Appropriate Anger

Monday Ministerial Musings

By Rev. Mark William Ennis

Blog Number 24

June 15, 2020

Appropriate Anger

May 25 rocked our nation when George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis. I saw the video. If I were on the jury at a trial for Police Officer Derek Chauvin, the defense would be hard pressed to convince me that Officer Chauvin acted appropriately. Many people are angry over Floyd’s death. So am I. I am a supporter of police officers and hate when I see what looks like police misconduct. I think more of officers than that and  unnecessary deaths really make me angry.

There are, of course, protests. There should be protests. Those elected to office as well as those who are hired to enforce the law deserve to hear loud protests. But I am no just angry that Floyd died, I am also angry at the destruction and harm that some protestors did. I don’t believe that destruction of property, assaults, and looting is ever  a proper response to anger.

I have read the following estimates of the results of these activities in Minneapolis and these estimates do not include lawlessness in other areas of our nation:

Between $ 100 million and $ 150 million in property damage

570 businesses were damaged by vandalism or looting

67 businesses were entirely destroyed by fire

A factory that employed 50 people in the neighborhood where many of Floyd’s supporters lived was severely damaged. The owned has decided to not reopen the business but instead to move it out of town.

Grocery stores and pharmacies that Floyds neighborhood depended on are now closed.

Since many of the protestors were not wearing masks while protesting, there is a real fear that many Covid-19 cases will emerge from these activities.

I know that those who participating in such activities are a tiny minority. The vast majority of protestors did the right thing. They protested peacefully, justified in anger. And yet, the small minority were not properly controlled, did destruction, and probably caused some people who would have become allies, to distance themselves from this righteous movement.

There is a right way to express anger and a wrong way. When we do it the wrong way, we hurt the people whom we are trying to advocate for and the cause potentially looses credibility. Please let us use anger properly that voices may be heard with credibility, changes can be made that will lead to a better America.

#ReformedChurchInAmerica                                 #ClintonAvenueReformedChurch

#PastorMarkAuthordotcom                                    #BergenfieldNJ

#BergenCountyNJ                                                   #GeorgeFloyd

To read more of Pastor Mark’s writings, please order a copy of his book:

https://deepriverbooks.com/books/the-circle-of-seven/

Monday Ministerial Musings

By Rev. Mark William Ennis

Blog Number 23

June 8, 2020

Heroes in Hard Times

Part Ten

We are inundated with bad and scary news. During this month I will be doing blogs that celebrate heroes in our congregation. I hope that you gain some inspiration from these and receive a respite from the bad news that the media continues to feed us.

This is the final “Heroes” blog. Now that re-opening is beginning, our blogs will return to cover opinions of local news and theological issues.

Our featured hero is Rev. Dr. Pamela Pater-Ennis of the Hudson River Care and Counselling Center. After decades of working as a psychotherapist at various centers and hospitals, Dr. Pamela opened her own ten years ago on August 1. Her practice, Hudson River Care and Counseling, has grown to include associates as well as a number of students. It is multi-faith and multi-cultural with therapists and students who are Christian, Orthodox Jewish and who come from Argentina, Ecuador, Puerto Rico, China and Korea.

Since the isolation because of Covid-19, the practice has used only Zoom to hold sessions, but has also increased in client volume. The result of this quarantine for many individuals and families has been the increase of stress and anxiety. With this rise in anxiety, people who struggle against negative behaviors, often find themselves falling back in those behaviors.

Because of quarantine and folks working from home, spending more time with spouses or partners, friction between couples has also escalated. The results of these estranged relationships too often are domestic violence, substance abuse and depression. Dr. Pamela and her staff have seen a surge of intakes since the beginning of the quarantine. All of these are treated online.

In most cases these clients have insurance. In some cases, there is no insurance or families cannot afford the co-payment. The center gives many free hours of therapy for the most at risk people suffering mental health issues. In this time of heightened tensions, Dr. Pamela and her staff intercede to help lower the anxiety and to minimize the emotional effects of Covid-19 isolation; often for free.

