The Voice of FRC - May 2022
The Newsletter of the Franklin Reformed Church 973-667-7022 www.frcnutley.org
From the Pastor’s Desk
“From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view; even though we regarded Christ from a human point of view, we regard Him this way no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, they are a new creation, the old has passed away, behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5. 16 & 17
During the season of Lent, we considered the role of confession in the Biblical narrative and in our worship. We heard what there was to be said regarding our personal sin, the sins of the community (church, township, nation, world!). We also looked at how, across the ages both the people of Israel and the newly forming church said what they believed. You probably recall that this all came out of a conversation during one of our Tuesday morning Bible studies when we were reading through the book of Daniel.
Before we consider Paul’s words to the church in Corinth, I want to take us back to Holy Week, where I discovered a deep paradox. Jesus is tried, brought before the High Priests, then taken off to Pilate. The death sentence is pronounced, and Jesus carries his cross with him to place of the Skull (reading in the Gospel of Luke). Two others - who Luke reminds us were criminals – are led out with Jesus, and crucified. Hanging on the cross “one of the criminals who were hanged railed at Jesus, saying, ‘Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!’ But the other rebuked him, saying ‘Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed are punished justly; for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing.’ And he said ‘Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.’ And Jesus said to him ‘Truly I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”
Two confessions; I am guilty of my crime and Jesus is not and remember me when you come into your kingdom. At first, I looked at that as the first being a confession of sin and the second as a confession of faith. But the more that I rehearsed this passage, the more I came to see that indeed both are confessions of faith. The criminal recognized his own guilt and made a confession which we might assume inferred that he lived in hope of forgiveness. This second confession stating a belief that Jesus was indeed a king who would come to rule His own kingdom, the Kingdom of God.
But here is what I have begun to hear in this part of the story: that when we confess it is rooted in the promise and hope that God is a God of forgiveness. When we confess our sins, we likewise confess our hope for that forgiveness, a confession of faith if you will. So, these two confessions are really not that different. Both are rooted in a deep belief in God.
I hear an echo of this in what Paul writes to the church: when we are in Christ, when we live under the loving sacrifice of Jesus for our sins, we are a new creation. Isn’t this what Jesus meant when he told the criminal, “Truly, today you will be with me in paradise”? Today you will be made new. A promise not only for this man, but for each of us. Confessing our sins IS INDEED confessing our faith in the renewal that God, in Christ, has given to us. Believe in this gospel, the good news, and live in God’s renewal and peace.
This and That
May 5th is National Day of Prayer. The Nutley Clergy Fellowship will gather for prayer in front of the Municipal Building on Kennedy Drive at 12 noon. Join us as we hold before God our Township, County, State, and Nation, and those who lead and serve those communities.
Discovering God, our Adult Christian Education program: This year we are studying Women whose stories are told in the Old Testament. In May we will be considering Potiphar’s wife, in the story of Joseph. We find this story in Genesis 39. Meetings are on Sunday mornings. In deference to our Annual Meeting, we will meet on May 8th, 15th and 29th - which are the second, third and fifth Sundays. We hope that you will join us. We are currently doing Discovering God hybrid.
The Annual Meeting of the Franklin Reformed Church will be held in person on Sunday, May 22nd after worship. We will share a Potluck lunch (bring a dish to share). If COVID rates rise to HIGH according to the NJ Dept. of Health, we will let you know on Friday, 5/20, and we will not be able to share a meal. The meeting will include the election of the new class of Consistory, and the Mission Church Team will help us consider next steps in the life of our church community.
We will celebrate Communion next on Sunday, May 22 - the day of our Annual Meeting. We will continue to have hybrid Worship and Christian Education. Bible Study on Tuesday morning and Sunday evening will continue to be on ZOOM.
Carts of Caring are coming back to the Memorial Day Parade, on Monday, May 30th. If you are planning to march with us, please sign up on the bulletin board at the church or call the church office and let us know. Also, if you frequent local businesses, we have flyers that you can ask merchants to post for us in advance.
The Consistory is working to curb costs and are asking, if you can, to help out by purchasing some basic supplies for the church: Scott toilet tissue (the softer, heavier brands are not kind to our pipes), hand soap to refill the canisters in the bathrooms, C-fold towels (which fit our dispensers in the bathrooms and can be purchased by the case at COSTCO and BJ’s), boxes of tissues for the office and the sanctuary, and rolls of paper towels for the kitchen. They can be dropped off at the church at any time in the foyer of the Cone Building.
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 month:
• Andrew D. for clearing the bell rope so we can ring the bell on Sunday mornings
• Ann Marie and Kerrie who are overseeing bank deposits each week
• Our combined opportunities for study and worship with Holy Trinity Lutheran Church
• Those who participated in the Nutley Clergy Fellowship Events during Holy Week (we have
gained the reputation of the congregation that “shows up”!)
