Hugs & Hospitality at Wright Memorial Church @BarnegatPatch

Congregation that meets in former opera house welcomes visitors with music and warmth.

“Life is desperate; we need all the hugs we can get,” said Rev. Bob Lewis after Sunday morning worship at Wright Memorial Presbyterian Church, Barnegat, NJWright Memorial Presbyterian Church.

He was standing at the foot of the church’s front steps greeting people after the service. There were hugs for the men and kisses on the cheek for the women. He inquired warmly about each person’s concerns and sent them on their way.

This kind of affection permeated the morning.

At 9 a.m., people gathered for coffee and conversation, Lewis said.

“Sometimes it’s religious. Sometimes it’s just funny and jokes,” he said.

At 10 a.m., Lewis began strumming his guitar and singing modern worship songs while congregants arrived and chatted. Music has always been important to the congregation, in keeping with its history as a former opera house that was foreclosed upon and purchased by the Presbytery of Monmouth in 1877, a church brochure said. …

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