A Lot of Newness

God is always doing something new as it is declared in the Psalms and elsewhere in our scriptures. We only need to have eyes to see it and hearts to embrace the new things.

With this in mind, on Rally Sunday we will get a chance to start up the new Fall season and the return of regular programming of our church. With the start, we will celebrate newly painted pews, new upholstery on the chancel furniture, and even a new Communion set on the Communion Table. That’s a lot of new-ness! And to add to our celebration and new things list, over the summer we were informed by letter from the Acting Commissioner, Charles A. Richman that Governor Corzine signed into legislation funding for NJ Historic Trust, which includes our state grant for the historic preservation project.

This may sound a bit surprising and scary in these economic times, especially since the grant is a matching one. However, may we continue to remind ourselves of several things: First, that we have four years for this project and the fund-raising; second; we are free to limit our 2010 preservation efforts to a very conservative scope. With that said, it is clear that, at this time, we want and need to address the steeple and the church roof, the beam in the church attic, as well as the soffit of the education building.

As you can imagine, there are still many things on our buildings that will need to be worked on. Let me just mention the worst problem, which is the structural situation beneath our sanctuary floor. These must do building issues seem overwhelming, though. Inevitably, when we look at the big picture, they appear to be impossible. And so we loose hope. But, as my grandmother used to say, “To eat a whole cake, you have to take one bite at a time.” I think that it is the same for our building needs.

How can I respond so hopeful? Well, let me just remind our doubtful minds of how our pew painting project went this summer. At first, it was awful. We started out sanding lightly, then washing it down, then spot-painting it with primer. And, wow, after two weeks it appeared to be done. Then, we noticed that the paint was pealing. OH NO!!! So we had to start all over again, only this time we did it more thoroughly.

Several of us thought that we were doomed, and it would never be finished. “Impossible!” they claimed. Yet, YOU ALL responded to the call for help. In total, there were 13 church members who helped Julius Fekete accomplish the impossible, not counting the numerous helping hands that brought lunches and other support. Yes, we did it together. One day, it was two other volunteers. Another day it was a whole family. A little bit at a time. And now, it is finished.

It is our calling to remain hope filled even in the midst of uncertainty. Likewise, with the grant monies and our fund-raising efforts for our buildings: we have to do it one step at a time – together.

Hopefully yours,
Pastor Susan

About Susan Kramer-Mills

Susan Kramer-Mills' journey as a pastor has led her to a variety of places. Before attending McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago she was a Volunteer-in-Mission for two years West Berlin, Germany. After returning to the United States and graduating from seminary, she returned with her husband Hartmut to Germany. From 1990 to 1992 she was campus chaplain and registrar at Naumburg Seminary in former East Germany. With the closing of the seminary she assumed the pastorate for the yoked congregations of Stoessen, Goerschen and Rathewitz in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. At the same time she taught Religious Instruction at two public elementary schools until 1998. During this time she was assigned six additional congregations to the original three. In 1998, she received a call as Associate Pastor to Trinity Presbyterian Church in East Brunswick, New Jersey. She served in that position until 2000, when she and her husband accepted a call as co-pastors to First Reformed Church in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Since April 1, 2004, Rev. Kramer-Mills has also been working part-time as Classis Minister to the Classis of New Brunswick.
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