Painting With Vivaldi

Early September swept over our church like a friendly little hurricane, and the resulting surge of volunteerism was simply beautiful. Where else but here at old First Reformed Church can you see a good part of the Christian Education Committee paint the outside of a breeze way – and all of this under the humorous leadership of Jim Hance, who organized the scaffolding and many of the necessary tools.

The picture shows Jim Hance and Gary Bernhofer, but Lauren Bernhofer, who took the picture, was just as much present as the two men. Teams like these make us who we are, a church that is very much alive and not afraid of heights.

On one of the painting days, Ellen, Julius and I happened to give a tour to a team of architects that might develop the general preservation plan for our church. Halfway through the breeze way, one of the architects looked at Jim’s radio in the open window, at the tools, the buckets and ladders, and said, “There is something wrong in this picture.”

I looked up and defended, “Well, these are our own church members taking time off and painting!” The architect, however, just shook his head: “That’s not what I mean. But have you ever heard Vivaldi being played at a construction site?”

Whatever we do at First Reformed Church, we do it with class!


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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