How do I get there?
Our address is: 701 Forman Avenue, Point Pleasant Beach, NJ 08742. That’s the corner of Bay and Forman Avenues, right next to Point Pleasant Beach High School. Detailed directions are available elsewhere on this website.
What time are your worship services?
Except for special holidays like Easter and Christmas Eve, our worship services are on Sundays at 10:00 a.m.
How long are the worship services?
Our services last about 60 minutes and contain music and teaching from the Bible that apply directly to your life. We invite you come to the Chittick Lounge after the service – or, the first Sunday of each month, to the Great Hall of the Education Annex for Communion Breakfast – to enjoy a cup of coffee and something light to eat and to get better acquainted.
Where do I park?
In this beachfront resort community, parking can sometimes be a little difficult, especially in the evenings. Most Sunday mornings, though, there are plenty of free, on-street parking places within a block or so of the church. If you don’t want to cruise for a parking place, head straight to the free municipal parking lot (entrance off Bay Avenue just north of the Trenton Avenue intersection).
Is there handicapped parking?
There are handicapped spaces at the Forman Avenue side of the church, and also in our small parking lot (entrance off Forman Avenue). There’s a wheelchair ramp off the parking lot. You don’t need to display a handicapped placard to use the handicapped places in the church lot, although you do need one to use one of the on-street handicapped places.
Am I allowed to receive communion?
We celebrate communion, the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, on the first Sunday of each month. If you are a baptized Christian believer, you are most welcome to partake of the bread and the cup, no matter what sort of church you may have attended in the past. We use ordinary bread and unfermented grape juice. On most Communion Sundays, communion is served to worshipers as they are seated in the pews. First, a tray with small cubes of bread is passed, then a second tray with individual cups of grape juice. Children who have been instructed by their parents in the meaning of the sacrament are welcome to participate.
Is there a dress code?
No. Feel free to dress in clothes that are comfortable for you. Some of our regular worshipers like to dress up a little (tie and jacket for men, dress for women), but there are plenty of others who dress more casually. God is interested in your heart, not your wardrobe.
Will I be singled out if I’m new?
Absolutely not. You are our guest. We don’t ask guests to stand and introduce themselves nor put on a special nametag. Each Sunday, there are others like you who are checking out Point Pleasant Presbyterian for the first time. Our goal is for you to have the best experience possible. If you’re looking to be anonymous, you can certainly do that. On the other hand, if you want to speak with someone from the church, the usher who shows you to your seat will be glad to answer your questions, or direct you to someone who can.
Does your church “pass the peace”?
Yes. This traditional element of worship comes after the statements that remind us of the reconciliation made possible through Jesus Christ that assure us of God’s forgiveness and acceptance. That reality calls us to seek reconciliation with one another, our neighbors and God’s creation. Through a simple gesture (usually a handshake), worshippers are invited to reach out to those near them and repeat the historic words: “The peace of Christ be with you.” The response is “and also with you” or “and also with your spirit.”
What’s the Ritual of Christian Fellowship?
In the middle of the worship service, we take a moment and ask everyone to pass a pad and pencil from one end of each pew and back again. Most people just write down their names, but we ask guests to write down their postal and e-mail addresses and their phone numbers. We invite everyone to take note of the names of those sitting near them, and to greet them following the service. You don’t have to write your name or address on your first visit if you don’t feel ready to do so – but we hope you will, so we can keep you informed of news and events you may be interested in. We send out weekly e-mail updates to members and friends using the Constant Contact service, which always includes an opt-out option for those who no longer want to be on the list.
What about my kids?
You’re most welcome to bring children of any age into the worship service with you. They may either stay with you for the entire service or depart with the other children at 9:20 for Church School.
For those children not staying through the whole service with their parents, there are two age-specific options:
Children AGES 3 AND YOUNGER may be brought to the Church Nursery, where our paid caregiver will look after them for the hour. We ask you to please leave your cell phone number with the nursery caregiver and set your phone to vibrate, so she can call or text you if there’s a need for you to come back and help your child get used to the new setting. The Nursery is located off the hallway that runs along the rear of the Sanctuary.
Children AGES 2½ THROUGH GRADE 6 are invited to attend our Sunday School. Sunday School meets weekly from 9:20-10:30 a.m in our Education Annex, from mid-September through early June. Most Church School kids come into the worship service at 9:00 a.m. with their parents, then leave as a group following “A Time for Children,” a short talk designed especially for them. The group of children is then escorted across Forman Avenue by several Church School teachers to the Education Annex. You may pick them up in the Annex at 10:30 (you’re welcome to enjoy coffee and refreshments in the meantime). If your kids are coming to Sunday School for the first time, we ask that you please accompany them on their first visit, to meet the Sunday School staff and sign them up (after which you can return to the worship service).
Our goal is to make Sunday School the best hour of your kids’ week.
What is a Presbyterian, anyway?
The word “presbyterian” comes from the Greek word presbuteros, or elder. It refers to the way our church is governed: by elders elected by the people. Elders may or may not be old in years, but they are considered to be people of spiritual maturity. The board of elders in a local church is known as “the Session.” That’s an old Scottish term (the first Presbyterians in America were mostly of Scottish or Scots-Irish ancestry, although that is no longer true today).
Presbyterian churches are not episcopal, in that we are not accountable to a single individual, a bishop. Nor are we congregational; our churches don’t stand completely on their own, either. We occupy the middle ground between these two extremes. Presbyterians are connectional, in that our churches are accountable to one another in covenant relationship.
The specific place where that connection takes hold is in the presbytery, a regional gathering of elders and ministers from a given geographic area. Point Pleasant Presbyterian is a member congregation of Monmouth Presbytery, comprised of 47 churches in central New Jersey.
What do Presbyterians believe, you may be wondering? The only confession of faith we require of those becoming members is that they acknowledge Jesus Christ as their Lord and savior. Beyond that simple confession, we have a whole Book of Confessions to guide us – a collection of historic confessions of faith that have informed and inspired the people of God over the centuries. You may want to read the most recent of these confessions – which is also among the shortest – the Brief Statement of Faith of 1990.
Want to learn more about the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), as a denomination? A good place to start is with the Presbyterian 101 pages on our denominational website. The Presbyterian Historical Society in Philadelphia also has some very helpful web pages about Presbyterian history in America.
Where can I go to ask further questions?
If there’s a question you have that we didn’t cover, feel free to email us: [email protected] . Or, call us at (732) 899-0587.