We are a Community of Worship…

“For My house will be called a house of prayer for all people.”
- Isaiah 56:7


We are a congregation of faith, promoting social justice, peacemaking, and God’s love for all.  Our worship is faithful to the Reformed tradition, centering on engaging and thoughtful preaching and an inspirational music program of exceptional quality.

Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, first Sunday of the month

Sunday, April 22, 2018 - Service & Music

Join us at 10:30 A.M. Lesson is Mark 8:1-10, 14-21 and the sermon is "Counting to Seven and Twelve."

Onyeka Anaedozie will share what First & Franklin means to her.

Playing Franz Liszt’s Un Sospiro (“A Sigh”) as the prelude to worship will be pianist Jeremy Earnest, a new chorister at First & Franklin and freshman composition major at Peabody Conservatory.

The First & Franklin Sanctuary Choir, under the direction of Minister of Music & Organist Jason Kissel, will sing Teach Me, O Lord by Philip Stopford, and God of Our Life by Russell G. Wichmann, with Savannah McElhaney as soprano soloist. 

Sunday, April 15, 2018 - Service and Music

Guest preacher, Jack Hodges will lead our worship this week. The lesson is Luke 24: 13-35 and the sermon is "Heartburn of the Road."

The music includes: "Abide With Me" and "The Lord Bless You and Keep You."

Laurel Oldach will share what First & Franklin means to her in her life.



Sunday, April 8, 2018 - Worship and Music

Prelude begins at 10:20 A.M. Worship service begins at 10:30 A.M.

Frank McNeil shares with us what First & Franklin means to him in his life.



Easter Sunday, April 1, 2018 - Service & Music

Sunday’s Prelude begins at 10:10 a.m., with music for organ, brass and timpani. The First & Franklin Sanctuary Choir, under the direction of Jason Kissel, will sung Ronald Arnatt’s "Most Glorious Lord of Life" and Randall Thompson’s "Alleluia." The full congregation is invited to join in singing Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus from Messiah at the conclusion of worship.

Be sure to join us at 9:00 AM for the annual Easter Egg Hunt and Breakfast in Backus House. RSVP for the breakfast to the church office. Let us know if you can bring a side dish to share.



Palm Sunday, March 25, 2018 - Service & Music

Prelude of "Page d'Album" by Gwendoline Hoch (piano) begins at 10:25 AM

Rev. Hoch's sermon "Surrounded by Hosannas" follows the lesson from Mark 1:1-11.

We welcome five new members into our church today! Join them to renew your baptismal covenant.

Music includes "Ride On, King Jesus" and "The Way to Jerusalem" with baritone, John McLucas and the Sanctuary Choir.

Sunday, March 18, 2018 - Service & Music

Rev. Hoch's sermon "Seeing Jesus" follows the lesson from John 12:20-36.

Music includes "Schaffe in mir, Gott, ein rein Herz, Op.29 No.2" by Brahms and "Kyrie (Mass in G)" by Schubert.


Sunday, March 11, 2018 - Service & Music

Prelude of J.S. Bach music by Jason Kissel (organ) and Gwen Hoch (piano) begins at 10:25 AM

Rev. Hoch's sermon "Reveille for the Dead" follows the lesson from Ephesians 2:1-10.

Music includes "At the Name of Jesus" and "Christ Be With Me."

Join us to write letters for "Bread for the World" after the service during Fellowship in Reid Chapel. There will be breads and jam to share from the Peacemaking Committee.



Sunday, March 4, 2018 - Service & Music

Hear Rev. Hoch's sermon, "Property Values" following the lesson by John 2:13-22.

Choir members Meredith Piplani and John McLucas lead the choir in singing "What Does the Lord Require?"

The full choir will sing "Ubi caritas" sung in latin.



Sunday, February 25, 2018 - service & music

Lesson is Mark 8:31-38

Sermon: Speaking Openly

Music includes: "How Can I Keep From Singing" and "I Want Jesus" sung by the Sanctuary Choir.



Sunday, February 18, 2018 - service and music

First Sunday in Lent - lesson is Psalm 25:1-10 and the sermon is "Remember Me."

The Choir will sign anthems "Call to Remembrance" and O Love, How Deep."

We will celebrate the installation of Deacon, Nusrat David, and Ruling Elder, Kevin Hunter.

Peacemaking asks you to join in writing letters of support in Reid Chapel after worship to advocate for the some of the members of First Presbyterian Church in Metuchen, NJ at risk of deportation.



Sunday, February 11, 2018 - service and music

10:30 AM: "Seeing With New Eyes and Listening With Different Ears." Lesson: Mark 1:2-9. 

