From Pastor’s Desk

pc_hartmutA powerful congruence happens when the message of Easter coincides with the blooming of the trees and other signs of the awakening nature after a long winter. It’s as intense as an Easter fire can be. On Easter Sunday the feeling was so strong that it made us forget our relocation to fellowship hall due to the coming construction in our church. The relocation had a logistic and organizational impact on our worship service, but not a spiritual one. The message of Easter did that, and its reflections in nature in front of our doors.

People watching the Easter Fire in Eibergen, Achterhoek, The Netherlands (Wikimedia Commons)

People watching the Easter Fire in Eibergen, Achterhoek, The Netherlands (Wikimedia Commons)


But how will it continue? Only a few of us are aware that the Easter Season continues until the day of the Ascension of Christ, this year on May 29. During medieval times, the church had numerous traditions of celebrating Easter for this extended period of time. There were special dances, Emmaus walks and Easter dinners. Not much of this is left in our public memory.

Yet, if the experience of the resurrection entails more than a few good feelings on Easter Sunday, than we will want to be curious about the new life sprouting in us. We will want to be intentional about watching what God is doing in our midst, and how God offers us over and over again this new life of the resurrection.

Our congregation has many possibilities where we can see this happening. Sometimes, we see God working through external circumstances, through people, funds and ideas furthering our life and ministry. But just as often, God works through us, the people here at church. We may find renewed meaning in worship or Sunday School; an extra little something to give towards the benevolences of the church, or even a call to join the forces of Dina’s Dwelling, one of the choirs, or the adult education class “First Wednesdays”.

Whatever it may be, it will be important for us to stay alert to the signs of what God is doing among us. The message of the empty tomb was that life is stronger than death. How will you and I appropriate this in coming weeks?

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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