Weekly Update – September 14 – September 20

Dear Friends ~

God “will give to each person according to what he has done.” To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life.—Romans 2:6-7

Thoughts on Today’s Verse…
God not only seeks after us, but God also desires relationship with us. And God longs for this in return that we seek God as well as matters that are important to God. When we persistently seek God’s glory by doing good, when we seek after eternal rather than temporal things, God is overjoyed to give us what God has always designed for us: eternal life.

Here is what’s happening at FRC this week:

Monday Sept 14
10:00 am Staff Mtg.
5:15 pm Bible Study

Tuesday Sept 15
7:00 pm Consistory Mtg.

Wednesday Sept 16
5:30 pm Middlesex Cty Cultural & Heritage Grant Writing Workshop
6:00 pm TCCDC Board Mtg.
7:00 pm Choir Rehearsal

Thursday Sept 17

Friday Sept 18

Saturday Sept 19
8:30 am ISP Workers
10:00 am RU Volunteers’ Work Day @ FRC

Sunday Sept 20
9:00 am Choir Rehearsal
9:30 am Breakfast & Banter
9:50 am Bell Choir Rehearsal
10:30 am Worship
Ushers: tbd
11:30 am Special Coffee Hour for a farewell to Walter Johnson


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From Pastor’s Desk

Pastor's Desk

Pastor’s Desk

Sometimes, it takes the interruption of a worker hitting a gas line to realize how involved in our work we all are here at First Reformed Church. So when this happened on a weekday in July on the construction site on Hiram Square, and our block was immediately encircled by fire trucks, police and utility vehicles, all our activities immediately came to an abrupt halt.

from pastor
This gave me time to think: What is it that makes our church, the congregation and its ministry so special? Is it that we are small enough to really have a chance of being intergenerational with one another? Is it our willingness to get involved when we see need? Maybe it’s the community aspect of it all, that we are rarely just content with ourselves but really enjoy being in the neighborhood and the great diversity of groups and opportunities it offers.

But then I thought also about our wide musical heritage, the great diversity of styles from baroque to global music, all played without electric amplification. Authenticity is the word! And I think this permeates many of our relationships as well. We do not all think alike, and this church is certainly not a conflict-free zone (what form of honest human togetherness is?). But we have genuine appreciation for one another, and we try, each with his or her peculiar contribution, to live out our Christian faith. Continue reading

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Town Clock CDC – Old Things Come to Light

Susan Kramer-Mills, Exec. Dir.

First of all, the construction is moving along beautifully. If you are interested in peeking inside, please contact me. I lead small groups through on a weekly basis.

And that brings me to my next point… Recently, I received a phone call. A kind woman on the other end said, “I believe that you are building something which is baring my great, great, great, great grandmother’s name.” I was astonished, as you can imagine. Yet, indeed, Dina Van Bergh’s great( x 4) granddaughter, Sharon Burke, stopped by to see what we will are building and to learn a bit more about Dina. Sharon’s son works for an ancestry TV show by doing the research into the old records and things. One day he decided to look into his own family lineage and found out that they are direct relatives from Rev. Johannes Frelinghuysen and Dina Van Bergh. It was quite a ‘welcome home’ for Sharon. She plans to visit us again soon and bring her son along, too! Continue reading

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Rod’s Grill Night Brought Joy

Fellowship has a high value here at First Reformed Church. It is, however, a fellowship that quickly combines prayer and small talk, dinner table and holy table, fellowship hall and the peace of the sanctuary – even though the latter is, for the time being, just the parlor also known as the Randolph Room. As in countless previous years, Rod’s Grill Night exemplified all this again in its well-tried form on July 18. We want to thank especially Rod Gray and the team from the Invitation & Outreach Committee under the leadership of Janet Waanders for organizing the event. Enjoy the pictures from a summer that went by too fast!

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Music Notes

music_notesSummer at First Reformed Church is normally a great time of reflection and the music becomes somewhat more contemplative as the choir breaks and in its place there is instrumental music. Music without words can be glorious, it can enhance worship with the beauty of God’s musical world, and it is suitable as an offering to God. But nothing in this world of culture can replace the harmony of our voices, singing the great texts of faith. Our adult choir and bell choir will resume on Zegen Sunday or “Sunday of Blessings” which will be on September 13th. We will begin this year singing the great texts our faith has to offer on the theme of love.

Recorder players and father-and-son duo Paul and Robert Dorsey offer the sonata in G Minor by George Frideric Handel for worship on Sunday, August 23, 2015. This musical family joins our worship services to provide music on occasion, and it is exciting to see how Robert is growing in musicianship and confidence.” Continue reading

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Ministry Outreach

On World Communion Sunday, Andrea Reynolds from Restore One will give us a presentation during coffee hour regarding a very serious issue of our time: human trafficking. On December 2, she will address our adult education class “First Wednesdays”. We publish the following article in preparation of these two events.

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An Important Ministry

By Andrea Reynolds

Restore One is a ministry that seeks to open shelters offering faith-based residential recovery programs, free of cost to American boys who are survivors of domestic minor sex trafficking (DMST). Restore One will treat every survivor as a unique individual by using holistic approaches and proven clinical methods that nurture healing and restoration. Restore One also counteracts human trafficking and human exploitation through community awareness, education, outreach and partnerships. Restore One’s goal is to see DMST survivors live in complete freedom and to generate communities that are intolerable to the problem of human trafficking and human exploitation.

A study by The John Jay College and the Center for Court Innovation estimated that, in 2008, as high as 50% of the commercially sexually exploited (CSE) children in the United States were boys.* In a related study done in Alberta, Canada, Dr. Susan McIntyre notes that “residential and supportive services were seen as needs by 84% of CSE men and boys.”*

Data and statistics prove the reality. For us, though, there really is no need for numbers. One male, one boy, is enough for our hearts to be moved beyond compassion and to be moved to action. Restore One is convinced that restorative care for boys and men is more than a necessity; it is a long overdue requirement. Continue reading

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