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The Voice of FRC - June 2023

The Franklin Reformed Church 973-667-7022

From the Pastor’s Desk

“Dear brothers and sisters, don’t ever forget that it is best to listen much, speak little, and not become angry.” James 1:19
“Listen. Just Listen. You don’t have to agree, just see if you can understand that there is another person who has a completely different experience of the same reality.” Esther Perel, psychotherapist

At our annual meeting last month, we took some time to learn about listening. Think about it for a moment - who taught you to listen? Were they good listeners? An article was shared that day (after we listened and spoke about it, because if I had handed it out before, people would be reading and NOT listening) from the Harvard Business Review by Robin Abrahams and Boris Groysberg. They write about the compelling reasons for us to listen: “First is to understand what the other person is communicating and second to convey interest, engagement, and caring to the other person.... if people do not feel listened to, they will cease to share information.” James, two thousand years ago, got this right. James speaks to his readers/listeners in imperatives. If you are counting, there are some 60 imperatives in this short book of only 5 chapters, a mere one hundred and eight verses. “Listen much and speak little.” How often do we all, and I include myself here as well, speak much and listen little? Probably the most common mistake in listening is that we can often begin to compose a response while we are listening to someone else. And when we do that, we often miss something, and it might just be something important. I imagine that Jesus was a good listener. We see again and again in the Gospels when Jesus will stop and listen. Jesus welcomes our stories, our cries, our prayers. All of us can be better listeners. There must be a reason that God created us with two ears and one mouth! The better we become at listening, the more deeply we get to know one another. And in the difficult conversations that we have had, and will have, as we move forward towards the future, we need not only to hear, but also to respect one another. Every one of us has a word to bring, a perspective to share, an observation that may be different than what we have in our minds. Let us commit together to work towards being the best listeners that we can be. Let us try to see in new ways how the Spirit still speaks through God’s faithful people.

This and That doorjam is returning to the Ocean Grove Gospel Music Ministry Series on June 3rd. Join us at 7pm at the Boardwalk Pavilion.

We are hosting the Nutley Cultural Inclusion and Diversity Council’s next movie night for PRIDE month. There will be a screening of the movie “Milk” on Saturday, June 24th. This 2008 film is based on the life of activist and politician Harvey Milk, who was the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in California. Doors open at 4pm; the film starts at 4:30pm. Movie refreshments will be provided.

On Sunday, June 4th we will worship at 11am, and Communion will be celebrated. Consistory will meet after worship. Please pray for the leaders of our faith community.

Discovering God has spent the last two years getting to know the women of the Old and New Testaments. It has been an education to be sure. In June Discovering God will review the year, look towards the 2023-2024 program year, and assemble the Camp Sunrise Welcome Kits. A sign-up sheet is on the bulletin board for delivery of the Welcome Kits. Dates are June 25th, July 2nd, 9th, 16th and 23rd. It is a great opportunity for you to meet the campers and staff of Camp Sunrise.

We will move back outdoors for worship on Sunday, June 18th and continue at least through Labor Day weekend. If the weather is inclement, we will worship in the Sanctuary. Summer worship time is 10am. After worship that day we will be assembling Welcome Kits for Camp Sunrise.

Our next gathering with the Mission Church Team will be on Sunday, June 25th. We will gather after worship. We will also install the new class of Consistory, Nancy, and Loretta, that morning.

Pastor Jill will be the Sunrise Chaplain the week of July 2nd - 8th. Pray for the Campers and Counselors this Camp season. Also for the new Minister of Camps!

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:

  •  Loretta and Jainie who spearheaded the organizing of Carts of Caring this year.

  •  Jim T. for his continuing to work in the Cemetery.

  •  Jeff for donating the lovely plants at the door of the Cone Building

  •  Joe R. who did a quick fix on the printer in the office, and who has been working at replacing doorjam’s equipment.

  •  Loretta who is the host for the Pride Movie night on June 24th.

  •  All of the people who were our “teachers” during Discovering God this program year.

As a reminder: with the exception of Elders meetings, all church gatherings, including Consistory meetings, are open to every member of the Congregation. 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 entryway of the Cone Building (which is usually open) for your donations. Over these past three 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.

The 2023 Flower Chart has been posted. 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 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 to 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 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.

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 5pm. 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 with Bible Study in the subject line, and you will be added to the invitation list.

From the Mailbox Not the actual mailbox, but a thank you to the entire church community for your support and encouragement during the first semester of my D Mn. program. Thirty-six years out of the classroom... it was quite a ride! If I missed something I should have paid attention to, or was not immediately available, I apologize. Pastor Jill

From the Historian At the end of the month of June 1963, Rev. Edwin T. Jones completed his service as Interim to our church. After a visit to Rev. Leonard Jones at his home, the Pulpit Committee extended an invitation for him to come and preach on February 24th. He was at that time the Pastor of The

Reformed Church at Franklin Park, N.J. On May 6th, which was the 108th anniversary day of our founding, the Classis of Newark approved the Call of Leonard Adrian Jones to The Franklin Reformed Church. Rev. Jones led our Worship Services from September 8, 1963, through December 28, 1980. The 1962-63 Pulpit Committee consisted of all men. Chester Ryan chaired the committee. The members were Raymond Pfaehler, Edwin C. Joerg, Irving Crabb, Howard Wolferz, Fred Koebel, Howard Clarke, John Durlach, Allan Riddle, and Joseph Day. Rev. Edwin Thomas Jones came to FRC on September 8, 1962. He had retired from the Reformed Church of Baldwin, Long Island as of December 31, 1961, where he had served since January 1, 1959. He was living in Kendall Park, N.J. with his wife May. They also had a home in Rhode Island. In addition to Leonard, they had a son Alan and daughter Katharine. His ministry began in 1931 at the Third Reformed Church, Albany, NY. In 1946 he began serving The First Reformed Church in Pompton Plains, and while there he also served as a Trustee and was the first Vice President of the Board of The Chilton Memorial Hospital of Pompton Plains which opened in 1954. Edwin Jones (1897-1976) and May Jones (1900-1975) are buried in the First Reformed Cemetery in Pompton Plains.

From the Hart I love watching movies, especially the old ones, and Turner Classic Movies is my favorite TV channel. I have often said that if I had to pick only one channel to watch for the rest of my life, TCM would be it. But I really hate war movies. Today is Memorial Day, and TCM has once again marked the occasion by showing three days of nothing but war movies. I know they mean well, but I wonder whether those who gave their lives serving this country would want us to watch scenes depicting the horrors of battle over and over again. I know that my Uncle Ed, who fought in the Battle of the Bulge and never, ever talked about it, would not. Maybe I’m being a little too hippy-dippy, but wouldn’t we honor them better by celebrating love and peace? This morning the Carts of Caring once again rolled through the streets of Nutley collecting donations to the Nutley Family Service Bureau Food Pantry. I like to think that by that act, we honor our service men and women a lot better than by sitting in front of our TV’s watching a bunch of guys pretend to blow each other up. I will continue to pray that someday, war movies will be a curiosity to people who no longer know that war ever existed. And if that sounds hippy-dippy, that’s fine by me. Shalom. Till next month, Lin

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