After arriving at LVPC, Dr. Nagel discovered that the local clergy group had disbanded several years before. In August 2001, Dr. Nagel and Father Drury of St. Luke’s Roman Catholic Church, met to discuss how the ecumenical worshiping community of Long Valley could come together again, but this time for more than just collegiate friendship. They wanted the people of faith in Long Valley to enjoy mutual religious celebrations, community events, and mission endeavors. Other ministers of local congregations joined as well, as did elders and deacons from area churches. They would become known as the LVCA – The Long Valley Clergy Association, and half of its members would be ordained elders and deacons in Roman Catholic and Protestant churches.
Within a few shorts weeks of its re-founding, the group would help our community respond to the devastation of 9-11 by organizing an ecumenical community memorial service to remember those who lost their lives and to help our community heal from the tragedy. In Holy Week the following year, the 1st annual Cross Walk for Peace would be held with over 250 people participating. The walk continues each year.
Each year on Good Friday, we gather to remember the love of God in the giving of God’s only son, our Lord Jesus Christ, so that we might know the peace which surpasses all understanding. The Cross Walk begins at 12:00 noon at Long Valley Presbyterian, as members of each congregation take a turn carrying the cross, lifting up prayers for peace in our families, community, nation, and world. Along the walk, the members of one congregation pass the cross to members of another congregation. In doing so, we recognize the solidarity we have with one another as brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus, all part of the priesthood of believers and the Church of Jesus Christ in the world.