Schedule of First Wednesday Classes

Dear Members of First Reformed Church:

As we all are trying to live consciously as Christians in this world, you might find the following sessions of our First Wednesdays Class helpful:

March 2:
Intro to David Ramsey’s approach to debt reduction and financial independence. (Session led by Eugene Rapoport)

April 6: Book discussion of N.J. Wright, Surprised by Hope (Please order the book individually in advance – however, we will have excerpts available during the session.)

May 4: Movie “The Way” with Martin Sheen.

June 1: Intro to the Venezuelan music education program “El Sistema” and its motto “Social Action for Music” (Session led by Ben Berman)

All sessions start at 7:00PM in the Church House on 9 Bayard Street.

With good wishes,

Pastor Hartmut

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Weekly Update – February 8 – February 14

Dear Friends ~

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.
– Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NIV)

Today’s commentary:
We are a driven culture. It seems that we want to achieve everything by yesterday! Some people may say that this is a good thing, but it seems we are perpetually tired and lack the margin to enjoy life. Solomon shows us that this is not unique to our culture. To understand the season that we are in can help us say no to many good things that are not appropriate at that particular time. May God give us the wisdom of Solomon, who knew how to focus on the right things in the right season.

Here is what’s happening at FRC this week:

Monday   Feb. 8
5:15 pm Bible Study
7:00 pm Property Committee Meeting

Tuesday   Feb. 9
5:30 pm Finance Meeting

Wednesday Feb 10

2:00-5:00 pm  Spring Civic Engagement Fair at the Livingston Student Center-Rutgers
6:30 pm Combined Choir Rehearsal
7:30 pm Worship at Highland Park Reformed Church
8:30 pm  Feast of Sausages

Thursday Feb. 11
10:00 am Construction Mtg.
2:00 pm New Brunswick Homeless Resource Group
3:15 pm Ribbon Cutting for Dina’s Dwellings
Friday Feb. 12  
Saturday Feb. 13
8:30 am ISP Work Group
7:30 pm “Love is Sweet” Concert & Dessert
Sunday  Feb. 14
9:00 am Choir Rehearsal
9:30 am Breakfast & Banter
9:50 am Bell Choir
10:30 am Worship
Ushers: Lolly & Joan 
11:30 am Coffee Hour
Host: Liz Hance
7:00 pm   Men’s Shelter


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Ash Wednesday Services

Dear Members of First Reformed Church:

Please don’t forget this year’s Ash Wednesday service on February 10 at 7:30PM in the Highland Park Reformed Church (19-21 S. 2nd Ave). This is a collegiate service with the Reformed Churches of New Brunswick and Highland Park.

The joint choir will rehearse from 6:30 PM on.

After worship, we have our annual “Feast of Sausages“. This commemorates an event conducted by our Protestant ancestors in 1522 in Zurich, Switzerland. This year, the feast is organized by the FRC Invitation & Outreach Committee – so come and support Janet, Lolly and Joan.

And if you would like to bring a covered dish or a dessert, it will help break the monopoly of the sausages!

Hope to see you there,

Pastor Hartmut

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Dina’s Dwelling Ribbon Cutting


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Volunteers Needed


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From Pastor’s Desk


Our lives as Christians materialize in large parts through service to others. If you follow the Apostle Paul, this is a principle deeply ingrained in every congregation. In I Corinthians 12, he lists several spiritual gifts among the faithful. Their common denominator is the fact that they come into existence first when they are applied for the sake of someone else. We cannot express wisdom, knowledge, faith and healing to ourselves; and neither would it make sense if we worked miracles, prophesied, used discernment or the gift of tongues only for ourselves. The Christian life always carries a dimension of serving others. It’s our outbound perspective, so to speak.

Based on this is the strong interest in issues of social justice that is prevalent among many mainline congregations. In the Reformed circles in our area, we care in particular about immigration issues, ongoing relief from Superstorm Sandy, human trafficking, and shelter for victims of domestic violence. Other issues could easily be added, and they are all important and have their own right.

But did you know that meaning of the church does not exhaust itself in any of these? There is more to the Christian life that the concern for social justice. Neither are social justice issues the only ones that feature service to others. Indeed, almost every aspect of our lives as Christians entails the dimension of service:

  • If we care for the historic substance of our buildings and tradition, we do so for the sake of future generations.
  •  If we get involved with adult education, we prepare ourselves to better understand our role with others and our relation with them.
  •  If we sing in the choir or play an instrument during worship, we do so for the edification of others


I could prolong the list ad infinitum. But let’s be more concrete. The picture above was taken during the meeting of the Property Committee on January 11. I stood on a chair to gain a more fun perspective. There was a lot of laughter and a lot of donuts. And someone funny had brought a book about guns to hold up in this way the current initiative of President Obama.

It was a fun meeting, yet it also accomplished a lot. The number of resolved agenda items was quite impressive. And I think I can say this for all participants: Meetings like this one give us a sense of meaning as we apply ourselves to ministry. Fun and service can go hand-in-hand! In daily life, Church is at its best when this happens; only in serious situations of suffering or crisis it is the other way round. That’s when we carry the cross. But, as I said, in normal life, our togetherness should look just like this meeting of our Property Committee. May we have many more similar occasions for ministry as this year goes into its second month!

With fond wishes,
Pastor Hartmut

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Love is Sweet

Concert Love is sweet

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