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GOING UP… The United Fund of Westfield has raised $586,254, or 94.6 percent, of its goal for the 19992000 campaign. Supporters are expected to close the gap to reach the 620,000 goal, according to the organization. “Securing the remaining funds is the most difficult task of the annual campaign,” explained Residential CoChairwomen Meryl Chertoff and Joanne Muldoon in a statement. “But the new year has traditionally been marked by additional donations, as Westfielders reach out to those in need.” Pledge cards and contributions may be sent to 301 North Avenue, West, Westfield, 07090. Pictured above are Ms. Chertoff, left, and Ms. Muldoon, reviewing campaign goals.
Westfield Library Sets Morning Workshop On Memoir Writing
WESTFIELD – The Westfield Memorial Library will hold a memoir writing workshop on Wednesday, January 26, from 10 a. m. to noon.
Awardwinning writer and columnist Sherie Fox Schmauder will guide participants through each step of the activity. All forms of memoir writing will be explained and each participant will complete the beginning of his or her own memoir.
Admission is free but seating is limited. Registration is now underway. A Westfield Library card is required for attendance. The library is located at 550 East Broad Street in Westfield and may be reached at (908) 7894090.
A Weekly Column From Members of the
Scotch PlainsFanwood Ministerial Association
Follow Through by Maintaining Christmas Spirit All Year Long
By RICHARD GORMAN
Many activities and sports require followthrough. Take baseball, for instance. If your swing stopped immediately after contact with the ball, the five friendly players inhabiting the infield would easily throw you out at first every time. You just wouldn’t get very far.
Now this applies to most human endeavors — work, relationships, play, etc. In fact, it’s pretty difficult to think of an activity that doesn’t require followthrough.
Why, then, is it that the Christmas spirit only seems to come around for those few weeks each year? Where is our followthrough? Perhaps it tends to get buried in the hubbub and gift giving.
You may shrug and say, what of it? Well, the Christmas spirit is much more important to our success in life and as a society than many imagine. In reality, it is profoundly fundamental to that success.
How can being cheery, polite, or buying gifts for friends or relatives be so fundamental? Because the Christmas spirit should not be limited to just those things; they are merely the outward manifestation of that Christian groundwork. We really need to go back to the Bible to get our bearings, to glimpse the ideas often obscured behind all the hoopla.
Christmas is most basically the commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ. But is the fact that Jesus was born the most important point? Hardly. He was not only born, but he followed through. He not only started, but he finished — he turned water into wine, fed the multitude, healed the sick and raised the dead, and taught the disciples, leaving us with an example for the centuries. Now, shouldn’t his words and acts be the basis of the Christmas spirit, what we are commemorating, and what we need to bring into our experience? We then will follow through, even as the Master shows us.
A lawyer once asked Jesus which of the many commandments of the law was the greatest (Matthew 22: 3540), hoping to catch him with the intricacies of a vast volume of literature. The Master more than just answered the question, he expanded upon it and brought home the need to live the law, not just know it.
His first answer was to love the Lord with all the heart and soul and mind — an elucidation of the first of the Ten Commandments. He then goes on with a second —to love one’s neighbor as oneself — as if to ensure that the inquirer did not assume perfection could be so simple. But that was not quite enough. He then points out that all the law and the prophets hinge upon these two commandments.
Isn’t this a subtle rebuke to the lawyer, who no doubt spent a great deal of time debating and arguing the minutiae of the rules and regulations of that time, when instead he should have been obedient to the two great commandments, all others falling into place if those two are totally and completely obeyed?
Now, Jesus’ answer was not his own invention, it was based firmly in the
Torah Center ‘Farbrengen’ To Honor Jewish Leaders
WESTFIELD — The Union County Torah Center will host a “Chassidic Farbrengen” in celebration of “Yud Shevat” (the 10th day of the Hebrew month of Shevat) on Sunday, January 16, at 7: 30 p. m. at the Torah Center, 418 Central Avenue in Westfield (next to West Coast Video).
This day marks 50 years of leadership of the late Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the leader of the ChabadLubavitch movement. Yud Shevat also commemorates the death of his fatherinlaw, the previous Rebbe, Rabbi Yoseph Yitzchok Schneersohn, in 1950.
A farbrengen is an informal gathering during which people gather to celebrate their Judaism through song, stories and words of inspiration.
Rabbi Boruch Goodman, the Chabad House Rabbi on campus at Rutgers University, will lead the program. He will discuss “A Scientific View on Judaism,” among other topics.
The farbrengen is open to the public free of charge. For more information, please call the Torah Center at (908) 7895252.
F. E. M. A. L. E. Chapter To Hear Discussion On Kindergarten Skills
CRANFORD – Teacher Patricia Ellerman will discuss basic skills which schools today expect of children entering kindergarten at a meeting of Union County F. E. M. A. L. E. (Formerly Employed Mothers At the Leading Edge) on Wednesday, January 19, at 7: 30 p. m. at Hanson House, 38 Springfield Avenue in Cranford.
F. E. M. A. L. E. is an international, notforprofit organization which offers support to women who have altered their career paths in order to care for their children at home. The Union County chapter offers activities including evening discussion groups, guest speakers, “Mom’s Night Out,” a book discussion and weekly daytime play gatherings.