This is a shout out to Dr. Pamela and her staff at Hudson River Care and Counseling. Thank you for what you and you staff do.

If you need help at this time be sure to contact the center: http://www.hudsonrivercareandcounseling.com/counseling

#ReformedChurchInAmerica                                 #ClintonAvenueReformedChurch

#PastorMarkAuthordotcom                                    #BergenfieldNJ

#BergenCountyNJ                                                   #CoronaVirus

#http://www.hudsonrivercareandcounseling.com/counseling

To read more of Pastor Mark’s writings, please order a copy of his book:

https://deepriverbooks.com/books/the-circle-of-seven/

Heroes in Hard Times

Monday Ministerial Musings

By Rev. Mark William Ennis

Blog Number 22

June 1, 2020

Heroes in Hard Times

Part Nine

We are inundated with bad and scary news. During this month I will be doing blogs that celebrate heroes in our congregation. I hope that you gain some inspiration from these and receive a respite from the bad news that the media continues to feed us.

This is a shout out to Lieutenant Coronel Kenneth Reed. Kenny did not grow up in our congregation but his wife did, so we adopt him as our own. He is a hero, but a behind-the-scenes hero. When the Navy hospital ship Comfort came to New York City to help with the inundation of Corona victims, it was Kenny whose work stocked the ship with supplies. Around the world, our military gets medical supplies because of his work. He is a hero that is never seen, but is a crucial part of all their operations. He told me about it in his own words.

The words of Lieutenant Coronel Kenneth Reed:

Thank you for the email and for the willingness to highlight my job in your blog. I have to admit, I normally don’t do this, however I will give you a brief description and will keep the explanations as sterilized as possible;

I currently work at The US Army Forces Command aka “FORSCOM” on Ft. Bragg, NC. FORSCOM is one of four – 4-star Army Commands. I currently serve as the FORSCOM Surgeon Medical Plans & Operations Officer and Medical Operational Integrator.

Essentially I nominate / source medical units for world-wide, emergent (immediate need) rotational (forecasted) requirements and anything in support of the homeland. I dialogue daily with all components of our Army (Active / Reserve / National Guard) as well as multiple command entities in order to meet the global demand and maintain a pulse on the readiness of those units; which unit is “next” in the chute and which unit needs time back at home to build readiness etc.

Most recently, I assisted with unit nominations for the DoD COVID response and worked with Army Senior Leaders to explain what capability we had available to respond, what could be provided and how fast it could respond.

Lastly, I’m part of a larger group of staff who coordinate activities with both internal and external staffs to ensure FORSCOM deploys trained and ready medical forces to combatant commanders in support of worldwide contingency and named operations.

Pastor Mark’s Words:

Not all military heroes are in combat. Kenny is a hero. In this time of crisis may we all be grateful for his work and the work of others like him. When we see him let us thank him for his service to our country. Who can count the number of lives that he has saved?

God bless you and your work, Kenny. Thank you for your service to our nation and all of humanity. May we all imitate these Kenny in the work that we do.

#ReformedChurchInAmerica                                 #ClintonAvenueReformedChurch

#PastorMarkAuthordotcom                                    #BergenfieldNJ

#BergenCountyNJ                                                   #CoronaVirus

#UnitedStatesArmy                                                            

To read more of Pastor Mark’s writings, please order a copy of his book:

https://deepriverbooks.com/books/the-circle-of-seven/

Monday Ministerial Musings

By Rev. Mark William Ennis

Blog Number 21

May 25, 2020

Heroes in Hard Times

Part Eight

We are inundated with bad and scary news. During this month I will be doing blogs that celebrate heroes in our congregation. I hope that you gain some inspiration from these and receive a respite from the bad news that the media continues to feed us.

This is a shout out to Gregg and Martha (Marty or Marte) Martin. Gregg is an IT guy working from home and Martha is a local teacher. They juggle work and guiding their two boys as they home school. They are heroes! Marty described how they do it for this blog.

