Save the Planet!!

On Sunday, Apr 10th, New Brunswick’s mainline interfaith coalition, known for its annual Thanksgiving worship services, established a second annual event – the celebration of Earth Day. For this we gathered at Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church. The event began with a neighborhood clean-up that Sacred Heart’s Community Development Organization Unity Square had organized for the 5th year in a row. It resulted in the removal of 1.95 tons (!) of trash from one of the central neighborhoods of our city.

Following the clean-up, we enjoyed a plenary session in the great sanctuary of Sacred Heart. A few short presentations were framed by music from two organizations connected with First Reformed Church: Raíces Cultural Center and the Rainbow Community Choir under the leadership of Ben Berman. Ben’s involvement with the public school system is bearing great fruit! There were over 30 children participating in the Rainbow Choir’s performance that day.

The lectures were interesting because they introduced a number of important non-profit organizations whose concern is a cleaner environment for us all. Especially noteworthy was a speech by Donna Caputo from Public Works, because it showed how important it is that houses of worship and public authorities work together for the common good.

Following the plenary session, we descended into the fellowship hall of Sacred Heart where the nonprofits present had prepared tables and workshops. A real hit was the aloe planting session that Ellen and Bruce Hamilton provided. In the end, all of the 40 planters they had brought were gone! The afternoon was concluded with a tasty dinner in Mexican and Caribbean style.

Finally, we here at First Reformed Church would like to thank Lorena Gaibor, the Program Director of Unity Square Partnership, and Rabbi Rebecca Epstein from Anshe Emeth Memorial Temple, for their superb leadership in preparing this event.

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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