Seaview Good News

January 9, 2021

In the right hands, with the right training, and from the right heart, anger can be wielded righteously. Yet in most cases, it is only a destructive force. I rarely see all things clearly, and a weapon as dangerous as anger is best deployed only by those with perfect vision. I trust Jesus to use anger righteously. I don’t trust myself. I have misfired too many times and I have hurt too many people with my anger. Adding to our misgivings about wielding anger should be Jesus’ words in the Sermon on the Mount. After quoting the commandment prohibiting murder, He pivots from the external act of violence to the internal posture from which it emerges. Anger, He says, is the real problem. Is anger always wrong? No. But it is so destructive and dangerous we ought to extract it from our lives.  — Skye Jethani, What If Jesus was Serious? (Chicago: Moody Press, 2020) p.57
It has been an eventful week. Not since 1814 when the British burned the building, has there been an assault of this magnitude on the U.S. Capitol. Most other incidents have been from individuals or small contingents. Never has it been incited by a sitting president of the United States. Several of the President’s strong supporters have condemned his actions on January 6 and some have called for his removal. Regardless of one’s political leanings, we are lead to acknowledge that a significant line has been crossed. As people called to be salt (preservers) and light bearers in our social order, we must commit ourselves to prayer and the seeking of wisdom that will lead us to fulfill this mandate given by Jesus. Above all, let us submit to act, not out of anger, but out of patient love. 

Tomorrow is a festival day in the church year when we remember that Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River, not to remove his sin, but to “fulfill all righteousness.” (Matt 3:15) He identifies with his broken creation, his beloved sisters and brothers, and leads us in living a wholesome life. Worship with us at 10:30 by live-stream on Facebook or in person. Sing with us as we proclaim Jesus as “Waymaker” and call for him to “Shine, Jesus, Shine. Fill this land with the Father’s glory.” Carolyn Gillette has reflected on Mark 1:4-11 in her hymn “Creator of the Water” where we will sing  (to the tune of Lead on O King Eternal) …

God, through your gift of water, your family we become;
You take away divisions; in Christ you make us one.
Now send your Spirit on us and give us work to do
That we may share with others the love we have from you.

Jean Stewart continues to live with her daughter, Heather, in Moorestown while she recuperates from congestion that appears to be non-Covid related. Carol Conway has recovered to the extent that she says she is 98% back to normal and her hemoglobin levels continue to rise. Mike Carney had surgery on Thursday for a tumor on his scalp that has been been deemed successful in removing it with clear margins surrounding the area. He will undergo skin graft in a few weeks. Barbara Glass asks us to pray for her grandson’s paternal grandfather, Rick, who is in the hospital with Covid and now on a ventilator. Claudia Mars is at home feeling weak after her mild heart attack and stroke a few weeks ago. Our dear friend, Elmo Familiaran, will undergo triple bypass graft surgery on Monday at Robert Wood Johnson Hospital in New Brunswick. The God who loves us asks us to refrain from anxiety and seek him in prayer with thanksgiving so his peace can guard our hearts and minds.

Late breaking news … Ben Harvey has chosen to matriculate at Roger Williams University in Bristol, RI. He will begin his freshman year in September in the community where grandmother (Lisa’s mother, Janet) grew up. Roger Williams is the man who left the Massachusetts  Bay Colony to found Rhode Island and the First Baptist Church in America. We pray for Ben’s continued spiritual growth as God guides him.

Would you like to become a “pen pal” to a resident at Meadowview, our county residential facility for seniors in Northfield? Simply write a short note introducing yourself, put it in an envelope and place it in the basket in the back of the sanctuary for pick up. Please do not use your full name, only first name and last initial. In the note share something about your interests and activities. You might include where you grew up and important events in your life. Get the dialogue going and when a resident picks up your note, they can respond. The drop off basket will also be a pick up point. This is another way for us to care for and serve our community.

The Annual Congregational Meeting this year is projected for January 24 after worship. It will be hybrid style as some will be present in person and others through Facebook live-stream. Facebook allows for live comments where questions and ideas can be shared that will in turn be announced to the congregation as a whole. The Annual Report will be shared ahead of time by digital distribution. That means if you give leadership to a ministry, we urge you to get that report in this week by emailing it to Administrative Assistant, Matt Foss must have your completed report by Wednesday, January 13 to assemble the booklet. Thanks for your help.