Thank you for asking about this new online education process and what it feels like as a teacher. It does feel good to be able to share.

Distance learning in my house exists on many levels. I have a son who is in 4th grade, Donny, and a son who is in 8th grade, Gregg, and then of course myself, a teacher of 8th graders. Then of course my husband, Gregg, who works from home too. So, here is a snapshot of a day in our lives. 

Let me start by saying how lovely it sounds when people give the advice of “set a routine”, “make a schedule”, or “you need to have a plan for the day”. These are all wonderful, yet very unrealistic thoughts in our house. Here is why… 

My husband will wake up any time between 5:30 am and 7 am to get the dining room table set up for the family learning and log himself on to work. This consists of some kind of easy breakfast food for us to pick at (fruit, cereal, muffins, etc. and something for the boys to drink). He also puts out each person’s Chrome Book or Laptop. (We are lucky to each have our own for the day.)  Gregg has turned the upstairs guest room into his office, so he moves between there and downstairs throughout the day. I make every effort to wake up early, some days that works, other days it does not. It depends on how late I worked the night before. If I get up early, it is mommy time Yoga, if not, a quick shower, wake up the kids, and get downstairs. The goal is for everyone to be at the dining room table by 8:30 am with a fresh set of clothing and teeth brushed. Then I move to the living room for the first Zoom meeting of the day. While I am on my daily department meeting call (which I look forward to because it is outside adult contact) the boys must make a list of their assignments for the day, and check the times for their Zoom calls. Zoom calls require movement in the house so that we do not distract each other. You Zoom in the living room and do school work in the dining room. If Zoom meetings overlap, everyone shifts to find a quiet place, or mom goes to do chores (make lunch, prepare dinner, wash the breakfast dishes, etc.) while one child uses the dining room. Dad can’t move because he has phone calls all day. 

After my 9:00 am meeting, I go over schedules with the kids, check their Google Classroom on my own, and we plan who gets help first. This is what I mean about “making a schedule”. The “Schedule” for the day is completely reliant on the Zoom meetings, and Zoom meeting times change every day after mine at 9:00 am. Now it is probably 10 am and we can make a plan for …. Today! 

Then I dive in to help each of my sons with their work. Donny and I usually start with his reading while Gregg is either on a Zoom meeting or working on his daily work. Donny has to have his reading work completed by his Zoom meeting and this requires a lot of questions and typing. Sometimes to make sure he is done in time, he tells me what to type, and I type the answers for him. This way he will be ready on time. Then of course I might help Gregg with something he has to do. So while I do that, Donny will be either on a Zoom meeting, or practicing his instrument. Yes, we do that too! Practice, and record your assignments for the teacher. Sometimes I have to give up my laptop and trade for a Chrome book when we record because it does not work as easily on the Chrome books. That means closing out work and opening it up again on a new device. This pattern goes on most of the day. In between helping the boys (or when they are on their short breaks) I check in on the assignments with my students and look for emails and comments with student questions. I support my students as much as I can. 

Lunch is determined based on Zoom meetings, so we always eat at different times. If I cannot get time to make lunch, my husband comes down and takes care of it for us. 

Now the day is not just academics. We still have elementary school specials. One day is art, so Donny creates his artwork, then we take a picture of it and email it to the teacher. On Music day he has an additional Zoom meeting and then an assignment to complete. Gym is a few days a week so he has to log his activity for that. He also has a World Language class which includes another assignment on a specific website. 

Now weather permitting, we try to fit in a break outside at some point during the day. This again is decided at the start of the day when we find out the Zoom meeting schedules. Sometimes we are lucky enough to have enough time, at the same time, to go for a walk as a family. 

Now we also have Taekwondo classes, via Zoom, three days a week! This is fun, but more work. On those days, “all hands-on deck” is announced 20 minutes before class. This means we (my husband, the boys, and I) move living room furniture, vacuum, and get on our uniforms. While they get on the uniforms, I set up the laptop with Zoom. We have to use mom’s because it is the one that can hook up to the television easily, so that means me switching computers again. Class is about a half hour. Then one day a week we have a private lesson, and another day Donny has virtual dance class. 

