Grant Finale

No, it’s not a typo! As hard as it may be to believe, but the main bulk of administering our church’s 2009 capital grant from the State of New Jersey is over. Grant Finale for this first phase of our preservation project! The two pictures show the report minutes before submission at the post office. Most of the pages of the report are photographs documenting the condition of our buildings prior to construction and after completion.

Included is also the photobook that resulted from Lauren’s great project. The photobook is so important, because it shows that our historic preservation project is truly a people project. I would never have expected so many folks from such different community groups to take part in the project. But when you skim through the pages, you see the youngest Boy or Girl Scout next to seniors, each contributing in their peculiar way.


The end result is this church, buildings and people! And stabilized for years to come, we hope that this first phase of the project will lighten the load of future pastorates, so that they do not need to deal as much with questions of building maintenance. However, this may already be an obsolete wish. Have we not just seen how this brick-and-mortar project has pulled together people from all walks of life? If you ask me; historic preservation is ministry par excellence! But of course, it took five years (2007 to 2012) to learn this lesson.

Things remaining for the future are an audit report and then the annual Easement Reports. The latter will include a photo documentary with the purpose of showing that we keep our property and buildings in their historic ambience. The New Jersey Historic Trust will expect these reports every August for 20 years, beginning in 2013.

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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