The Voice of FRC - October 2022
The Newsletter of the Franklin Reformed Church 973.667.7022
From the Pastor’s Desk
Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became bright as light. Suddenly there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. Then Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if you wish, I will set up three tents here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!” When the disciples heard this, they fell to the ground and were overcome by fear. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Get up and do not be afraid.” And when they raised their eyes, they saw no one except Jesus himself alone. Matthew 17.1-8
Now those of you who know me, and have been around for a while, might be surprised to see this Scripture. I have been stymied through most of my ministry with this very passage. It appears not only in Matthew, but in Luke and Mark as well. The more often a story appears, the more it should alert us to the fact that it is somehow important.
My usual “quip” about the Transfiguration is, “Just how many ways can you say, “It’s a mystery?”
But for some reason I was thinking about the Transfiguration this very morning.
There are many things that have and can be said about this story. But I think perhaps it was
put into my thoughts, by the Holy Spirit.
Last Sunday we celebrated the Ordination of Linnea Berry. It was an amazing event, a glimpse
of the Kingdom if you will, or perhaps even a glimpse of the very Glory of God on earth, in the text the “shekinah.” It was without a doubt a mountaintop experience for this church community.
It’s odd that Peter wants to build booths for Jesus and Moses and Elijah. In the Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible, Stan Hauerwas writes, “Like Peter we desire to secure in place, if not tie down and domesticate, the wild spirit of God’s Kingdom. We do not wish to face anew the challenge of God’s presence. We would like to make the success of the past our own without having to have the courage of those who followed Jesus into the unknown. Yet the church dies or is unfaithful when the achievements of the past are used to ignore the Father’s command to “listen to him.”
When these disciples descended the mountain, they were on their way to Jerusalem. Not an easy road to travel to be sure. Filled with fear - in both senses of the word - we are in awe, and we are afraid. Your Consistory has some hard decisions to make. And undoubtedly the wider Congregation will be invited into these discussions. We live, as a community, at a time when hard questions must be asked, and we may well not like the answers. Our monthly Consistory meeting asks the Elders and Deacons of this church community to deal with some harsh realities regarding resources and the cost of doing ministry. My guess is that they, like me, stand in awe as we consider the future.
And frankly I am unnerved when they look to me, the Pastor, for the answer. I don’t have an answer, and I think that maybe I don’t even yet know the right questions to ask.
So here we are, like the disciples, headed down the mountain towards an unknown future that comes towards us as deepening dark clouds. The journey may be arduous, the path hard to follow, difficult. We may, like most of the disciples, turn away and try to hide.
And yet... and yet we know, unlike the disciples, that even if we face death - there is always and in all-ways the promise of life. We have been to the mountaintop. We have stood at the foot of the cross and at the yawning gap of the empty tomb. And we know from that journey that there is surely another new morning that reminds us of life.
This and That
My cup runneth over! There are no words to describe the feeling of officiating communion beside the newly ordained Linnea Berry during the service of Ordination. Because it is impossible to thank each of you individually without missing someone... please know that your contributions to this celebration were seen and appreciated. I was not only the proud pastor and mother of the candidate, but also proud of the community we call the Franklin Reformed Church.
Kris J. took photos that day. I am still trying to figure out how to get all of them onto my computer. Once that is done, I will work on making an album that will be put up on our website. Look for the announcement once it is uploaded to view the album.
We will celebrate Communion next on Sunday, October 9th at 11 am worship.
The Consistory meets next on Sunday, October 9th, following worship. Please continue to pray for those who have answered God’s call to leadership of our local congregation.
Discovering God will meet next on October 9th. We will study The Anointing Woman whose story you can find in all four Gospels - Matthew 26. 6-13, Mark 14. 3-9, Luke 7. 36-50, and John 12. We meet on October 9th, 16th, and 23rd. Jeff G. will lead our study the month of October. Join us!
The Crop Walk, spearheaded in Nutley by Vincent United Methodist Church, will be held on Sunday, October 16th. Walkers will gather at 12:30 pm at Vincent UMC. The walk will take you through the Nutley Parks (you choose your distance). You can sign up to walk or you may donate at events.crophungerwalk.org. Search tor Team Vincent, Nutley. If you would like to donate, but prefer not to do so online, drop off your donation at the church office before October 16th and we will make sure it gets to where it needs to go. Checks can be made out to Franklin Reformed Church and MARKED CLEARLY: CROP WALK.
Linnea Berry will be leading worship on Sunday, October 23rd. Pastor Jill will be engaging in
Continuing Education during that week.
Thanks to those who attended the dedication of the UNITY Sculpture on September 25th. Your support of this project and the ongoing work of Nutley Community Partners for Peace is much appreciated.
Sometimes it makes you wonder! doorjam will NOT be presenting a concert in October. Out of practice, we neglected to check the church calendar when we decided on the date, and there was indeed another group who is using the Community House that day. All conditions being fair, our annual Christmas Concert will be held on Sunday, December 18th. More information will be coming to you in November.
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:
Jim T. who removed graffiti from the foundation of the Cone Building. Jim also continues to “tend to” the Cemetery
Those from the Classis and the FRC Community who participated in the Ordination service
Linda R. who is on a fast-learning curve as our Treasurer
Gail M. who was the “grill master” for our September Fellowship Luncheon
Tricia G. who has served and continues to serve as the Elder Delegate to Classis
As might be expected, our Shop Rite gift card ministry slowed down over the past 2 years. At our March meeting the Consistory decided to continue this fund raiser (the church receives $5 for every $100 sold) for the next six months and reconsider its future at the next Consistory meeting.