It sounds a little hectic, but it all really works at a pretty even pace throughout the day. 

Of course, it is not always pretty. We get stressed out, and we all have moments of frustration. Sometimes I can’t help with math because I just do not understand 8th grade math. Then we email the teacher and ask for ANOTHER Zoom meeting for help. Or the questions on the reading for Donny’s science are harder than we thought. Or someone today has to work on an essay and it is hard for the teachers to help, so… mom helps. Some days mom is tired and not pleasant too. We all have at least one moment a day I think. We are learning ways to help each other through these moments too!

Then before I know it, Taekwondo (or dance) is over, the boys are finished for the day, and the house is rather quiet (unless Gregg is in the guitar -again), and I think great! My turn to do my work! Yeah! I can finally grade some papers and plan for tomorrow. But once I get set up I realize… it is time to make dinner. 

So off to the kitchen I go. I make dinner, put food in front of everyone, and head back to the computer for my work. If I am lucky I can get right to some grading without too many emails to read and respond to. If not… I start grading later. Many nights I do not stop until I look up to see that it is 11pm and I still have to post tomorrow’s work. So when I finally get to bed it is after midnight. I know I am not the only teacher up either because the shared documents show other people working, and the text messages and emails are still going. This is the time many of us help each other with learning new technology, seeing which students need more help, deciding if our plans are working, finding out how to make things more interesting, and on it goes.  

So that is a day in the life of what we call “Distance Learning”. It is not so terrible, but it is different. I love the time we have together as a family, even in the frustrating moments. We are lucky, my husband and I are employed. We have our health, we have a refrigerator full of food, we have plenty of “things” in our house to keep us from being bored, and we are all capable of doing the work that is assigned. 

I pray every day for a cure to this virus. I want to safely return to the classroom, and move the seats to surprise my students with new lessons every day. I love to see their faces when they walk in and wonder what we are going to do today because the room looks different. That is so much fun. They are interested and they do not even know it. For now I will ask my daily questions to see how they are doing and hope that I can figure out what they need. We will all do our best and hope that we are able to teach and learn what we need to for the next school year. 

Thank you for listening… 

Martha Martin 

May we all imitate these teaching/parent heroes.

#ReformedChurchInAmerica                                 #ClintonAvenueReformedChurch

#PastorMarkAuthordotcom                                    #BergenfieldNJ

#BergenCountyNJ                                                   #CoronaVirus

#On-lineteaching                                                    #studentson-line

To read more of Pastor Mark’s writings, please order a copy of his book:

https://deepriverbooks.com/books/the-circle-of-seven/

Monday Ministerial Musings By Rev. Mark William Ennis Blog Number 20 May 18, 2020 Heroes in Hard Times Part Seven

We are inundated with bad and scary news. During this month I will be doing blogs that celebrate heroes in our congregation. I hope that you gain some inspiration from these and receive a respite from the bad news that the media continues to feed us.

Parents with small children have hectic lives. Now with the children home and doing lessons online, the tasks of parents are even more difficult. Teachers have difficult times also, as they teach online. What happens when the teachers who are teaching online also are parents supervising the online learning of their own children? How about when both parents are teachers?

This is a shout out to Anthony and Maureen Senzamici.  Both are teachers who are rearing three boys. Somehow they manage to supervise their children while teaching others online. They are heroes! Maureen described how they do it for this blog.

Anthony generally meets online with students and assigns work in the mornings, and he grades completed tests, labs and assignments in the evenings.  Kevin and Luke are on a pretty fixed schedule with their schools in the mornings between 8:20-12:20.  Their schedule is such that they meet as though it were a half-day, and they continue to follow the typical rotating schedule of “A” and “B” days.  I have always had difficulty understanding it, but they seem to know it which is wonderful!  Connor and I generally work between 9:30-12:00, and he loves to have breaks for snacks and Legos!  My days, like Anthony’s, are a little staggered.  I Zoom with 80% of my students, and I communicate through phone with the remaining ones (Zoom is preferred, but some families have expressed preference for phone communication).  My hours can vary, but I have  few sessions between 8:30-9:30, and then I generally see students between 12:00-4:00.

