The Voice of FRC - November 2022
The Franklin Reformed Church
From the Pastor's Desk
A scribe then approached and said, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” Matthew 8.19-20
So maybe you have been having conversations about the upcoming holidays - Thanksgiving and Christmas. Where will you be? With whom will you spend those days? Who will cook? What are you thinking about and how are you feeling as folks gather together this year?
The Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays have become attached to the notion of “home.” When we talk today about our faith communities, we often refer to our “church home.” At times of death, we sometimes hear it referred to a someone’s “home going.” And you know, “there’s no place like home for the holidays.” For some this is a good thing. For some home means care and safety. Unfortunately, for others home and family are neither caring nor safe. And for still others the notion of home as a place, an address, just doesn’t exist - they are home-less.
Many of you know one of my most favored movies is the original “Wizard of Oz.” I have seen it again and again and again - just ask my kids! There are many who take meaning from that film in the final scene in the Emerald City where Dorothy clicks the heels of her ruby slippers and repeats “There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home...” Over the past 5 years that word has taken on different meanings for me as my life circumstances have changed. Maybe that’s true for some of you as well. I was never quite convinced of that, even from the privilege place that I had in growing up. I realized just a couple of years ago that where the film takes its nexus for me is in the beginning when Dorothy speaks to Toto after Auntie Em tells her "and try not to get into any trouble.” She says to her canine companion “Toto, do you think there is a place where there isn’t any trouble?” Cue the orchestra, “Some....where over the rainbow...” So, later when Dorothy speaks of home, some might understand that she means a place to run to that is caring and safe. For me it speaks of a new understanding that trouble is anywhere you go, even at home. It’s a bit startling when Jesus says that “the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” But think about that, from the beginning born in a borrowed room, Jesus does not have a home. In his life we see him unwelcome in his own hometown, and in all three synoptic gospels we hear Jesus say “Who are my mother and my brothers and sisters?” Perhaps we need to adjust what “home” means. You know, “home is where the heart is.” It is less, I think, about place or geography, and more about those who make us feel cared for and safe. It is more about being in a place where we feel welcomed and free to be ourselves. And I would say that it is both for some people - geography and welcome.
In these days as we think about home and holidays, let us remember and pray for those who have neither geography nor a supportive community of family or friends. And my prayer for each of you is that wherever you may lay your head this holiday season, you will find that the Son of Man has made his temporary place right beside you.
This and That
We will celebrate Communion next on Sunday, November 6th, at 11 am worship. This Sunday is when we celebrate All Saints Day by lighting candles during worship to remember and celebrate the lives of family members and loved ones. At 5:45 that evening we will have a brief liturgy in the Cemetery, and we will light candles. If you would like to help place candles that evening, please arrive at 5:30pm. This is the second year that we have engaged in this observation, whose roots are in Scandinavian traditions. If you do not choose to join us at 5:45, and we hope that you will, we hope you will “drive by” on Prospect Street during the evening hours to see this sight.
The Consistory meets next on Sunday, November 6th, following worship. Please continue to pray for those who have answered God’s call to leadership of our local congregation.
PLEASE NOTE: Discovering God has a different schedule this month. We will meet on November 20th, November 27th, and December 10th. We will study two Widows whose story you can find in Luke 21. 1-4 and Mark 12. 41-44. Jainie G. will lead our study. Join us!
We will not meet for worship on Sunday, November 13th. Several of our “worship team” will be attending the wedding of Al and Becca. We encourage you to worship with another congregation, either in person or virtually. On Sunday, November 20th Linda R. and Jainie G. will lead worship, which will be hybrid.
On Saturday, November 19, 2022, FRC will host the Nutley Cultural Inclusion and Diversity Council’s first annual Film Night. The film “To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar” will be shown on “the big screen” in the Community House. The event is free, but NCIDC is asking for people to sign up through EVITE (the EVITE will be sent out to our email list as soon as it comes to us). The film is rated PG; we request that anyone under 13 years old be accompanied by a guardian. Refreshments will be served.
Sunday, November 20th we will have an ingathering of Commitment Cards for the 2023 year. The annual Stewardship letter, which is being written by Linda R. this year, will be sent via US mail the first week of November. We will also have an in-gathering of fresh fruits and vegetables for the Marion House in Newark.
While there have been conversations regarding Thanksgiving Dinner in the Community House, decisions have not yet been made. Some of this will depend on COVID rates of transmission. We will share information as it becomes available.
A Great Consistory meeting will be held on Sunday, December 4 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.
All conditions being fair, our annual Christmas Concert will be held on Sunday, December 18th, at 4:00 pm in the Sanctuary. We are not yet certain if we will have our soup supper afterwards. Keep watch for more information. Looking ahead, we have been invited to the Good News Café at the Brookdale Reformed Church in Bloomfield in March, where we will perform “A Pilgrim Psalm.” Specifics are forthcoming
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:
• Linnea B., who led worship on October 23
• Lin H., our Newsletter editor
• Kerrie S. for her years of service with the Shop Rite Gift Card ministry
• Diane M. who coordinates the Purple Dragon farm share for Marion House
• Jainie, Tricia, Lin, Loretta, and Pastor Jill who hosted a cabin at Warwick’s Trick or Treat the
At the October Consistory meeting we decided, in consultation with Kerrie who has been coordinating the effort, to DISCONTINUE our Shop Rite Gift Card ministry. We extend our gratitude 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 November 8th or 15th 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.
Thank you to everyone who has participated over the last year in our Flowers for Worship ministry. The 2022 year is currently subscribed. In addition, you will be receiving information regarding Poinsettias for Christmas 2022. The 2023 Flower calendar will be posted soon. While blessing us with beauty on Sunday mornings, the flowers each week are given to a member or friend of the church after each worship service. They go with our prayers for those who receive them.
