The Voice of FRC - December 2021
From the Pastor’s Desk
“And we have the prophetic word made more sure. You will do well to pay attention to this light shining in the dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.” 2 Peter 1.19
Part of what we observe during the season of Advent is the turning to the promise that Jesus, who once lived among us, will come again. To Paul and other New Testament writers, this promise was to be fulfilled soon - as in the praise song: “soon and very soon we are going to see the King.” But it has been over two thousand years and yet the day still has not come.
But still we wait, with our Jewish siblings, for the Messiah to come. What is it that we are called to do in the meanwhile? The Gospels and the Epistles give us guidance again and again.
Here in Peter’s second letter, in the 19th verse of the first chapter, we find a synopsis of the work as a whole - that the “great and terrible day of the Lord” will come as proclaimed in the prophets whose words we read during this advent season. Both minor and major prophets (Zephaniah, Amos, Obadiah and Joel, Ezekiel and Isaiah) give us a glimpse of what is to come. And further, Peter tells the church in this letter that the day has been delayed due to the forbearance of God who desires that “all shall reach repentance.”
So, while we wait, with patience and with hope, we are called to pay attention to “this light shining in the dark place, until the day dawns.” In the Gospel of John, Jesus says “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” (John 8.12) So first we are to pay attention to God’s messengers, the prophets. Secondly, we are called to look to Jesus who declared Himself the light of the world. And finally, we are to be that light, as Jesus tells His disciples, and us, YOU are the light of the world (Matthew 5.14).
We do live in dark times, no matter where you look or how you look at it. But we also live into a hope that has been held for us by the generations that have gone before us. We look to the Jesus of John’s gospel, about whom John says “In him was life, and the life was the light of all. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
So, in this season, as the hours of darkness are longer than the hours of light, live into this light, until the promised day when the “bright and morning star rises in your hearts.”
Even so, come Lord Jesus!
This and That
We will gather outside the Sanctuary to sing Christmas Carols on Christmas Eve at 7:30pm. Worship will begin at 7:45pm in the Sanctuary. Worship will be hybrid.
Discovering God, our adult Christian Education program, will meet in December on the 12th, 19th, and 26th at 10:00 am. This year we are studying Women in the Old Testament. In December we will consider a trio of stories of Mary, mother of Jesus, Hannah, mother of Samuel, and the mother of Samson. Their stories appear in Luke 1. 45-56, 1 Samuel 2. 1-10 and Judges 13. If you do not regularly get the emails for Discovering God and would like to join us, send an email to FRCNutley@optimum.net with the subject title Discovering God and you will be added to the list.
The sanctuary has reopened for worship. On December 5th we will celebrate communion. We will continue to have hybrid Worship and Christian Education. Bible Study on Tuesday and Sunday will continue to be on ZOOM for the time being.
doorjam is planning our annual Christmas Concert, which will be recorded live and posted on the frcnutley.org website on (or before) December 19th which is the date the concert would have taken place in the Sanctuary.
At its September meeting the Consistory decided on the following COVID precautions for all groups - including church groups - which will be reviewed each month going forward:
Everyone entering the buildings should be masked.
Hand sanitizer will be stationed at strategic places for general use.
No eating or drinking is permitted in the building - the Kitchen is currently CLOSED.
Please refrain from coming to the buildings if you are not feeling well.
We encourage everyone to be vaccinated.
It takes a church! We are grateful to God for all those who have lent a hand, taken on a task, and shown their commitment to the ministry of our congregation over the last month:
The Church Ladies who were instrumental in realizing the Afternoon Tea on November 27th for Linnea and Anna at Warwick.
doorjam for their participation in the unveiling of the Unity Sculpture
Loretta and Lin who continue to come to the church buildings to do cleaning.
Jainie, Tricia, Linda R and Joe who have been doing the work of providing the virtual part of hybrid worship and Christian Education.
Kerrie and Ann Marie who continue to count and make weekly deposits.
Robert Wilson for the many things he does in and around the church.
Tricia, Jainie and Lin who helped to set out candles for the All-Saints Day remembrance on November 7th
As a reminder: except for Elders meetings, all church gatherings are open to every member of the Congregation including Consistory meetings. If you are interested in attending any gathering that is announced, contact the church office for more information. Consistory minutes and financial reports are available upon request. The next Consistory meeting will be held on December 5th.
At its June meeting the Consistory decided that all funds that are designated for the “Repair Fund” will be, going forward, deposited in the Capital Improvement Fund account.
The annual Stewardship letter has been sent out, written by Elder Linda R.. We will have an ingathering of Commitment cards on Sunday, January 2, 2022. If you will not be at worship that Sunday, please return your Commitment card to the church office before that date.
This month a copy of the most recent deed was sent to the County of Essex, which moves us one step closer to a closing date with the Nutley Board of Education for the property on the east side of the church. In the meantime, the Consistory prayerfully requests that you continue to financially support the church as generously as you can.
We continue to collect items for the NFSB Food Pantry and Vincent UMC Care Pantry (personal care, paper goods and cleaning products). There is a basket in the vestibule of the Cone Building; the outer door remains open for this purpose.
Kerrie is collecting donations for the RCA Global Mission project. Over the past few years, we have successfully helped to change lives through the "Gift of Hope." We have sent money for a cow, sewing machines, goats, and chickens. If you would like to participate, please send a check made out to "Reformed Church in America," to the church office (45 Hillside Crescent, Nutley, NJ 07110). Kerrie will be collecting through the end of December at which time we will decide what to give. If you would like to see what missions are avai