Planet Princeton

Historic Montgomery Church to Partner with Marble Collegiate in NYC

The Blawenburg Reformed Church
The Blawenburg Reformed Church

The big, white church on Route 518 in the historic village of Blawenburg, built in 1832, is one of the oldest continuously operated churches in Central New Jersey.

The historic church, a member of the Reformed Church in America, is entering a new chapter this fall as it begins a partnership with Marble Collegiate Church, a historic landmark on 5th Avenue in Manhattan that is home to author Norman Vincent Peale.

Marble Collegiate, the oldest Protestant church in the United States, is one of the anchor churches in the Reformed Church in America denomination. The church has been seeking partnering ministries with like-minded churches, and Blawenburg —  adjacent to Princeton, an easy travel distance to Manhattan, and on the same page theologically — will be its first partner.

Winckler
Winckler

A three-year partnership between the two churches will begin this month. The Rev. Travis Winckler, an associate minister at Marble Collegiate, will lead the Blawenburg congregation starting next month. Winckler, a minister for congregational care at Marble Collegiate Church, is a graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary.

Winckler will work with Marble Collegiate on the partnering ministry. Access to Marble Collegiate’s professional staff will allow Blawenburg to expand its ministry to the local area, church leaders said.

“Look for changes in how we present ourselves to the community,” said David Cochran, vice president of Blawenburg’s governing board. “We will work with Marble to reach out to our community with a strong message of hope and love. The two churches follow very similar worship patterns.”

Since the partnership is a new venture for both churches, one of the first steps will be assessing the needs of the local community and determining the best ways to work together to serve residents.

“We’re excited about this partnership,” said the Rev. Dr. Michael Brown, senior minister at Marble Collegiate. “Partnering with a church like Blawenburg has been a goal of ours for a while now. And as much as we hope Blawenburg benefits from this arrangement, we feel certain that the membership of Marble Collegiate, and those we serve, will benefit as well.”

Marble Collegiate’s executive minister, Rev. Dr. R. Mark King, will lead the worship service at Blawenburg tomorrow, Sept. 7, at 10 a.m.

For more information about the Blawenburg Church click here.

 

Krystal Knapp

Krystal Knapp is the founding editor of Planet Princeton. She can be reached via email at editor AT planetprinceton.com. Send all letters to the editor and press releases to that email address.

8 comments

  • We cover other news items that are only of interest to a particular group of people in the community. The Montgomery church story is of interest to some people who are not Christians because the building is a historic landmark that is cherished by many.

    There are articles about Jewish news in the faith category and we have posted info. about Diwali and covered the Palestine protest at the request of the local mosque, for example. We are happy to cover any religious institution that requests coverage or story ideas readers propose about a group. We also covered a story an atheist group asked us to cover.

    We cover news about religion in a secular way. We are not promoting one religion over another. The New York Times, Boston Globe, Washington Post and many other news outlets across the country cover religion as a beat. We are all part of the Religion News Writers Association, a group that trains the secular press to cover religion and faith issues.

  • You must be able to see how covering news that’s only of interest to a particular religious sect is vastly different from news that’s relevant to everyone living in the same school district, or everyone in the same municipality.

    That every article tagged under http://princeplanet.wpengine.com/category/faith/ is either about Christian denominations or the Theological Seminary should be a red flag that something’s wrong. Does Hindu news ever appear on your radar?

  • I appreciate the attention to religious news, especially since it is completely ignored by other news outlets. The life of faith is central to many people in the Princeton area, and it is good to see that reflected in Planet Princeton.

  • Thank you for the feedback. We cover news about religion like we cover other beats such as education, politics, etc. We live in a diverse area and try to cover the stories and events related to faith communities in our area, ranging from congregation transitions, new programs, and expansions to investigative news and breaking news like the arrest of a priest charged with abusing a child of the layoffs at the theological seminary in Princeton.

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