The Voice of FRC - September 2022
The Newsletter of the Franklin Reformed 973-667-7022 www.frcnutley.org
From the Pastor’s Desk
“And when his family heard it, they went out to seize him, for people were saying, “He is beside himself!” And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said “He is possessed by Beelzebul ...” And his mother and brothers came and were standing outside; they sent to him and called him. And a crowd was sitting about him; and they said to him “Your mother and your brothers are outside, asking for you.” And Jesus said, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” And looking around on those who sat about him, he said, “Here, here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does the will of God is my brother, and sister and mother.” Mark 3:21-22, 31-34
I remember pretty clearly the day when Linn learned this lesson. It was not here at FRC. It was not in a Sunday School lesson or even in the most excellent of sermons that her mother could preach. No, on that Sunday Linnea was with her “Mormor” (grandmother) in Pennsylvania. On that Sunday morning they went off to a local Presbyterian church. After our worship here I retreated to my office, and when I eventually checked the messages on my cell phone there were several messages from Linn. I was a bit concerned; she isn’t usually the kind to fret over the small stuff. So, I listened to the messages. The first one said, “This Pastor is WRONG!” Hmmmm... I thought. Presbyterians are kissing cousins to us; we are Calvinists from Holland, and they are Calvinists by way of Scotland. I just couldn’t image what the Pastor had actually said. Once I got her on the phone, I asked her to tell me what the problem was. “Well,” Linn said to me, “the Pastor was talking about the church, and she said that church was NOT like a family. That’s not right ‐ our church is MY family!” But I understood what both Linnea and the Pastor were talking about. While church communities often spoke about the church as a family, for a time in theological and pastoral reflection, it was decided that the church wasn’t like a family because families were dysfunctional, and some people (and maybe more than some) were estranged from their families. Well, in following through the simile, then churches were dysfunctional and there were many who were estranged from it. So yes, the church, as the body of Christ in the world, was and often is, thought of as perfect ‐ a bit of the Kingdom of God in the world. Not dysfunctional nor living in a way that might estrange people from themselves; the church was more, better. But the church can be dysfunctional, and it can cause estrangement between herself and God’s children. You know that, and I know that. But it does not negate the fact that we are siblings of Jesus. I would agree then, and now, that the church IS a family because Jesus told us so. Linnea was right! This month this church community will gather on September 18th to celebrate Linnea’s ordination to the office of Minister of Word and Sacrament. It is both an ending and a beginning. It is the ending of a life that brought Linnea to this ordination. It is the beginning of a call, by God and God’s church, for this young woman to be a leader, teacher, preacher, and officiant of the Sacraments. A shepherd of God’s flock. A part of God’s greater family in the catholic church. And while as a parent this is a day of much thanksgiving and celebration, it is not mine alone. From the moment that Jainie and Nicole Little did the “Linny dance” in the hall of Radcliffe school when her birth was announced, to every Sunday School teacher who patiently answered her questions (No, she learned, we are not Roman Catholic, we are part of the universal/catholic church) and were present and care filled towards her and her family. It was every kind word and kind correction. It was all of you who shared your love and your faith with her over her 27 years. It was in the connection that you, the church, maintained with her while she studied and lived in Michigan. It is you who are invited today to celebrate and thank God for this gift both to us and to God’s church. I maintain that both of my children were taught in these walls about faith and struggle, that it was all right to ask questions, and alright if they didn’t have the answers either. That in the days when it was hard to believe in God, you believed for them. You were their family when our families of origin were scattered to other parts of the country. There is an African proverb that tells us that “It takes a village to raise a child”. For years I have said that “it takes a church to raise a child” but now I would add that “it takes a church to raise a pastor”. I am grateful to God and to each of you who have traveled with Linnea through her journey to this amazing and fearful day. Indeed, it has taken a church, so let us celebrate together this most important event in the life of God’s family, our family.
This and That It is with joy that we anticipate the Ordination of Linnea Berry by the Reverend Classis of Passaic Valley on September 18th, at 4:00pm in our Sanctuary. You are encouraged to attend as we send Linnea off with God’s leading to ministry in the RCA as a Minister of Word and Sacrament. The service will be hybrid ‐ but we wish that you would come in person if you were able. She is working at Camp Warwick/The Warwick Center as the Executive Minister of Camps. Members of the congregation may be invited to assist in providing a reception after the service. Thank you in advance. We will celebrate Communion next on Sunday, September 18th at the service of Ordination at 4:00 pm in the Sanctuary.
The Consistory meets next on Sunday, September 11th, following worship. This is also the first Sunday that we will return to our 11am worship hour. Please continue to pray for those who have answered God’s call to leadership of our local congregation.
