From Pastor’s Desk

Pastor's Desk

Pastor’s Desk

It is just amazing how close we are to reopening and re-dedicating our new-old sanctuary! And, of course, it’s not ours at all because it is God’s. Amazing is also to what degree the developments over here run parallel to the ways in which Rev. Molehe’s church construction in Middelburg, South Africa nears completion. Just see the following pictures:

Look at this beautiful truss work! During the reconfiguration of our own church building, we also developed some intimate familiarity with the problems trusses can cause!

And this is a picture from the Pentecost service of our sister church. Much work remains to be done on their church. We, too, will have to finish some of the work after the re-dedication.

Currently, we have carpenter Paul and his team in the sanctuary finishing the sacristy screen and the historic pews where they were damaged during constriction. They are also building sub-flooring behind the pews. Then there are painter Scott and his team. They are painting the pews, the base of the sacristy screen and the floor of the pew area where it will not be covered with carpet. They will also paint the center vestibule and the center door to the church. The other vestibules and adjacent stairwells will follow later this year. Finally, there will be a carpet company putting down carpet behind the pew area and down the four aisles.

Our church is fortunate to have received several special donations that will cover much of the cost. But the rest is simply miraculous! While we continue with an almost 6-digit negative budget, we will have a fully renovated, air-conditioned and ADA-compliant sanctuary. And we did not have to pay for it or even carry the burden of the administration. Others did this for us, and ETOMIC, the developer’s general contractor, was more than generous, and so was our developer Bergen County’s United Way / Madeline Housing Partners LLC. We owe a lot of gratitude to a lot of people who rushed to support us – sometimes without us even knowing it.

Such love and support oblige us for the future. They are signs that God has a plan for our church family and for the ministries we offer to each other and to the community.

truss3

Don’t be startled by the wrapped-up organ console! This is not another Cristo-project but evidence that our organ builder Carl has begun looking for a smaller, better fitting console.

The new sacristy screen does not only solve our storage problems after the loss of the Robing Room. It is also a tip at the hat towards the sacristy screen that vanished in the fire of 1971.

The new sacristy screen does not only solve our storage problems after the loss of the Robing Room. It is also a tip of the hat towards the sacristy screen that vanished in the fire of 1971.

We hope, dear Reader, that all this may inspire you to join us on Saturday, June 11 th when we will celebrate the re-dedication of the sanctuary. The time table is this:

3:00-5:00PM  Community Festival with several stations in fellowship hall and the church.
4:30-5:00PM  Rehearsals of choir and bell choir.
5:00-5:45PM  Re-Dedication Worship Service in the sanctuary.
5:45-7:00PM  Ice Cream Social

What a great privilege it is to belong to a church like this in a time like ours!

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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