The Voice of FRC - March 2023
The Franklin Reformed Church 973-667-7022 email@example.com frcnutley.org
From the Pastor's Desk:
Israel spoke against God saying, “Can God spread a table in the wilderness?” Psalm 78.19
Sometimes the sermon series is sparked by ideas and resources in The Reformed Worship Journal. I have subscribed to this Journal since its inception. This year’s Lenten series, “A Table in the Wilderness,” is one such example.
The editor, Rev. Joyce Borger, writes: Normally we do everything we can to avoid the wilderness, but during Lent we are invited to journey into the wilderness. It is in that place of solitude and vulnerability that we often find ourselves most open to God. It is in the wilderness that important truths about life and death come into sharper focus. Few of us deliberately seek out the wilderness, though we all go through times of spiritual drought, thirst, and great need. But Scripture and our own experience testify to the fact that in these places God often shows up in profound and surprising ways.
As a community, we have been seeking guidance. It seems as if we have been wandering in the wilderness for some time. Not quite 40 years... We are called to trust in God who gathered and created the Church and this Church Community. Sometimes we are as tired and frustrated as the people of Israel, who were freed from slavery but then landed in the wilderness. What happened to the land of milk and honey? Their voice is heard in the stories in Exodus, and also in the words of the Psalmist in the 78th Psalm.
Can God spread a table in the wilderness? is basically a rhetorical question, to which the assumed answer was, quite frankly, NO! Unlike the people of Israel, while we may be frustrated and tired, we know that there is actually a different answer to that question. We have the benefit of knowing the end of their story, at least this part of the story. We do not, however, have the benefit of knowing the end of our story.
But we do know this through the stories of Israel in the wilderness, of Abraham, Sarah and Hagar, of young King David, of the prophet Elijah, of Jesus’ temptation, and the story of Jesus feeding thousands, God is never far away. God’s Spirit accompanies them and us and God’s gracious presence feeds and nurtures us on the way.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I fear no evil, for You are with me, Your rod and Your staff they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies and you anoint my head with oil and my cup overflows. Psalm 23: 4 & 5
This and That
We will celebrate Communion next on Sunday, March 5th, at 11 am worship. The Consistory will also meet after worship that day. Continue to pray for the leadership of this church community; they are weary.
While there has been much chatter about time change, indeed, we will “spring ahead” on Saturday night, March 11th. Don’t be late to Discovering God or Worship on the 12th!
The next Great Consistory meeting, led by the Mission Church Team, will be held on Sunday, March 26th immediately following 11 am worship. Lunch will be provided. If you plan to attend, please use the signup sheet on the bulletin board or call the church office. The Mission Church Team will send information that was gathered at our February meeting. How is God speaking to you?
The sermon series for Lent is “A Table in the Wilderness.” We will visit how God has been present for those who have wandered and faced difficult journeys. During Lent the Scripture readings will be taken from Read, Listen and Wonder: Stories from the Bible for Young Readers by Laura Alary.
doorjam has been invited to present “A Pilgrims Psalm,” our contemporary oratorio, at the Good News Café at the Brookdale Reformed Church. This will be on Saturday, March 11th, 4-6 pm. We will also do a performance in our Sanctuary on Palm Sunday, April 2nd, at 4pm. Hope to see you there.
Holy Week schedule 2023
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
5:00pm Bible Study
6:15pm Dinner with Communion at table
7:30pm Worship in the Sanctuary
9:30am Decorating the Church for Easter
11:00am Worship Christ is Risen!
At this time, we are unsure about the Continental Breakfast on Easter Sunday. More information will be forthcoming.
Discovering God is studying Women of the New Testament. We continue to get to know women from the New Testament; March is Mary of Magdala. Diane M. is leading. The Scripture is Luke 8.1-3 and John 20.1-30. We meet on March 12th,19th, and 26th. We begin at 10 am and will be hybrid.
The date for our Annual Congregational Meeting has been changed to May 7, 2023. Please put it on your calendars!
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 who continues to provide thoughtful music for Sunday morning Worship.
• Jim T. for his continuing to work in the Cemetery.
• The Mission Church Team for their commitment to helping the Congregation discern God’s call as we move into the future.
• Linda B. for her support of our ministry
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 entryway of the Cone Building (which is usually open) for your donations. Over these past 3 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. We meet next on Tuesday March 14th.
Sunday Evening: We gather at 5:00pm. We are currently studying some of the Minor Prophets.
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, 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 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. The sign-up sheet for 2023 is posted in the Cone Building and will be on the frcnutley.org website. Or you may call the Church Office.
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.
From the Mailbox
On behalf of the Pequannock Valley Rotary Foundation, I want to thank you for your generous donation to our outreach program in support of the Ukrainian people. Thanks to your support and other district Rotarians, our Ukraine Outreach program will provide over 1200 sets of thermal underwear for those in need of warm clothing.
Thanks again for supporting this Rotary program! Sincerely,
The Pequannock Valley Rotary Foundation
From the Historian
On March 12, 1912, Juliette Gordon Low in Savannah, Georgia, founded the Girl Guide Group which in 1915 was renamed the Girls Scouts. She led troops until her death in January 1927.
March 12-19 is Girl Scout Week. Since writing about the first troop founded at our church in 1923, I have done some research on leaders of the group. Mrs. Jennie B. Ludlum (mother of Loretta Taylor Epper and Jean Unglaub) served as the Captain from 1941-1955.
1927-32 Miss Flora Louden was the Captain. She was an active member of The Flower and Christian Service Guild until her June 1957 death. She served on The Town Recreation Committee, represented the group at The Nutley Family Service Bureau, and in 1960 the Recreation Dept. named the new Hancox Avenue Park in memory of her.
In 1957 & 1958 Troop #7 was led by Mrs. Roy Blair. Brownie Troops: In 1959 Troop #40 was led by Mrs. J.S. Gurdziel, and #39 was led by Doris R. and Mildred Haight. In 1959, 1960 and 1961 they led Troop #293, which was led by Doris R. and Marie Edmunds in 1962. In 1960 and 1961 the Troop #296 leaders were Mrs. Elizabeth Chalk and Mrs. Peggy Ebert. Loretta Taylor Epper led many various Girl Scout groups in the town, led the Annual Cookie Drive, and received recognition in the county-wide Adult Leader's Training Team.
The first Girl Scout Troop organized at Lincoln School on June 21, 1921, was led by long-time FRC member Elsie Ryan.
For many years Girl Scout Sunday was in October at our church to commemorate the birthday of Juliette Gordon Low. Rev. Roosenraad and the Girl Scouts held a special service on October 25, 1953. The Girl Scout laws, and a hymn of Scouting were included in the service. Girl Scout Sunday was later moved to March, and in 2023 will be observed on March 12th.
From the Hart
One thing I love about living in New Jersey is that we get to experience all the seasons. But, as I type this, it is three weeks until spring, and I am looking out at a winter wonderland for the first time this season. What a wacky winter this has been! I confess I am delighted not to have to spend my days wrapped in quilts and cats. Even though it seems wrong for the temperature to hit the 60’s in February, I am not complaining, because people in other parts of the country have had a really bad winter, while we have had it pretty easy here. I am also grateful that while I was getting “suited up” to shovel the white stuff this morning, one of my neighbors took care of it for me. Life is good. And so even though I haven’t earned it, I may just have a mug of hot cocoa to celebrate. Cheers!
Till next month, Lin