Experiencing God through Art and Nature

At First Presbyterian Church we believe there are many ways to experience God. 

We frequently host group trips to local museums, art exhibits and historical landmarks as well as provide opportunities to explore the beauty of God’s creations in the outdoors.

If you are looking for information on past events, please scroll down.  

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First Pres Bee Blessing & Honey Harvest 2018

A Bee Blessing and Honey Harvest was held on July 8 at the First Presbyterian Church of Rutherford Manse, where Northeast NJ Beekeeper Jaimie Winters keeps her apiary in what is called the Peace and Love Garden. The Sunday school students plant and maintain the garden that bears tomatoes, raspberries, strawberries, peppers, cucumbers, sunflowers and herbs. Every July, church members and the community at large are invited to the blessing and to help with the early harvest, which has become a community-wide tradition. 

After the blessing by Reverend Pete Wilkinson, the community gets to work uncapping and spinning the honey, resting in between for a picnic of deviled eggs, cucumber sandwiches, fruit salad, bee cupcakes and lemonade. Kids head to the craft table to color in bee coloring books and make Tie-Dye t-shirts, or hang out at the bee station table with the observation hive learning about bees.

Northeast NJ Beekeeper members helped with this year's harvest. Attendees got a treat this year, as John Gaut, a master beekeeper, went into the hives and did a demonstration including a mite wash. They learned that the veroa mite is the bee's biggest threat. Gaut also passed around a frame of brood in which a baby bee was emerging.

After a long day of spinning, about 50 attendees got to take home the fruits of their labor -- a half-pound bear of Blessed Bee honey.

Peace & Love Garden

The Church’s Peace & Love Garden was established in the Spring of 2016. Located at the church Manse, all were welcomed to participate in the planting and assist in the watering and care of this special garden. First Pres Kids got creative and had the joy of designing and painting the garden's beautiful sign. In the garden is a sitting bench donated by the Deacons in memory of Karen Kaiser.

Bee Blessing and Honey Harvest

Over 50 people participated in a unique opportunity to experience nature. We hosted a bee blessing and honey harvest at the Church Manse in the new Peace and Love Garden where the bees are happily residing and busy making honey. Reverend Pete blessed the bees and then attendees assisted experienced local bee keepers with the harvesting of the honey. Each family took home some of the honey to enjoy. There was so much excitement and there was hardly any honey left over!

Past Events


    The First Presbyterian Church of Rutherford hosted a trip to the Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel Exhibit "Up Close" at the Garden State Mall in Paramus on Sunday Oct. 8, 2017. The story behind the renaissance ceiling at the Vatican and the Bible stories they portray will be told in snapshots. The ceiling paintings from the Sistine Chapel have been reproduced using state-of-the-art technology. In order for the observer to fully engage and comprehend the artwork, the paintings have been reproduced in their original sizes. Visitors can explore the artwork up close at a distance impossible to achieve in the Sistine Chapel while listening to interpretations of the Biblical stories behind the paintings. 

  • Botanical Gardens Tour

    We arranged for a 45-minute private tram tour of the New York Botanical Gardens. The tram tour offered a relaxing and informative way to see much of this National Historic Landmark’s beautiful natural terrain, including dramatic rock outcroppings, a river and waterfall, ponds, and rolling hills. 2016 marked the New York Botanical Garden’s 125th Anniversary. Special events included the reopening of the prized Lilac Collection and the timing of the tour aligned with the summer exhibition, Impressionism: American Gardens on Canvas, which examined the art-historical and horticultural significance of the widely popular garden subjects that prevailed during several decades of flourishing impressionist practice in the United States from 1887 to 1917. For more information on the Gardens visit here.

  • the box

    We hosted a special one-night performance of The Box to raise awareness of the alarming rates of homelessness, PTSD and suicide among our nation’s veteran population.

    The Box is a one-man tragicomic play about a homeless Vietnam Veteran who suffers from PTSD. “Jack” is a philosopher, a theologian, a humorist, a lover, a fighter and a survivor who lives and sleeps in a box in a secluded woods of St. Augustine, Florida. “The Box” was recently made into a movie and has been accepted to the Sundance Film Festival.

    The play is written and performed by Lee Weaver of Lee Weaver Ministries. Weaver specializes in combining preaching with drama and humor to create compelling and memorable experiences. Additionally he presents Peter - The Big Fisherman; Judas - the Betrayer and Joseph - The Husband of Mary. To learn more about the performer visit here or on facebook.

    Weaver’s theatrical production company is named Special OPS (One Person Shows). His other notable plays include “The Secret - The Spanish Inquisition in Old Florida,” (presented at the Fringe Drama Festival in NYC in 2014), a play about religious intolerance. “The Witness” - about the Civil Rights struggle in the 1960’s in which he portrays a former, self-confessed racist thug. This summer he will debut “The Shooter,” a drama about violence in America.

    Proceeds from the performance benefited the Rutherford Food Pantry.

  • an evening of art

    We held an evening of painting and fun in April. Participants created their very own sunflower work of art under the guidance and direction of local artist, Robert Goetzl. No previous art or painting was required and the group ranged from beginners to experienced painters. Everyone had a great time. We’re excited to offer a second event this fall. Watch the Upcoming Events section for the date and time.

  • Hackensack Riverkeeper Cruise

    We sponsored a sunset pontoon boat eco-cruise with the Hackensack Riverkeeper. The group discovered and explored the wetlands, estuaries and God’s creatures that have chosen to make the Meadows their home. The eco-cruise is Hackensack Riverkeeper's signature environmental education program and conducted aboard a brand-new, 30-foot pontoon cruiser.

  • Blessing of the Bees

    25 people gathered in Harmon Meadow North Arlington for a blessing of the bees. Rev. Peter Wilkinson held the blessing and said the Blessing of the Bees and the Beekeeper's prayer over the hives. Afterwards the group headed back to the church for a lesson in all things bees, a honey tasting and pizza.

  • Bible Origami

    The Bible Study group took a short break from their studies to construct an Origami Nativity scene. The work was displayed in the chapel in the Karen Kaiser Parish House during advent.

  • Cathedral of St. John the Divine

    We organized a guided vertical tour of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. According to Visitor Center, the 60 minutes tour is an adventurous, “behind-the-scenes” one where participants will climb more than 124 feet through spiral staircases to the top of the world's largest cathedral.  Stories are told through stained glass windows and sculpture and the grand architecture of the Cathedral is studied while standing on a buttress. The tour culminated on the roof with a sweeping view of Manhattan.

    For more information, visit St. John the Divine's site here

  • Holy Cross Cemetery Mausoleum

    We organized a docent lead tour of the Holy Cross Cemetery Mausoleum art collection. The collection consists of 90 major pieces of art from churches in the Newark Archdiocese that have closed. 

    Read about the exhibit here.

  • Museum of Biblical Art (MOBIA)

    We organized several docent lead tours of the Museum of Biblical Art (MOBIA) in Manhattan.

    MOBIA was an independent museum committed to engaging diverse audiences in the exploration of biblically inspired art from the historical to the contemporary. Located near Columbus Circle and the Lincoln Center for Performing Arts, MOBIA opened in May 2005 as the nation’s only scholarly museum specifically working at the intersection of art and the Bible. The museum closed in 2015.

    Groups explored the following:

    •    As Subject and Object exhibit
    •    Sacred Visions exhibit
    •    Object of Devotion exhibit
    •    Dürer, Rembrandt, Tiepolo: The Jansma Master Prints Collection exhibit
    •    Sculpture in the Age of Donatello exhibit

    Visit the MOBIA site here.