Music includes "O Nata Lux" and "O Clap Your Hands."

Guest preacher, Rev. Jennifer DiFrancesco.


Sunday, February 4, 2018 - service & music

Communion Sunday!


Sunday, January 28, 2018 - service and music

Sunday's lesson is Mark 1:21-28, and Rev. Hoch's sermon is "Classroom Disruptions." Come and hear the message.
The Choir will sing "Set Me As a Seal" and "My Most Precious King."

Brief Congregational Meeting to approve changes to Rev. Hoch's Terms of Call and to elect a Nominating Committee.

Then stop by the Chapel to meet the Artist, Fritz Briggs!


Sunday, January 21, 2018 - service and music

Our lesson is Mark 1:14-20; and Rev. Hoch's sermon is "After Incarceration."

Liturgist will be Sabrina Schumann. Fellowship provided by Haswell Franklin.


Sunday, January 14, 2018 - Service and Music

Hear Rev. Robert Hoch's sermon “Holy Misunderstandings.” The lesson is 1 Samuel 3:1-20. Under the direction of Dr. Jason Kissel, the Sanctuary Choir will sing “Expectans Expectavi” by Charles Wood and “O Master, Let Me Walk with Thee” by Aneurin Bodycombe.


Sunday, January 7, 2018 - Service and Music

Prelude 10:25 AM; Communion Sunday 10:30 a.m. Hear Rev. Hoch's sermon "When Heaven Tore in Two." The lessons are Genesis 1:1-5 and Mark 1:4-11.  Under the direction of Dr. Jason Kissel, the Sanctuary Choir will sing “Epiphany Alleluia”s by John Weaver and “Laudate Dominum” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.


Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017 - service and music

Join us for Sunday worship beginning at 10:30 A.M. The lessons are: Isaiah 61:10; 64:4, 12. The sermon is "Seeing with New Eyes."


Sunday, December 17, 2017 - service and music

Children's Christmas Play plus Rev. Hoch's sermon "Eat Your Veg!" after the lessons from Thessalonians 5:16-24.

Christmas Story: Jesus is the Same Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

The Advent candles will be lit by Paula Crews and Connie Fischel.

The Prelude will feature Gwendoline Hoch on the piano, and the Offertory will feaure Imogen Hoch on violin with Jason Kissel on piano. 


Sunday, Dec. 10, 2018 - service & music

Join us to hear guest preacher, Rev. Rhonda Cooper's sermon "Doth Jesus Tarry?" Our liturgist, Haswell Franklin will read lessons: Isaiah 40:1-11, Mark 1:1-8, and 2 Peter 3:8-16.

Frank McNeil and Paul Fowler will light the Advent candles.

The Sanctuary choir will sing "E'en So, Lord Jesus, Quickly Come" and "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel."

Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017 - service and music


Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017 - service and music


Sunday, November 19, 2017 - Service & Music

Hear Rev. Hoch’s sermon: "A Trip to the Museum." The lesson is John 10:1-18. Under the direction of Dr. Jason Kissel, the Sanctuary Choir will sing "Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us" by Douglas Starr.


Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017 - All Saints’ Day -Service and Music

ALL SAINTS' DAY; Sermon: "Stopping World War III" following the lesson from Matthew 23:1-12. Music includes "Pilgrim's Anthem" and "When Thou Art Near" sung by Meredith Piplani (soprano.)



Sunday, October 29, 2017 - Service and Music

Rev. Hoch's sermon this week is "Greater Love," following the lessons from Matthew 22:34-46. Under the direction of Jason Kissel, the choir and soloists will sing "Greater Love" (Marianne Shick and John McLucas) and "My Eternal King" at the offertory.  



Sunday, October 22, 2018 - Service and Music

Rev. Robert Hoch's sermon is "Whose Image?" The lesson is Matthew 22:15-22. Under the direction of Dr. Jason Kissel, the Sanctuary Choir will sing “O Thou Who Camest from Above” by Philip W.J. Stopford and “O Master, Let Me Walk with Thee” by Aneurin Bodycombe. 



Sunday, October 15, 2017 - Service and Music

Rev. DiFrancesco’s sermon this week is "My Wrath Burns Hot" following the lesson: Exodus 32:1-14. Dr. Jason Kissel leads the choir in the anthem “Precious Lord, Take My Hand,” and "Rejoice, the Lord is King."



