The Voice of FRC - December 2022
The Franklin Reformed Church 973-667-7022
firstname.lastname@example.org - frcnutley.org
From the Pastor’s Desk
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal, but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6.19-21
Advent in the history of the Christian Church has had many forms. At its origin, it was a time for penitence and fasting. Focusing on regret, contrition, and repentance early in its history, it was a period of time when adult Candidates for baptism prepared themselves to be baptized into the faith. Over the years, more and more, the cultural celebrations of Christmas moved out in time to the day after Thanksgiving. This was a change from the celebration of the “12 days of Christmas” from December 26th, St Stephen’s Day, through January 6th, which celebrated the coming of the Kings at Epiphany.
In the complexity of our lives, we often get caught up in the frenzy around the Christmas holiday. We are called by God to leave behind EVERYTHING in order to follow Jesus. (The rich young ruler, the disciples who would follow but Jesus tells them to leave father and mother, fields and home to follow Him.) But we are burdened by the weight of not only what we own, but by the world that calls us to more, more and more, especially in this holy season.
What we need this year is a Marie Condo Christmas. ConMarie, as she is also referred to, is an internationally known organizational consultant, and author of several books including the international best seller The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, What I hadn’t heard before is that Ms. Condo, although committed to organization in your space and home, recounts an epiphany in her life in which she realized it wasn’t about finding things to get rid of, but conversely finding the things that you want to keep.
Less is more when it comes to Advent and Christmas. Can we discover the things that we want to KEEP in our keeping of the Advent and Christmas seasons? What are the important moments, the essential elements, the special people that we need to help us recognize the holiness of this season in the church year? How can we make space in our hearts and our homes for the Babe that will be born? The Babe that will change everything, everything in the world. Take some time during this waiting season to decide what it is that you want to KEEP in order to be truly ready to welcome Christ yet again.
This and That
We will celebrate Communion next on Sunday, December 4th, at 11 am worship, which will be hybrid.
A Great Consistory meeting will be held on Sunday, December 4th immediately following 11 am worship. As you know, we have completed the sale of the land on the east side of
the church. The Consistory has made some preliminary decisions about investing some of these funds. But they are looking to the future and need everyone who loves this church community and claims it as their own to join with the Consistory and Mission Church Team to have conversation together. Lunch will be provided but we need for folks to RSVP either on the sign-up sheet in the Cone Building or by calling or emailing the church office. Please prayerfully consider attending this important meeting that looks towards the future of this faith community.
doorjam’s annual Christmas Concert WILL BE HELD THIS YEAR on December 18th at 4:00 pm. There will also be a Soup Supper after the concert - depending on the COVID transmission numbers. Loretta and Kerrie are once again coordinating the “after party.” Let them know how you can help out. A free will offering will be taken to benefit the Church’s General Fund account.
There are two ways to give to those who find themselves in need this Holiday season. 1) Giving the Gift of Hope at Christmas: take a box and a list of items for the NFSB Food bank (or you can go “rogue”) and return the box any time before worship on December 25th. The gifts will be dedicated at our Christmas Day service. 2) Gift of Hope: The Gift of Hope catalog has arrived. Sponsored through the Reformed Church in America, it is a way that we can provide needed support to people who struggle with even the basics of living. This year we have a fund-raising goal of $510 which will supply 1 rolling water carrier, 1 goat, 3 flocks of chickens, 1 sewing machine (with training for 5 years), and 1 set of tools and seeds to plant a garden. If you are interested in participating send a check to the church office made out to the Reformed Church in America.
The Worship Team will meet on Saturday, December 17th at 9:30 am to decorate the sanctuary. Anyone who wishes to join is most welcome. We will go out to breakfast afterwards.
A Winter Solace service will be held on December 21st at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church at 7:30pm. This service addresses the fact that for some people, certain years are more difficult to enter into the “Christmas Spirit”. Join us as we gather and uphold those who are struggling this year.
Christmas Eve will be a bit different this year. We will gather at the front steps of the church for the singing of Christmas Carols and hearing the Christmas story. It is our intention to meet outdoors; the gathering will last about a half an hour. Wet weather (not snow, but rain) will bring us indoors - dress for the weather. In the event of snow, we will decide on the day where to hold the service.
Christmas Day this year is a Sunday. We will gather as usual for our 11 am worship in the Sanctuary, which will be hybrid.
New Year’s Day is also a Sunday. We will gather for worship at 11 am to bid farewell to 2022 and welcome in the year 2023. Communion will be celebrated.
The Consistory meets next on Sunday, January 8th, following worship. Please continue to pray for those who have answered God’s call to leadership of our local congregation.
Discovering God is studying Women of the New Testament. In January we will be invited to meet Mary and Martha (Luke 10.38 -42 and John 11.1-44). Gail M. is our leader for this month. We will meet on the 15th, 22nd and 29th, the 3rd, 4th and 5th Sundays. We meet at 10 am. The meetings are hybrid.
On Sunday, November 20th we had an ingathering of Commitment Cards for the year 2023. The annual Stewardship letter, which was written by Linda R. this year, was sent via US mail the first week of November. If you haven’t returned your Commitment Card as of yet, please drop it off or mail it to the church office. If by chance you did not receive the letter, contact the church office.
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:
• Jainie G. and Linda R. who created and led us in worship on November 20th
• Jim T. for his continuing to work in the Cemetery
• The folks who helped to put candles out in the Cemetery on November 6th
• Don S. who is our Financial Advisor at Edward Jones
• Linda B. who created the beautiful wreath on the door of the Cone Building
At the October Consistory meeting we decided, in consultation with Kerrie who has been coordinating the effort, to DISCONTINUE the Shop Rite Gift Card ministry. We are grateful to those who have supported the church in this manner over the years.
