@ Brookside . . . Week of September 8

Rev. Nicolette Siragusa

Rev. Nicolette Siragusa


The Settled Search Committee is pleased to present the schedule for Candidate Weekend, this Friday, September 13 through Sunday, September 15.   We have several events planned to allow various groups to spend time with Pastor Nicolette Siragusa over the weekend.  We look forward to seeing you at one if not several of the planned events including Sunday, September 15 when Pastor Nicolette will lead worship, and the Brookside Community Church member vote will be taken.  

I.   Friday, 9.13.19

Potluck dinner for Council and Deacons 

II.   Saturday, 9.14.19

11:00 – 11:30:  Staff introduction to Nicolette in Scialla Hall

11:30 – 1:00:   Brunch for the staff and choir in Scialla Hall

1:30 – 3:30:   Open House with light refreshments in Scialla Hall

4:00 – 5:00:   Ice cream social for children, youth and their families
in Scialla Hall

5:30 – 8:00:   Search Committee dinner

III.   Sunday, 9.15.19

Worship service led by Pastor Nicolette

Q & A with Pastor Nicolette

Member vote with children and youth having a pizza party with Pastor Nicolette

We encourage you to stop by and meet Pastor Nicolette this weekend and see why the Search Committee is very excited to present her and her family to you.  As always, should you have any questions, please reach out to any member of the Search Committee.  Thank you!

Jack Miller

Gina Bruno

Edna Ierley-Byrne

Michele James

David Sampson

Susannah Truitt

Sue Vlcko



What caught your attention about Brookside Community Church? 

For the past three years, my spouse and I have lived half a week apart because of their job in Manhattan. Thus, when I knew I was leaving my last church, we started looking for places nearer the city, and as New Jersey was where we grew up, it made sense to look here. Driving down 287, passing our old exit, we were filled with a sense of coming home, while also in an area that has grown and changed much since we moved away almost twenty years ago. 

Looking up your church’s website, the fact that one of your cover photos is of a child sitting in the aisle made me smile. I love a church that honors children and families worshipping together and is flexible enough to allow that to happen in whatever way works best for the littlest among us. Second, I was struck by your vision statement and the ways that you are living out your missions. You are an active, vibrant, exciting community with much to offer. 

Since that time, I have gotten to know you better through your church profile, annual reports, worship bulletins, and the search committee, and have found even more to admire and appreciate. I believe we are well-matched for one another and I look forward to growing together.  

Can you give a sense of what you see your first year at Brookside to be like? 

I believe that in order to be an effective faith leader for this community, I must first understand you, who you are, and where you come from. Thus, my first year will be devoted to getting to know you better. I’ll spend some time reading your history, learning about what your ministry teams are doing, connecting with the broader community, and setting up a series of one-on-one meetings with friends and members of the congregation (first with leadership, and then branching out to everyone).

While that is happening, you’ll get to know me as well. You’ll start to understand how I read, interpret, and interact with scripture through the ways I preach and lead worship, and also through the additional opportunities for spiritual connection that I offer (such as Advent services and interactive meditation stations). In writings like this (in newsletters or through an ongoing ‘Ask Nicolette’ section in the weekly e-blast), you’ll get to know how I think about a whole host of topics.  

What are your most important professional goals for the next 10 years - and beyond?

One of my key professional goals is to love what I do. Ministry provides me with an amazing opportunity to do many different things that bring me joy - read, write, connect, dream, create, problem-solve, counsel, teach, etc. However, ministry can also be very draining. My goal is to make sure I find enough joy in the good to sustain me through the hard parts. In particular, it is important to me to be able to joyfully worship with you, and not simply lead worship for you. 

Another, less personal, goal is to help discover a sustainable model for ministry in our current time. Brookside has already revamped and revitalized many of your ministries, which is great. You are on a leading edge in many ways, moving beyond the nostalgia of what was in order to be fully present to imagine what can be. I’d like to partner with you to continue to create a modern model of ministry that moves beyond the 1950s assumptions about housewives who volunteered, and pastor spouses who served as unpaid employees, into a time of reclaiming what it means to be a community who gathers together to seek, learn, and grow in Christ. 

So many Christians are afraid that the church is dying, yet when we remember Easter Sunday, we know that death is not the end, it is the moment of transformation. God isn’t done with us yet. However, it may be that the church in 50 years is unrecognizable until we break bread and it is clear we are still the body of Christ (see Luke 24:13-35 for this story). Thus, I hope to try new things, and learn from them. To be less afraid of failure and more open to Holy Spirit led adventure. To learn, to grow, and to teach others so they can learn from us. 


If you are looking to join a fun group of people that get together every week and you like to sing (even in the shower!), the Adult Choir here at Brookside is for you. There are no commitments outside of Sunday mornings where we usually rehearse for the 9:30 am service starting at 8:30 am. Most Sundays we rehearse after the worship service for the upcoming weeks as well. If you would like more information, please talk to Amy Southerland or any choir member.


Here are the lectionary texts for the upcoming Sunday, September 15 for your reflection.

      1 Timothy 1:12-17 

Luke 15:1-10                                                                   



Come and join us on Wednesday evenings as we explore spiritual practices that can help center us and enrich our Christian faith. As people who strive for justice and seek to live a faith that is active, these spiritual practices can help us be more balanced in the health and well-being of our body, mind, and spirit.

9.18 Chakra Balancing Meditation
The chakras are the main energy vortexes that serve as the headquarters of each of the elements in your energetic body. They have profound effects on your physical, emotional and energetic states. In this workshop we will explore these centers and work to balance them with a seated meditation incorporating visualization to bringing more ease, wisdom and grace to each moment of your life.

9.25 Achieving a Clear & Quiet Mind

10.2 Intuitive Touch Art

10.9 Kriya Yoga to Reconnect to Yourself

10.16 Mala Bracelet Making + Meditation

10.23 Convers(ate): A Conversation Examining Spirituality


Our next soup kitchen visit will be held on Saturday, September 21, and we are in need of servers and black shirts (certified kitchen staff). If you can spare a few hours to help those in need, we'd appreciate your help.  Sign up via Sign Up Genius (below) to volunteer as a server (11:15am-1:00pm) or Black Shirt (9:30am-1:00pm). You may also text Judy Schryver at 973-727-1480.


Are you on Facebook? If so, we invite you to join our new Facebook Group! Unlike the official page, the group will only be for members and friends, and allow us to post and communicate within our church community.  You can find the group by searching for "BCC Members & Friends."  Then, just request to join! Once you're in, you can invite others to join the group who you think should be a part of it.  Or, you can find/contact Danielle Abushanab danielle@abushanab.com or https://www.facebook.com/groups/2111196432303225/?ref=share and ask her to help get you added to the group!


Tuesday, September 24 @ 7:30pm
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
29 Hillview Avenue, Morris Plains
A panel discussion will focus on the current status and future outlook of refugees entering New Jersey and how RAMP and its members can help. Open to the public. For more information visit www.rampnj.org.


For Amalia Duarte’s father.
For Sam Fairchild.
For Debbie Replogle.
For restoration of the flooded Brookside Library. 
For Pat & John Tillisch, Wen-Ling's parents-in-love.
For Nancy Wilson's friend, Jeff.
For Linda Howe’s brother, Douglas.

Prayer Joys and Concerns will be listed weekly. Requests received by Tuesday of each week will be included in the following Sunday’s bulletin and @ Brookside and will remain there for a month unless otherwise requested. Please forward your requests during the week to: office@brooksidechurch.org  

FIND US ON FACEBOOK AT facebook.com/brooksidechurch