A Summary of Gratitude for Julius Fekete

Julius Fekete It is about 10 years now since Julius Fekete first set foot into our church. Soon afterwards, Julius became the personification of a great tradition that was last carried on by Ray Clark. This is the tradition of having a master craftsman in our midst, who knows the buildings and grounds better than most of us, and who is willing to spend countless hours with the sometimes tricky questions of maintenance and repair.

One of the first of Julius’ projects was the building of a large mail box by the entrance door on 9 Bayard Street. Until then, mail delivered through the slot used to land on the floor. Sometimes, we lost a piece, and sometimes two. The new mailbox changed all that.

Another project was the replacing of the wardrobe in Fellowship Hall. Without much ado, the frail old pieces ended in one of our many dumpsters, and Julius built us new ones. Later, you could see him lead a small team of volunteers rebuilding the walls of the pantry in the sexton’s house.

Then there was the plan for the new church library. Julius built the large windowsill, the conference table in the center, and the media center at the entrance to the room. He also built all the shelving in the room. Later, Julius built shelves and a wardrobe for the choir robes in the Robing Room.

Julius also organized much of our outside work when he coordinated the lawn mowing of our volunteers. And always, always, he has been seen with the wooden toolbox he stationed here at the church in order to fix this or that. Broken locks, chancel furniture, the frame for an air conditioning unit — you name it, Julius has done it all.

His efforts were crowned when he helped to get our preservation project underway. In order to expedite consistory discussions, he appeared at one of the meetings with a foam board filled with pictures that showed the extent to which our buildings had fallen into disrepair. As we all know, he came not a day too early.

Shortly thereafter, we found ourselves forced to replace the roof on the education building and to shore up its tower. Thanks to Julius, we had at least the structures in place to cope with these emergencies: Margaret Westfield as architect under contract, and a contractor and subcontractor to carry out the work without delay.

Now, Julius has passed on the baton — maybe not for all the particular projects, but for the chair personage of the Preservation Team. Caryn Aran is the new leader on board, and we welcome her with open arms.

When we finished the women’s bathroom, one could see Julius and Caryn work side by side — Elijah passing on his mantle to Elisha; you remember the story from 2 Kings 2.

We will recognize Julius’ service to the church and the passing of the baton to Caryn with a special coffee hour on Fathers’ Day, Jun 20th, after worship service. Please help us to make this a special day.

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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