The Rewards of Ministry I: Rutgers Students

This week, Barry Smith from Youth Empowerment Services and I met as panelists with about 20 students of Rutgers Student Volunteer Council, located at the nice Student Activity Center overlooking the Raritan River on George Street. If you consider how much help our church has received in recent years from Rutgers students, it was about time that we met in the peace of a conference room in order to reflect on the nature of the work, how it can be enhanced, and how the ties to community organizations like our church can be intensified.

Twenty wonderful young people eager to hear about such topics! How do you establish ties with the community? How has this changed over the course of the history of your organization? What constitutes a successful community service event? What do you find rewarding; what disappointing? What’s the impact of volunteers in the community as you see it?

We discussed these and similar questions. And slowly, there emerged in the room this mutual enthusiasm for being here in the hub city with all its challenges, its diversity, and its signs of rejuvenation and renewal.

Genuine interest in the non-profit goals of our community organizations, an appreciation particularly for the church’s history, and curiosity about our future potential – it was a rewarding afternoon, indeed! (Continued in Part II )

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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