Mark Your Calendars: Monday, November 21st is the Nutley Community Thanksgiving Service at Vincent United Methodist Church at 7pm. Rev. Pam Bakal, Pastor of Grace Episcopal Church will be our preacher that evening. The offering will go to the VUMC Care Kitchen which currently provides “Lunch to Go” on two Saturdays each month. You are also encouraged to bring cleaning supplies, paper goods, and personal care items for the Care Pantry which partners with the NFSB Food Pantry.
The residents and staff of the 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. A new sign-up sheet for 2023 will be posted in the Cone Building and will be on the frcnutley.org website.
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.
In other RCA news, the Commission on Nominations at the denominational level is seeking
committed, talented, passionate individuals to serve with Commissions, Boards and Agencies. Any active member of the RCA is eligible to serve. Terms are generally two or three years, and meetings take place during the year either in person or by video conference. If you think God might be calling you to serve God’s church in this way speak to Pastor Jill or go to rca.org/nominations.
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 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. 3) you can see the flowers and flower dedications for each week on the "Worship flowers" page.
From the Mailbox
Dear Pastor Jill and Congregants,
Thank you so much for all of your prayers and good wishes. Jeff gave my sister, Linda Ann, the
flowers from your altar to give to me. How beautiful!
Thank you again, Paula M. B.
To the Members of Franklin Reformed Church,
When we say it takes a village to raise a child, or church, this community takes that seriously.
When I think about baptism, FRC is the first thing that comes to mind (after the theology and all...) because I have not met another church that takes their baptismal vows as fully and wholeheartedly as you. And I don’t have enough words or time or space to thank you for always being the church. From nursery, to doorjam, to Discovering God, to art projects, to sitting in on meetings, to being inducted as a church lady, to Thanksgiving and sharing meals, and especially my ordination service. From birth to baptism to confirmation and now ordination, I count myself blessed to be with you, this great cloud of witnesses.
So many thanks to everyone who gave fabric for the stole or prayed over me. It is an amazing reminder of God’s presence with me and among you! And a HUGE thank you for baking, decorating, and making the reception warm and full of life and love.
In gratitude and thanksgiving, Rev. Linnea B.
Franklin Reformed Church,
We are so grateful for your continued support of Camp Warwick and Youth Programs. At our Trick
or Treat the Cabins event we were able to welcome 70 kids and their families! We could not have done it without your presence! Thank you for the time, energy, and funds that you put in to support the Camp! We cannot wait to do this again next year!
With thanksgiving and gratitude, Rev. Linnea B., Minister of Camps
The following note refers to some holiday decorating that Jim T. did in the cemetery and was
accompanied by two singles.
Dear Pastor Jill,
Someone put these dollar bills inside Little Willy’s Mr. Potato Head. Every little bit helps!
From the Historian
During the summer of 1939 Miss Stella Rutan, 87, died. She left the Franklin Reformed Church a trust that we still have today. Also given to the church was a photo of our first Minister, Rev. John Lott, a picture of the first Elder on Consistory, Mr. Sebastian Duncan, Sr., and a copy of the first hymnal used by the congregation.
Stella Rutan wrote her Last Will and Testament in 1930. She paid for her funeral expenses and burial. She was buried in the Bloomfield Cemetery where her father Calvin Rutan, mother Rachel E. Rutan, and brother, Howard Rutan are buried.
Several friends and church members were also remembered with generous bequests. The
Reformed Church of Domestic and the Board of Foreign Missions also received bequests. Rachel Edna Kirk of Nutley was given a watercolor of "the old homestead."
At the time of her death, Stella was living at 405 Centre Street, and owned her family home at
123 Prospect Street, Nutley. Her family's original home was an old stone house near what was then Plenge's Farm. The area where homes are today in Belleville and Nutley including Bernice Road, Rutan Road, Belleville and the first part of Prospect Street into Nutley were farmlands owned by Mr. Henry S. Rutan and Samuel H. Rutan who bought the land in 1836 from the Duncan family. The Rutan home on Prospect Street was built in the late 1700's.
During the Spring of 1931, the Japanese Maple tree, in between the church building and Community House, was planted by the Grounds Committee. The tree was a gift from Elder and Treasurer, Archie S.S. Winham. As mentioned last month his son, Alfred Winham was the first from our congregation to enter the Ministry. In the mid 1950's he became the Pastor of the First Congregational Church of Amesbury, Mass. He also served as minister of the First Reformed Church of Astoria, L.I. NY and the Twelfth Street Reformed Church, Brooklyn, N, Y. Rev. Arthur Roosenraad also served at the Astoria church, 1916-19.
From the Hart
It is no secret that I have a very fraught relationship with technology. I don’t think there is ever a time when all the appliances in my house are working perfectly. I am currently waiting for my cable
company to resolve an issue I called them about two weeks ago. Every time I call, they tell me they will have it fixed in “24 to 48 hours.” I am not holding my breath. I finally just figured out how to turn my cell phone off (I’ve had it for months). And one of my remotes stopped working until I ordered a new one. Now (you guessed it), it’s working again. So frustrating!!! But a couple of weeks ago, when a dear friend (and you know who you are) had a medical emergency requiring a quick trip to the hospital, I was so glad for technology. The medical personnel were able to use all their resources to take care of her, and the rest of us kept in touch via phone calls and texts. When it works, technology is a grand thing!
Wishing you all a happy and healthy Thanksgiving, wherever you celebrate it.
Till next month, Lin