By Francesca Norsen Tate, Religion Editor
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
This week’s “Faith in Brooklyn” focuses on the achievements of families and youth, including new Sunday School, playgroup and reading programs being launched.
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St. Ann’s Church Expands its Ministries for Children
Community Playgroup for Neighborhood Highlights Season
St. Ann & the Holy Trinity Church, which celebrated its Homecoming Sunday last weekend with the launch of a new year of ministries, offers Early Church, a liturgy geared for kids.
Early Church, at 9:30 a.m., is scheduled so that families with packed schedules can still enjoy worship before starting their other activities. However, all are welcome, even those without children.
The child-friendly Early Church lasts about half an hour and includes the Holy Eucharist.
The service makes it easier for St. Ann’s to welcome people of all ages as part of this community.
Immediately following Early Church is Sunday School, which offers children creative ways of experiencing the Bible and church tradition. Sunday School began a new season on Sept. 14 and runs weekly from 10:15 to 11 a.m. It is geared toward children ages 4 and up who attend Early Church.
This fall, St. Ann’s Sunday School leader and teacher Deacon Kate Salisbury will introduce children to classic Christian songs, prayers and stories. Prayer and a hands-on creative project are incorporated into every lesson. Upcoming projects include: Bible archeology; bookmark-making; a bake sale to benefit the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals on St. Francis of Assisi Day; a talent service; and prayer garland and Christmas wreath-making.
During Sunday School, parents are free to attend coffee hour, participate in “Sandwich Sundays,” or join other activities offered seasonally by the church. Children are encouraged to bring a friend.
The Community Playgroup is a new ministry that is being launched for the entire neighborhood on Sept. 17. Children from newborn to age 4, together with a parent or caregiver, are invited to a weekly gathering featuring music, free play and seasonal crafts each Wednesday from 3 to 5 p.m.
Community Playgroups are open to all neighbors, friends and members of the wider community. Adults who may also need playtime must be accompanied by a child! There is a suggested donation of $10 per child, per session. No advance signup is required — just drop in.
Seasonally themed activities will include: “We Love our Pets;” “Fall Foliage Festival;” “The Amazing Pumpkin Seed Adventure” and pumpkin painting; an Indian Corn Harvest; and a “Thank You Firefighters” observance.
For more information about Sunday School and the Community Playgroup, contact Deacon Salisbury at the church office, or call 718-875-6960.
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Church at the ‘Family Dinner’ Table Focuses on God’s Call for Justice
Saint Lydia’s Dinner Church has launched a Fall Justice Series as part of its weekly worship on Sunday and Monday evenings.
The Rev. Emily Scott, pastor of St. Lydia, and guest speakers will lead worshipers in a study of texts from the Hebrew Scriptures, the Gospels, and the letters to the early Christian communities (Epistles) to “reflect on God’s call to be justice makers in the world,” according to a flyer for the series. The next talk to be held on Sunday, Sept. 21 and Monday, Sept. 22, will focus on “The Good Samaritan: Who Is Our Neighbor?”
Subsequent themes include “You Shall Love the Alien as Yourself” (from Leviticus 19); “There Is No Longer Male and Female” (from Galatians 28), focusing on gender and justice; “You Shall Be Called the Repairer of the Breach” (from Isaiah 58), focusing on “Healing What Has Been Broken;” and “And the Leaves of the Trees Are for the Healing of the Nations,” (Revelation 22), focusing on “Peace in a World at War.”
Saint Lydia’s Dinner Church meets, starting at 6:30 p.m., on Sunday and Monday nights at its new home, 304 Bond St., between Union and Sackett streets.
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PJ Library Expands Reading Program to Older Kids, Launches Contest
Marks JCH in Bensonhurst Chosen as a Site for Nationwide Pilot Program
The PJ Library, named for pajamas — a favorite piece of children’s clothing — is broadening its reach to an older group of children, with PJ Our Way, bringing Jewish books into older children’s lives as effectively as PJ Library has done with younger children over the last nine years.
PJ Our Way will be piloted in 10 target communities nationwide, including in Brooklyn through Marks Jewish Community House (JCH) of Bensonhurst. This particular outreach is geared toward children ages 9 through 11.
