RAM Reformed At Millstone - Hillsborough Reformed Church

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RAM Reformed At Millstone - Hillsborough Reformed Church
RAM
Reformed At Millstone
The historic church with the ageless mission:
Joyfully Embracing Christ and Community
February 2010
Dear Members and Friends,
Haiti
It takes but an instant for the feelings connected to a word to change. Prior to last week, the word Haiti
conjured up in my mind the name Mounir Hanna. Mounir Hanna was a medical doctor in one of my
churches. Every year he spent his entire vacation working as a physician in Haiti – for free.
Mounir loves Jesus Christ and knows his life and his skills are not his own, but belong to Jesus. So he
spent several weeks per year at a clinic in Haiti doctoring for free.
From now on, whenever we hear the word “Haiti,” we will think broken hearts and heartache. The
broken hearted of Haiti are those who have lost loved ones in the earthquake. The heartache is our
own for the people living there in misery we simply cannot begin to comprehend.
Our church is responding with gifts and with prayer.
I have found especially touching the images of people at worship in their churches in Haiti. In the
midst of such incredible heartache and broken heartedness, they sing to God, pray to God and hear
the Word of God in preaching. I am inspired by the faith of the people of Jesus Christ who come to the
Lord in the midst of such suffering.
No preacher can pretend to explain why tragedies like this occur. In our theology, we know that they
are a result of the break between humankind and God – that creation is in disorder and must be
restored by God – something begun and underway in Jesus Christ. The promise of the Bible is that
when God’s reign is complete, all suffering and misery will be gone. We also have the promise of God
in the Bible that every tear shed, every pain felt, and every grief endured is precious to God, felt by
God and will be made right.
So as we continue in reaching out in love, we see God embodied in the hands of rescuers and relief
workers and contributors. Amazingly, we also Jesus embodied in the people of Haiti of faith who
worship on, trusting God even as they mourn.
This catastrophe is an opportunity for God’s people to demonstrate God’s love which has poured into
us and bids us share. May God bless the people of Haiti, and may God bless every person moved to
help them. May God’s face be seen in the face of human, God-inspired generosity.
Yours in Christ,
Pastor Fred
One Amwell Road, Millstone, NJ 08844
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Phone: (908) 359-3391
Fax: (908) 359-8311
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Email: [email protected]
HRC
HAPPENINGS
NEWS from our HRC COMMITTEES
FELLOWSHIP
Join us immediately after each Sunday 10:00 a.m. service at the Millstone Café, in Memorial Hall,
for a time of fellowship.
If you are not on a committee – THIS is the one for you! See Maryanne Devoti or Susan Woods
and see how you might help us plan the FAT Tuesday Pancake celebration on February 16 in
Memorial Hall.
Maryanne Devoti and Susan Woods
OUTREACH COMMITTEE
The Outreach Committee will have door hanger invitations prepared prior to Easter. Members
of the congregation will be encouraged to take a few of these to hand out to friends and
neighbors inviting them to our Palm Sunday and Easter services. We will also be distributing
them to the surrounding Millstone area as we did at Christmastime.
Work on the Olin Mills pictorial directory for 2010 is still in progress. Thanks to all who
participated in having your pictures taken. This directory will be a helpful tool, especially for
our newer members.
We will be looking at additional ways to inexpensively advertise our church events and
services. If anyone has a suggestion or a connection to area advertising venues, please
contact Jayne Czaplicki, any of the Outreach Committee members or leave a message with
the church office at 908-359-3391.
Also, if anyone would like to be a greeter, help us distribute door hangers or help in any other
way with Outreach, we would welcome you to our committee!
Jayne Czaplicki, chair of Outreach and Hospitality Committee
BUILDINGS AND GROUNDS
The Building and Ground's Committee needs motivated individuals who are passionate about
keeping our church property in pristine condition. Come to the first meeting of 2010 with all of your
improvement ideas for this upcoming year, or come to learn all that we are planning.
Our work schedule is flexible. We work alone, in small groups and in large groups. We work
during the week and on weekends. No matter what your experience, there is always a variety of
work from which to choose.
