Town Clock Community Development Corp. – Dina’s Dwellings Gets a Face

Town Clock CDC

Sometimes the path we have chosen makes an unusual turn which we do not expect. That is what occurred for us as the Fundraising Team tried to create a brochure for the project.

Since the Consistory approved of the name Dina’s Dwellings, we have been trying to find a picture of Dina Van Bergh (Freylinghuysen Hardenbergh). Our search took us into the RCA’s Archivist’s office of Russ Gasero, who had much to say about the life and witness of Dina. Most likely, he informed us, there will be no portraits of Dina, since she was a part of the pietistic movement in the middle colonies of the 1700’s. It was common practice that such Christians refrained from hanging mirrors or portraits in their houses because this would promote vanity. What evidences remain of Dina are some of her diaries which have been translated into English. However, the Archivist shared with us a beautiful doll which was hand made by Louretta Lane in 1980. Ms. Lane was once the organist at the Readington Reformed Church and created the doll for their Harvest Home event. Supposedly the doll is wearing a replica of a dress of Dina’s that is held by Rutgers University’s Special Collections. What we are excited about is that we will receive the Dina doll on permanent loan from the RCA Archive.

Here is the photo of the Dina doll. It wasn't a wedding dress, but a dress that is held by Rutgers University special collections. It apparently was a dress of Dina's and the women modeled this doll's dress after that one.

The Town Clock CDC Board is also excited to continue it’s fundraising for the project. We received a $1000 from Johnson & Johnson, which will be used to purchase a new computer. Other donations from individuals have come in throughout the last couple of months. And we thank FRC for the donations taken during the Christmas Play.

Furthermore, we have begun working with our new real estate developers: Bergen County’s United Way and the Madeline Corporation, who are helping us to secure our funding.

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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