We have a spirit of joy and fun that is contagious because we have experienced new life in Christ.
We utilize multiple forms and venues for worship. We enjoy a variety of musical styles, including hymns, contemporary choruses, Taize chants, jazz, and global music which are led by piano, keyboard, organ, praise band, other instrumentalists and singers to fully engage minds and hearts.
We nourish our relationships through worship, prayer, study, friendship, music, food, and the arts.
We are a smaller, vibrant, hands-on church with many of our members involved in multiple diverse areas of ministry. We also value and encourage time for rest and reflection based on Biblical teachings on Sabbath.
We value hospitality, welcoming spiritual seekers, committed church members, and guests, including families needing shelter through Family Promise, people who attend concerts, and those belonging to community groups that meet in the building.
God meets our deepest needs and equips us to reach out and be a sign and foretaste of God’s Kingdom, through Spiritual Growth, Mission & Service, and Ministry with Youth & Families.
Putting our Vision into Practice
Spiritual Growth - Our Christian education classes on Sundays and at other times enable people of all ages to grow in understanding the Bible, Christian discipleship, and how our faith relates to daily life.
- To engage adults in the church and community as they wrestle with current issues and live Christian faith in the 21st century, we offer Bible studies, adult forums, retreats, and classes.
- To help all generations hear the good news of Christ, we use current technologies, including social media, to connect with one another and with those outside the church.
Mission and Service - Seeing homelessness, hunger, brokenness, violence, and suffering in the world, we are called to serve. We work with community partners to live into the Kingdom of God and bring about change.
- We are a founding congregation of Family Promise; most members of our congregation are involved in serving homeless families, who spend four weeks a year with us. Other congregations and community members support us in this work.
- Throughout the year, we actively participate in a variety of mission projects especially those related to homelessness and hunger to serve our neighbors in our area as well as around the world. See list of recent projects below. *
- Our pastor and several members serve at higher levels of our denomination (Presbyterian Church USA) and we are part of the interfaith Scotch Plains Fanwood Ministerium.
Ministry with Youth and Families – Sharing the Story of Faith with the Next Generation - We provide ways for parents, children and families to worship, learn, grow and have fun together.
- In order to share our faith with the next generation, we offer Sunday morning interactive classes for children ages 4 - 18.
- Our youth group, SIXTEEN13 Youth Group, with the help of advisers and church elders, re-envisioned our church’s youth program to be more open and growth-centered for themselves, and future generations at Willow Grove. They remodeled their own space in our church, and named themselves after the passage from 1 Corinthians 16:13, “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.” This enables them to have a greater sense of identity and responsibility in the church and community. The congregation values the group's opinions and encourages members of SIXTEEN13 as they show leadership in shaping this ministry. This exciting ministry occurs through weekly gatherings, summer mission trips, jam sessions, Cooking Crew at church functions, technology workshops, fundraising luncheons, community service projects, and faith-building programs.
- Family Ministry Team and Outdoor Adventure Group plan events for families with young children. These ministries help families grow in friendship, faith, and a love for God's beautiful creation.
*Recent community service projects have included: Community FoodBank of New Jersey in Hillside, youth summer mission trips, Heifer Project, Alternative Christmas Gift Fair, Food on the First, Martin Luther King Day of Service, International Concert & Dinner and the 2014 Build-A-Bike Day, in addition to hosting Family Promise guests.