We will meet in Memorial Hall (aka Millstone Cafe) on February 7 at 11:15 A.M. Looking forward
to seeing you there.
Audrey Fredericks and Bill Nardone
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YOUTH GROUP
We had an excellent turnout this year for the Christmas Dinner at the Soup Kitchen in South Bound
Brook. The kids, organizers and everyone who volunteered their food items and time did a great job.
Everyone there very much enjoyed and appreciated this Christmas Dinner Tradition.
Warwick has two Great Winter Youth Rallies this year!
Jr. High Youth Rally (Grades 6-8) - March 5th - 7th
Sr. High Youth Rally (Grades 9-12) - March 19th - 21st.
Kurt Benson and Lisa Medawar
SOUP KITCHEN THANK YOU!!
WE ALL again provided a wonderful and generous Christmas dinner to the folks at the South Bound
Brook Reformed Church Soup Kitchen on December 23rd! This year there were over 100 guests. We
provided and served 5 hams, 4 large pans of scalloped potatoes, 4 large trays of vegetables, 3 large
pans of lasagna, (large pans means 12 x 20 size/ 5 inches deep) 5 lbs. of tossed salad, trays and trays
of fresh fruits and raw vegetables, 7 dozen of rolls, 2 large pans of chicken nuggets, cheese/crackers,
cookies, candy...our never ending rice pudding! That is just to give you an idea of some of what is
needed to provide this amazing evening!
Sharing our blessings comes naturally at Hillsborough Reformed Church throughout the year but at
Christmas, feelings of giving are even stronger. Thank you to everyone who contributed in any small
way to help to help make our dinner a success. You are appreciated and are blessings to others!
Carey Erdman
SCHOLARSHIP - OFFERINGS
It's February 2010. As you read this the youth of Hillsborough Reformed Church are busy with school.
Our high school seniors are applying to the colleges of their choices and making decisions while those
enrolled in colleges have completed their first semester exams and are working toward completing a
year. Some are anticipating graduation and starting careers for which they have been prepared. Each
year our church gives monetary gifts to our students who are beginning or continuing their educations
past high school. The gifts they receive come from the congregation through offerings twice a year one in November and the other in February. The money donated is consumed each year and divided
among qualifying students. The purpose is to show our youth that we, as a church, wish to affirm them
and that we continue to care for them, love them, and perhaps buy a book or two. So please, let's
remember to support our youth by using the special offering envelopes and/or by making a contribution
at any time. Be sure "scholarship" is indicated on your check or envelope.
Nancy Dawson and Eric Kraehenbuehl
COMPASSION SUNDAY is celebrated on the first Sunday of each month in Sunday School. A
special offering is taken for the compassion child Felicia. It is also “Bring a Friend to Sunday School”,
so bring a friend to share the good news of our Lord.
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WWW.GOD (WOMEN WALKING WITH GOD), WOMEN’S MINISTRY
Our Mission: “Our mission is to inspire women in the church and community in their personal walk
with God. We intend to use devotional readings based on the Bible and book reviews of Christian
literature to encourage women to grow spiritually. We will also use the tool of service to reach out
to other women and children in order to meet needs in our congregation, denomination and
nearby community.”
Our women’s ministry is making plans for the 2010 year. We started off in January with a prayer
shawl meeting and preparing a meal for the Interfaith Hospitality Network during their stay in
Memorial Hall.
Throughout the Lenten season, the ladies attending Wednesday evening Bible study and the
women’s group meetings are encouraged to participate in the small groups formed as part of the
Unbinding the Gospel program in lieu of our regular meetings. During this time, make sure you
don’t miss the registration for the Reformed Church Crossroads Retreat at Harvey Cedars on
Long Beach Island. Forms will be available in the vestibule or you may contact the church office.
The retreat will take place April 16th and 17th & more information will become available. Also, we
will be hosting a nutrition program along with the education committee in April. This will be
available to everyone in the church. You can be sure that only healthy foods will be served as
refreshments at this event!!! Come out to learn some new ways to make your foods healthier.
