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Pastor's Statement on Vandalism of the Organ

In the middle of the night last Tuesday evening, persons gained access to the church building and vandalized our decorative organ pipes, causing damage to the organ. Thankfully, no one was harmed and nothing else was vandalized or stolen. It is shocking and disturbing to see what was done to our Sanctuary. Our current organ was dedicated on April 9, 1967, constructed by the J.P. Moller Organ Company of Haggerstown, MD. The instrument consists of 677 pipes, ranging in size from that of a lead pencil to ten feet long and a foot across. The decorative pipes that have shielded the organ pipes for decades were a prominent feature of our sanctuary, as hundreds of people have been baptized, married, and memorialized with these pipes overlooking it all. Due to the vandalization, the decorative pipes have been almost completely destroyed with some amount of damage to the functioning organ pipes. Miraculously, the organ is still functional and will be ready to be played this Sunday!

In the midst of all this, we must not let this tragedy crush our spirits. Our mission is not to have the best organ in town. Our mission is to serve God and neighbor as people who practice love and mercy. We will continue to hold services in the Sanctuary as soon as this Sunday, January 26, at 10:00 a.m. After service, please join us for a special celebration lunch in Wesley Hall as we celebrate the accomplishments of our ministry through the years and into the future.

I want to thank the Freehold Boro Police Department for their quick response and thorough investigation. While the police seek justice, I urge us as the church to pray for the persons desperate enough to do this to our Sanctuary. While their act has violated our sacred space, I know that God loves them more than God ever loved our organ. We are a people of mercy and forgiveness. May God move our hearts towards mercy in this difficult time.

I am grateful to the Freehold community, members of the Greater Freehold Clergy Association, and United Methodists of Greater New Jersey who have reached out and offered their support to us in this time. They say in tough times, you find out who your true friends are. I've discovered that I have more friends than I thought!

So, we press on, seeking guidance from God in the days ahead. May our faith grow through this time of adversity. May our Christian character shine in the face of darkness and hardship. For we can trust that God will see us through. Amen.

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