Pastor's Message
Ramapo Reformed Church
100 Island Road
Mahwah, NJ. 07430


              For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven – Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NRSV)

Summer, 2018

Dear Friends,

I recently learned two new things, and they say an old dog cannot learn new tricks!  Both lessons were
culinary in nature, and while I am by no means a cook, I am functional enough in the kitchen to keep
myself from starving.  One of the ideas I stumbled upon was through making a mistake and having the end
product turn out better than what I had done before.  The second lesson was more calculated.  I wanted to
change the properties of a dish with a recipe that had relatively few ingredients.  So I considered what each
ingredient did, made some minor adjustments, and was pleasantly surprised by the results.  And whereas
I know we are learning all the time, what I discovered highlights two ways in which we relate to God in
heaven and here on earth.

All this got me to thinking, as we are entering a time of summer, about how this can be a metaphor for the
way in which we experience God.  In that, as we make our plans for traveling, vacations, picnics, and so on,
we seek to modify our life style and schedules so as to better enjoy and appreciate what the season of
summer has to offer.  And as we seek to experience God during the course of this summer, we might
inadvertently stumble upon something different or new in our relating to God that had not occurred to us
before.  For example, it may come as a pleasant surprise to find that by talking with God a little bit at a
different time or place, it will help to make the day flow more smoothly.  Or we may decide to take some
time out to consider what adjustments we could make in our life of faith and intentionally set out to
discover if it makes a difference.

Summer is a good time to try this because we are generally amenable and open to experiencing new
things.  And it may be that even in the midst of familiar routine, we might become aware of God in an
unexpected and fresh way.  This may occur either serendipitously, by accident, or because we consciously
have made an effort to try something different after giving it some thought.  Who knows?  Whatever the
circumstance, any way we might encounter God in a meaningful way is a good thing.

Thus, as we approach and enjoy the season of summer, may we take this opportunity to reflect on all that
God has done for us as we seek to know and be known by God “more better” as I used to say as a kid
growing up.  In addition, whatever your plans might be for this traditional season of renewal, I hope that
you will enjoy God’s presence in your lives.  When you are in the area, please join us for worship on
Sunday or for a time of fellowship at the informal Backyard Barbeques at the manse. You can always check
out details on our website at, and may the peace of Christ, which passes
all understanding, dwell richly in your hearts.


Pastor Bill