Christine Fung will be the presenter for this program. Dates for the May and June programs will be
forthcoming.
There are many more suggestions for the remainder of the year, such as a movie night,
participation in Sister Share and programs supporting our local missions as we have done in the
past. (e.g. the baby shower for the “Friendship Center for New Beginnings”) Come share your
ideas with the group and enjoy the fellowship of other Christian women. Friends are always
welcome to our events.
DEACONS FUND
The Deacons’ Fund is for human needs and emergencies within our congregation and
community. The past year has been a difficult one for many. If you know of someone in need,
please speak to one of the Deacons. Through discussion and prayer, the Deacons come to a
decision on how the Fund can be used to help those in need. The Deacons’ Fund Treasurer then
ensures that needs are filled in accord with the decision. Assistance through the Deacons’ Fund
is strictly confidential. The Deacons would like to thank all who have contributed to the Fund and
its mission.
How the Reformed Church Responds to Emergencies
Our congregation supports Reformed Church World Service with gifts of money. Reformed
Church World Service is our part of Church World Service. The web site is
www.ChurchWorldService.org.
When there is an emergency or catastrophe like the earthquake in Haiti, Reformed Church World
Service immediately sends a check to Church World Service which is then directed to immediate
relief. Reformed Church World service then tells us what it has done and welcomes gifts from
churches for the crisis. Anything exceeding the original gift goes to relief for that emergency. The
great thing about this is all administrative costs have already been paid by denominations like ours
that participate so our gifts go right to human relief with very little overhead.
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ABOUT FOLKS WE KNOW …
BIRTH – Congratulations to the proud Grandparents, Dolly and Bob Mettler on the birth of
their granddaughter Arianna, (parents Sidhartha Prasad and his wife Banu, in PA). Arianna
was six pounds, nine ounces.
Joe and Laurel Ogurkis would like to “thank everyone for their cards, letters, and gifts and
especially all the prayers during Joe’s illness…We have felt a great support from our church
family. It has been a great comfort during this difficult time. Thanks to everyone.”
David Hills is now serving in Iraqi. We ask that you keep him and his family in your prayers.
If you would like to write to him, his address is:
David T. Hills,
5/2 ID (SBCT),
HHC, 402 D BSB
APO AE 09355
Ken Lobb's Ordination – Ken Lobb who served our church as student minister in 2003-2004
was ordained at his home church, Lebanon Reformed Church, on January 17.
Carol Luidens arrived safely back in the states on January 17. Here are few words from Carol:
Well, after 3 months, I'm back in the United States. During my time away, I was in Palestine,
mostly in Bethlehem. What a trip!!! What an opportunity!!! What a lot to learn and assimilate!!!
The trip was a program of the World Council of Churches (WCC), called Evangelical
Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI). In 2001, the churches in Bethlehem
called upon the WCC to help out as the Palestinians were going through hard times. WCC
instituted this program to accompany people on a daily basis going through their daily tasks. So,
with my background in the Middle East, I elected to participate.
There are 6 locations in Palestine that are supported by EAPPI. My assigned location was
Bethlehem, where I was with 3 other people, one from Norway, another from Sweden and the last
from Germany. Our primary tasks were
- to monitor the Bethlehem Checkpoint as about 2500 people went to work in the morning,
- to visit neighboring villages, being with them and listening to their needs, and
- to participate with local Non-Government Organizations (NGOs), i.e. the Red Cross, and
churches in their activities.
Among other things, the experience found me being generously hosted by people whose
homes had been demolished or who had no electricity, and frustrated me trying to help when the
metal detectors were not running smoothly at the checkpoint, and encouraged me participating in
demonstrations for villages where the wall is to be built, and amazed me as I spoke with Israeli
university students who feared going into Palestine, just to visit it, and spiritually enlivened me by
participating in prayer walks along the wall with some local nuns and fathers.
