The First Presbyterian Church

of Verona

a church of caring people

10 Fairview Avenue
Verona, New Jersey 07044

Telephone: (973) 239-3561



Rev. Dan Martian- Temporary Session moderator
Charlotte Cunningham- Minister of Music
Christina Turkington- Christian Education Facilitator



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

10:15- Worship in the Sanctuary
Sunday School
Child Care

(Handicapped Accessible)



Click here to see our church!





  • Praise Choir: for grades 2-Middle School: Tuesday- 4:30pm
    Senior Choir: Wednesday- 7:30pm
    Senior Handbell Choir: Tuesday- 7:30pm

Children-Christian Education

  • Weekday Nursery School
  • Sunday School Program
  • Confirmation Class
  • Choirs
  • Rainbows
  • Weekly Evening Fellowship
  • Youth Fellowship Program

Women's & Men's Organizations

  • Caregiver Support Group
  • Women's Bible Study Group
  • Men's Bible Breakfast
  • Senior Fellowship Luncheons
  • Single Parents
  • Interfaith Hospitality Network

Montessori Nursery School


Special Events for Summer


Sacrament of the Lord's Supper
         Sunday, July 6th: 9:30am
         Rev. Allyson Glass, guest preacher
Blessing of the Animals
         Sunday, July 13th: 9:30am
Sacrament of the Lord's Supper
         Sunday, August 3rd: 9:30am
         Rev. Rev. Dr. Julia Dawson, guest preacher
Hymn Sing
         Sunday, August 10th: 9:30am      




Church Calendar for July & August

Thrift Shop-
              Summer Schedule:
                  open Tuesdays in July - 10:00-1:00
                  closed in August
Choir Rehearsal Schedule:  
     Praise Choir- Tuesdays- 4:45pm
     Senior Choir- Wednesdays- 7:30pm

July 6th
       Worship Service & Sunday School- 9:30am
                Rev. Allyson Glass, preaching  

July 12th

       Women's Breakfast- 9:00- Pilgrim Diner

July 13th

       Worship Service & Sunday School- 9:30am              
                Blessing of the Animals  

July 20th
      Worship Service & Sunday School- 9:30am
                Dr. Richard Sommers, preaching
      First Pres. Church of Caldwell joining us for worship 

July 27th

      Worship Service & Sunday School- 9:30am
                Rev. Donald Brown, preaching
      First Pres. Church of Caldwell joining us for worship 

August 3rd
       Worship Service & Sunday School- 9:30am
                Rev. Dr. Julia Dawson, preaching  

August 10th

       Worship Service & Sunday School- 9:30am
                    Hymn Sing

August 17th

       Worship Service & Sunday School- 9:30am
                Rev. Daniel Schroeder, preaching  

August 24th
        Worship Service & Sunday School- 9:30am
                Stephen O'Neill, preaching 

August 31st
       Worship Service & Sunday School- 9:30am
                Joyce Cougan, preaching  



Camp Johnsonburg Retreat- January, 2014


Church Board Members  2014


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


     Felicita Burgos
     David Haimann
     Alex Karpinski
     Matt Koroluk
     Eileen Kuhn
     Michael McGough
     Marcos Mercado
     Jacqueline Mescia
     Jennifer Quade
     Marion Shine
     Beverly Winkler
     Zachary Winkler


    Sue Betcher
    Michael Duhaney
    Douglas Hathaway
    Donna Lauckner
    Bob McNinch
    Joyce Pressler



                           Church Financial Secretary: Doug Hathaway
                                    Acting Treasurer: Joyce Pressl




 Rev. Dr. Julia Dawson's  Message:
"Bread for a Journey"
March 9, 2014

Old Testament Lesson: 2 Corinthians 5:16-20

New Testament Lesson: Matthew 4:1-11

Just suppose that in the past few days you received this e-mail from God:  “Just want to remind you that Lent begins this week.  I was in your area last Wednesday, but missed you. My Beloved son, Jesus, really needs your support as he begins his journey to Jerusalem.  Any chance you could go with him?"

Where does each of us stand at the beginning of another Lent? 

At the start of another spiritual journey when we look into our inner selves,  do we need to peel away, to prune from our lives those qualities or habits that are less than desirable?  At the same time should we add some actions that lead toward a higher standard?

In her poem “The Way”, from  Ann Weems book, “Kneeling In Jerusalem”, she wrote, “The way to Jerusalem looks suspiciously like Rt. 40, (I substitute Rt. 80 or the Garden State, or even Bloomfield Ave.), and the pilgrims look suspiciously like you and me.”  Weems continues, “I expected this road to be filled with holy people acting in a holy way, but it is more like rush hour.  There is heavy traffic, much noise, and people shouting at one another.  Is there no back road to Jerusalem, no help for weary travelers?  Can this hectic highway be the highway to heaven?”