In terms of preparation, the school districts had been sending out surveys inquiring as to the number of devices present in the house, how many people could be online at the same time.  At the time, I did not think of the implications of these surveys.  The older boys are essentially on their own, they report their own attendance, and they complete work.  They meet regularly with most classes through Google Meets.  As during the year, we receive a weekly summary.  Their teachers have continued to really reach out through providing extra help, and Kevin’s music teacher is putting together a virtual concert!

For Connor, the kindergarten team sends a weekly lesson plan with supplemental pages and websites.  There have been weekly, small group meetings with students on reading skills.  Beginning this week, Connor will receive supplemental reading instruction through a Basic Skills teacher (he was not formally on her caseload, but his reading skills are a little behind).  We are grateful for the support.  While the older boys are essentially independent, Connor’s instruction resembles guided homeschooling.  

Some of the blessings which have come out of this unwanted crisis which has so devastated so many beautiful souls physically and economically:

-We have enjoyed the increased family time.  There are fewer disruptions, and we have had more uninterrupted family dinners.  Although we absolutely love Little League and hope to God that Kevin can play sports this fall, there are often practices and games during the evenings.  It has been nice to have increased family time.  

-It has been a special gift to work individually with Connor.  The lessons have provided opportunities for multi-sensory experiences, and I’ve gained a sense of some of his strengths and challenges.  For example, I can see that he becomes distracted easily so we have spaced out work during his mornings.  Sometimes, when I have a work meeting, it gives him a nice break during which he can complete some independent work.  When we do reconvene, he seems more attentive than if we just worked side by side for a long time.

-This time together has forced civility.  As we are all working together, we need to be mindful of one another’s needs, i.e. who needs to sit where, when orchestra is occurring, etc.  It was a challenge initially, but it has worked out.

-The older boys alternate daily with taking Connor outside for the afternoon.  In this way, we avoid that problem of kids just “wasting the afternoons on electronics.”

-The school district has been outstanding in its response to COVID-19.  They have continued to provide the best instruction possible under the circumstances, and they have really reached out to students.  Connor’s principal at Gibbs Elementary School continues to send morning announcements, and he has joined in on Zoom meetings to wish a child a happy birthday!  The kindergarten team has worked together to modify instructions to best meet the students’ needs.  They have responded to parent requests for individual or small group meetings, and they have worked to master technology to reach out to students.  Thankfully, they have also preserved traditional instruction methods.

-At the middle school, teachers have demonstrated flexibility with learning.  They have connected their subjects to the pandemic (i.e. Kevin’s algebra teacher discussed exponential growth in relation to COVID-19 back in February, and his music teacher encouraged her students to use music to connect with one another).  They have demonstrated flexibility.  For example, Kevin’s algebra teacher is an intelligent man in his mid-60s and was clearly struggling initially with the online learning.  Kevin really likes this teacher, and he joked about how the students had to teach him the system.  He’s mastered virtual learning.  Kevin and Luke both have a social studies teacher with a 2-year-old and expecting another child, and she’s sometimes taught their classes with her child in her lap.  These are the moments that people will remember with a smile.

-This has been a learning curve for teachers.  At the outset, Anthony said we would be forced to learn technology, and it has been true.  I have never been a tech-savvy person, but we’ve all been required to learn this new method.  As a friend said, we’ve realized we all can do it.

-I believe there has been an increased sense of civility, politeness and gratitude.  I have personally been truly impressed at the ways in which the parents with whom I work, parents of children with very significant special needs, have adapted.  

-Our house is more in order.  We have done some family cleaning projects together too.

