Vision Team Revisited

Since our combined vision retreat with members of the Suydam Street Reformed Church had to be postponed to June 9th, it seems appropriate to give an update on where we are in the vision process.

A lot has been discussed in recent months, and several of our committees have been involved and taken suggestions from the Vision Team. We had a great delegation of seventeen of us attend the passion play at Suydam Street. In addition, Aurea Vega, Deacon at the Suydam Street Reformed Church, has been employed as our new church secretary and will begin next month.

Yet, in all of this, one thing has remained the same: Neither church has planned any formal steps towards a future partnership. Nor is there any particular model for our coming together in discussion. It may work and it may not work. At the moment, both sides are more in the mode of getting to know each other on various levels. Given this circumstance, it would perhaps be premature at the current stage to engage in more abstract discussions. Even the June retreat will focus primarily on the issues of getting to know each other personally and in terms of our ministries.

Yet, there is more to come, as we are building a base for future discussion. The Christian Education Committee, for example, has invited families from the Suydam Street Reformed Church to join us at the camping trip in Warwick. Once we have more personal relationships established, we will find more direction for our future, and there will be plenty of time to develop a more formal vision. It will be pivotal that this discussion is carried on by as many of us as possible.

Our Vision Team will have its next regular meeting on May 7th at 7:00 p.m. in the Randolph Room. It will be somewhat shorter, as our travelers to Astoria will meet the same night at 8:00 p.m. Please come and give your input at the vision meeting; we are intentional about not having it confined to any particular membership but keep it as an open group.

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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