A Walk into Heaven

On Friday, Oct 29th, our education building and our steeple underwent a special inspection: Margaret and Michael Westfield led the endeavor, followed by MPG project manager Brian Monteith, NJ Historic Trust representative Glenn Ceponis, city representative Tom Loughlin and me.

It was an ascent into dizzying heights. But I was impressed: together, we represented five levels of quality control. And the test was hard. Back on the ground, Margaret received us with a long questionnaire recording the answers in an extensive chart. It was especially helpful to have Glenn Ceponis as a state representative with us. After all, the State is spending as much money on the project as we are, and will have a natural desire for strict quality control. Similarly, it was good to have Tom Loughlin from the City of New Brunswick there. The City supports the project with $25,000 and restores the faces and hands of the clock in addition to this. Here, too, we can expect a natural desire for checking out the work.

Look also at the rest of the accompanying pictures. See how the steeple scaffolding dwarfs the two carpenters on it? Later, I took a close-up of the man. Too often, we pay respect only to the leaders of a project and not to those who are carrying out the physical work.

Then there is the aerial view of the education building. What looks imposing from street level is dwarfed from this perspective – almost a parable on life itself when viewed from the perspective of eternity.

Then see Christ Episcopal Church. I had to grin when I took the picture: The British may have taken our Dutch colony in 1664, but we are still taller!
Finally, enjoy the area views. The new Route 18 in the distance, the American flag shining through our scaffolding, the cemetery and the church entrance from above.

I also want to point out the angel head and the capitals on the wooden pillars and other details of that heavenly realm. You could not see any of this from the ground. Perhaps, these features were not really meant for human eyes to enjoy, but represent something like a praise offering to God whose house this is.

We are blessed to be able to do something for its preservation.

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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