Weekly Update – November 9 – November 15

Dear Friends ~

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.”
– Psalm 37:7 (NIV)

Today’s commentary:
Our culture is not known for being still. We do not wait very well. Yet these traits are necessary if we expect to walk in the ways of God. Waiting is not a call to inactivity, but trust. When we wait and watch we gain perspective on what it means to prosper and succeed; we learn how to plan in ways that benefit others. Being still and waiting actually is the prelude to action, but these actions will have greater significance than anything that hasty plans can produce.

Here is what’s happening at FRC this week:

Monday   Nov. 9
5:15 pm   Bible Study

Tuesday   Nov. 10
10:00 am NBDVA Coalition  

Wednesday Nov. 11  
12:00 pm Staff Mtg.
5:30 pm TCCDC Fundraising Mtg.
7:00 pm Choir Rehearsal  

Thursday Nov. 12
2:00 pm   Construction Mtg.
Friday Nov. 13  
12:00 pm 40 Hour DV Training

Saturday Nov. 14
8:30 am ISP Work Group
5:00 pm Jane Parker’s Birthday Party!!
Sunday    Nov. 15
9:00 am Choir Rehearsal
9:30 am Breakfast & Banter
9:50 am Bell Choir
10:30 am  Worship
Ushers: Lolly & Bruce
11:30 am Coffee Hour – Liz Hance
12:00 pm Elders’ Mtg.
1:00 pm Dutch Dance Practice


Prayer List for November 9, 2015

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From Pastor’s Desk

Pastor's Desk

Pastor’s Desk

We had an important coffee hour on World communion Sunday: Andrea Reynolds talked to us about human trafficking, and how it affects places in New Jersey where many of us would not have suspected it: Rural communities, large sports events and even military bases.For many of us, Andrea’s PowerPoint presentation presented a new reality, one that makes the familiar places of our world shine in a different light. Here are some of the grim data she shared:

  • Human trafficking appears in two forms, sex trafficking and labor trafficking.
    Common to both is that they are forms of modern slavery.
  • In 2014, slave traders earned $32 billion worldwide.
  • Today, approximately 30 million people live in slavery across the world.
  • A study from a non-profit agency (A Heart for Justice) shows that a human trafficker can earn annually up to $200,000 per victim.
  • Frequent places of human trafficking include international airports, major highways, and professional sports teams.
  • The FBI estimates that currently 100,000 youth are being trafficked in the U.S.; the average age of entry is 12-14.
  • Super Bowl is the most important trafficking event in the U.S.

Andrea came to us as representative of “RESTORE ONE”, a non-profit group with the mission to help boys – the male victims of human trafficking. The agency is building a Christ-centered safe-home for boys, the first of its kind in the United States.

Andrea suggested several ways by which we can become involved: Spread the word, become a partner, consider an internship, buy fair-trade, host an event, and reach the youth were a few of them. Important is also to have the following phone numbers:
911 Local Law Enforcement
1.888.373.7888 Human Trafficking Hotline
1.855.363.6548 NJ Human Trafficking Coalition

If you missed Andrea’s presentation, there will be a second chance: Andrea will come back to First Reformed Church to teach the First Wednesday’s Adult Education Class in December. We hope to see you there.

When? December 2, 2015, 7:00-9:00PM
Where? Fellowship Hall on 9 Bayard Street

Hope to see you there!

With fond wishes, Pastor Hartmut

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The Fire at Poile Zedek

The fire that burned down the historic synagogue of Poile Zedek was an incredible tragedy. It seems established, meanwhile, that it was caused by a technical malfunction in one of the rooms on the upper level. Several of us stood in tears watching the drama unfold. I cannot imagine what this catastrophe might mean for Rabbi Mykoff and his small congregation. And so I want to thank everybody who responded during these dark hours by email, phone, or spontaneous visit.

We also owe gratitude to the fire fighters from New Brunswick and surrounding areas. The pictures give a good impression of their incredibly difficult service.

I have offered Rabbi Mykoff our space should his congregation desire to use it, and I want to thank several members of Consistory, who all supported me in this even though I had not been able to ask their permission on that horrible afternoon.

Let us pray now that the congregation of Poile Zedek will be able to regroup, and that Rabbi Mykoff and other leaders will find the strength and wisdom to guide their people through this time. Poile Zedek is a very important part of our community here in New Brunswick.

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Best Kept Secret: Our Lunchtime Series

Given our publicity and advertizing, the Lunchtime Series is really not a secret at all! But when I read the bios of the involved musicians and then only see 30 people in the audience instead of 100, I sometimes wonder. We really have internationally renowned performers here! The accompanying pictures are from two recitals: One on October 7 with Ruotao Mao from China playing the violin, accompanied on the piano by Tatyana Kebuladze from the Ukraine; the other on October 21 with Ena Bronstein Barton from Chile and Phyllis Alpert Lehrer from the United States.

You don’t want to miss these incredibly lovely short concerts which pick up your day. And who can beat the delicious soups, which are offered afterwards.

These events warm both body and soul.

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Lunchtime Recital


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Town Clock CDC

Town Clock CDC

Town Clock CDC

Here are some quick highlights from our Board and the mission to provide ten women and their children affordable housing:

  1. We voted onto our Board of Trustees two new members: Ashley Kaplan and Kathy Romano. Both have been sitting on our Advisory Board for a while now and have contributed significantly to promoting our mission. Of course, we all know Ashley as one of the members of our church. Kathy is the Manager of the Amboy Bank branch which is right up the street. We are thrilled to have both of them joining us.
  2. Continue reading

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Music Notes

music_notesThe First Reformed Church Adult Choir and Bell Choir made their debut at Crossroads Theatre on Sunday, November 1, 2015, All Saints’ Day. We had a decent-sized audience and the people in the audience were totally engaged in the production. We may find that some of them have been drawn a little closer to our church through their experience of our music in a setting such as this. As it says in William Walker’s hymn Parting Hand, “You draw like cords around my heart,” and I feel that there was something of that longing between our friends in the audience and our choir members at the concert. Continue reading

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