-On a personal note, I was inspired by my mom and a fellow catechist to read the Bible.  I know it shouldn’t take a pandemic for this to occur!  However, I am trying to carve out time daily for one chapter in the Old Testament and one in the New Testament.  

May we all imitate these teaching/parent heroes.

#ReformedChurchInAmerica                                 #ClintonAvenueReformedChurch

#PastorMarkAuthordotcom                                    #BergenfieldNJ

#BergenCountyNJ                                                   #CoronaVirus

#On-lineteaching                                                      #studentson-line

To read more of Pastor Mark’s writings, please order a copy of his book:https://deepriverbooks.com/books/the-circle-of-seven/

Heroes in Hard Times

Monday Ministerial Musings

By Rev. Mark William Ennis

Blog Number 19

May 11, 2020

Heroes in Hard Times

Part Six

We are inundated with bad and scary news. During this month I will be doing blogs that celebrate heroes in our congregation. I hope that you gain some inspiration from these and receive a respite from the bad news that the media continues to feed us.

This blog is a shout out to our newest church member who is battling Covid-19 in our state of New Jersey. He is Sergeant Marco Paez. He is part of a National Guard group who is doing important work in fighting the epidemic that has afflicted the whole world but has made New Jersey one of the “hotspots” of this virus. In the past he has been deployed to the Horn of Africa to help secure a United Nation’s base. Now he defends all of us from disease.

Marco has been assigned to be part of the 57th Group Task Force 2nd 113th Charlie Company.  He is activated at the Edison Convention Center. This building is a Covid-19 testing  center. The more testing that we do, the fewer virus carriers we will have. Testing is important.

It is sad but true that security is needed at our testing centers. One would hope that under such common threat, that people would behave well. Unfortunately, we live in a fallen world and not everyone behaves well. Sergeant Paez is part of the security force that keeps order as people come in and wait to be tested. There would be chaos without these brave members of our National Guard.

The soldiers who have wives and children have an exceptionally difficult duty. To avoid any chance of them catching and spreading this virus to their families, they are housed near where they work. Only once a week they are allowed to go home to be a comfort to their spouses and families. These men and women spend a lot of time isolated from their loved ones as they do this work. The lives of military families is never easy!

Today we thank Marco and the members of the 57th Group Task Force for their hard work, dedication, and sacrifice. We are safer because they are diligent and self-sacrificing. Please say prayers of protection for Marco and these brave men and women.

#ReformedChurchInAmerica                                 #ClintonAvenueReformedChurch

#PastorMarkAuthordotcom                                    #BergenfieldNJ

#BergenCountyNJ                                                   #CoronaVirus

#57GroupTaskForce                                               #MarcoXPaez

To read more of Pastor Mark’s writings, please order a copy of his book:https://deepriverbooks.com/books/the-circle-of-seven/

Monday Ministerial Musings By Rev. Mark William Ennis Blog Number 18 May 4, 2020 Heroes in Hard Times Part Five

Monday Ministerial Musings

By Rev. Mark William Ennis

Blog Number 18

May 4, 2020

Heroes in Hard Times

Part Five

This blog is a shout out to our Bergenfield Volunteer Ambulance Corps in general and specifically highlighting Melissa Naylis, a dear friend and Ambulance Corps member. I can’t claim Melissa for one of our own. She is a Presbyterian, and an elder at the local Presbyterian Church. I have worked many hours with her during our joint Vacation Bible School programs. I wish that I could claim her. She has a Christian heart that is reflected in her volunteering for the Bergenfield Volunteer Ambulance Corps (BVAC).

Melissa joined the ambulance corps in 2008. She is a state licensed EMT and has been an officer since 2011 and a served on various executive positions. She is a doer with a strong work ethic and a compassionate heart. She told me a few things about the ambulance corps.

It operates 365 days a year and 24 hours a day.

No patient ever gets a bill. (I know this for a fact. I was transported in one of the ambulances six years ago and never received a bill)

All of the members are volunteers and do not get paid.

Every member is a NJ  licensed EMT.

