Creativity and Community

As Easter comes upon us, we have a remarkable coincidence with the dawn of a new period of ministry here at First Reformed Church. The reason is that our historic preservation project comes to an end. This means less reporting, less building issues, and less work for the Finance Committee and the Consistory. The Fundraising Committee even had its last meeting.

So, we are resurrecting from construction and paper files and bank statements. Now is the time to become creative again and to continue to nurture the exciting community that has formed around us during the years of brick-and-mortar. It is also important that we invest more efforts, prayer and thoughts in growing our church. What would our meaning be, if we did not try to reach as many of our neighbors near and far in order to offer them participation in God’s peculiar way of relating with us?

A great beginning was offered with the past Lenten Series that the Episcopal churches in town together with First and Second Reformed organized this year. Please see the accompanying pictures taken during the session that our church hosted on March 18. Raíces Cultural Ensemble provided lively music from Cuba; we watched the documentary “Food Matters”, enjoyed Lolly’s great cookies made in our kitchen, and had an engaging discussion on nutrition and the benefit of vitamins in conquering disease. Ron, Norma, Lolly and Margaret had made fresh soups, and Lauren brought the PowerPoint equipment.

Whether one agreed with the movie or not, the point was to take up an issue that concerns all of us, and to deal with it in a matter that nurtures togetherness among neighbors. I hope that the remainder of this year will bestow us with many more such opportunities, so that we can continue to be a center for Christian awareness building.

How did the Lord say? “Where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.” (Matthew 18:20)

With fond wishes,
Pastor Hartmut

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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