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 gather on September 13th at 10am.
Sunday Evening: Those who are regular attenders please keep an eye out for an email about our
new start date.
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.
We will again be lighting memorial candles this year on All Saints’ Day, Sunday, November 6, 2022. The names of friends and family that you wish to remember will be printed on the special insert in the Sunday bulletin on that day. We once again ask a donation of $5 for each name, which goes to support the General Fund. You can leave the information and your donation in AnnMarie M.’s mailbox in the church office. Forms will be distributed with your Sunday bulletin starting September 25th. The deadline for submitting your intentions is October 23rd.
Mark Your Calendars: Monday, November 21st is the Nutley Community Thanksgiving Service. Details will be available in the November Newsletter.
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.
There are a few opportunities to provide Worship flowers in memory of loved ones, anniversaries, birthdays, and other celebrations in the remaining months of 2022. Available dates are October 23rd, and November 27th - which is the first Sunday in Advent. The cost is $30, and Jeff G. is handling the orders.
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.
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 now 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.
From the MailboxTo Linda B.
I wanted to thank you and Pastor Jill for letting our Toastmasters group meet at the church.
I’ve been a member of Toastmasters for many years. We work hard to provide a supportive and positive learning experience for members. For me, it’s personally rewarding to watch new members work to build confidence, eventually feeling empowered to improve themselves. Being able to offer a learning environment to members and guests during the summer months is something we are grateful for.
Please accept the enclosed personal donation as an added gesture to thanks (I don’t think my local parish will miss it if I divert just this one to Franklin Reformed Church).
Fairleigh Early Birds Toastmasters Club
From the Historian
October 19, 1927: The Classis of Newark, at its Fall session, approved the call extended by The Franklin Reformed Church to Rev. Arthur C. Roosenraad coming from Brooklyn, New York. He began his ministry at FRC on November 20th, was installed on December 1st, and remained our Pastor until his June 1962 death at age 76.
October 17, 1934: The Classis of Newark met at the Second Reformed Church of Irvington. Mr, Alfred R. Winham, was examined and approved by the Classis to be a duly licensed Minister. A notice appeared in the October 31st bulletin which in part said, "The members of this, his home church, congratulate him on his achievement and wish him Godspeed as he enters the vocation to which he has been called. Also, Mr. Winham is the first young man to enter the ministry from this congregation."
Rev. Alfred Winham, 1936-42 the Pastor of First Reformed Church of Astoria, Long Island. The church celebrated its 100th anniversary in 1939. This included a special service, dinner, and a new roof project. Rev. Winham is also credited for renewing and reviving the membership in many ways.
His father, Archie S.S. Winham, was at various times in the 1920's - 1940's our Church Treasurer. Upon the death of Elder John F. Clark, he became the Senior Elder of Consistory until he resigned as Treasurer in January of 1949. He died in 1951 and his wife died in 1958.
September 14, 1941, John F. Clark "To him Church was home, and to it he gave liberally of his time and efforts through the years. We are grateful to him who gave it. Now it becomes our privilege to carry on where Mr. Clark left off. His human qualities, his faithfulness and loyalty, his love of the church locally and in a denominational way - these are things that will linger in our memories. With the passing of Mr. Clark, Mr. Archie S.S. Winham now has become the Senior Elder. Let us uphold his hands with loyalty and turn to him for leadership and guidance."
September 9, 1962, the arrival of an Interim Minister Rev. Edwin Thomas Jones. He and his wife began visiting groups at the church giving talks that included The Men's Association talk about the Holy Land. At a visit to the Flower and Christian Service Guild in November, they told the group about their work and experience at the Apache Indian Mission in New Mexico and showed some slides.
October 7, 1962, World-Wide Communion Sunday, the day Bob F. joined the church. The next Sunday, October 14th, two children were baptized: Ellen F. and Steven C..
From the Hart
Oh my, September has whizzed by in a heartbeat, hasn’t it? The last week alone included Linnea’s ordination, a day that was so full and exciting I needed the next day to recover; getting my flu shot and Covid booster (also followed by a day of mostly sleeping); the dedication of the UNITY sculpture in between rain showers; getting a much-needed haircut; and a day of trying to decide whether to take a vomiting Griffin to the vet (he’s fine). You will note I didn’t mention going to the gym. Somehow there just wasn’t any time for that! Now I am getting my “stuff” together for the Piecemakers’ semi-annual trek down to Wildwood for a weekend of quilting and togetherness. And we face the question that seems to come up every fall: Will the hurricane be a factor in the weekend’s activities? Now, I have to tell you that hurricanes don’t usually stop us from making the trip. Secure in Gail’s truck, we have always made it down there safely, even if we sometimes have had to take the long way through Wildwood to get to the hotel due to street flooding. And being stuck in the hotel where we quilt is neither unpleasant nor inconvenient. We just order food to be delivered instead of going out and getting it. And we keep on quilting. I have been keeping an eye on the weather map, and so far, it looks like Ian will hold off at least until Sunday, so we should be able to get in some good boardwalk time (and maybe a Kohr’s ice cream cone). However it ends up, I know it’s going to be a super time with super friends. And then October’s activities will begin...
Till next month, Lin