By JOANNE L. PAPAIANNI
The Memorial United Methodist Church in Neptune City is holding its final service Sun., Sept. 15 as it celebrates its 106th anniversary.
Marj Peterson Mottola, a board member, said the closure has been in the works for the past year.
Mottola, who is sad to see her home church close its doors, said the loss of Acelero Learning Center, which had rented space at the church for many years, was the “final nail in the coffin.”
The church tried to find a new tenant to no avail and the decision was made to close.
Mottola said there are about 15 to 20 parishioners who attend services regularly.
For the last 10 years MUMC and West Grove United Methodist Church on Route 33 in Neptune have shared a pastor.
It’s called a joint charge and there have been three pastors over the past 10 years serving both churches.
The current pastor Hyui Hui Kim will preside over Sunday’s service.
Members of the WGUMC are expected to attend the joint service on Sunday.
Mottola, who has been a member and past administrative council member of MUMC, said she will be attending WGUMC in the future.
“It’s been dwindling the past five to 10 years. It’s happening to churches everywhere…it’s very, very difficult,” Mottola said.
Mottola said this week she and some other parishioners are cleaning out Heaven’s Closet, a donation area for former Acelero families. providing household goods. She said they will decide soon whether or not to hold a rummage sale.
Following the 8:30 a.m. service on Sunday when parishioners past and present will pay their respects to the church, refreshments will be served in Fellowship Hall.
Mottola said the church building will revert to the ownership of the United Methodist Conference.