January 2, 2021

“And then, just when everything is bearing down on us to such an extent that we can scarcely withstand it, the Christmas message comes to tell us that all our ideas are wrong, and that what we take to be evil and dark is really good and light because it comes from God. Our eyes are at fault, that is all. God is in the manger, wealth in poverty, light in darkness, succor in abandonment. No evil can befall us; whatever men may do to us, they cannot but serve the God who is secretly revealed as love and rules the world and our lives.”   -Dietrich Bonhoeffer, God is in the Manger: Reflections on Advent and Christmas

Tomorrow is the first Sunday of a new year. Yet it is still Christmas. You will see that in the way our worship is structured. Marguerite Heaton-Colella plans to offer a beautiful medley called “The Peace Medley.” Traditionally, we celebrate the Lord’s Table on the first Sunday. But many of the traditions are being adjusted because of our current situation. Covid-19 cases are on the rise. In order to mitigate further spread of the disease, Seaview will not celebrate Holy Communion tomorrow. And we encourage folks to remain at home and tune in to our live-stream on Facebook if your are sick or part of the more vulnerable population. You may also find the complete video recording of our worship on our website later in the day. Services since last March are also available.

Tomorrow is the last day to bring in gift cards for Covenant House. This is our Angel Gift Tree mission for the holidays. Simply place them in the basket by the tree and they will be used to encouraged at risk youth right here in Atlantic City.

Please remember that January and February are usually lean months at our ecumenical food pantry housed at Grace Lutheran Church. With the pandemic, it is being called upon for more assistance than normal. Leave non-perishable food in the brown box outside the education wing doors. Or bring something to worship and leave it in the tan bin in Fellowship Hall.

We continue to pray for those affected by Coronavirus. Among them are the McCauley and Sussmeier families as they had to say goodbye to Susan Sussmeier who passed away on December 24. Her funeral service was at Seaview’s church home on this past Wednesday. It was so good to see Art and Barbara again although it was tough not being able to give them a hug. Carol Conway and her family are getting over the virus. We are also praying for Joan Hofmeister’s sister, Dee, who was hospitalized with it. Many related to our church family has recovered and we are thanking the Lord for that.

Thank you for praying for Claudia Mars who was hospitalized this past week due to high blood pressure. She sustained a mild heart attack, went through cardiac catheterization, and is now home. She is grateful for our prayers yet would prefer at this time not to take phone calls. The best way to help is to pray.

As we move toward our Annual Congregational Meeting on January 24, it is time to submit your annual ministry report for the records. Please write it out this week and send it electronically to Administrative Assistant, Matt Foss, at All ministry leaders are expected to give us a report to be able to chart God’s work among us during tis extraordinary year.

With a new year, some activities are resuming after a holiday break. Our Monday afternoon Bible Study in 2 Corinthians is back this week at 1:00 in Fellowship Hall. Discipleship Training and Prayer restarts on Wednesday evenings at 7:00 by Zoom. Our Youth begin again next Sunday, January 10 at 6:00 by Zoom. 



December 26, 2020

Seaview’s sanctuary was beautifully candlelit as we gathered on Christmas Eve to celebrate our Savior’s birth. As always, Paula Dollarhide did inspiring and heart rendered carols and other offerings on the organ. Can you hear the swell and modulation as we move into “Yea, Lord, we greet Thee, born this happy morning … O come let us adore him, Christ the Lord?” We also enjoyed hearing the Ruffin family sing the traditional “O Holy Night.” Candles were ignited as the light was passed and “Silent Night” again filled the room.

Poinsettias are now ready for pick up if you placed one in honor or in memory of a loved one. If you would like it given to one of our seniors who have less mobility, we will be glad to do so if you do not take it in the next few days. Thank you for allowing us to enjoy the deep reds of this traditional Christmas bloom.

We are saddened to learn that Susan Sussmeier, for whom we have been praying, succumbed on Christmas Eve to a stroke. We rejoice that she has been taken into the arms of our gracious God. As of now, a service is planned for the family of Wednesday, December 30 at Seaview, where she often worshipped. Susan is the only daughter of Art and Barbara McCauley as well as mother to Amanda Solheim and Stephanie Sussmeier. 

