Weekly Update – April 7 – 13

Dear Friends,

Here is our weekly update and prayer list.


But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” – 1 Peter 2:9-10 (NIV)

God’s created us; we are God’s children. This is more than an individual plan for our lives; it is God’s desire to have a beloved community. To walk alone is cross grain to God’s purposes for our lives. God’s mercy was not to enable us to do our own thing, rather we receive a new identity with other people who are called out by God. Now we stand before God as priests who are brought together, each with the same story of being called into light. Mercy is found and received as we interact within the community – and that is a triune relationship: God-you-me.

Sign-up for the Potluck Seder Meal (Good Friday, April 18th at 6:00 pm) – Please contact the Church Secretary if you have questions.

Here is what’s happening at FRC this week:

Monday April 7
10:00 am Staff Mtg.
5:30 pm TCCDC Board Mtg.
7:00 pm Property Comm. Mtg.

Tuesday April 8

Wednesday April 9
12:15 pm Lunchtime Recital
5:00 pm TCCDC – Fundraising Comm. @ Sherri’s house
6:00 pm Lenten Program
7:00 pm Choir Rehearsal
7:00 pm Hall Ed Fund Mtg. @ PCUSA, Livingston Ave.

Thursday April 10

Friday April 11

Saturday April 12
8:30 am ISP Work Group
9:00 am TCCDC – Presents at Readington Ref. Ch.
11:00 am Church Move – RU Students & Volunteers
3:00 pm Skit Rehearsal

9:00 am Choir Rehearsal
9:30 am Breakfast & Banter
9:50 am Bell Choir Rehearsal
10:30 am Worship
Ushers – Bruce Bothwell & tbd
Coffee Hour – Josh Bernhofer & Thakshila Upasena
1:00 pm Rainbow Choir Rehearsal

Peace be with you,

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From Pastor’s Desk – April, 2014

Pastor's Desk

Pastor’s Desk

The men’s shelter has not been particularly easy in the end of March. In total, the folks from Catholic Charities gave us five site visits in support of our volunteers. Add in other challenging developments, especially in the personal lives of some of our elderly church members – and you can see why I have an unusually strong yearning for spring this year. It was probably not a good idea that I finished the month by reading an article on Black Holes in National Geographic Magazine, as it seemed to emphasize the insignificance of our planet and all the pain and challenges occurring on its surface.

It is good in times like these to apply faith. To me, this came when, in the middle of an unpleasant men’s shelter situation, I suddenly remembered a motto from my childhood:


The Word of God endures forever.” I cannot tell you where I once read it as a child. Was it a banner, a painting or in a Sunday school book? Today, I know that it goes back to John the Steadfast and the Diet of Augsburg in 1530, when this powerful Elector of Saxony declared his support of the Lutheran Reformation in front of the general assembly of the Estates of the Holy Roman Empire. Only one year later Huldrych Zwingli, the leader of our Reformed branch of the Reformation, was killed in battle.


John the Steadfast by Lucas Cranach the Elder, 1509

But think about it! This motto of the Reformation is much older than the 16th century. Its origin is Isaiah 40:8, “The grass withers, the flower fades; but the word of our God will stand forever.” And so I greet you with this verse as we pass through the remainder of Lent while waiting eagerly for the Sun of Easter to rise.

With fond wishes, Pastor Hartmut

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Seder Meal & Tenebrae Worship

Good Friday, April 18 We will be holding our Seder Meal at 6:00 pm.

The meal is free, because we ask each person to please consider bringing one of the items on the list, which is hanging in Fellowship Hall. If you have any questions, please contact Susan Kramer-Mills.

Seder Sign Up

The meal will be followed by the Tenebrae Worship Service at 7:30 pm.

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Music Notes – April, 2014

We had a fun recital in the Randolph Room on March 23, in which I performed with my colleague Paul Undreiner, the music director of Ramsey Presbyterian Church. We did three song cycles – Butterworth’s A Shropshire Lad, which I have sung a few times before, Schumann’s Dichterliebe, and Paul’s own, newly composed cycle, Five Bartow Songs. We were graced with the presence of Charles Bartow, the poet who provided texts for Paul’s songs. He sat in the front row with his wife, Paula.
Continue reading

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Town Clock CDC – MOU’ed up to our ears!

By Susan Kramer-Mills, Executive Director

While we are getting even closer to finalizing the grant application with the Housing & Mortgage & Finance Agency (HMFA) for $2.4 million, we still have a long list of forms to fill in. These include MOU’s (Memorandums of Understanding), as many of us have now become infinitely acquainted with, besides the stack of forms, reports, etc.

The Town Clock CDC finalized an MOU with the Edison Housing Authority for ten vouchers. These vouchers provide the subsidy for the rents. There was a jump of joy coming from HMFA’s offices about this, namely, there are very few such vouchers available at the moment.

Then there was the MOU between the Town Clock CDC and Women Aware, Inc., which delineates the work between the two organizations after construction. Women Aware, Inc. will be providing the Town Clock CDC with counseling services for the residents.

Finally, we have been working on the MOA (Memorandum of Agreement) between HMFA and the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), which had to be negotiated. This was a huge undertaking and is still has reports to be negotiated. In particular, these reports describe the areas where construction material will be laid out and what areas will be off limits.

All in all, it is becoming clear that we are getting close to construction. The Town Clock CDC has started to plan for a Groundbreaking Event. If all works out with HMFA’s funding, then that date will probably take place on May 19th. Hurray!! Of course, everyone will be invited!

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Rainbow Children’s Choir & Ciclovia

The Rainbow Children’s Choir will give their annual Earth Day concert at New Brunswick’s Ciclovia. Please mark your calendars for May 4, to come outside and help support this group of young singers. We will be singing songs to celebrate Earth and our call as faithful people to be good stewards of what God has given us.

While we are still in negotiations with the city about how this is going happen, exactly where, and when, we can be rather sure that we will find some niche at Ciclovia. Please stay tuned for more information. If that fails, we will nevertheless sing that day, either at Anshe Emeth Memorial Temple or First Reformed Church.

Rehearsals will begin on Sunday, April 13 at First Reformed Church, and on Tuesday, April 15 at Livingston Elementary School. For more information, or to find out if your kids can get involved, please contact me at (443) 621-2793.

Ciclovia Flyer

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Hall Education Fund

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!

A heartfelt thank you is extended to everyone who contributed to the annual Hall Education Fund Fundraiser. Our March 7th event was enjoyed by all who attended. The food was great, the talk by Brian Hammill was interesting, the wines were delicious, the setting was comfortable, and, most of all, it was for a good cause. We raised over $4,500.00 which will provide much needed scholarships for New Brunswick students pursuing higher education.

If you weren’t able to join us this year, make plans to join us for our Hall Fest in October or the Winetasting and Silent Auction in March, 2015. Of course, donations are welcome and appreciated any time of the year!

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