top of page

The Voice of FRC - May 2023

The Franklin Reformed Church 973-667-7022

From the Pastor’s Desk

“Let love be genuine; hate what is evil; hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lag in zeal; be ardent in spirit; serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope; be patient in affliction; persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; pursue hospitality to strangers. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice; weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another; do not be arrogant but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are. Do not repay anyone evil for evil but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” Romans 12. 9-18

As we move away from the dark days of the pandemic towards a new, and changed future, we will, for many years, look back and begin to see some things that we couldn’t see when we were in the midst of them. While we were in the trees it wasn’t easy to remember that we were actually in a forest. One of the things that has struck me is that shelter-in-place rules and physical distancing have made it easier for some to “forget” how to be in community. It is expressed in schools, where behavioral issues are more frequent and intense than before. It is expressed in our engagement in the world; people are more impatient in the grocery line or on the Garden State Parkway. For many it was a time to rethink who they would spend time with, and what they would do with that time. I have observed that the church has been infused with these issues as well. We have allowed, and it’s not the first time, outside culture to seep into the life of the church. Paul is clear in the letter to the church in Rome that followers of The Way, which is what early Christians called themselves, are called by our commitment to the way of the cross to be committed to one another, to live in a particular and peculiar way. You may have heard this from me before, but the Greek word that is translated as “one another”, allelon, is used over ninety times in the New Testament. Jesus uses it in his “farewell address” to the disciples: A new command I give to you, love one another. As I have loved you, love one another. By this all will know that you are my disciples if you love one another. (John 13.34-35). Over the past 6 months we have endeavored to discern how God is leading us into the future. The conversations have, at times, been difficult. Feelings have been bruised. There are those who feel that their voices have not been heard. At times we have interrupted one another. We have assumed when we do not know. We can do better. I would invite us into a new beginning with one another, to treat one another as we have been called to do by both Jesus and Paul. It is my prayer that we can, and will, decide to as far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. May it be so, amen.

This and That Thursday, May 4th is the National Day of Prayer. The Nutley Clergy Fellowship will be sponsoring a brief program at Noon in front of the Municipal Building. Please join us.

The FRC Annual meeting is being held on Sunday, May 7th after worship. We will share a Potluck lunch. The new class of Consistory will be elected. We will do some work together that will, hopefully, make our Mission Church meetings run a bit smoother. Join us!

Discovering God is studying Women of the New Testament. In May we will meet some women from the book of Acts and the Epistles, Tricia will be the leader for the month. We will meet at 10:00am on May 14th and 28th. The meetings are hybrid. In June, Discovering God will review the year, look towards the 2023-24 program year, and assemble the Camp Sunrise Welcome Kits.

Carts of Caring will roll along the route of the Memorial Day Parade again this year. A sign-up sheet will be on the bulletin board in the Cone Building. You are welcome to bring friends or family to march with us.

We are gathering items for Sunrise Welcome Kits. Items that are still needed are: combs (20), deodorants (25), shampoo (10), bar soap (40), and toothpaste (60). There is a box in the Sanctuary, or you may leave items in the entry of the Cone Building at off hours. If you would like us to do the shopping for you, we would welcome a donation towards goods. Camp starts on June 25th.

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 10:00am.

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: • Everyone who assisted with the Maundy Thursday Dinner • Jim T for his continuing to work in the cemetery • Loretta who has been faithfully putting the trash and recyclables to the curb every Sunday and Wednesday for three years

  • Those who decorated the Sanctuary for Easter

  • Jeff who handled Easter flower orders and Linda B. who created the insert

  • Linda B., Loretta, Pastor Jill, Vicky, and Linda R. who covered the church campus while filming was underway on April 26th.

  • The Noon 12 Step Group and the Knights who graciously accepted our closing of the building on April 26th.

In case you missed it, on Wednesday, April 26th Red Marble Media took over the church campus, filming scenes for a Discovery+ series. The Consistory has decided to be open to such engagements going into the future. In anticipation of other filming dates, we need to identify a person who will coordinate with the film crew. This volunteer will need to be available to “tour” the campus for interested media groups, clear dates through the office, complete paperwork, and schedule folks to be on campus the days of filming. We are being compensated for use of the building, but if we are to move forward with this again, we do need support from the congregation.

The Nutley Cultural Inclusion and Diversity Council is presenting a “Community Conversation” on Implicit Bias on May 18th at Nutley Public Library at 7:00pm. Seating is limited. An Eventbrite invitation will be circulated so that you can register for the event.

Doorjam will be performing in Ocean Grove on Saturday, June 3rd in the boardwalk pavilion at 7:00pm. They would love to see you there!

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 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 10:00am 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 with Bible Study in the subject line, and you will be added to the invitation list.

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 G. is 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.

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 website. 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 From Grace Episcopal Church: Vacation Bible School for children ages 4 – 11 returns! Register by May 31st - $100 for

the first child, $75 for each additional child. After May 31st - $120 for the first child, $100 for each additional child. For more information and to register, call the church office: 973-235-1177.

From the Historian: The month of May has observances of Mother's Day, Memorial Day, and for the Franklin Reformed Church congregation our Anniversary. Our church was founded on May 6th 168 years ago. On Mother's Day May 13, 1923, the children of the Home Department of the Sunday School attended the 11:00am service. Rev. Harold W. Schenck preached a special sermon for the day entitled, "What Can Our Women Do?" On May 27, 1923, the Sunday before Memorial Day at 3:00pm the Veterans of Nutley held a Memorial Service in the Community House. Ex-service men conducted the service remembering those who gave their lives for our country. Memorial Day was on Wednesday, May 30th, and at the Mid- week evening service Rev. Scheck spoke on "Soldiers of the Commonplace" and invited the congregation to come for an hour of meditation and prayer which he felt was a wise and appropriate observant way to end Memorial Day. May 1973 was a month of activities which included two Women's Guild events: A Cold Plate luncheon on Thursday, May 3rd, and a Fun Fair on May 12th both organized by Corinne Porper. On Mother's Day, May 13th, the Sunday School members, instead of meeting at 9:30 am, led worship at 11:00am for a special celebration. Corinne Zachgo was in charge of this. The May newsletter noted that The Living Bible, was being used throughout the Sunday School with great enthusiasm. Doris Epworth led the Spiritual Life Committee on the third Tuesday of the month. Brainstorming sessions were held, and the group was looking for new ideas for our church to try. Marie Edmunds wrote The Flower and Christian Guild column for May highlighting what the group did in 1972. June Wedlich handled the ordering of flowers: 16 lilies at Easter and 21 poinsettias at Christmas. Their mission projects included clothes for a Children's Shelter in Belleville, a Church World Service clothing drive, Christmas packages for the Annville Institute in Kentucky, Christmas goodies for shut-ins, 40 baby garments made for Church World Service, and birthday cards to senior members of the congregation. From the Hart Have you ever had one of those weeks when everything was just misery? Of course you have. We all have. I had one just a week ago. Everything from the return of my old nemesis, the shingles (a very mild case, but still quite itchy), to a bad cold, to my laptop getting hacked, to a small concrete gargoyle (yes, I have a gargoyle, doesn’t everyone?) falling off its perch on the back deck and landing on my hand (ouch). All this during the week when I was observing the 10-year anniversary of John’s passing. Now, I know never to ask what else can go wrong, and I didn’t. But I certainly did wonder. Mercifully, last week was a lot better. But it’s Monday again, and I’ve spent the morning mopping the basement after the rains we had over the weekend. The weatherman is predicting “showers” or “chance of showers” for every day this week. Oh boy... Till next month, Lin

Recent Posts