top of page

The Voice of FRC - Summer 2023

Newsletter of The Franklin Reformed Church 973-667-7022

From the Pastor’s Desk

Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath. Laugh with your happy friends when they’re happy; share tears when they’re down. Get along with each other; don’t be stuck-up. Make friends with nobodies; don’t be the great somebody. Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone. If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody. Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. “I’ll do the judging,” says God. “I’ll take care of it.” Our Scriptures tell us that if you see your enemy hungry, go buy that person lunch, or if he’s thirsty, get him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness. Don’t let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good. Romans 12. 14-16 The Message

Did you ever have a love/hate relationship with someone? Some days I feel like that with Eugene Petersen who is the author/translator of The Message. I think that happens with most of us when we know what we ought to do, but aren’t too keen on doing it; then there goes someone reminding us of who we are as the people of God. There are plenty of times when I know what I should do, but I just don’t want to do it. Sometimes I am tired, busy, annoyed, or sometimes even afraid. But then there is something that whispers, or even shouts, to me - “Get going for heaven’s sake!” And generally, it IS actually for heaven’s sake that I need to tackle what is in front of me. We all know the things that God calls us to. Paul knew it too when he wrote to the church in Rome. But all too often we hear or repeat those words, and we don’t always put them into the middle of our lives. They are for Sundays or for someone else to take care of. Read through the passage above again, slowly, and think about what it actually means in terms of your everyday comings and goings. They don’t seem like they are for me on a Monday when the Newsletter is getting off to the Editor late (the Editor is generally pretty patient with me, I must say), or when I have been asked to do something that isn’t easy for me - like preparing Christian Education for Camp Sunrise.

Yet when we give into our stalling or cursing under our breath, we do, little by little, let evil into our world. When we judge someone, try to even the score, ignore the needs of our neighbors, think of ourselves first, or gossip and tear someone else down, we have turned away from the good. But our God always, yes ALWAYS, sees the good in us. Not surprising, because God put that good in us. Yes, my friends, all of us have the capacity to run off the rails and choose not to care. But the opposite is also true, we have it in us to do what is good and kind, as Eugene puts it right before the verses above to “Love from the center of who you are.... hold on for dear life to good.” So, the Newsletter is late, but finished. Now onto Christian Ed. And may you find the way to do what is good today, and every day.

This and That

Discovering God has completed their two-year study of Women in the Bible. We learned a great deal! Keep an eye out for a meeting this summer after Worship one Sunday to begin to plan for the 2023 - 2024 study year. We will be looking for a new topic; bring your ideas to the meeting or speak to Pastor Jill. Stay tuned for more information.

A sign-up sheet is on the bulletin board for delivery of the Welcome Kits. Dates are July 2nd, 9th, 16th and 23rd. It is a great opportunity for you to meet the campers and staff of Camp Sunrise.

We will install our new (returning) Consistory members on July 16th at worship. Please join us as we welcome back Loretta Kwapniewski and Nancy Willis and give thanks for the service of Linda Ribaudo. Linda is coming off of Consistory but will continue as our Treasurer.

There will be an all-church picnic on Sunday, July 30th hosted by the Mission Church Team. It is a great opportunity for members and friends to have fellowship and a great outdoor Bar-B-Que. Bring a side dish to share. Hot dogs, hamburgers and buns will be provided. A sign-up sheet will be posted on the bulletin board in the Cone Building.

Communion will be celebrated next on Sunday, August 6th.

We have moved outdoors for worship and will continue at least through Labor Day weekend. If the weather is inclement, we will worship in the Sanctuary. Summer worship time is 10am.

Pastor Jill will be on vacation August 7-27. If you need pastoral care during that time, contact one of the Elders or Deacons and they will assist you.

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 in the filling and delivery of the Welcome Kits for Camp Sunrise

  • 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

  • The team that is setting up for Outdoor Worship on Sundays

  • The Consistory who work year-round to oversee the work of the church

  • The “ministry of the car” when someone needs a ride

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 3 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 are taking a break over the Summer. We will return to our regular schedule on Tuesday mornings at 10am on September 5, 2023. We continue to study Deuteronomy. Sunday Evening: We are currently on hiatus for the Summer. We will return in September; keep an eye out for our beginning date. 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. handles 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 web site. 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 Historian On July 9, 1963, Elder Irving Crabb received a letter dated July 7th from Rev. Edwin Jones. He wrote, "This is to add a word of thanks to the Consistory and congregation for the wonderful day last Sunday when you were all so kind to us on our last day with you. It will long be remembered as the climax of a wonderful year in Nutley." Rev. Jones mentioned the gift of a radio to them and concluded with "Mrs. Jones joins me in this note of thanks and greeting to you all." During the spring of 1963, the Consistory bought a new manse at 434 Prospect Street, Nutley. The 30 Church Street manse was more than 100 years old and was torn down. Hugh and Betty Gambaro were married in August of 1963. In 1993, when we had social hours after our summer worship services in the Conference room, it was my pleasure to host one in honor of Betty and Hugh's 30th wedding anniversary. On Sunday January 11, 1953, Bette and John Williamson joined Franklin Reformed Church as did Lillie Binn. John Williamson died in July of 1967. Bette was 72 when she died on August 25, 1993. Their daughter, Agnes, was confirmed in 1963 and graduated in 1966. The family came to Nutley in 1952 and lived on Linden Place until 1968. Bette was born in Scotland. She was a member of the Senior Choir for many years, and was Sunday School Superintendent for two years,1979-81. She served on Consistory in the mid 1980's and also served on the staff of the After School Program.

From the Hart Whew - June was quite the whirlwind! I traveled to VA to visit my brother, Wayne, and sister-in-law, Sue. We spent a week visiting with other family members, traveling around the Lynchburg area, shopping, dining, and taking care of family obligations (Mom’s estate is finally settled almost five years to the day since she left us). And then Sue and I came north to do most of the above- mentioned activities all over again. We had planned for her to return home last Tuesday, but the weather here and in VA did not cooperate, so she stayed a few days longer – and I ran out of planned activities. We watched a LOT of movies! Of course, it rained cats and dogs anyway the day we finally said goodbye (I drove her to PA, Wayne drove up, and we made the swap at a restaurant right off Route 78). Now it’s just me and the cats again. I miss being with my loved ones terribly. However, I am also looking forward to a quiet July and August. But you all know me. I shall be quite ready for more adventures after two months of cooling my heels. Stay tuned...! Meanwhile, have a great summer, and I’ll... See you in September! Lin

Recent Posts
Search By Tags
No tags yet.
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
bottom of page