From Pastor’s Desk…

Pastor's Desk

Pastor’s Desk

I know we are not supposed to tie our hearts to temporary things when they so easily can become objects of idolatry. But on the other hand, we cannot always be so brain-oriented. The entire idea of holistic worship began in response to this need. And so I claim: Yes, even a physical sanctuary with all its mortar, wood and stone, can serve as anchor for the soul.

Take a moment then and study this picture of our future worship space. It offers a rare view from above. Soon, the separating wall to Dina’s Dwellings will be closed and photographs like this one will become impossible.

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So what do you see? Obviously, a lot of dust caught on the lenses of my camera and on the ground. You can also see the organ console moved out of the way and one of the tarps that are covering the shudders to the pipe chambers.

And then there is this roughed-out framing that will soon be covered by the new sanctuary floor. In the past, we had nothing but a small crawl space beneath the sanctuary. Now, there will be all these rooms. A pessimist who sees this as a sign that we are losing our rootedness in the ground! Theologically much more interesting is the perception that here, in the new sanctuary, we will be carried by the life beneath.

But there is more to the picture. The rounded lines of the pews seem to promise a certain feeling of intimacy and of being at home. The way they are arranged makes it clear: The worshippers will be called to be an interactive group rather than an audience of individual listeners.

And so the choice of colors and fabrics has become a group process as well. Officially, Consistory has referred the decision-making to the Liaison Committee, but with the understanding that the doors of that meeting will be open to Consistory and other interested church members. The picture shows several choir members during a sneak preview. If you are interested in these questions, please join the meeting of the Liaison Committee on Thursday, July 16th at 7:00 PM. The meeting will include a construction site visit.

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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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