Our Pastor - Reverend Alan Darby
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AlanDarby

Pastor Alan S. Darby

Alan S. Darby is a South Jersey native, born in Ocean City and raised in Haddon Heights. He is a graduate of Westminster College (New Wilmington, Pa) and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. After seminary Alan served as campus ministries staff with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and has served UM churches in Sharptown, Collingswood, Elmer, and Sicklerville. He and his wife, Beverly, have 3 grown children: Chris, Andy, and Bethany. Chris (and Jill) have 1 daughter, Andi Jane (4 1/2). Personal interests include music, sports, reading and spending time with grandkids. Alan's passions for the church include dynamic worship, nurturing Bible Studies in small groups, developing leadership (especially with youth and young adults), effective evangelism, world missions, and vital service of Christ and His church through Spirit-gifted ministry.

 
Pastors Pen - October 2014
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Pastor's Pen
October 2014

by Pastor Alan Darby

Dear Friends,

Stress. Anxiety. Fear. These words capture well the state of mind of many of us in America these days. Over the last several years, we have witnessed dramatic market losses, the collapse of the world’s largest insurance companies, and many bankruptcies and mergers. Every day seems to bring another piece of economic uncertainty.

A recent survey found that over three in four Americans are stressed about their economy and personal finances. Half are worried about providing for their families basic needs. Over half of the respondents reported feeling angry and irritable, and reported lying awake at night worried about this. The report concludes that, “the declining state of the nation’s economy is taking a physical and emotional toll on people nationwide.”

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Pastors Pen - July/August 2014
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Pastor's Pen
July/August 2014

by Pastor Alan Darby

Dear Friends,

It’s hard to believe it’s been a whole year since the Darbys moved to Brick. It has been a great year for us and we want to thank you all for your friendship, encouragement and welcoming us into the St. Paul’s church family. There have been a number of adjustments and adaptations to make as we get acclimated to our new environs but overall, your hospitality has enable us to feel at home in this new area. Besides the joy of making and building new friendships, there have been a number of notable blessings being a part of the St. Paul’s family.

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Pastors Pen - May 2014
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Pastor's Pen
May 2014

by Pastor Alan Darby

Dear Friends,

A couple of months ago I invited you to join me in an adventure – “a 50 Day Spiritual Adventure”, I hope and pray that has been a blessing and an inspiration for you during this Lenten season to experience some measurable, accelerated spiritual growth in Christ. My prayer is that you have been able to apply your time and energies to begin to “Dare to Dream Again” and overcome some barriers that have been holding you back from experiencing all that God wants for you. Perhaps you have been able to get past a painful past, learned to set Godly goals or push beyond limited vision to identify with God’s heart for the world.

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Pastors Pen - March 2014
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Pastor's Pen
March 2014

by Pastor Alan Darby

Dear Friends,

I am excited to announce that our church will be participating in a 50 Day Spiritual Adventure called “Daring to Dream Again: Overcoming Barriers that Hold You Back.” This is a churchwide event that will unite participants throughout seven weeks of daily devotions, small group studies and Christian disciplines. In the eight Sunday worship services during this time (Lent) I will be preaching on the theme of God’s plans, desires and “dreams” for us, what barriers tend to keep us from experiencing them and how to grow beyond those barriers.

On February 23rd I will be explaining each of our eight weekly themes and we will begin signing people up for the adventure. For us to “Dare to Dream Again” we need to:

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Pastors Pen - January 2014
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Pastor's Pen
January 2014

by Pastor Alan Darby

poinsettiaDear Friends,

At Christmas, Christians have a great opportunity to share their faith with friends and family. One great witnessing strategy is to take advantage of the sights, sounds and symbols of the season. For example, have you ever wondered why churches and homes are often adorned with poinsettia plants at Christmas? A colleague of mine recently shared this with me and I thought it was worth passing along.

The POINSETTIA plant is a holiday plant that is often found in church sanctuaries across the land. These plants are native to Mexico where they were considered symbols of the Star of Bethlehem. POINSETTIAS get their name from the first U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, Joel Poinsett. He brought the plants back to the states in 1828.

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Pastors Pen - November 2013
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Pastor's Pen
November 2013

by Pastor Alan Darby

Dear Friends,

In Roman 12:1, the Apostle Paul writes, “And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies. To God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice – the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.” (TLV) Throughout the Old Testament, believers would bring perfect, unblemished lambs, goats and bulls to offer on the altar of sacrifice as offerings to worship the True and Living God. After Christ’s death on the cross, as fulfillment of the old and obsolete covenant system, New Testament believers are to bring our whole selves, souls and bodies, as living offerings, “our spiritual worship.” And so we bring our whole selves, souls and bodies, as living offerings, “our spiritual worship.” And so we bring “our sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving” whenever we join to worship Him. This is at the heart of everything we were created for.

