RCS Crest Thoughts from the Pastor RCS Crest


May - June 2017



Beloved in the Lord,

For 16 months a small contingent from the Classis has been walking alongside of your Consistory to listen to plans and to guide them through a visioning process for the future. These plans include a Revitalization Plan and funding application, which the Consistory is writing and will be submitting to Classis, Regional Synod and the General Synod.  In order to be eligible for the funding, the Consistory needs to have an identified Revitalization Pastor on board, who will assist the Consistory with developing the application.

These types of pastors are unique. They need to be what is often called “tent-makers”; pastors willing to work part-time in some other job as well as doing the pastoral work. The job description is ….for lack of a better word: TOUGH! Such Revitalization Pastors are required to follow set goals and meet challenging milestones. They have to be go-getters, outgoing, task-oriented, and creative in the midst of difficult situations.

The Consistory and the Visioning Team representatives of Classis are excited to share with you that we believe Colleen Toole is well-suited for this work as Revitalization Pastor.

Here are our reasons: First, she provides inspirational preaching.  Her messages are positive and uplifting, while coherent and relative to our experiences. Second, Colleen is very interested in expanding the mission of our church into the community. She has had a variety of experiences in other situations and ministries which help to make her particularly suited for working with our church. Third, Colleen is willing to work within the bounds of the challenging Revitalization Plan. Through her multiple jobs both in the creative field as well as at Starbucks, she demonstrates that she is able to multitask and still keep her eye on the target.

The Consistory is excited about moving forward with Colleen and the Revitalization Plan. She will be moving into house #44 at the beginning of June. We hope that you, dear congregation, will support this decision and her as best you can, particularly with prayer for the Revitalization Plan and the new ministries your church will be undertaking.

Yours in Christ’s service,
The Consistory and Visioning Team of Classis

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Greetings from Colleen Toole


I’ve been able to meet some of you when I’ve preached this year, and look forward to getting to know all of you! As we’re still learning about each other, here’s a bit of my story to start to answer the question, “Who’s this short-haired person who has recently shown up in our pulpit?”

I graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary in May of 2016.  Unlike many of my classmates, I never expected to end up at seminary. While I was raised in the church, the child of two church musicians, I went into the arts. (Even my hobbies are on the artistic side—things like knitting and cross-stitching!) My undergrad was in theater at New York University, with one semester abroad in Ghana. After graduating, I stayed in New York City, freelancing in theater.

Now, the NYC experimental theater scene is not the most religious environment, which put me in an interesting position of almost evangelist and chaplain to that community. Many people I met had once been Christians, but had found themselves shut out of the church for various reasons. Most of them still hungered for a connection with God. This shaped into a calling to work with and for those the church has marginalized, helping to create and foster and learn from churches that truly welcome all—a calling that eventually led me to seminary.

Since graduating, I have been working at the Starbucks in Lawrenceville while I explore what my future holds, including moving towards ordination in the Presbyterian Church (USA).  My partner, Mads, graduates from seminary this May.  While I’m a member of the Presbyterian Church (USA), I have spent time in many denominations, including Baptist, Methodist, Episcopal, and, yes, Reformed!

I became connected to First Reformed of South River through shared seminary connections and have so deeply appreciated the community that I’ve found here whenever I’ve come to preach.  I look forward to developing deeper relationships with all of you!

Grace upon grace,




Contact Information


40 Thomas Street, South River, New Jersey 08882