Each member is required to do continuing education each month.

During an average year the Corps responds to over 2,300 calls. This, of course, has risen during this time of Covid-19. Since the beginning of March, with the outbreak of Corona, their calls have risen by 28%. This, of course, increases the cost of what they are doing.

I am honored to be writing about Melissa, and the Bergenfield Volunteer Ambulance Corps (BVAC). I am humbled to know many of the Corps members and I am in awe of their dedication. May God bless Melissa and the others richly and reward them for this humble service.

Obviously, the corps needs money. All of the equipment and supplies comes from private donations. I hope that many folks who read this will be moved to support this Corps financially. For more information on the corps, Covid-19, or to donate, please see the links below:

www.bergenfield.com/coronavirus

www.facebook.com/BergenfieldOEM

www.facebook.com/BergenfieldVAC

paypal.me/bergenfieldvac.

#ReformedChurchInAmerica                                 #ClintonAvenueReformedChurch

#PastorMarkAuthordotcom                                    #BergenfieldNJ

#BergenCountyNJ                                                   #CoronaVirus

#BVAC                                                                       #MelissaNaylis

To read more of Pastor Mark’s writings, please order a copy of his book: https://deepriverbooks.com/books/the-circle-of-seven/

Monday Ministerial Musings By Rev. Mark William Ennis Blog Number 17 April 27, 2020 Heroes in Hard Times Part Four

Monday Ministerial Musings

By Rev. Mark William Ennis

Blog Number 17

April 27, 2020

Heroes in Hard Times

Part Four

We are inundated with bad and scary news. During this month I will be doing blogs that celebrate heroes in our congregation. I hope that you gain some inspiration from these and receive a respite from the bad news that the media continues to feed us.

This is a shout out to Jeff Ambrosino who owns Nick’s Pizza on Main Street in Bergenfield. Don’t ask me why “Jeff” owns “Nick’s.” That is not part of this story. I get lunch from Nick’s fairly regularly. I am grateful that is was recommended to me when I first came to town almost fourteen years ago.  I’m usually there at least once a week. Often I meet people there that I know. I haven’t ever had a bad meal there but that isn’t part of the story.

Many police officers, fire fighters and ambulance corps members eat lunch there also and it is always a privilege to connect with them. Since the lock-down for the Covid-19 virus Jeff wanted to do something good for these first responders in our town and in adjoining towns. For those of you who do not know our area, the hotspot for Covid-19 is Holy Name Hospital in Teaneck. That is the town that is just south of us. We know, or know people who know, many of the first responders in the “hotspot.”

Jeff collects money from customers. For every five dollars he collects, he makes and donates a pizza to first responders and health care workers. Five dollars for a pizza? Those are yesterday’s prices. He clearly is contributing from his own resources. Well done, Jeff! Thank you.

Please support this cause. Come into Nick’s Pizza at 44 W Main St. in Bergenfield and put some money in the jar for this wonderful cause. Buy some lunch while you are there. What are my favorites? Either the Chicken Parmigiana Sandwich or the Stromboli!

Thank you, Jeff, for what you are doing. May we all imitate this behavior.

#ReformedChurchInAmerica                                 #ClintonAvenueReformedChurch

#PastorMarkAuthordotcom                                    #BergenfieldNJ

#BergenCountyNJ                                                   #CoronaVirus

#Heros                                                                       #Nickspizzabergenfield.com

To read more of Pastor Mark’s writings, please order a copy of his book: https://deepriverbooks.com/books/the-circle-of-seven/

Monday Ministerial Musings By Rev. Mark William Ennis Blog Number 16 April 20, 2020 Heroes in Hard TimesPart Three

Monday Ministerial Musings

By Rev. Mark William Ennis

Blog Number 16

April 20, 2020

Heroes in Hard Times

Part Three

We are inundated with bad and scary news. During this month I will be doing blogs that celebrate heroes in our congregation. I hope that you gain some inspiration from these and receive a respite from the bad news that the media continues to feed us.