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Pastors Pen - September 2014
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Pastor's Pen
September 2014

by Pastor Alan Darby

Dear Friends,

Can you imagine a church where everyone in the congregation knows how God has specifically designed them to be involved in the vital life and ministry, has found their personal “niche” for serving and is discovering how to be fruitful and fulfilled in the church’s ministry to make disciples for Jesus Christ? All too often people don’t get involved because they don’t feel equipped or don’t know where they fit. Also people become over committed and burn out, serving in ministries that don’t really fit them. Wouldn’t it be great if we could have a greater percent of the right people, in the right places, for the right reasons, at the right time- serving the Lord in ministry teams to further the Kingdom of God!

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Pastors Pen - June 2014
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Pastor's Pen
June 2014

by Pastor Alan Darby

Dear Friends,

Recently I had the wonderful opportunity to attend a Pastor’s conference at Harvey Cedars Bible Conference. It was a wonderfully inspirational and refreshing for me after the great but consuming Lenten/Easter season. Our speaker was Harry Reeder, author of a book called From Embers to a Flame: How God can Revitalize Your Church. Generally, it focuses on how a church can recapture its former “vitality”, or life in Christ, by rekindling the passion for being all God designs us to be.

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Pastors Pen - April 2014
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Pastor's Pen
April 2014

by Pastor Alan Darby

Dear Friends,

Helen Keller was known to have said, “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” I hope you have joined me in our Lenten 50 Day Spiritual Adventure, “Daring to Dream Again, Overcoming Barriers that hold You Back.” It may be a new style adventure for many of us. For most of us, it usually takes something like “an adventure” to push us and motivate us to go beyond our spiritual status quo, to grow the next step in faith. Therefore I believe our Adventure memory passage is most fitting:

12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:12-14

How are you doing in committing this to memory?

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Pastors Pen - February 2014
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Pastor's Pen
February 2014

by Pastor Alan Darby

Dear Friends,

As I’m writing I’m thinking about it being the beginning of a new year with all that that entails. Happy New Year! (I realize that as you are reading this it is probably closer to February.) In January, we look back over the past year to evaluate and examine where we’ve been and look forward to plan and project where we see God leading us in the coming year. This has a significant spiritual element to it. As Christ comes into our lives, He give us new life! “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone and the new has come.” (II Corinthians 5:17) That means we leave our old life of sin and self-preoccupation behind and take on a new life of freedom and grace by faith in Christ. This begins a wonderful life-long process of daily renewal, by the power of the Holy Spirit, as He reforms us by his grace, transforms us – renewing our minds – by His Word, and conforms us more and more to His image.

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Pastors Pen - December 2013
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Pastor's Pen
December 2013

by Pastor Alan Darby

Dear Friends,

Not too long ago, Bev and I took a ride to do some sightseeing and exploring of the region around our relatively new home. Neither of us had ever been along the shore in New Jersey north of Asbury Park so we set out to enjoy our day off together. Being from the South Jersey shore area, we both love the coast. We got up to Sandy Hook and were struck by the “Twin Lights” at the Navesink highlands. What a great historical landmark and remarkable view of the ocean, harbor and over to New York City! Stunning!

As I stood atop the hill and looked down at the town below I was reminded of a classic old gospel hymn, written by PP Bliss in the middle of the 19th century – “Let the Lower Lights be Burning.” (Growing up on the coast of Nova Scotia, this was my grandfather’s favorite hymn). Inspired by an illustration from evangelist, D.L. Moody, Bliss wrote these words:

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Pastors Pen - October 2013
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Pastor's Pen
October 2013

by Pastor Alan Darby

Dear Friends,

Having just been used by God to bring complete healing to the man crippled from birth, Peter testified and exhorted the crowd in Jerusalem, “Repent, then and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that He may send the Christ, who has been appointed for you – even Jesus.” How we long for “seasons of refreshing”! Down through the years, Christian believers have experienced these “times of refreshing” as God poured out His Spirit upon them through special times of revival and renewal. Historically, when the Holy Spirit has brought revival, Christians have enjoyed a fresh sense of God’s presence in their midst. Certainly God is always “with us” for “He’ll never leave us nor forsake us”, but there have been times when He comes in a more unusual and powerful way. I’m not necessarily talking about annual scheduled weeklong “Revival” services which have been held in evangelical churches. I am referring to historic visitations of God, moving in the midst of His people such as the Great Awakenings that took place in America in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the preaching of George Whitefield, Jonathan Edwards, Charles Finney and others.

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