And to all of you here in the States praying for me, THANK YOU. I needed God's guidance in how
to deal with some of my daily activities, so that I COULD be there for the people around me, so
that I had the openness to see and respond to their needs, so that I could come back with honesty
in what I had learned and experienced. Again, THANK YOU.
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STEPHEN’S MINISTRY
It’s our anniversary! Four years ago a group of four from our church returned from a
week in Corpus Christi, TX. It was a frigid, snowy night but the group was inspired and
warmed as a result of an intense week of prayer, training, and fellowship with others
from our country and beyond who were seeking to be leaders in Stephen Ministry.
Since that time the group has met on an almost weekly basis along with our church
secretary who is a strong part of the leadership team. The
congregation was informed of Stephen Ministry through pulpit announcements, RAM articles, and
personal contact as a mission statement –“to have a lay ministry of one of one Christ-centered
caregiving where our congregation discovers and uses their personal gifts” – was developed by the
team. Then the following September a group of seven men and women began fifty hours of training to
become Stephen Ministers. They were commissioned in December, were assigned care receivers,
and began their ministry. Another group of four was trained the following fall, followed by
commissioning during a service of worship. Stephen Ministry emphasizes that ministers are the care
givers and God the cure giver and that confidentiality is to be maintained. Ministers and Leaders meet
together for continuing education where further needs are addressed through speakers and/or
discussions. Ministers meet on a regular basis to discuss and gain support in their care giving while
keeping private the identities of their care receivers.
Most recently Stephen Ministers and leaders met for a time of renewal and fellowship at the Butler
home. After dinner we participated in activity and brain-stormed ways we could improve the program
and where we need help. A service of affirmation for our Stephen Ministers followed. Each participant
was given a copy of “Here and Now” by Henri J.M. Nouwen.
Those involved in Stephen Ministry are very often heard to say that they gain more than they give
through the training, caregiving, and the bonding developed by working with others and developing a
closer walk with Jesus Christ.
Stephen Ministry care is no way expected to take the place of the pastor but to give extra support,
personal contact, and prayer to others when facing transition or difficult times. There is always a need
for more Stephen Ministers so if you feel a tug to work in this ministry or feel the need of support a
Stephen Minister can give contact the church office or a Stephen Leader.
Nancy Dawson for the Stephen Ministry Leadership Team Pastor Fred, Fred
Butler, Nancy Dawson, Jean Thomas and Darlene Purcell
Remember those in Need
Frequently asked question: Is a food bank really necessary in Somerset County,
one of the wealthiest counties in the United States?
Since opening in 1982 the number of people served has increased steadily. Many
recipients have recently lost jobs or suffered a devastating illness – people who
“never dreamed they’d be at a food bank.”
If you would like to help and you are wondering what you could donate, pick up a
flyer or a printed laminated card that lists the items that are needed. The laminated card is small
enough so you can keep it in your wallet to refer to when you are shopping. These cards and flyers
are located on the bulletin board above the food basket. Each Sunday, if every person brought in just
one item on the list, the basket would be overflowing.
There is also a great need for household supplies such as detergents, cleaners, paper towels, and
toilet tissue. You may drop them off in the Narthex when you come to church.
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Unbinding Your Heart: HRC Lent 2010
Hillsborough Reformed Church Family and Friends
PLEASE JOIN US FOR AN EXCITING 6-WEEK ADVENTURE!
Unbinding Your Heart February 21 thru March 28
Join us for a very special, all-church study of Unbinding Your Heart. “This book is about untying the
knots that keep us from living exciting lives” … with God and with each other. “It’s about unbinding
the Good News that God adores us and everyone else, that God has shown this to us through Jesus
Christ.”* It’s also a prayer journal with many forms of classic Christian prayer included in the daily
prayers that accompany the study.
We are calling this rich small group experience an ‘E-vent’ and we would love to have you as part of
one of these groups. You can share in the group experience with no pressure to “do” anything other
than read each week’s chapter, do the daily prayer exercises and attend six meetings.
People in churches across the country are excited about what is happening in their congregations
through their ‘E-vents’: deeper relationships with God, a rich, meaningful personal prayer life, and a
new sense of God’s activity in their lives. People are saying they can be more ‘real’ with others as their
relationship with God grows … and that this extends to relationships within their families and with
people in every area of their lives.
