches in major cities in this country.  These famous churches are : Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago, Riverside Church in New York, Foundry Methodist church in Washington, D.C.  The President of Union theological Seminary in New York, a leading seminary in this country, said,  “For women to speak in those pulpits and speak boldly as public voices in these very public buildings is very powerful.”

            Christ is present to us in so far as we are present to each other. Members of congregations will not always agree, but difference does not threaten our existence; division does.  We are a people brought together by resurrection.  Jesus calls us together as one and unites us.  It is God’s plan that through our differences, we have a fuller understanding of God 

            This First Presbyterian Congregation is vital to each of us, to this community and to the world.  I hope you all know that…As we grow in our relationship with one another, we will have a fuller understanding of God’s will for each of us and for our church.  We are asked to sing a new song as was read in Psalm 98.  A new song of praise is imperative for us when we realize God is constantly doing new things among us. 

            As we become closer to God, we pray that the strands of love woven by God in us will help us extend those strands to others in a blanket of faith to surround us all.   Thanks be to God.  Amen





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