Spring 2013 Semester Opens with First Things First
January 1, 2013
The Seminary community opened our Spring 2013 semester in our traditional series of First Things First worship services to open the first week of classes, gathering just after 6pm for song, prayer and reflection.
Each night included a special focus and message for the people in our midst who are just beginning their seminary journey and those who will conclude their degree late this spring. On January 28, Dr. Matilde Moros asked both groups to stand, she said, to prove, “It can be done, you can actually graduate!”
Excited to have our hallways and classrooms filled after the long winter break, NBTS President Dr. Gregg Mast encouraged all students to bring a friend along to these services, “I especially invite you to become an ambassador of this deeply rooted and relevant school of learning and faith. I hope that you will share a warm and gracious invitation with those who are discerning God’s call in their lives.”
First Things First is always a collaborative effort. The NBTS Women’s Auxiliary, a group composed of all the women found in the three eastern regional synods of the Reformed Church in America (RCA) including Mid-Atlantics, New York and Albany, filled the reception area with healthy and delicious treats to welcome everyone back. And the leaders of each of the Seminary’s student organizations–Association of Black Seminarians (AOBS), Korean Students Association (KOSAN), the Student Society of Inquiry (SSI)-took on the role of greeting everyone who joined the service.
Dr. Bernadette Glover coordinated the series of services that were led by Seminary and community leaders:
–Jan. 23 – NJ: Rev. Dr. Luciano Marquez, Jr., Pastor of First Baptist Church, New Brunswick.
–Jan. 24 – NJ: Rev. Chris Jacobson, Pastor of Freehold Reformed Church. NY: Rev. Juanita Gonzalez Hamilton, Greater Allen AME Cathedral.
–Jan. 28 – NJ: Rev. Matilde Morose, NBTS Assistant Dean of Special Programs and Initiatives. NY: The Rev. Jerome Stembridge, Pastor of Bethel AME Church in Far Rockaway.
–Jan. 28 – NJ: President Gregg Mast; special music by Nicole Barrow White, member of Elmwood Presbyterian Church, East Orange. NY: The Rev. Andrea Hargett, Pastor of St. Mahew’s Community AME Church, Hollis.
May God bless us and keep us all through this Spring, as we begin a new semester-whether it is the first or the last, or somewhere in the middle-and as we offer special prayers for those of our community struggling with injuries, illness and grief and difficulties of any kind.