Call the church at 908-359-3391 for group meeting days and times and to receive your copy of
Unbinding Your Heart. We’d love to have you with us!
*Quotes are from the Introduction to Unbinding Your Heart, page 3.
Unbinding Your Heart E-Event February 21-March 28
1. Everyone in the church gets a copy of “Unbinding Your Heart”
2. Starting on Feb 21: Each person reads the first chapter, one chapter per week and the daily Bible
verses, prayer and study page in the back of “Unbinding Your Heart” book (40 days of prayer). This
takes between 10 – 20 minutes.
3. Small groups are setup for various times and places during the week. Every participant joins a small
group. The small group meets for 1 hour per week to discuss the verses and exercises from daily Bible
study and share what God has said to you during the study. The exercises cover some of the most
powerful verses in the Bible and help us focus on what God wants our church and ourselves to be.
February 7 there will be small group sign up sheets in the foyer for you to sign up. Pick the one that has
the best time and place for you. We hope to get 100% participation from the church. If you don’t see a
time that is good tell Dave Haddorff what would be a better time.
Starting Feb 21 for the six weeks of Lent sermons and music will integrate with our study of
“Unbinding your Heart”.
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HYMNS
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HIM
JUST AS I AM
By Charlotte Elliott (1789-1871)
Just as I am, without one plea, / But that Thy blood was shed for me,
And that Thou bidd’st me come to Thee, / O Lamb of God I come! I come!
Just as I am, and waiting not / To rid my soul of one dark blot,
To Thee, whose blood can cleanse each spot, / O Lamb of God I come! I come!
Just as I am, tho’ tossed about / With many a conflict, many a doubt,
Fightings within, and fears without, / O Lamb of God I come! I come.
Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind, / Sight, riches, healing of the mind,
Yea, all I need, in Thee to find, / O Lamb of God I come! I come.
Just as I am, Thou wilt receive, / Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;
Because Thy promise I believe, / O Lamb of God I come! I come!
Just as I am, Thy love unknown / Hath broken ev’ry barrier down;
Now to be Thine, yea Thine alone, / O Lamb of God I come! I come!
Just as I am, of that free love / The breadth, length, depth, the height to prove,
Here for a season then above, / O Lamb of God I come! I come!
Charlotte Elliott seemed to have everything going for her as a young woman. She was gifted
as a portrait artist and also as a writer of humorous verse. Then in her early thirties she suffered a
serious illness that left her weak and depressed. During her illness a noted minister, Dr. Caesar Malan
of Switzerland, came to visit her. Noticing her depression, he asked if she had peace with God. She
resented the question and said she did not want to talk about it.
But a few days later she went to apologize to Dr. Malan. She said that she wanted to clean up
some things in her life before becoming a Christian. Malan looked at her and answered, “Come just as
you are.” That was enough for Charlotte Elliott, and she yielded herself to the Lord that day.
Fourteen years later, remembering those words spoken to her by Caesar Malan in Brighton,
England, she wrote this simple hymn that has been used to touch the hearts of millions who have also
responded to Christ’s invitation to come just as they are.
Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever
believes in me will never be thirsty . . . Everything that the father gives me will come to me, and
anyone who comes to me I will never drive away; for I have come down from heaven, not to do my
own will, but the will of him who sent me.”
John 6:35-38, NRSV
Brown, R K and Norton, M R, Eds. The One Year Book of Hymns Tyndale: 2003
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WOMEN’S CROSSROADS RETREAT APRIL 16 – 17
AT HARVEY CEDARS CONFERENCE CENTER, LONG BEACH ISLAND, NJ
Last year there were 12 women who attended the annual Crossroad Retreat and everyone had a great
time. This year we would like to see that number increase. The retreat begins on Friday evening at
7:30 and ends on Saturday after dinner. The retreat is set up so you can go stay overnight or just
come on Saturday.
