Welcome The Rev. Jan Willem Van der Werff!

Dutch Neck Presbyterian Church welcomes a new pastor!

The Reverend Jan Willem Van der Werff will be installed as Dutch Neck’s Designated Pastor on Palm Sunday, April 13 during the 9:30 AM worship celebration. We invite you to come welcome him and his family!

JW1

About Rev. Jan Willem Van der Werff

Jan Willem (pronounced “yahn villem”) was born, raised, and educated in the Netherlands. He has been living in the United States since 1996 with his wife AnneMarie Luijendijk, an associate professor of religion at Princeton University. They have four children, Kees, Erik and Annabel and Rosemarie.

Prior to coming to Dutch Neck he served Covenant Presbyterian Church in Trenton, NJ, and as an interim at Boehm’s United Church of Christ in Blue Bell, PA. Before that, he was pastor of the Allin Congregational Church (UCC) in Dedham, Mass, and Montvale Congregational Church (UCC) in Woburn, Mass. He also has served as a port chaplain for Seafarer’s Friend in Boston, a religious reporter for Dutch Public Radio, and Public Relations Manager for the Amsterdam Council of Churches. Rev. Van der Werff is looking forward to being in ministry together at Dutch Neck to explore the Vision Statement “to be a dynamic, interactive, innovative church,” and he hopes to see everyone in church soon as you can read in his message below.

VanDerWerffFamily

I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord!’ Ps. 122: 1

My first day at Dutch Neck will be Sunday, December 1st. One of the lectionary readings on that day happens to be Psalm 122. When I was growing up, my father read this psalm every Sunday morning at the breakfast table. I treasure its jubilant opening: “I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord!’”

I strongly believe it is our calling to make people glad to come to the house of the Lord. Church is a place where we can bring our joys and sorrows. A place where we get re-energized, rejuvenated and invigorated for a new week with its happiness and challenges. We are called to create a worshipping atmosphere where we become spiritually filled so we brim over with energy to go out and work in the world in Christ’s name.

Mark your calendars: you can’t miss a Sunday! Therefore, let us live up to the word of the psalmist and together proclaim: “I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord!’”

God bless,
The Rev. Jan Willem van der Werff