The chapter holds meetings on the first and third Wednesday of each month at Hanson House. New members are always welcome. For additional information on F. E. M. A. L. E., please call Deann at (908) 6530842 or Kathy at (732) 6364862. law. The first commandment came
from Deuteronomy 6: 5 and the second from Leviticus 19: 18, both of which are Books of Moses. But Moses lived about 1,200 years before Jesus Christ. Does that mean that the spirit of Christmas was around even back then?
In a way, yes. Jesus once said that “… Before Abraham was, I am,” (John 8: 58), Abraham being about 600 years before Moses. Jesus surely was referring to the Christ idea, not the physical Jesus, and if the Christ idea was present in Abraham’s time and Moses’ time, it surely is present now and not subject to a November/ December window of opportunity — it is always available to each of us; we have only to make that commitment.
The founder of the Christian Science church, Mary Baker Eddy, sometimes expressed dismay at the excesses of the Christmas season and gently reminds of its true idea. Early in the 20th century she wrote, “The memory of the Bethlehem babe bears to mortals gifts greater than those of the Magian kings — hopes that cannot deceive, that waken prophecy, gleams of glory, coronals of meekness, diadems of love.” (The First Church of Christ Scientist and Miscellany, page 258). She also said, “The basis of Christmas is the rock, Christ Jesus; its fruits are inspiration and spiritual understanding of joy and rejoicing — not because of tradition, usage, or corporeal pleasures, but because of fundamental and demonstrable truth, because of the heaven within us.” (Ibid. page 260).
When we can make that rock our basis for Christmas, there will be no “several week” Christmas, but it will be with us throughout the year.
A joyous and prosperous New Year to you all.
* * * * *
Richard Gorman is the former First Reader at the First Church of Christ, Scientist of FanwoodScotch Plains.
African Violet Society To Meet January 20
SCOTCH PLAINS — The Union County Chapter of the African Violet Society will meet on Thursday, January 20, at 1 p. m. in the Scotch Plains Public Library, 1927 Bartle Avenue in Scotch Plains.
The program will be entitled “Tristate Show Highlights.” All interested individuals are invited to attend.
Genealogical Society Announces Program On Writing Life Stories
WESTFIELD — The Genealogical Society of the West Fields will present a program entitled “Writing Your Life Story,” this Saturday, January 15, at 10 a. m. in the Meeting Room of the Westfield Memorial Library.
The program will be presented by Nancy Heydt, who recently appeared on Stephen Conte’s genealogy program on cable television. Included will be tips for individuals who are interested in writing their own history but are not sure how to begin.
A questionandanswer period will follow and members of the public are invited. Light refreshments will be served.
FANWOOD VOLUNTEER RESCUE SQUAD BLOTTER
Statistics for December 1999 Most Common Emergencies InTown Emergency Calls: 37
Outof Town Mutual Aid Calls: 7 Total Calls: 44 Trips Made to Area Hospitals: 31 Advanced Life Support Called 14 Total Volunteer Hours: 161: 00
Sudden Illness Injuries
Chest Pain/ Difficulty Breathing Motor Vehicle Accident Psychiatric www. fanwood. com/ rescue
WESTFIELD VOLUNTEER RESCUE SQUAD BLOTTER
Statistics for December 1999 Top 10 Response Categories 1. Respiratory (21) 6. Seizures (7) 2. General Illness/ Weakness (20) 7. Head/ Neck Injury (7) 3. Cardiac Pain (17) 8. Unconscious (6) 4. Falls (16) 9. Lift Assist (6) 5. Motor Vehicle Accident (13) 10. Suspected CVA/ Stroke (4) InTown Emergency Calls: 167
Outof Town Mutual Aid Calls: 2 Non Emergency Calls: 1 Total Calls: 170 Total Hours Out: 481: 30 Total Volunteer Hours: 1,995.25
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2
transportation systems such as the Raritan Valley Line, the Northeast Corridor trains, local bus service, Newark Airport and a proposed ferry service to New York,” said Freeholder Chester Holmes.
The light rail system is part of the Newark to Elizabeth Rail Link and will operate along the abandoned Central New Jersey (CNJ) rightofway.
“CNJ provided service along this line until the 1970s and was instrumental in the successful development of the county. By providing a rapid transit corridor we expect the light rail system will sustain the economic development the county has experienced since 1990,” said Freeholder Ruotolo.
Freeholder Mingo said that it was important for county officials to make
a case in support of the system to Mr. Basso in addition to the support of federal officials such as Senator Lautenberg and Congressman Menendez.
“Senator Lautenberg has secured a record amount of federal funding for transportation projects in the last two fiscal years for our state, including $18 million for the Newark Penn Station to Broad Street in Elizabeth connection.
“We estimate it will cost almost $700 million to complete the system, which will connect midtown Elizabeth to the airport, the IKEA store, Jersey Gardens and the waterfront,” Freeholder Mingo said.
Transportation Official Tours Area for Light Rail System
Covering Fanwood, Mountainside, Scotch Plains and Westfield, Union County, New Jersey (NJ)