Registrations forms will be mailed out this week to those who have attended in the past. Extra
registrations forms will be available on the information table in the vestibule. If you would like more
information, please contact Darlene Purcell 908-359-3391 or email her at [email protected]
Here is a sneak peak of what the retreat will be covering:
Keynote Speakers:
of the Mid-Atlantic
Vicky Menning, Coordinator of Church Health and Coaching, RCA
Revitalization and Leadership
Jessica Bratt, Executive Coordinator, RCA Office the General Secretary
Speaking on the weekend theme:
Challenges in Our Spiritual Journey
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me…He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the
prisoners and…to release the oppressed”
Luke 4:18
INTEREST/DISCUSSION GROUPS
APPROACHING DEATH FAITHFULLY - Leader: Rev. Kathy Jo Blaske
While, faithfully, we live God’s gift of life to the fullest, glorifying God and loving our neighbors as
ourselves, we know that we will die. The Christian understanding of life, and death, and life beyond
death gives comfort (strength) and confidence (faith) at the time of death. Our faith informs our
decision-making as we approach death. It encourages responsible preparation for our departure, to
the degree possible. It cooperates with medical expertise to assure death with dignity. Our faith
remembers and celebrates the life of the deceased. It gives thanks to God for the life of the one who
has died. It bonds us closer together as a communion of saints. This workshop will identify some
practical means of approaching our own deaths, as well as the deaths of loved ones. Issues such as
life-support and palliative care will be addressed. A portion of time will be allotted for Questions and
Perspectives.
BAD GIRLS OF THE BIBLE: From Reprobation to Redemption - Leader: Claudette Reid
There is much to learn from the ‘fairer sex’, including those whose reputations and characters have
been less than desirable. So, as 21st Century Christian Women, what can we learn about our daily
challenges and struggles from the bible’s ‘bad girls’? Come, bring your bibles, and let us explore the
answers together! REMEMBER: “in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who
loved us” (Romans 8:37).
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DECISION MAKING AND WILL OF GOD - Leader: Kristen Shepler-Ross
Everyday we are bombarded by choices; everything from will you have dessert or not, to which job
offer should you accept, to will you sell your home and move into assisted-living. We also face many
choices about how we are going to live our life together as God’s people. With so many choices before
us, how are we to make good decisions? How can we discern what God wants us to do? Come and
explore how it is that we can live lives conformed to God’s will.
CROSSROADS CHOIR - Director: Ellen Morris
Do you like to sing? Join us for the Crossroads Women’s Choir. Let us join our voices in praise to
God. “Sing to the Lord a New Song!”
FORGIVENESS - Leader: Rev. Cathy Gumpert
As human beings, we all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Sometimes we need to ask
for forgiveness, and sometimes we need to forgive others. But sometimes forgiveness is
excruciatingly hard. How can we ask forgiveness of those whom we have wronged, and how can we
extend forgiveness for the ways that others have wronged us? How can we achieve closure and move
forward in ways that are healthy, and that affirm Jesus' command to forgive, just as we have been
forgiven? Those are the issues we will be grappling with.
GUIDELINES FOR CHRISTIAN LIVING - Leader: Debbie Ruisard
Too often we can caught up in judging ourselves and others based on a list of Christian virtues that we
frequently find listed in various bible passages. But in reality, who can measure up? Micah and
Jesus both offer simple, yet challenging, guidelines for Christian living that point us in the right
direction. This workshop will use the power of group process to help each participant consider how to
reflect these in her own unique life.
HELPING YOUR CHURCH ‘GO GREEN’ - Leader: Fletcher Harper
Increasingly, churches want to go “green” – but aren’t sure about the right steps to take. In this
workshop, participants will learn about effective strategies and resources to help their churches
become environmental leaders. The workshop will be led by the Rev. Fletcher Harper, Executive
Director of GreenFaith, a leading interfaith environmental coalition.
JOURNAL AS SACRED SPACE - Leader: Cheryl Racanelli
Discover how paper and pen can transform your relationship with yourself, your world, and God. In the
freedom of a blank page, learn to release your internal clutter, and watch what blossoms from the trails
of your ink. Open your journal, and know that God is waiting for you in this sacred space.
