The Rewards of Ministry II: Lunchtime Recitals

I had a similar experience earlier this week, albeit from a very different corner. Our Lunchtime Recital with Mrs. Ena Bronstein Barton was a most rewarding event. Seventy-six people attended, among them classes from the Livingston School, as well as from Pine Grove Nursery. In fact, the serving line for lunch afterwards was made up in equal parts by Pine Grove teachers and church volunteers.

The highlight of the event was undoubtedly the music performed by Mrs. Bronstein Barton. From the program we were prepared for Bach, Liszt and Debussy. But other than that, the pieces were particularly difficult ones to play, I had not expected the incredible performance we had. Without a sheet of music in front of her, Mrs. Bronstein Barton turned the piano into a jewel box from which she extracted one treasure
after another.

I explained to the audience that this had reminded me of the cold desert fauna of Mrs. Bronstein Barton’s native Chile when the barren rocks are covered with an incredible plethora of precious flowers. The children, many with roots in South America, related immediately. One boy asked whether I knew the name of these flowers, but I had only seen them on the Internet and could not remember the name. Yet, this did not seem to matter much. The youngsters had clearly understood the preciousness of the music. And so they had one question after another for Mrs. Bronstein Barton. And I realized: We could not have done much better than that!

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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