Construction Coming to an End!

It feels like a miracle that we were able to pull this big 1 million dollar preservation project through! As the scaffold around the church comes down, I become once more aware of our boldness to embark on this project in the first place. Our small church family of 70 people – and we experienced something like that! Surely, without God’s grace and provision, this would not have happened.

There are some smaller issues that remain. The northern set of the handrails in front of the church will be repaired; the roofing of the pediment cornice on the Bayard-Street side of the education building will be replaced, and a permanent sign explaining the significance of our buildings will be installed by the main entrance of the church.

Then I have to submit a Final Report to the State, and from then on an annual report with pictures, providing evidence that we honor the Easement and keep the property in good shape. But, boy, am I happy that the reporting will diminish. In 2011 alone, we submitted 234 written pages and 208 pages with pictures to the State. I can only thank Architect Margaret Westfield, Project Manager Brian Monteith and Treasurer Stef Beemsterboer for always providing me with the needed documents on time!

This, of course, was only Phase I. We still have substantial building problems. The stained glass windows are sagging; the upper parts of the rose window in the steeple have even separated from the frame. Our walls need repointing very badly, and we still have unaddressed foundation problems. We will deal with these things in due time. For now, we need a break to regroup and to grow our ministry.

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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