Sunday, October 8, 2017 - Service and Music

Rev. Hoch’s sermon this week is "Pledging Allegiance." The lessons are Exodus 20:1-4, 7-9, 12-20 and 1 Peter 2:9. Under the direction of Dr. Jason Kissel, the Sanctuary Choir will sing “If Ye Love Me, Keep My Commandments” by Thomas Tallis and “The Heavens Are Telling” (from The Creation) by Franz Josef Haydn. 

Read the published sermon here: http://roberthoch.com/2017/10/11/pledging-allegiance/



Sunday, October 1, 2017 - World Communion Sunday Service & Music

Rev. Robert Hoch’s sermon is "Rock Formations." The lessons are Exodus 17:1-7 and Hebrews 11:1-3. Under the direction of Dr. Jason Kissel, the Sanctuary Choir will sing "Like as the Hart Desireth the Waterbrooks" by Herbert Howells and "Let Us Break Bread Together" arranged by Lois M. Hopkins.  Communion will be served. 

Read the published sermon here: http://roberthoch.com/2017/10/07/514/



Sunday September 24, 2017 - Service & Music

Rev. Robert Hoch’s sermon is “Who’s on First, What’s on Second?”  The lessons are Exodus 16:2-15 and John 6:51. Under the direction of Dr. Jason Kissel, the Sanctuary Choir will sing "I’m Hungry, Lord" by Calvin Taylor and "Summer Ended" by Charles Wood.  Pianist Mark Markham will play the prelude and postlude.


Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017 Service & Music

Rev. Hoch’s sermon is "Turning with Difficulty." The lessons are Exodus 14:10-31 and Psalm 114:1-8. Under the direction of Dr. Jason Kissel, the Sanctuary Choir will sing, "He Watching Over Israel" by Felix Mendelssohn and "We Shall Walk Through the Valley in Peace" arranged by Moses Hogan.

Join us to pack Brown Bag lunches in Reid Chapel during Fellowship.


Sunday, September 10, 2017 - Service & Music

Rev, Hoch's sermon, "Making Disciples" will follow the readings of Isaiah 43:1-7,14-21 and Mark 1:6-20. The Choir is back this week and will lead us in song! "When the Morning Stars Together," "Psalm 150," "Here I Am Lord," "Teach Me, O Lord," and "Though I May Speak." 

We welcome Taylor Scott Brooks in the sacrament of his baptism.


Sunday, Sept. 3, 2017 - Service and Music

Guest preacher Rev. Rhonda Cooper's sermon is Labor Day Holiday for the Faithful.  The lessons are Matthew 16:21-28 and Romans 12:1-21.  Lisa McNulty a member of the Sanctuary Choir will sing a solo, O Rest in the Lord (from Elijah) by Felix Mendelssohn.  Please arrive by 10:20 A.M. to listen as you prepare for worship.

Sunday August 27 2017 Service & Music

Please join us on Sunday and welcome The Rev. Dottie LaPenta who will lead our service. Her sermon is "Leave it To the Women," following the readings: Matthew 16:13-20 and Exodus 1:8-2:10.

Former choir member, Julie Bosworth will sing two solos -- "He;s Got the Whole World in His Hands" and "Come, ye sons of Art, Away." 

Sunday, August 13, 2017 Service & Music

Join us on Sunday for Rev. Hoch's sermon: "A Dirty Deal." The lessons are: Romans 8:18-30 and Genesis 37:1-4, 12-28.

Choir members, Marianne Shick and Anna Politt will sing the duet, "I Waited for the Lord" by Felix Mendelssohn.

Sunday, August 6, 2017 - Communion Service & Music

Join us for Communion Sunday! Radings: Psalm 17:1-7, 15 and Genesis 32:22-31. Don't miss Rev. Hoch's sermon: "An Unanticipated Adversary."

Jan Trammel-Savin (mezzo soprano) will present a solo of "O Divine Redeemer" by Charles Gounod (1818-1893.) 

Sunday, July 30, 2017 - Service & Music

Rev. Robert Hoch’s sermon is "Seven Years Old," following the lessons from Psalm 105:1-11, 45b and Genesis 29:15-30. 

A quartet from the Sanctuary Choir will sing the anthem, "O Sing Joyfully" by Adrian Batten.

Meredith Piplani, soprano
Sandra Smith, alto
Donald Juedes, tenor
Rahze Cheatham, baritone

  Arrive early to prepare for worship during the prelude.

Sunday, July 23, 2017 - Worship & Music

Rev. Rob Hoch's sermon is titled "Anointing a Stone." The lessons are Psalm 139:1-12, 23-24, and Genesis 28:10-22.

Two of our youngest members, Gwendoline Hoch and Imogen Hoch, will present violin and piano music during the Prelude and Offertory. The Prelude will begin at 10:20 am so please be early and support our young musicians!


