Pastor’s Desk

You may have read Nathaniel Philbrick’s recent book Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War on the founding of the Pilgrim Fathers’ colony Plymouth in New England.   When the colonists first set out to found their colony, they had to bring on board their ship all aspects of later life: people and tools of governance and administration, medical personnel, military, religiously trained people, craftsmen and farmers, and women and children as well.

Not that I would want to transfer us back to the 17th century, but our March Saturdays here at First Reformed were somewhat reminiscent of the founding of a colony. We had every craft and profession under the sun represented in our fellowship hall, including the two dogs “Ariel” and “Jack”.

Volunteer craftsmen from the Colts Neck Reformed Church under the leadership of forewoman Alicia Dimtsios laid tiles and put up sheet rock; other church volunteers removed sanctuary pews, installed the new sound system and cleaned up the cemetery. Another crew helped strip the outside white annex to the Randolph Room. And an army of chefs and waiters helped provide several luncheons that, by themselves, combined every culinary specialty you can imagine.

While we have recognized most helpers in recent weeks here in the newsletter and also during Sunday worship, I thought you might enjoy the attached pictures, as they reveal a surprising new alliance – something creative that can only happen when things are not fully differentiated yet, when creative crossing over is still a possibility, as it was when Plymouth was founded.

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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