Pastor's Message
Ramapo Reformed Church
100 Island Road
Mahwah, NJ. 07430
                                              And Jesus came and said to them, “…And remember,
                                                      I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
                                                                                                              - Matthew 28:20b

Fall, 2017

Dear Friends,

Welcome back to the season of autumn, a time when routine picks back up after summer vacation!  This
fall also marks the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, when Martin Luther nailed his list of
95 complaints to the door of the state church in Wittenberg, Germany on October 31st.  Certainly the time
was ripe for change (socioeconomically and philosophically), but it was Luther’s action that seemed to
precipitate a major shift in how we think about God (theology) and the church (ecclesiology).  Five
centuries later, I am thinking that we are now in the midst of a new “reformation.”  Not one begun by
posting a laundry list of complaints on a door, but rather by the incredible changes in technology over the
past twenty or so years, readily in evidence by the explosion of social media on the internet.  This, along
with other changes, has done more to create a cultural gap between the generations prior to Y2K and the
kids and young adults currently tweeting, texting, posting, and listening to music on their phones and
mobile devices.  In a way, I do not think this is going to change our theology much (the way we think about
God), but for sure it is already having a significant change with our ecclesiology (the way we think about
church).  No one is exactly sure how, even as a great many are proactively introducing new movements
such as the emerging church and the missional church.  I also think we are looking at a lot of change still
yet to occur.

Now here is the point.  The study, research, debate, and appreciation of the Reformation have become a
matter of our normal discourse, and we are just fine.  For those who lived through the Reformation and
the ensuing two centuries, however, life must have seemed a bit more unsure and less predictable.  For
in the 16th century, God was leading God’s people through a new thing.  Thus on the 500th anniversary of
the Reformation, I contend that we continue to have a legitimate claim for hope.  Like those who lived
through the Reformation, we may not be able to predict how all this ecclesiology will work out, but we can
know that God will be with us through the changes.  Further, we can know that it is going to be okay, even
if we are not the ones who experience the final outcome.  Of course this means, in some way shape or
form, that we will find ourselves changing as well.  But even more so, then, God is going to increase
office hours and keep more staff available to handle the influx of our calls.  Just kidding of course, but
you know what I mean.

In any event, please join us for worship whenever you can.  Also, enclosed is a schedule of upcoming
events in the life of our church.  May God continue to bless you on your newly reformed journey of faith.


Pastor Bill