Plan to write. All you need are the skills you learned in third grade. As a matter of fact, returning to the
wonder of your third grade self is the perfect place to start. Journals will be provided, but feel free to
bring your own.
FACING THE CHALLENGES: THERE’S ALWAYS GONNA BE ANOTHER MOUNTAIN Leader: Rev. Marisol Ferrer
Are you tired of facing challenge after challenge in your life? Then this discussion is for you! We will
spend time reflecting on the challenges of life and how to turn to the Bible next time you have to climb
another mountain.
PROPHETS OF THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY - Leader: Mary Kansfield
In Proverbs 29.18, God’s people are warned: "Where there is no vision – or prophecy – the people
perish." That sounds like a warning to which we should pay attention.
In this workshop we will focus on the following questions: Who were the Old Testament prophets and
how was their message vital to Ancient Israel? How did prophets work? What can we learn from them?
How can the witness of these Old Testament prophets help us toward a more fully inclusive church?
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WORDS of WISDOM
During February we enter the contemplative season of Lent, beginning with Ash
Wednesday, celebrated on February 17. One of the main components of this special time, is
the act of REPENTANCE, as evidenced by the connection of Lent with ashes, which
demonstrate mourning. Ashes, as mentioned in Job 42:6, represented repentance. The
Greek word for “repentance” is a compound word derived from meta, meaning “after,” and
suggesting “some type of change,” and nous, meaning “mind.” Thus, metanoia strictly
denotes “a change of mind”—a rejection of past sinful ways. But it also connotes remorse for
sin, accompanied by a desire to turn away from one’s sin and to God for salvation. Such
repentance accompanies faith in Christ (Acts 20:21).
It is inconsistent and unintelligible to suppose that anyone could believe
in Christ and yet not repent. Repentance is such an important aspect of
conversion that it is often stressed more than faith, as when Christ said that
there is a joy in heaven among the angels over one sinner that repents (Luke
15:7). The apostles described the conversion of the Gentiles to Christ as God
granting them “repentance unto life” (Acts 11:18). Both John the Baptist and
Jesus began their ministries with a call to repentance (Matt. 3:2; 4:17)—a call
which many of the social outcasts and “sinners” of that day answered (Luke
19:1-10), while the religious people of that day rejected it (Luke 11:39-44; 18:914).
Repentance, however, is not just a one-time experience. Recognition of daily sins and
shortcomings provides the occasion for renewed acts of repentance. A good example of this
is found in the book of Revelation in Jesus’ address to the church in Ephesus (Rev. 2:1-7).
The basic problem with this church was that even though they had stood fast against evil and
false teaching, they had left their “first love”—their basic love for Christ and for one another.
Consequently, Jesus told them they had to repent: “remember the height from which you
have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you
and remove your lampstand from its place” (Rev. 2:5). They needed to repent of their lack of
love, and love as they had originally loved, with enthusiasm and devotion. If they refused to
repent, however, Christ said that He would come and remove the church’s lampstand from its
place—which meant that the church would cease to be a witness for Christ.
Second Corinthians 7 provides another example of how a group of Christians repented
after being confronted with their sins. Their repentance shows elements of sorrow for sin, and
a determined resolve to forsake old sinful ways and to behave properly. These examples
serve as reminders to all of us that repentance is not just a one-time occurrence. As god
enlightens us, we need to repent.
Carpenter, E E and Comfort, P W. Holman Treasury of Key Bible Words, 2000.
So I say to you, seek God, and discover Him and make Him a power in your life. With Him we
are able to rise from the midnight of desperation
to the daybreak of joy.
--Martin Luther King, Jr.
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HRC BIBLE STUDIES
The Women’s Bible Study will resume after Easter
Tour of the Bible lead by Pastor Fred
The Wednesday Noon Bible Tour has completed its study and will no longer meet.
The Tuesday Evening Bible Tours will meet on Tuesdays, Feb 2 and 23 at 7:00 p.m.