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 will NOT gather on December 6th; otherwise, we gather at 10am.
Sunday Evening: We gather at 5:00pm. There are several upcoming church events that will prohibit our meeting. Emails will be sent as reminders.
Both of these studies are held via ZOOM. If you are interested in joining us, please send an email to email@example.com with Bible Study in the subject line, and you will be added to the invitation list.
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 supported this effort; we fully “subscribed” 2022. The new sign-up sheet for 2023 is posted in the Cone Building and will be on the frcnutley.org web site. Or you may call the Church Office.
Interesting things happen in our church all the time. One Sunday in November three people visited FRC looking for the church where their parents had gotten married. They were from Florida, and this was the second time they had visited the churches in Nutley looking for the right one. When visiting us, they found success. They came with a picture of their parents in a room, next to a table cutting their wedding cake. That was all they had. AnnMarie, Vicky, and Kerrie thought the background of this picture looked familiar. Deciding to go down to the room under the Sanctuary, they found the exact spot where the picture had been taken, and they were thrilled. With Jeff’s research it was confirmed that Marietta married Eugene on January 4, 1958. They had been high school sweethearts. The mystery was now solved, and we made a family very, very happy.
The 2023 Flower Chart has been posted. Thank you to all who supported the Worship Team with flowers, Easter and Christmas 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 will be handling 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.
Over the past year we, as a congregation, have been able to assist both organizations and individuals through our Deacon’s Fund. Our funds for this purpose are running low. A donation to the Deacons Fund will help keep us active in the support of our members and friends.
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.
On the FRC website 1) You can sign up on a virtual sign-up sheet to buy a share of vegetables from the Purple Dragon farm share group to be sent to Marion House in Newark. Just go to frcnutley.org and push the DONATE button. You will be taken to the DONATE page. On the right side of the page, you will see a box that says “Purple Dragon Co-op.” In that box it says “To sign up to donate a half ($30) or whole share ($60) click here.” Just click there and you will be brought to the sign-up sheet. To pay for your donation you may select “Marion House-Purple Dragon” in the dropdown menu of the Tithe.ly App or send a check to the FRC church office at 45 Hillside Crescent, Nutley, NJ
07110. 2) There is now a page called “Prayer Resources.” On this page you will find a virtual prayer walk that went with our real-life Good Friday prayer walk. Other prayer resources will also be available and will continue to be added and changed.
From the Mailbox
Thank you once again Sister/Pastor for welcoming me at Thanksgiving, Pete
(Pete is from one of our 12 Step Groups. The note came attached to a box of 100 large garbage bags!)
From the Historian
Highlights of the year 1952 at Franklin Reformed Church:
• Sunday, February 3rd began on a trial basis, a Children's Nursey Class, sponsored by the Wedding Band group in the Community House during the Worship hour.
• There was an announcement that Women's Guild set aside $1,000 for new steps in front of the Community House.
• Friday, February 29th was World Day of Prayer. The Protestant Churches of Nutley gathered at our church for the service.
• Among the new members who joined the church was Julia Dauth on April 21. Julia remained active until she moved to Vermont in the mid 1980's. She kept in touch for the rest of her life.
• On May 15th the Men's Association hosted a "Children's Night" meeting for the boys and girls of the church.
• On Sunday, June 5th Franklin Reformed Church held a Baccalaureate Service in honor of the Graduating Class of 1952. Chester Fell, our organist, and Dr. Ernest Ersfeld, director of music in Nutley High School, conducted the music presentations. The Nutley High Choralettes and Octets participated.
• Sunday, November 9th a new photo of the church appeared on the bulletin cover. The photo was taken by Irving Crabb.
• November 23rd Rev. and Mrs. Arthur Roosenraad expressed their appreciation to the
congregation for celebrating their 25h anniversary serving the church.
• On December 1st the Women's Guild held their annual Christmas Party.
• The proposed tentative budget for the year 1953 was a total of $12,880. 10% of all contributions in 1952 went to support various missions that included Arabian Mission, Women's Foreign Missions, the Board of Education, Board of Publications, Disabled Ministers' Fund, Widows' Fund, Essex County Council of Religious Education and the Bethany Home for the Aged.
From the Hart
I just did a kind of brave thing (well, brave for me), and I’m kind of proud of myself. I took a two-week cruise to Central America, and I did it all by myself – well, except for the 2,000 other passengers and 1,000+ crew that is! I loved sailing with John and then with friends. But I had always been curious about whether I could enjoy a cruise on my own. I had booked a short cruise for 2020 to “test the waters,” but you know how that went (it didn’t). Same for 2021. So, the long one ended up being the first one. I wasn’t sure how I would like being alone among a lot of other people. Would I just stay in my cabin, coming out for meals and scurrying back to read a book? As it turns out, I did read a book (thank you, Linda!), but I also participated in a lot of the onboard activities. I went on several excursions in the various ports. And I made friends! I met Susan, a lovely lady from Colorado, a rancher who became a vet in order to take care of all her animals. And Gary, a real southern gentleman from Baton Rouge, who took me to my first-ever art auction. The three of us became fast friends and spent most of our evenings together. I will always be grateful for having met them. They really helped make my inaugural solo adventure one of my best ever. And I think I may do it again one day soon!
I wish you all a very happy and peaceful holiday season.
Till next month, Lin