Sinterklaas Visits Once Again!

Every year, the first weekend in December is punctuated by a special celebration at the old Van Wickle house in Somerset with the visit of Sinterklaas (the original Santa Claus!).

This year our group of dancers has grown significantly. What a blessing! Lisa and David, Viktoriya’s twins, and Sandy, Kathleen and Walter participated in the dancing. Of course, it needs to be said who else is on board: Janet Waanders, Ellen and Bruce Hamilton, the Beemsterboer family, Susan Miller and her daughters, Hannah and Esther, Sarah and Amelia Betancourt, and the pastors with Allison and Lily. For the first time in many years, there was almost a shortage of costumes.

The weather was beautiful – for December. So many visitors attended the event that even the Dutch treats were gone in a flash.

Did you know that we are becoming known as the dancing church? Watching the children have so much fun, even though they are dressed up in these traditional costumes, really tells us something…What? That we need to dance, dance, and dance again. So watch out for more events. And they might not just be for traditional Dutch dancing.
In the Netherlands St. Nicholas day, December 6, is a very special holiday for children and families. In honor of this tradition there were hands on activities for children at the Van Wickle house throughout the afternoon.  They colored a pictured of Sinterklaas while they learned the story of how St. Nicholas came to be known as Sinterklaas.  Or they tried their hand at Stipwerke, a type of dot painting.

The program included Dutch Klompen Dancing and Sinteklaas music played on the Dutch street organ, the Violanta. 

A slide show tour of the Netherlands and a video about Sinterklaas was shown during the open house. Traditional Dutch food was for sale. including, almond pastry, sausage rolls, and Sinterklaas spice cookies.










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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