Join us each Sunday:
9:00 – 9:50 a.m. Sunday School classes:
Classes for children age three through 8th grade
 Confirmation Class
 Young Adult Class
 Adult Sunday School
10:00 a.m. Worship Service
Looking Ahead – February
February 2 – Tuesday Evening Bible Tour
February 7 – Early Morning Service (8:15 a.m.)
February 7 – Sign up for small groups for Unbinding Your Heart
February 7 – Building and Grounds Meeting
February 9 – Consistory Meeting
February 10 – Archive Committee Meeting
February 14 – Worship and Music Meeting
February 16 – FAT Tuesday Pancake Supper
February 17 – Ash Wednesday
February 21 – Deacon’s Fund Collection
February 21 – Unbinding Your Heart E-Event Begins
February 21 – Christian Ed Committee Meeting
February 23 – Tuesday Evening Bible Tour
February 24 – Archive Committee Meeting
February 28 – Healing Service
February 28 – Bell Rehearsals Begin
Our church website, http://www.hillsboroughreformedchurch.org is full of information
about church committees, ministries and events. There is a church calendar, church
library listings as well as links to other related sites. We have found that there are still
some members of our congregation who are unable to open this site beyond the welcome
page. If you are having trouble opening the website, try the following directions. If this
is confusing to you and you do not have someone able to make these adjustments for
you, please leave a message in the church office at 908-359-3391 so that we can find
someone to help you.
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Happy, The Prayer Dog
Happy comes to the Wednesday morning prayer group. Happy is a Yorkshire
Terrier mixed with Bishon Frise, called a Yorkiechon. He is always glad to be
with us. He goes from person to person sniffing. Happy likes getting pieces of
bagel Elwin brings and treats brought by his owner, Norma Evans.
Happy has been known to sit on the pastor’s lap to be stroked and petted.
When prayer starts, Happy sits at our feet and looks around then dozes.
What goes on in Happy’s mind? In the time and place of prayer, it becomes quiet and still. It is a safe
place. Prayer group is a welcoming place for Happy.
I don’t know what kind of connection pets have with the Lord. I know that all creation praises God. I
also know that nature has suffered because of the dreadful consequences of human sin.
Watching Happy, I also wonder if animals can sense our experience redemption. Watching Happy on
the floor of the Pastor’s Study, I can imagine that something of the serenity that comes from belonging
to God is experienced by doggies. Dogs sense our moods. They cannot articulate it, but I wonder if
they can feel the peace that passes understanding which is our inheritance as God’s people?
According to the Bible, all nature will be at peace when God’s kingdom comes. Can they sense
redemption in us now?
God answers prayer. Anyone in a prayer group knows that for sure. Time and time and time again we
see powerful answers to prayer – for healing, for peace, for faith, for a better world and a better
church. We have witnessed God doing what we never dreamed could be done.
I don’t know how much of that a pup can know, but it seems as if the surrounding of faith and prayer is
soothing and reassuring.
I don’t think dogs can come to the Lord. But I am convinced that being in the presence of the Lord in
prayer is a wonderful thing even for a pet dog.
Are you praying? God answers prayer. Do you pray out loud with someone? Try it. Not only does
God grant great power to prayer, God will give you peace while you pray, a peace even palpable to
pups.
Yours in Christ,
Pastor Fred
The March 2010 RAM submission deadline is Monday, February 15,
2010. Kindly send information, articles, etc for March and April events to Darlene Purcell via email to
[email protected], regular mail or leave in church office on Darlene’s desk.
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February Newsletter from the
Hillsborough Reformed Church
One Amwell Road
Millstone, NJ 08844
MAILED TO:
NonProfit Org
US POSTAGE PAID
NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ
PERMIT NO. 17
Current Resident or
PLACE MAILING LABEL HERE
What’s New…
Message from Pastor Fred on Haiti
Crossroads Retreat – April 16 - 17
Stephen Ministry’s Anniversary
Just for “Kids”
A “few words” from Carol Luidens
And much more…
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