Who’s In That Grave?

As you might imagine, with a historic cemetery like ours, the question is not always easy to answer!

headstoneIf you are interested in the current level of research as far as our cemetery is concerned, join us for worship and presentation during coffee hour.

In addition to the archaeological presentation at the Library on Thursday, we have another presentation on our cemetery on Sunday during coffee hour. This one, however, will have a genealogical focus. Charlie Morgan will be with us from Florida that morning. He has done much research on the residents of our graves. Hearing him speak will give us a great chance to become more familiar with our old burial ground. Charlie will also be recognized during worship for all the work he has done.

Sunday, June 28th, 2015 at 10:30 AM


On that day, we will recognize Mr. Charles Morgan for his work and and efforts in researching the people buried in our graveyard.

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Seder Fellowship

With 37 guests, our Seder has never been better attended than on Good Friday this year! The pictures also show how much younger our congregation has become. As always, it was a meaningful liturgy that reminded us of our Jewish roots. It helped us at the same time to ponder the last supper of our Lord. Joy and sorrow were therefore close together. And since the event was organized as pot luck, we had a taste from many ethnic traditions.

Following the meal, we joined in the Randolph Room for the Tenebrae liturgy that ends in utter silence. Instead of a sermon, it was moving to hear Fawn and Thakshila give testimony of their faith. They spoke about Jesus providing sanctuary in their personal lives.

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Students Replacing Greek Life with Church Life

Where would we be were it not for the large groups of Rutgers students that come regularly to volunteer at the church. On Saturday before Easter, the Student Volunteer Council sent us a large contingent to help us prepare for the High Holiday. For three hours, the students painted, cleaned, moved chairs, pianos and harpsichord, and even planted the containers by the glass door entrance. We want to thank especially Meghan Hsu, who coordinated the event. Gary, Bruce, Susan, Lily and I lend support from the side of the church. Together we were a fun team, and the generosity of the students was just incredible.

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Benevolence of the Month

Rutgers Protestant Campus Ministry

RPCM is an INCLUSIVE community

If you are Asian, Hispanic, Black, or White…

If you are male or female…

If you are transgender, queer or intersex…

If you’ve never stepped foot in a church; or if you are Buddhist, Catholic, Protestant, or agnostic…

If you are single, married, divorced, separated, or partnered…

If you are straight, gay, lesbian, or bisexual…

If you are a Republican, Democrat, Independent, Socialist, or not registered to vote…

If you live in a dorm, commute, or live with your parents….

If you hang on the Busch, Livingston, Douglas, Cook or College Ave campus

If you are fully-abled, disabled, or a person of differing abilities…


To provide a radically loving and welcoming community of Christian faith for Rutgers University.

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Upcoming Events

Dear Members of First Reformed Church:

I would like to bring to your attention two upcoming events:

This coming Sunday, May 31, we will have a coffee hour under the theme of South Africa. Nicola and Marilie, both with roots in that country, plan to present not only South African food, but also a short presentation on the national flag of South Africa. Ben will teach us some South African hymns, and I plan to give an introduction to mu colleague, Pastor Molehe and the Middelburg Reformed Church in South Africa.

Secondly, our adult education class on Wednesday, June 3rd, will be interesting. We will start the book The Great Emergence by Phyllis Tickle. The book has an interesting and uplifting thesis regarding the future of churches like ours. Here is the address should you decide to order the book through Amazon; just copy it into your browser (and don’t correct the spelling):


Better yet, sign in to Amazon through http://smile.amazon.com and name the Town Clock Community Development Organization, 9 Bayard Street, New Brunswick, NJ 08901 as the non-profit you’d like to see supported through your purchase.

I look forward to seeing many of us at one or both of these events.

With good wishes,

Pastor Hartmut

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Value of Women Event

Dear Friends,

Our Value of Women Event this year will be on May 3rd in the JFK Conference Center. You are cordially invited and feel free to share this invitation with your friends.

Looking forward to seeing you there!
Peace Islands Institute

P.S: The Rainbow Choir will be singing!


Please join us for the Value of Women Event Sunday, May 3, 2015 at 4pm sponsored by Peace Islands Institute and the JFK Pastoral Care Department – in the JFK Conference Center

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From Pastor’s Desk

Pastor's Desk

Pastor’s Desk

It is very special to receive four young new members at once! And yet, this continues a trend that began in 2013 when we received seven new members. In 2014 it was four. Our church is becoming a lot younger! Let me introduce our new members here:

Pete Connolly came to the church first inspired by Fawn and then because he found this church family very open. He comes from a Roman Catholic background and was impressed how actively people are involved in the life of the church, and how we take turns regarding the things that need to be done. Pete comes from a family of four brothers. Some of his childhood experience he sees reflected in how we relate to each other here at the church.

Ashley Petersen and Brendan Kaplan first encountered our church during a candle light vigil with Women Aware. Then they attended the Annual Rally of New Brunswick’s Domestic Violence Awareness Coalition hosted by our church in 2014. Both have a deep commitment to this social justice issue. Brendan’s professional background includes Marketing, Government Relations, Arts and Computers. He also has interest in performing arts, music, and community development. Ashley is a Community Manager and Associate Marketing Manager with interest in yoga, cats, theatre, strawberry picnics and books. Ashley will be baptized on Easter Sunday.

Meghan Trivett came to our church because she liked the rainbow sign by our doors. Not every house of worship is open and affirming, but when it is, it usually houses a very world-open congregation. Meghan moved recently from Middletown, NJ to New Brunswick. She is an Exercise Science student at Georgian Court University. In her free time she enjoys snowboarding and her new membership at a CrossFit gym. Meghan enjoys her time here FRC and appreciates the warm welcome.

Pete Connolly
Ashley Petersen
Meghan Trivett
Marilie Coetsee and Isaac Cowell

There are two more young people with interest in First Reformed Church, Marilie Coetsee and Isaac Cowell. However, Marilie and Isaac prefer not to formally join at this time. I would like to introduce them nevertheless, because they are very faithful in attending worship and other functions of the church. Continue reading

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