Moving the Contents of the Church

It is not every day that we see images like these: The main pulpit moved over rows of pews, and the Church Library with empty shelves. Yet there is a certain historical logic in all of this as it was a group of extremely motivated students from Rutgers University, who accomplished all this on February 22.

I say “historical logic” because it was our denomination that founded the university in the form of Queen’s College in 1766. Until 1873, our very sanctuary hosted commencements and other academic events. Now the students returned to usher in another chapter in our long history. We are blessed by their selflessness!

Our thanks go out especially to the two leaders of the student group, Ming Man Cheung, and undergraduate student from Hong Kong, and Tomas Vyskocil, a PhD student from the Czech Republic.

There will be several more moving dates: March 8 and 29, and April 5 and 12, each day starting at 12:00 noon. However, thanks to the students’ efforts, the move is progressing much faster than anticipated. This means that we may not need all of the planned dates.

And, of course, we will also have to move the books and furniture back once the construction of Dina’s Dwelling is complete. This will be in the second half of 2015 when the apartments and the new worship space in the church building will be ready.

As labor intensive as all these efforts may be, it is important to remember the three beneficiaries of the project:

  • The women and children, victims of domestic violence who find a new home in our church building,
  • Our congregation as it will receive a more appropriate sanctuary, combined with a modest income and cost savings,
  • And the wider community whose historic identity and heritage is preserved in all of it.

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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