A Sermon for the Refugees

Situated between a visit from Assemblyman Barnes lending support to the Highland Park sanctuary movements the Friday before, and the visit from General Secretary Tom DeVries the Friday after, Pastor Susan had no choice but to devote the sermon on Mother’ s Day to the Indonesian refugee crisis that has touched so many of us. Please see the accompanying picture of Pastor Susan taken while she was preaching.

Following her sermon, she asked for brainstorming from the worshipping congregation. The responses below were gathered and shared with Consistory two days later. Consistory responded by appointing Ellen and Dr. Bruce Hamilton as contact persons for our church family on the issue. Anybody with questions, comments or suggestions is invited to contact Bruce and Ellen. Consistory also entrusted the Invitation & Outreach Committee with further review of the responses.

Here are the responses from our congregation; the dashes record the number of church members who had the same response:

  • Spend a night at the HPRC
  • Write letter to the various officials of the state
  • Contact our representatives about the Bill when it’s introduced
  • Tell government to leave these families alone so that they may live in the USA in peace – ///// ///
  • Offer babysitting/childcare to families
  • Pray – ////
  • Put signs on our lawns
  • Visit the refugees at HPRC, eat with them, pray with them, encourage them = ///
  • Dedicate a Sunday for people to bring food items for them – ///
  • Attend the next Press conference on Friday
  • Educate ourselves about the issue of immigration and laws – //
  • Invite a representative from HPRC to give a testimony
  • Write letters to the editor of newspapers – //
  • Spread the word (speak to friends about it)
  • Organize a walk from FRC to HPRC involving those interested in supporting (A Walk for Peace)

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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