Weekly Update – February 1 – 7

Dear Friends ~

To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field.”  – Genesis 3:17-18 (NIV)

Today’s commentary: This curse was spoken to Adam as a direct result of disobeying God and eating the forbidden fruit. We often think of this in relationship to manual labor, but this curse includes all work. Even the most elaborately planned ventures don’t go the way that we want them. Yet Christ came to redeem this world of painful toil. Whether you are a programmer or farmer, Christ transforms us, and that in turn will change the way that we approach our work. What can you change in your job that will turn it from a curse to a blessing?

Here is what’s happening at FRC this week:

Monday   Feb. 1
5:15 pm   Bible Study
Tuesday   Feb. 2
10:00 am Construction Mtg.
6:00 pm Sanctuary Dedication Comm. Mtg.
Wednesday Feb. 3
10:00 am Invitation & Outreach Comm. Mtg.
10:00 am TCCDC Budget Mtg. w/ BCUW-MHP
7:00 pm Adult Ed Class – “Boundaries” Book discussion

Thursday Feb. 4
9:30 am MCHC3 Meeting
10:00 am Construction Mtg.

Friday Feb. 5  
Saturday Feb. 6
8:30 am ISP Work Group Volunteer Event – Dina’s Dwellings
10:00 am  Cleaning and moving in household items  

Sunday     Feb. 7
9:00 am Choir Rehearsal
9:30 am Breakfast & Banter
9:50 am Bells Rehearsal
10:00 am Sunday School – Fawn
10:30 am Worship w/ Lord’s Supper
Ushers: Elizabeth Hance (Bread & Juice) &Margaret Coakley and Marilie Coetsee
11:30 am Coffee Hour host: The Bernhofers  
12:00 pm Elders’ Mtg.    

Prayer List – February 1, 2016

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Boundaries – Book Discussion on 2/3

Dear Members and Friends of First Reformed Church:

This is just a quick reminder of our upcoming First Wednesday’s session on “Boundaries” on Wednesday, February 3 at 7:00 PM. The book we’ll discuss is inspiring and has great practical value for our personal and professional lives. Please see an image of the book cover attached.

If you did not have a chance to read the book or only parts, but would like to come on Feb. 3rd anyway, I can only encourage you. We will make it manageable for you. It would be nice, however, if you could bring your own copy of the book.

Please let me know if you have questions.

With good wishes,
Pastor Hartmut

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Crossroads XXXII

Dear Women of First Reformed Church:

Please see the attached flyer for Crossroads XXXII. Every year, attendees report this to be a very inspiring event and a great addition to life with the local congregation. As in years before, Susan will be part of it with a workshop against Domestic Violence.

Thanks for your support!

Pastor Hartmut



Posted in Dina's Dwellings, Events, General, Items of Interest, Women's Guild | Leave a comment

No Worship Service Sunday, January 24th

Due to the impending snow storm and subsequent conditions, worship services for this Sunday, January 24th are being CANCELLED!

While you are waiting out the cleanup feel free to sit in your most comfortable chair and have a cup of coffee or tea or hot chocolate and read your Bible for the hour. God will join you there.

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Worship during Inclement Weather

When considering church attendance in inclement weather conditions, please know that the safety of our congregation, guests and staff is our first concern. Since we come from a variety of communities and distances, please use your own judgment on whether it is safe to drive to church. This is important even if you have a leading role in church – whether it is in the choir, the bell choir, in Sunday School or during coffee hour afterwards. Please do not take unnecessary risks by driving in conditions that are not safe.

Cancellations and schedule changes will be announced by email and posted on the church’s Facebook page. Please check also the phone answering machine in the church office (732.545.1005).

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From Pastor’s Desk

Pastor's Desk

Pastor’s Desk

Tom De Vries, the General Secretary of our denomination met with several regional leaders in early December at New Brunswick Seminary to discuss questions the current state of the church and to listen to the voices in our region. Susan and I were there. We were happy that Tom came afterwards for a tour through the construction site of Dina’s Dwellings.

During his visit, Tom introduced a good amount of new vocabulary. He said the church needs to move on

  • from program to process,
  • from loyalty to validation
  • from an institution to a people in mission, characterized by
    • sacrificial service,
    • authentic relationships
    • and spiritual transformation.

All of it, he said, is part of our denominational program “Transformed & Transforming”. Continue reading

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Against Human Trafficking

Even though the basic distinction is between labor and sex trafficking, we here at First Reformed Church learned about human trafficking through our engagement against domestic violence. We were blessed when Andrea Reynolds from Restore One gave us on December 2 a very engaging adult education class on the subject. A reporter from Gannett Press had supported us with a great article that appeared in several publications and also on the front page of the Home News Tribune. Through these efforts, we had several visitors from the community with us. Continue reading

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