A Church With an Exoskeleton

Here are some more greetings from our construction site. These days, it may feel a bit turbulent here at church. There are code issues, insurance questions, reimbursement requests, construction meetings and daily night watch walks to make sure everything is locked by day’s end. However, the work is progressing beautifully. Every day, another level of the scaffolding has been finished.

Now we have reached the clock, were able to take close-up pictures, and to forward these to City Hall, requesting that the City use the opportunity to restore the faces of the clock that belongs, to this day, not to the church, but to the City of New Brunswick.

I want to take the opportunity and thank MASONRY PRESERVATION GROUP, our general contractor, and its project manager, Brian Monteith, for their work, but also for their diligence in keeping communications going with our office and with me almost every day.

Of course, you can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs. But this is of secondary nature if viewed against the goal that unites us all — the long-term preservation of this church. It’s also a good chance to live out good old Christian virtues like tranquility and generosity on one side, and vigilance on the other. It would almost be fun to illustrate a catechism class with examples from the world of construction and carpentry.

But the biggest thank-you goes to our great architect, Margaret Westfield, for her leadership and her sensitivity towards the peculiar needs of a church congregation. We are blessed to have her and her office on our side.

About Rev. Dr. Hartmut Kramer-Mills

Hartmut Kramer-Mills, a native of Jena, Germany, began his theological education at Heidelberg University. After the Middle Exam in 1986 he received a scholarship from the World Alliance of Reformed Churches for McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago. He graduated from McCormick with a Master of Divinity in 1988. He graduated from Marburg University in Germany with the Ecclesiastical Exam in 1990, and received a Dr. theol. from Greifswald University, Germany, in 1997. From 1990 to 1991 he was vicar at St. Wenzel in Naumburg, Germany. He was ordained minister of word and sacrament in 1993 through the Protestant Church of the Church Province of Saxony. From 1993 to 1998 he served as assistant pastor in Stoessen, Goerschen, and Rathewitz, Germany. At the same time he was lecturer for Church History at Erfurt College in Germany. From 1999 to 2000 he served the Spotswood Reformed Church in New Jersey as interim pastor. Since 2000 he and his wife serve the First Reformed Church in New Brunswick, New Jersey, as co-pastors.
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