Risk Taking

Something must be moving us, I do say, especially when I read our Organist and Choir Director’s article in this newsletter (pg. 6). And knowing that many of us are working on what our ministry and mission should look like for the next five years, it seems to me to be creating a fruitful field for us to really do something new.

We are truly looking to be moved by the Spirit into doing new things inside this church and out in the world. We are like those disciples and followers of Christ who were waiting for the Advocate (the Holy Spirit) to come. So it really wasn’t a coincidence that on Pentecost Sunday the Invitation and Outreach Committee held another Getting to Know You Coffee Hour which, judging by the volume of conversation in Fellowship Hall, was quite animated. The questions provided for discussion were asking about risk taking. What was the riskiest thing you ever did? (Many folks answered “getting married”!). But we also asked “what was the riskiest thing you did because of your faith?” That drew a variety of answers, from throwing a Bible onto the table of a business meeting to handing out flyers for the church, or going on a mission trip.

Then we asked folks to imagine our church in five years and asked them to consider what risky things we could possibly be doing then in various areas: outreach, programming and with our buildings. There were many responses to all of these areas. And the Invitation and Outreach Committee has collated these responses and will be presenting the results to the various committees: Worship and Christian Education, Finance and Fund-raising, Building Vision Team, and even the Invitation and Outreach Committee itself. Each committee will receive the results for their area so that they can be inspired by some of the thoughts recorded.

The Spirit is moving us; we just need to learn how to listen better. This is one way of doing just that. Nevertheless, let us not just end these ponderings in a committee. May they influence our further thinking and discussions in all that we do: worship prayers, dinners, social interactions.

For it was the Holy Spirit which broke into the hearts of the people. Mostly, it is imperative for all of us to hold up before ourselves some of the same questions that our cheery choir director, Ben Berman, asks in his article: how are we expressing the love of God to one another — choir with congregation, congregation with community? Where do our passions lay — ones that assist us in considering taking risks, stepping out into unexpected territory?

In all of this, though, let us remember these words of Jesus, our Lord: “Lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.” (Mt. 28:20b)

Pastor Susan

About Susan Kramer-Mills

Susan Kramer-Mills' journey as a pastor has led her to a variety of places. Before attending McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago she was a Volunteer-in-Mission for two years West Berlin, Germany. After returning to the United States and graduating from seminary, she returned with her husband Hartmut to Germany. From 1990 to 1992 she was campus chaplain and registrar at Naumburg Seminary in former East Germany. With the closing of the seminary she assumed the pastorate for the yoked congregations of Stoessen, Goerschen and Rathewitz in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. At the same time she taught Religious Instruction at two public elementary schools until 1998. During this time she was assigned six additional congregations to the original three. In 1998, she received a call as Associate Pastor to Trinity Presbyterian Church in East Brunswick, New Jersey. She served in that position until 2000, when she and her husband accepted a call as co-pastors to First Reformed Church in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Since April 1, 2004, Rev. Kramer-Mills has also been working part-time as Classis Minister to the Classis of New Brunswick.
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