A gift of $5,000 from The Center for Life Transitions, a counseling and resource facility headquartered in Bridgewater, NJ (www.centerforlifetransitions.net), will enable North Branch Reformed Church of Bridgewater (www.nbrc.com) to offer new and expanded services to senior citizens through its Elder Care Advocate program.

Scott Pontier of the Center for Life Transitions (left) congratulates Todd Buurstra and Judith Wilkinson on their financial gift. (Photo by Roland Reinhart, Reinhart Marketing Group)“Thanks to this generous gift from The Center for Life Transitions, we will be able to reach out to elderly citizens in our surrounding community in ways we have not been able to offer before,” says Todd Buurstra, Pastor of Worship and Witness, North Branch Reformed Church. “We will be able to do more home assessments, for example, to more accurately determine the needs of the residents and better coordinate the efforts of our volunteers to meet them.”

[Photo: Scott Pontier of the Center for Life Transitions (left) congratulates Todd Buurstra and Judith Wilkinson on their financial gift.]

Judith Wilkinson, who heads the Elder Care Advocate program, welcomes the opportunity to expand the church’s outreach activities. “We will be able to offer more home handyman and transportation services,” she explains. “We’ll also be able to provide assistance with paperwork such as insurance forms, for example, which can often be confusing for senior citizens.”

Such activities are in keeping with the goals and objectives of The Center for Life Transitions. “Our mission is to serve people who are at ‘crossroads’ in their personal, professional and spiritual lives,” says Scott Pontier, Vice President of the Board. “We do this by providing individual counseling and coaching services, group workshops and web-based tools and resources, and by making grants to places of worship and organizations in areas that are consistent with the Center’s mission.”

The Center brings together the best professional and spiritual resources to support individuals and relationships. “We help people deal with life challenges, whether it is parents needing guidance with adolescent children, tools to find a new job, techniques to enhance marital relationships, or helping elderly people make life decisions,” Pontier explains.

The gift to North Branch Reformed Church not only supports the Center’s objective but also honors its benefactor, Ethel Kienz, who led many initiatives for the elderly at the church and throughout Somerset County, NJ. “We are actively seeking ways to assist organizations with goals and objectives similar to our own,” says Pontier, and we encourage people to find out more about our workshops and initiatives by checking our website at www.centerforlifetransitions.net.

About The Center for Life Transitions, Inc.

The Center for Life Transitions is a counseling and resource facility in Bridgewater, NJ. It was started by Tom Bachhuber, who presently serves as president, and Scott Pontier, vice president. Bachhuber moved to Milwaukee in 2003 to head the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee‘s Career Development Center and continues to provide services both in Milwaukee and in New Jersey. Pontier, a Branchburg resident, is a psychotherapist and pastoral counselor.

About Scott Pontier

Presently in private practice, Scott Pontier also consults with companies on employee health and development issues. A past Chair of the Somerset County Mental Health Board, he has served on a number of boards and commissions. He holds graduate degrees in Theology and Clinical Social Work and is double licensed as a Marriage & Family Counselor and as a Clinical Social Worker.

About Todd Buurstra

After graduating from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI in 1981, Todd Buurstra lived in Japan for two and a half years. Upon his return to America, he received his Masters of Divinity degree from Western Theological Seminary 1987. Buurstra came to North Branch Reformed Church in 1999 and received his Doctorate in Ministry from Drew University in 2005. He currently serves as a Board Member of the Community Visiting Nurses Association in Somerville.