Dear Friends ~
“Praise the Lord. How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise him!” – Psalm 147:1 (NIV)
Praise is pleasant and fitting because we were created to praise God. In other words, praise looks good on you because it is a custom fit. Since we were created for praise, when we don’t praise God, we inevitably praise other things like careers, relationships, money, or power and the idolatry of those things have devastating results. So ask yourself today: what am I praising? Take off the old self in its worship of temporary things and put on the new self in Christ that automatically directs you to your highest purpose: to honor and glorify the One who made you.
Here is what’s happening at FRC this week:
Monday April 13
10:00 am Staff Mtg.
1:30 pm TCCDC – Social Services Mtg.
5:15 pm Bible Study
7:00 pm Property Comm. Mtg.
Tuesday April 14
Wednesday April 15
9:00 am City Market Mtg.
6:00 pm CIC-FRC Mtg.
7:00 pm Choir Rehearsal
Thursday April 16
1:00 pm TCCDC – Voucher Mtg. @ Edison Housing Authority
Friday April 17
Saturday April 18
8:30 am ISP Work Group
7:30 am TCCDC presents at Crossroads Retreat
Sunday April 19
9:00 am Choir Rehearsal
9:30 am Breakfast & Banter
9:50 am Bell Choir Rehearsal
10:30 am Worship
11:30 am Ushers: Lolly & TBD
Coffee Hour: TBD
12:00 pm Liaison Comm. Mtg.
3:00 pm Rainbow Choir Rehearsal
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.
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
It’s a long-standing tradition now that we have a special play during the Palm Sunday worship service. This year, the stage setting was that of a dining room in a 1st century Roman house. The actors embodied a mixture of apostles and other followers of Christ. They were immersed in a conversation about key events in the life of Christ when a courier (Bruce Bothwell) arrived with a package and became interested in the subject of their talk. It was the story of an emerging faith and well fitting our church’s current experience when, for three years now, we have received many younger adults into our fellowship. We want to thank John Keller for directing the piece. Continue reading
The Rainbow Children’s Choir has the honor of performing at the annual “Value of Women in our Community” awards ceremony at JFK Medical Center in May. Given the church’s concern with ministry to women – in particular our annual Advent Breakfast, our Dina’s Dwellings Project, and our position as the seat of the Women’s Guild – this performance is a unique combination of music outreach with that other great cause. The Peace Islands Institute will recognize small business owners Mimi Tenglei and Deniz Ozyildiz in this yearly event in Edison, NJ. It will be held on Sunday, May 3 from 4:00-6:00pm. Please make every attempt to be there to support both our Turkish friends and our Rainbow Choir singers. Continue reading
After spending the winter month trying to familiarize ourselves with the issues and social justice needs of domestic violence, our First Wednesday’s adult education class will shift gears on April 8. And yes, in order to avoid Holy Week, this represents a delay of one week for the class.
We are fortunate that Rabbi Bennett Miller from New Brunswick’s Anshe Emeth Memorial Temple has accepted our invitation for April 8 to speak to us about Reform Zionism. Zionism is a movement in support of Israel as the Jewish homeland. What is interesting in the approach of Reform Zionism is the fact that it pursues Israel as a Jewish state but with religious pluralism.
This will be interesting for us as Christians in the Reformed Church in America! We are part of a denominational struggle, if not with religious pluralism, then with theological and ethical pluralism. Just think of the issues the Open & Affirming movement has raised in our classes. Continue reading
Once again we have entertained the “Gentlemen of the Evening” for a week, and we are grateful for the opportunity to serve them. It was a bitter and snowy winter and our gratitude for the chance to house our men is matched only by our gratitude that we had warm homes and jobs to go to after our night in with the men.
Yes, it’s hard to stagger off to work with not much sleep and no shower or much breakfast, but we know that we will be tucked up in our homes by nightfall. Our men don’t have that luxury and it is a gift to be reminded of how much we have and how little others have. Continue reading
Lunchtime Recital No. 2 this season was blessed with a full house! Nursing home and rehab center residents of the two Chelsea’s in Monroe and East Brunswick had joined with residents from Summerhill in Old Bridge and a large class of third graders from Livingston Elementary School. There were also quite a number of individual attendees and two children from Pine Grove Nursery School. Continue reading