SADDLE BROOK, N.J.– The Rev. Christopher Wolf believes it's essential for those of the cloth to be involved beyond the four walls of their congregation.
So the First Reformed Church pastor founded and moderates the Saddle Brook Community Partnership, comprised of various community members from local government, houses of worship, education, business and social services.
"When you get all different entities from the community around a table, this networking and partnership really starts to take off," said Wolf, who grew up in Fair Lawn. "You create synergy."
The 1992 College of New Jersey graduate has a unique advantage: He worked in print media, government, and public relations before entering the ministry in 2002.
His parents were involved locally and his father volunteered with the ambulance corps in his native Fair Lawn.
"Wherever there is pain, oppression, suffering, injustice, corruption, loneliness and despair, that is where I must go and bring the loving, hopeful, liberating, saving words and presence of Christ," Wolf said. "That's what it means to be a pastor."
The Saddle Brook Community Partnership has met three times and has already agreed on some "action steps," Wolf said.
"First, approving communication strategies to reach young families, senior citizens and youth and inform them of available help," he said. "Second, set dates for youth and senior citizen summits, at which we will listen and hear from them about their needs and also share ways we want to help.
"Third, we will continue to identify new leaders for the partnership to expand its membership."
Plans also are in the works for internships for Saddle Brook High School students at the Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation on Market Street, he said.
Help may come from a link on the township's website for parents of at-risk youngsters, senior citizens or young, struggling families to get help.
"We are going to develop communication strategies, let them know we're here and there are various township and county organizations available for them," Wolf said.