• Janie for leading our music at worship (for the time being)
• Loretta and Robert W. for their oversight of our campus
• People who have agreed to come back onto Consistory
As might be expected, our Shop Rite gift card ministry has slowed down over the past 2 years. At our March meeting the Consistory decided to continue this fund raiser (the church receives $5.00 for every $100 sold) for the next six months and reconsider its future at that time.
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.
The Annual Meeting of FRC will be on Sunday, May 22nd after worship. A new class of Consistory will be elected, and the Mission Church Team will invite us into conversation around the notion of “resilience."
The Consistory is considering a new class of Elders and Deacons. Several of our members have stayed on beyond their terms in response to the COVID pandemic. God may be calling you to serve the church in this way; prayerfully consider your response. Please speak to a current Consistory member for more information. Elections for Consistory are at our Annual Meeting in May, and the new term starts in June.
At its June 2021 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 Fund is with Edward Jones whose offices are not in Nutley, so please be patient if your donation takes more than a week to be deposited.
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. We are also collecting items, and funds, for Sunrise Welcome Kits. We could still use deodorant. Contact Loretta K. for more details.
Weekly Bible Studies
Tuesday Morning is studying the Gospel of Mark. We meet at 10:00 am. We continue to meet via
ZOOM. If you are interested in joining us, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with Tuesday Bible Study in the subject line, and you will be added to the invitation list.
Sunday Evening Bible study meets at 5:00pm. We are studying the book of Exodus. We continue to gather via ZOOM. If you are interested in joining us, please send an email to email@example.com with Sunday Evening Bible Study in the subject line, and you will be added to the invitation list.
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.
The Mission Church Team will meet again on Sunday, May 15th after worship. Please speak to Jainie Gambaro for more information.
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 $91 for 2022. 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.
FRC website There are lots of great things to see on our website! You can see the dedication and a photo of the bouquet of flowers which is displayed during worship each week on our website. You can find this under "worship flowers" in the menu or click the photo of flowers in the gallery on the home page, then click "go to link." You can also view the Newsletter "The Voice of FRC" on the frcnutley.org website. There are also lots of other interesting things to see on the website, like our schedule of events calendar, the Prayer Walk, and the Donate page. We hope you will look around!
The new sign-up sheet for Purple Dragon (which is our donation of fresh fruits and vegetables to Marion House in Newark) is available. You may sign up on the bulletin board in the hallway outside the church office or through the website. Either way we appreciate your participation! To sign up online 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 ($30.00) or whole share ($60.00) 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.
From the Historian
Earlier this year as I continued to find saved items, I came across the bulletin from the May 17,
1973, Memorial Service for Chester Hobby Ryan - March 28, 1894 - May 11, 1973.
Rev. Leonard Jones spoke of his long membership, service in many areas and as an Elder on
Consistory at the church. Gerard Taylor spoke on behalf of the Men's Association. Nutley High School was represented by Principal David H. Broffman. Chester Ryan graduated from NHS in 1913. He taught Printing at NHS and was the owner of The Ryan Press. Chester was a charter member of the Rotary Club of Nutley when it was organized in July of 1922. Mr. Herbert Kahn, President, spoke at the service.
Other groups represented were the Elks, Nutley Lodge 1290, the Masons Nutley Lodge 167, Nutley Historical Society , and the American Legion Post 70 .
Readings at the service were from Psalm 116, 1 Peter 1:3-9, and John 14: 15-20. The hymns sung were Faith of Our Fathers and God, Our Help in Ages Past. The flowers were given by Mr. and Mrs. David H. and his nieces and nephews. Fannie H. expressed her gratitude to all who joined to make the memorial to her brother and to those who offered to her their condolences.
There are still among our members some who do remember him at our church and Nutley High School. He was often mentioned and thanked by many graduating classes in their yearbooks.
From the Hart
As I look back on all the Easters I have known, there are a few that stand out. There was the very
warm year when my brother Stan, then a toddler, sat on a chocolate bunny and ruined his brand new, rather stylish Easter outfit. And the year when my father bought Vanda orchid corsages for Mom and
me. And it snowed. I remember all the years of dying eggs with Katie and then sneaking out in the dark to hide them for her to find. I also remember the year it rained, and I had to hide them all over the living room.
I am pretty sure that Easter, 2022 will go down in my memory book as one of the most glorious of my life. We had breakfast together (complete with Kerrie’s eggs!) for the first time in three years. We had music in the sanctuary (it was “canned”, but it sounded gorgeous), and we got to sing (masked) together - talk about a joyful noise! Yes, I cried. I also sported a fabulous pink Easter bonnet for the occasion. It was “almost” normal. And I just loved it.
Till next month, Lin