Sara Green will be remembered for her quick wit, her love of the scriptures and commitment to pray for her community. For the last year, she has been in assisted living at Somers Place. Last Saturday, she left us behind and went to meet the Lord face to face. A memorial service will be planned for later when more of her friends and family can come together to give glory to God for her life.

Jean Stewart has been improving after having a problem with breathing last Tuesday. She was loving prayed for and surrounded with care of her children Glenn and Heather. She then called on Wednesday to say was was better and would be going to Heather’s for a week or so while she continues recuperation. 

Carol Conway was able to come home from the hospital on Christmas Eve. She has been very weak after her heart procedure earlier this month. But sometimes the best medicine is being around the ones who love us. And that is just where Carol is at her Cape May Court House abode. Please continue to lift her in prayer.

Offering envelopes have been prepared for next year and are ready for pick up on the back pew. If you would like envelopes, please see Andy Schaeffer, our financial secretary, who will be glad to make sure you receive a box. This is a good system for helping us to keep track of donations and aids in setting future budgets. Thanks for participating in the support of Seaview’s ministry.

We are now in the final phase of receiving Angel Gift Tree presents to support Covenant House in Atlantic City. You may still bring gift cards in any amount from Walmart, Shop Rite or Visa and drop them in the basket next to the tree in the right front of the sanctuary. After New Year’s Day they will be delivered to Covenant House. Normally, we have tangible gifts to give, but with the pandemic, they feel this is the safest way to support them.



December 19, 2020

Tomorrow we come to the fourth candle on the Advent Wreath, the Shepherds Candle, as we complete the circle. A significant part of the Christmas story has to do with the role Mary plays. The bewildering announcement that the angel brings turns from fear to acceptance. “Let it be with me,” the young Mary responds. That sets up the shepherds to come and worship when Mary’s acceptance gives birth to the infant God. Larider Ruffin will be singing “Sweet Little Jesus Boy.” Our song can be “Here I Am Lord” when the message is delivered.

There is still plenty of room in the basket for gift cards next to our Angel Gift Tree. You may purchase gift cards from Walmart, Shop Rite or VISA and place them in the basket by the tree or send them to the church office. You can also order gifts directly from Amazon by going to this link and either having them sent to Coveant House or we will make sure they get to Atklantic City if you choose to bring them and place them under the tree.

Christmas Eve Candlelight Worship will afford a limited number of participants in person at 7:00. According to NJ State guidelines we can have no more than 50 people in the sanctuary. And yet because of the tech work that has been done, you can join us live-steaming on Facebook. Just go to Seaview Baptist Church Facebook page. Sing along and have your own candles ready at home as we proclaim the Light that has come into the world that enlightens everyone.

Who wants prayer? Who needs prayer? Who can pray? The answer is anyone and everyone.  Let’s come together on Zoom beginning Tuesday night at 9:00 December 22 for prayer. Marguerite Heaton-Colella will host the Zoom meeting. If you’re available to listen quietly or to pray then, let Marguerite know by emailing ( or calling her (609) 645-3003 (609) 457-1769 for more information.

To say that this year has been unusual is to state the obvious. Please remember to be gracious with one another, with those you meet in the store, on the highway and online. The normal Christmas parties are either non-existent or pared down. It can pique some sadness or fear … even anger. Remember that Paul tells us we can and should be angry sometimes. (Ephesians 4:26-27) But he stops us when it comes to sinning with that anger and hurting one another. Blessing others can be a work in progress, one that means we prayerfully align ourselves with God. And God works the wonders of his love.

Between Christmas and New Years Day, the only thing on our Seaview schedule is Sunday worship. We usually encourage visiting but that would be irresponsible with Covid-19 raging. Perhaps the visiting this year can be by Skype or Facetime calls. Watch some good movies. The Polar Express never mentions Jesus, but if you watch with eyes and heart wide open, it’s hard to miss. You also catch some great concerts online. Washington National Cathedral has several streaming. Tomorrow, Sunday, December 20 at 3:00 a beautiful Joy of Christmas Concert is offered. Go to this Facebook page to learn more

A great painting found at the Philadelphia Museum of Art is by native Philadelphia son, Henry Ossawa Tanner, The Annunciation. It is a study of the moment the angel appears to Mary. You can take some time with it here to draw your own thoughts.