Meeting Mercy


Meet Mercy Neal. Vacation Bible School students at my church, Princeton United Methodist, will have the chance to make friends with her and her family from 8,000 miles away. In our evening program entitled “Can You Hear Me Now? God Calls Kids Too!” preschool children through incoming 6th graders will meet — through videos — this missionary family that works in Fiji.

Set for Tuesday to Thursday, July 29 to 31, 5:30 to 8 p.m., the VBS program is free by registration. Dinner is included, and parents are invited to stay. The dinner and classes are on the street level and begin in the Sanford Davis Room, on the corner of Nassau and Vandeventer.

Twelve-year-old Mercy Neal and her eight-year-old brother, Josiah, are moving from their home in Belleville, New Jersey to Fiji, an island in the South Pacific. Their parents — Rev. Wesley Neal and Rev. Jerusha Neal, both graduates of Princeton Theological Seminary — will teach at a seminary there.

“The children and youth of Princeton UMC will be writing to Mercy and Josiah, and they will also support the Neal family with prayer and fund raising,” says Anna Gillette, associate pastor for discipleship. “VBS children will hear Bible stories about God calls children into discipleship.”

I’m looking forward to working with Anna, who is returning after a year’s stint in Lambertville and has written this curriculum. It will be fun to introduce Mercy and Josiah to the older students with crafts, music, mission projects and games. We will continue our pen pal friendships when Sunday School begins in the fall.

You’ll likely see VBS students playing games on the tiny lawn at the corner of Nassau. If you have children of VBS age, or are interested in helping out, call 609-924-2613 or email Also don’t forget there is a Cornerstone Community Kitchen dinner this Wednesday and every Wednesday, 5 to 6:30 p.m., in the lower level Fellowship Hall (the red door). All welcome!

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