As we begin these six weeks of Lent, will we make certain to take the time to find a place to meditate?  Will we find  a sanctuary to regroup and realign our spirit to  allow us to succeed in reevaluating  and making changes so that we can better serve Jesus? 

Lent is a time of preparation, a time to train ourselves to take-stock of our spiritual life. 

And lent is not only about ourselves.  We are with Jesus on this journey and are,  at least figuratively, on the road that Jesus took as he made his way from the countryside of Galilee to Jerusalem.  Jesus was created as a human being;  one to experience human desires, to make human choices , face human challenges, pain and sorrow.  And he was supporting others rather than receiving the support he longed for.

Before God sent Jesus forth on his ministry on earth, he decided to test his strength of character to withstand the temptation of using his Godly powers for his personal benefit.  He sent Jesus to the devil for forty days and forty nights to be offered all kinds of temptations without any support. The beloved Son faced every temptation with words of righteousness, and then God sent angels to care for him. 

During Lent we need to face ourselves and reflect on what is really important for us in conducting our lives.  We may go through times of disappointment, change, sorrow, or depression, but the gift of God’s grace carries us on, gets us through, helps us help others.  The bread that Christ can give us helps us join him on his challenging journey to Jerusalem.  And all along the way he is teaching us, loving us.  It is spring training time in our faith. 

Lent comes in the winter but gives way to the spring.  With a difficult winter of snow and ice that does not want to let go, we still know that in God’s world, the daffodils and tulips will soon push through the ground, the leaves will reappear on the trees, and the air will become bright and balmy.   These events happen, not because of anything we have done, but due to God’s plan.   With God’s help we have the hope of Easter and  the hope of a future, no matter what that future is, with the assurance that God will be with us.

When I travel to the Children’s Hospital, I am challenged to minister to children who are in pain and parents, many of whom have children who are seriously ill.  Some are facing the fact that medicine is not helping their child and that medical options have run out, even when every available avenue has been taken. Without faith and trust in God, there is absolutely no hope.  But with God’s help we never lose faith that He will be with this family to help them through whatever may be ahead.  It is only with God’s assistance that I can be present in these situations.    

While preparing this message, I came across a note I had forgotten about on my cluttered desk.   The note was from a teen who had spent a lot of time in the hospital.  The note read, “Thank you for always being there with kind words or just a listening ear.  It was nice to have someone to talk to while I was going through chemotherapy.”  To listen to those suffering seems like very little.  But each  of us should know how important  it is to just be there, willing to listen.

As I was alone in the Pastoral Care office one day last week, a hospital employee brought a man and woman to the office.  The employee said, “These people need help" and immediately left.   I invited them in and asked them to sit down.  They were very poorly dressed and seemed frail in many ways.  These people evidently were not patients, but when people need help in Paterson they often come to St. Joseph’s hospital.  I asked how I could help them, and the woman said the man with her was her son.  As the woman spoke he never said a word except to give his first name. 

The woman mentioned that she had recently had major surgery and suffered with a number of other serious conditions.  She was concerned that she might die and not be received by God.  She said she often could not sleep nights because of some of her past actions.  I said to her, "If you have asked God for forgiveness, you are forgiven.  God loves you."  The woman replied that she has difficulty forgiving herself.  I agreed that it can be difficult,  but when she asks for forgiveness she is truly forgiven.  The conversation continued but I suggested that  when she is tormented to keep saying to herself,  “God loves me, God loves me, God loves me.”  Before she left the woman said, “I want to give you a hug."  And I hugged her also.  Sometimes we all need to listen and assure others who are suffering, of God’s love for them.


Just a short time after I went on to the floors of patients, a doctor, who is in the second year of a three year internship at the hospital, asked me if she could speak to me privately   She was still reeling after a very sudden happening, and wondered if I would speak to the Interns after such a case.  The doctor must have known that I approach every patient no matter what their religion if it is all right with them.  Also, many of the Interns are not Christian but Muslim, Hindu, or Jewish.  I told her I would be very willing to meet with them at any time. 

Margaret Mead was a very well known and celebrated sociologist in the mid twentieth century.  I admired her greatly and followed her studies while I was in college majoring in Psychology and Sociology and in the following years until her death.  Mead often spoke words of wisdom to Americans and to the world.  Mead said,  “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

It is good for us to not lose heart, even when in many ways the world around us seems to be falling apart.  We can never, never stop trying to make things better, not for ourselves, but for other people, and especially for our young people.  This is what Jesus tried to teach.  The Church is the body of Christ. We in the Church  are trusted to act in Jesus’ name.  

During lent we receive renewal and bread to continue the Journey.  Thanks Be To God.





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