Our Mom’s told us not to do dangerous things. They tried to keep us “safe.” How many of us were punished as young people for “putting ourselves in danger.” Using the excuse that “Johnny did it,” usually got us the response, “if your friend jumped off a bridge would you jump also?”

Fortunately for all of us, some people ignore this advice and with their friends jump into danger. After doing so, they run back and do it again. I’m speaking of members of the police department, the fire department, hospital workers and our ambulance services. They ignore Mom’s advice and run into danger whenever there is a need.

Today, specifically, I highlight Tara and Jose Fox-Rivera. These two are part of our congregation and work in the very epicenter of the Covid-19 plague, Holy Name Hospital in Teaneck, NJ. Since the first days of the Corona outbreak, Teaneck has had the dubious distinction of having the most virus outbreaks in our county. Holy Name Hospital has been inundated by cases, and for weeks, has been operating at capacity treating patients of these diseases. Tara and Jose have been very involved in the care of these patients.

I haven’t yet told you the best part. Each in turn, these two became ill because of Covid-19. First he contracted it and recovered and afterward, she became ill but also recovered. Now the two are back at work caring for Holy Name Hospital patients, most of whom are Corona patients. These two are doing more good things for the ill than most of us can only dream of. They are putting themselves at risk to give patients the loving, professional care that the sick deserve.

It is gives me pride to say that these two heroes are part of our congregation.

May we all imitate this behavior.

#ReformedChurchInAmerica                                 #ClintonAvenueReformedChurch

#PastorMarkAuthordotcom                                    #BergenfieldNJ

#BergenCountyNJ                                                   #CoronaVirus

#HolyNameHospital                                                 #TeaneckNJ

#TaraFoxRivera                                                       #JoseRivera

To read more of Pastor Mark’s writings, please order a copy of his book:https://deepriverbooks.com/books/the-circle-of-seven/

Monday Ministerial Musings By Rev. Mark William Ennis Blog Number 15 April 13, 2020 Heroes in Hard Times Part Two

Monday Ministerial Musings

By Rev. Mark William Ennis

Blog Number 15

April 13, 2020

Heroes in Hard Times

Part Two

We are inundated with bad and scary news. During this month I will be doing blogs that celebrate heroes in our congregation. I hope that you gain some inspiration from these and receive a respite from the bad news that the media continues to feed us.

Have you ever saved a life? It is a good feeling. Some folks know this wonderful feeling while many people do not know this joy. One of our church members saved the lives of three different people. She did this not in a lifetime, but in less than a year!

The story begins last summer. Ruth is a frequent swimmer and member of a local pool. This particular pool has a depth of more than four feet in the center. She was standing in the center, enjoying the cool water when she heard a commotion behind her. A young boy had swim out too far and was now in water over his head. His older sister was trying to rescue him but she too was over her head in water.

Ruth looked toward the lifeguard whose attention was focused elsewhere. In desperation, looking at two children in trouble, she grabbed them both at once and pulled them as she walked toward shallow water. The frightened kids were grateful for her heroic actions.

So, what was the third rescue? Last week she was in the waiting room from a doctor. A man, whom she recognized as a local politician, started to exhibit bizarre behavior. Other patients were frightened, but she was not. She recognized diabetic behavior and quickly asked the man if he was a diabetic. He nodded his head. Quickly she gave him a snack from her always-available supply.

By the time an ambulance arrived, the man was greatly improved. The office staff thanked Ruth and assured her that she might well have saved the man from death. That was her third rescue in little more than six months. Well done, Ruth. You have done some remarkable acts. You do your congregation proud.

May we all imitate this behavior.

#ReformedChurchInAmerica                                 #ClintonAvenueReformedChurch

#PastorMarkAuthordotcom                                    #BergenfieldNJ

#BergenCountyNJ                                                   #CoronaVirus

#Heros                                                                       #DoingTheRightThing

To read more of Pastor Mark’s writings, please order a copy of his book:https://deepriverbooks.com/books/the-circle-of-seven/