Discovering God, our Adult Christian Education program for the 2022‐2023 program year, will begin on Sunday, September 25th at 10 am. Pastor Jill will begin the season with some thoughts about women in the New Testament. In October we will study The Anointing Woman; we meet on October 9th, 16th, and 23rd. Jeff G. will lead our study the month of October. Join us!
Nutley Community Partners for Peace will dedicate the UNITY sculpture on Sunday, September 25, 2‐5 pm in Yantacaw Park (below the Nutley Senior Building). In recent newsletters we asked for assistance in providing supplies to reduce costs from our General Fund. THANKS TO SO MANY our supply closet is currently filled. When we need to re‐supply, we will let you know.
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:
Loretta, Lin, Jainie, Tricia, and Pastor Jill who delivered Welcome Kits to Camp Sunrise
Loretta for bringing our donations from church to the NFSB Food Pantry
doorjam who will provide the music at the service of Ordination
The leaders and learners who have created our curriculum for Discovering God this year
Francis Costenbader who worked with the congregation on the land sale
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 September Consistory Meeting. If you have feedback about this, please speak to a Consistory member prior to September 11th.
As a reminder: except for 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. 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: We will return on Sunday, September 11th at 5pm. We continue our study of Exodus. Both 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.
We have received notification from Amazon.com that AmazonSmile has donated $30.04 to us as a result of qualifying purchases made between January 1st and March 31st. In total we have received $233.97. If you shop at Amazon, please consider going through AmazonSmile and selecting Franklin Reformed Church if Nutley (that is not a typo) Inc. Every purchase made this way results in a small donation to us!
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 September 25th, October 23rd, and November 27th. The cost is $30, and Jeff G. is handling the orders.
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 will be October 23rd.
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 $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 Mailbox Dear Friends, This note is long overdue. Where does the time go? I have been retired for over 22 years and have been here at Heath Village for ten years now. I enjoy it here. I have learned to play Bocce and pool. There are trips to the theatre as well as the NJ Symphony in Newark. There are also theatre groups right on the campus of Century University, a professional group as well as a student group. The outdoor pool and sauna are open until the end of September, and they help me considerably. There are many other activities here as well. Jeff G. has been kind in sending me some church bulletins as well as other things which are important to the church. Thank you, Jeff, for all of these. I think back to the days when I was assistant superintendent of the Sunday School under Al Riddle. I had the high school kids, and they kept me going. They asked many thought‐provoking questions! If any of you come up this way, please give me a call. Hope to see you, may our Lord keep you well. Jim M. From the Historian The Franklin Reformed Sunday Bulletin, September 15, 1929: A resolution was passed by the Consistory, and a notice was printed in the bulletin remembering Mrs. Barbara Hough. “At the regular meeting of the Consistory of the Franklin Reformed Church, Nutley, New Jersey, held this twelfth day of August 1929, a quorum being present, the following resolutions were unanimously adopted:
“Whereas God, in His Infinite Wisdom has called from her early labors to a higher service and to eternal peace our beloved sister, Mrs. Barbara A. Hough, for over Sixty‐Nine years, a faithful member of this church, and always a devout and obedient follower of the Lord Jesus. Be it Resolved that the Consistory hereby gives expression to the sense of loss and sorrow it feels in the passing on of Mrs. Hough, and also to its deep appreciation of her diligent service, particularly in the Sunday School, in which she was a teacher for the greater part of her membership in the Church. Be it further Resolved that these resolutions be inscribed in the minutes of Consistory and published in the Church Bulletin.” An 1896 photograph of Rev. William Stuart visiting Mrs. Hough outside of her home is in Ann Troy's Nutley ‐ Yesterday – Today, and the photo was reprinted in the February 25, 1982, edition of The Nutley Sun which featured an article titled: Rev. Stuart Pays Mrs. Hough a Call. Also, noted in the bulletin: "She became a member on the 7th of April 1860, when the Church was but in the fifth year of its corporate existence. Though well past four score and ten, her memory was unimpaired and spanned the whole of its life, labors, and activities. Her home was a mecca for young and old, who found an inspiration in her character and personality."
From the Hart Don’t you love it when a disappointment turns out to be the best thing after all? I was supposed to be getting ready to go on a cruise with some of my oldest and dearest friends right now. I was looking forward to spending two weeks with them, but I confess that I was not at all excited about the cruise itself. And the closer we got to the sailing date, the less happy I became. Then circumstances changed, and we had to postpone the trip. This decision was followed by the Great Reschedule Debate. My friends needed to reschedule the cruise very soon, but their timing was not going to work out for me at all. They are now, with my blessing, going without me next spring. And, much as I will miss being with them, I am delighted to be off the hook! I will take my cruise credit and book something I really want to do (Iceland in 2024 maybe?). It all worked out for the best, and my little Calvinist soul could not be happier. Till next month. Lin