A House not Built on Sand

When I told three of our community service workers that they were a blessing to the church, someone remarked that they had not heard this in a long time. This may be true, but so was my remark.

In fact, the Intensive Supervision Program is a blessing both ways: We as the church get a lot of work done while the ISP participants spend their time in a meaningful way and with constant contact to members of the church. By functioning as an ISP site, we contribute to the participants’ reintegration in society. Therefore, this is a ministry.

Our latest accomplishment is the replacement of a wooden floor and sub-floor in the basement room that houses the entry of the gas line for our buildings. The wooden floor was rotted away and posed danger especially in cases of emergency. Can you imagine firefighters in full gear rushing down to shut off the gas and falling through the floor?

We put an end to this by demolishing the floor on one Saturday and then pouring a concrete floor on the next three Saturdays. Two of the ISP participants, John and Ty, knew masonry professionally. Together with our Property Committee, they made miracles happen. And, of course, Julius Fekete had it all planned out and served as our project manager.

In total, we used up 85 bags of cement, each 80 lbs. heavy! A great thank you to all the volunteers, who helped: Lauren, Gary and Josh Bernhofer, Lolly Schenck, Doug Carlen, Ben Berman, and Jim Hance who made the work lighter with his wonderfully absurd stories. Literally, we were building the church of Jesus Christ.

Meanwhile, we had also three brownstone windowsills on the Bayard-Street-side of the education building repaired. Enjoy the corresponding photograph. At this point, I would like to thank all our wonderful donors, whose generosity has made this work possible. Thanks to you, the church has again a presentable face as far as our glass door entrance is concerned!

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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