Haswell Franklin will be our liturgist, and Mike Johnson and Paula Crews will be ushering.

Sunday, July 16, 2017 Service & Music

Rev. Robert Hoch’s sermon is "Uterine Conflict." The lessons are Psalm 119:105-112 and Genesis 25:19-34. Guest organist, Jeremy Zuck, will present music during today’s service and soprano Meredith Piplani will sing "Domine Deus (from Gloria)" by Antonio Vivaldi.

Sunday, July 9, 2017 Service & Music

Rev. Hoch is back this Sunday and is preparing his sermon, "A Love Story." The lessons will be Gen. 24:34-49, 58-67, and Song of Songs 2:8-13.

Sunday, July 2, 2017 - Service & Music

Sunday at 10:30 AM. Guest Preacher The Rev. Jennifer DiFrancesco's sermon was "Seeing the Image Dei."  The lessons were Psalm 89:1-4, 15-18 and Matthew 10:40-42.  Baritone John McLucas sang "Love Ye the Lord (Largo from Serse) by George Frideric Handel (1685-1759) and "Let Us Break Bread Together," a traditional spiritual, arr. Moses Hogan.

Sunday, June 25, 2017 - Service & Music

We invite you to worship this Sunday at 10:30 AM. Guest Preacher Rhonda Cooper’s sermon is "Distress.  Death.  Deliverance?"  The lessons are Genesis 21:8-20, Psalm 69:13-18 and Matthew 10:28-31.  Baritone Nick Dogas will sing "Serenity" by Charles Ives and "The Lord’s My Shepherd" by Bob Chilcott.


   We extend a warm welcome to The Reverend Rhonda S. Cooper, who
   serves as Chaplain for the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins.
   Rhonda is a graduate of Wheaton College (Illinois) and Fuller Theological
   Seminary (Pasadena CA). A United Methodist minister, she and her
   husband John Wolford worship with their First & Franklin Church family.


Sunday, June 18, 2017 - Service & Music

We welcomed Parish Associate, Jan Trammell-Savin to the pulpit this week. The sermon was The Story of Noah.  The lessons were Matthew 9:35-10:8 and Genesis 6-9 selected verses.  Mezzo soprano Marianne Shick sang "His Eye Is on the Sparrow" by Charles H. Gabriel and "Simple Song" (from Mass) by Leonard Bernstein.

Sunday, June 11, 2017 - Worship & Music

Trinity Sunday

The readings were:

Genesis 1:1-2:4a; Psalm 8; 2
Corinthians 13:11-13; Matthew 28:16-20

Sunday, June 4, 2017 Service & Music

Rev. Hoch's sermon was entitled "A Church in Burlesque." The lessons was from Psalm 104: 1-4, 24-34, and Acts 2: 1-21.

The Santuary Choir sung "Veni, Sancte Spiritus" and "Like the Murmur of the Dove's Song" featuring BSA student Eric Harrison playing the alto saxophone.

We welcomed new members, Kevin Hunter and Sabrina Schumann.

The congregation wore RED in observance of Pentecost.

May 28, 2017 - Scripture & Music

Rev. Robert Hoch’s sermon was entitled Sailing Lessons.  The lessons were Psalm 68:1-10, 32-35 and Acts 1:6-14.  Under the direction of
Dr. Jason Kissel, the Sanctuary Choir sung, Arise, O God, and Shine by F. Melius Christiansen and The Ascension by Philip Moore.

May 21, 2017 - Scripture Reading

Rev. Robert Hoch’s sermon was entitled "The Trail Where They Cried." The lessons were Psalm 66:1-20 and Acts 17:22-31.



May 7, 2017 - Scripture Reading

Rev. Robert Hoch’s sermon was entitled "Beyond Our Wants."
The lessons were Psalm 23 and Acts 2:42-27.



April 30, 2017 - Scripture Reading

Rev. Robert Hoch’s sermon was entitled "Talking to Strangers."
The lesson was Luke 24:13-35.



April 23, 2017 - Scripture Reading

Rev. Susan Haugh



April 16, 2017 - Scripture Reading

Rev. Robert Hoch’s sermon was entitled "Do Not Cling to Me."
The lesson was John 20:1-18.



April 9, 2017 - Scripture Reading

Rev. Robert Hoch’s sermon was entitled "All the Right Notes, Wrong Music". The lesson was Matthew 21:1-11.



April 2, 2017 - Scripture Reading

Rev. Robert Hoch’s sermon was entitled "A Sermon on Fire". The lesson was Ezekiel 37:1-14.



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