For weeks now, the Mayor of Newark, Cory Booker, has been sparing with late night TV host Conan O'Brien on NBC's The Late Show with Conan O'Brien. Always up to Conan's challenges about Newark's transformation, Mayor Cory Booker continued to step up and lift up Brick City. Last night on late night, Conan surprised the Mayor, and the watching and blogging audience, with a gift of $100,000 for Booker's project, Newark Now, which is advancing the quality of life in Newark, New Jersey. NBC, along with Conan and his wife, donated the money in order to not be part of the problem, but become part of the solution. Conan commented that $100,000 made for one expensive joke, and further promised to donate $500 to a Newark Joke Jar for each future jab at Newark's expense.

Newark Presbytery's eleven congregations in the city of Newark are places of hope, delivery stations in the name of Jesus Christ. In the months and years to come, along with people like Cory and Conan, we will continue to be channels of God's blessings to help build a transformed Newark and grow the lives of its 280,000 residents in the name of Jesus Christ. Newark Presbytery's Community Transformation Corporation is another ministry vehicle just beginning to organize to bring blessings not only to Newark, but to all of Essex and parts of Bergen and Hudson counties.

Newark Presbytery celebrates the $100,000 gift to Newark Now and is grateful for the leadership of Mayor Cory Booker and the generosity of Conan's family.

Become part of the solution. Is your community unraveling? How can your church help your community reconnect to itself? Who are the key connectors? I know forty-one Presbyterian congregations who are, and who are committed to be, key connectors of God's blessing.

Following adapted and edited from Jeremiah 29.7

“Make yourselves at home there and work for the country’s welfare. Pray for Newark's well-being. If things go well for Newark, things will go well for you.”

More information can be found at Newark's: StarTribune and StarLedger .

Building Brick City, one brick at a time.