The Voice of FRC- April 2023
The Franklin Reformed Church 973-667-7022 email: email@example.com www.frcnutley.org
From the Pastor’s Desk
Jesus also said, “The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how.” Mark 4:26 & 27 “The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad; the desert shall rejoice and blossom; like the crocus it shall blossom abundantly and rejoice with joy and shouting.” Isaiah 35:1 & 2
This winter has been unusually mild, and spring has come a bit early. I will confess I missed the chance of a snow day, and it is also somewhat unnerving with climate change in the back of my mind. Forsythia, hyacinth, daffodil, crocus, and dogwood have all started to put on their spring wardrobe. But what we sometimes forget is how they actually got to that point. Cold weather or no, the trees and bulbs have been growing and working towards the warm spring ground, even when it is winter. As I look back, I see that God is in that dark place, making preparations. The parable of the seed in Mark 4 is one of my favorites. There are many times when I am not really sure what God is up to. When I am confused, when faith is hard to come by, I find myself thinking about these two small verses. In my sleeping and my rising God is at work, whether I know it or not. As we have wandered in wilderness and desert places during this season of Lent, I am encouraged by the words of Isaiah, “The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, the desert shall rejoice and blossom.” After wandering, seemingly lost, when there seems to be nothing to nourish us or abate our deep spiritual thirst; there is an oasis waiting for us. God is faithful. God’s steadfast love is with and for us in the desert dryness. The promise of growth and new life is what Easter is all about. Yes, that’s why the chicks and bunnies, why the spring flowers that will adorn our sanctuary. It makes me less fearful of death to know that death is not the end. God has something waiting, growing while we are sleeping. My prayer for you this Easter season is that whether you are in a wilderness or desert, whether you have finally arrived at an oasis, or if you have heard the joyful spring carols of new life, that you will with me, embrace the promise that no matter what we encounter in this crazy life, God is at work and will prosper His children. How do I know this? I have been to the tomb.... and it is empty. Christ is risen! Alleluia!
This and That Holy Week Schedule 4/2
9:15am Blessing of the Palms (In front of the
Municipal Building in town)
9:45am Potluck Breakfast in our Community House
11:00am Worship with Communion
4:00pm Pilgrim's Psalm
6:15pm Dinner with Communion at table
12:00noon Cross walk sponsored by the Nutley Clergy Association. Starting at Nutley High School ending at the Town Hall at 12:45pm.
7:30pm Worship with Holy Trinity at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Nutley
11:00am Decorating the Church for Easter
10:00am Continental breakfast
11:00am Worship. Christ is Risen!
doorjam will present a performance of “A Pilgrim’s Psalm” in our Sanctuary on Palm Sunday, April 2nd, at 4pm. It is a multimedia production. Hope to see you there.
We will celebrate Communion next on Maundy Thursday, April 6th with dinner at table at 6:15pm. Please sign up on the bulletin board or call the church office so that we can plan accordingly.
The Consistory will meet next on April 23rd after worship. Continue to pray for the leadership of this church community; they are weary.
The Mission Church Team will continue its work with the congregation at our annual meeting, after worship on Sunday May 7th. We will also be electing a new class of Consistory. If you have been approached to serve on Consistory, please prayerfully consider serving God in this way.
Discovering God is studying Women of the New Testament. In April we will meet Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well. We meet at 10am on April 16, 23 and 30. The meetings are hybrid.
Once again, we are collecting items for Camp Sunrise. We need the following items: combs, deodorant, shampoo, soap, toothpaste, and washcloths. There is a box in the sanctuary for your donations. We will also accept cash donations. Thank you for all your kind support in our mission for the past many years. Please contact Loretta with any questions.
It takes a church! I am 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 months:
Joe R. who updated the computer in the office.
Jim T. for his continuing to work in the Cemetery.
Loretta who has been faithfully taking the trash and recyclables to the curb every Sunday and Wednesday for three years
Kathy T. who made a generous donation to the Deacon’s Fund.
Anthony and the Scouts of Troop 147 for the three picnic tables on the Hillside Crescent side of the church. This was Anthony’s Eagle Scout project.
As a reminder: with the exception of 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.
We continue to collect items for the NFSB Food Pantry and the Care Closet (personal care items, paper supplies and cleaning supplies). There is a basket in the entry way of the Cone Building (which is usually open) for your donations. Over these past 2 1⁄2 years donations to the Food Pantry have slowed, and the need in Nutley has risen. Please remember our neighbors in their need and your abundance.
Weekly Bible Studies Tuesday Morning: We gather at 10am and are currently studying the book of Deuteronomy, which is the book in the Torah that Jesus quotes from the most in the Gospel of Matthew. Sunday Evening: We gather at 5:00pm. We are “wandering” in the Minor Prophets. Join us to see what’s next. Both of these studies are held via ZOOM. If you are interested in joining us, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with Bible Study in the subject line, and you will be added to the invitation list.
The 2023 Flower Chart has been posted. Thank you to all who support the Worship Team with flowers and Easter plants. The flowers may be given for special occasions, birthdays, anniversaries, in memory of a loved one, etc. The cost for each Sunday is $30. Jeff G. handles the orders.
While blessing us with beauty on Sunday mornings, the flowers are given to a member or friend of the church after each worship service. They go with our prayers for those who receive them.
The residents and staff of Marion House regularly express their thanks for the Purple Dragon Farm Share that the congregation supports each month. Thank you to those who have already signed up this year. The sign-up sheet for 2023 is posted in the Cone Building and is on the frcnutley.org web site. Or you may call the Church Office.
For your information the assessment, monies that we send to the Reformed Church in America to assist in funding regional and national denominational activities, is $97 for 2023. Our Classis collects these funds for disbursement to other church bodies. There are envelopes in the offering boxes for the Assessment - which you can contribute as a one-time donation or in four increments. Some people include this amount in their regular giving, others choose to designate their contribution. The Consistory also covers the cost of those who are unable to make this contribution from our General Fund.
From the Mailbox
Dear Franklin Reformed Church, We are deeply grateful for your contribution of $1,000 to the Everett L. Zabriskie III RCA Scholarship Fund. Thank you for your prayers and gifts which extend beyond our campus to all seminarians. We are grateful to our faculty and students who continue to gracefully navigate the full-time transition to online and hybrid learning. This dedication and devotion display our commitment to joy and justice in every community, company, and congregation they faithfully serve. Thank you, and on behalf of all those blessed and uplifted by your support, we send our profound appreciation.
In Joy and in Justice, Rev. Micah McCreary, Ph.D. President, New Brunswick Theological Seminary
From the Historian 75 years ago on Sunday, April 11, 1948, new members and Confirmation class students joined the church including Mary Anne F.! Our hymn books, Hymns, Psalms, and Spiritual Songs have been in use for 30 years. They were dedicated on Sunday, April 18, 1993, in memory of Gerard H. Taylor, by his family and friends. Gerry Taylor was a January 1931 Nutley High School graduate. In June of 1946 he married Loretta Ludlum. He retired as Sunday School treasurer in December 1983 after 18 years of service. For many years he was a member of the Committee that oversaw the Tennis Courts that the church had. He was a longtime mem