Start Into a New Season

Look at the pictures from Kick-off Sunday Sep 9th below. How much hope there is and how much joy! You see young and old coming together for singing and for worship, and for a lavish international pancake breakfast. We had so many contributors to this event that Lauren Bernhofer, who chaired the committee in charge, asked me a few days prior to cut the contingent of my German pancakes in half!

             

The pictures of this event are in many ways characteristic for our church family. We are a link to many worlds. Most importantly, we link our church’s past with the future to come. Once, our halls were filled with the establishment of another time. Until the 1950s, for example, membership at our church was natural for anybody with social ambition. Naturally, parents brought their children, and a seat on Consistory was widely regarded as a seat of honor within the community.

Today, much of this has shifted, and we find ourselves as part of a counterculture. Not many of our visitors are driven any more by the ambition of becoming part of an establishment. They have different reasons for their visits. Some look for an intellectually satisfying environment for their children. Others have spiritual questions or pursue issues of social justice. Many look for a caring circle of friends with good and safe values. Others are brought by their wives.

We are also a link in the present time, as we connect with many groups of faith, inside and outside of Christianity. Three other congregations worship with us in partnership, and they could not differ more from one another. Add the interfaith dialogues with our Jewish and Muslim brothers and sisters to the mix, as well as the great variety of community groups that meets on our premises – from “Martial Arts” to “Princeton Songwriters” and the “Hiram Square Homeowners’ Association”, and more in between. 

We are a link to many, reflecting the diversity of life and its many cultures. Somehow, it all circles around the Holy Table, the symbol for the presence of the Lord in our lives. May God continue to bless us in this way, as we move into a new season of life here at First Reformed Church!  Amen. 

 

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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