PJ Library is an award-winning Jewish family engagement program designed to strengthen the identities of Jewish families and their relationship to the local Jewish community. The Harold Grinspoon Foundation established the PJ Library in 2005 by providing free, high-quality Jewish books and music each month to 200 families. Now, more than 130,000 children between the ages of 6 months and 8 years receive the books in 200 communities in the United States and Canada.
In addition, more than 220,000 schoolchildren in Israel receive Hebrew-language, Jewish-values-based books through PJ Library’s sister program, Sifriyat Pijama.
PJ Our Way will allow program participants to select one of four books every month, giving them more choices on their journey toward becoming lifelong readers, while introducing them to Jewish ideas. As part of the program, PJ Our Way participants can create book trailers, videos, quizzes, author interviews and other media to communicate with peers about the books.
The Edith and Carl Marks JCH of Bensonhurst is hosting a contest, seeking one young participant to be part of the national PJ Our Way Design Team. Members of the team will have early access to books of their choice to read and create content-based dialogue, including videos and reviews, through an online portal.
Team members will work together to interview authors, participate in workshops and lead the conversation amongst their peers. Applications to be part of the PJ Our Way national Design Team are due by Nov. 2.
“We’ve thought a great deal about how to engage older readers by giving them more say in what they read and then giving them creative platforms to talk to their peers about the books,” said PJ Our Way Director Catriella Freedman.
The PJ Our Way program is supported by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation based in Agawam, Mass.
Those who are interested can sign up online at www.pjourway.org.
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Popular Brooklyn Chef Priest Hosts New Season of ‘Breaking Bread’
Catholic NET TV unveiled its fall lineup this week, which launches with the premiere of an all-new season of “Breaking Bread.” Highlights include the second season of “Portraits of Faith,” featuring the Sandy Ground Project, a group of firefighters and police officers who built parks and playgrounds in memory of the victims of the Sandy Hook massacre; the premiere of the new program “Classic with Dan Roebuck,” featuring 36 episodes and a variety of guests; and returning favorites “Ask the Doctor,” “Dios Nunca Duerme,” “In the Arena” and “Too Blessed to Be Stressed.”
This season, Brooklyn’s Msgr. Jamie Gigantiello, a professionally trained chef-turned-priest, returns as host of “Breaking Bread.” Along with new co-hosts, he cooks up food for the soul in local restaurants across some of the most culturally rich and diverse neighborhoods in New York City, including the Borough of Churches. Featured kitchens are Benchmark and L’albero dei Gelati in Park Slope; Brooklyn Farmacy in Cobble Hill; Damascus Bread Factory in Downtown Brooklyn; Grimaldi’s Pizzeria in Coney Island; Mama Rao’s in Dyker Heights; and Yiasou in Sheepshead Bay. “Breaking Bread” airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET.
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Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn Set to Honor Scouting Leaders
A special dinner to be held on Sept. 25 will celebrate the partnership between the Scouting program and religious groups.
The Girl Scout and Boy Scout programs both share the understanding that their “Promise and Law,” which is recited as a central part of Scout gatherings, includes many of the principles and values common to most faiths.
While the Scouting programs are secular, boys and girls in these respective branches are encouraged to take spiritual journeys via the religious recognitions of their faiths. Girl Scouting has a “My Promise, My Faith” pin that the girls can earn once each year. Boy Scouts have, for many years, been able to participate in the Religious Emblems program.
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn has a Catholic Committee on Scouting that supports Boy Scout and Girl Scout units and the parishes that host these troops. The Sept. 25 dinner, being held at El Caribe in Mill Basin, will honor several adult and youth Scouting leaders.
Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio’s Good Scout Award honorees will be: the Most Rev. Auxiliary Bishop Paul Robert Sanchez; and the Very Rev. Msgr. Kieran E. Harrington, vicar for communications, rector of St. Joseph Co-Cathedral and president and chairman of DeSales Media Group.
Also among those being honored are: Rocklyn Asset Corporation Executive Director Colleen Ceriello; Owen J. Monaghan, NYPD assistant chief, commanding officer Patrol Borough Brooklyn South and president of the ASIS Certification Board; and Henry Zalak, past chairman of the Catholic Committee on Scouting, Diocese of Brooklyn. For more information on this dinner and on the diocesan Scouting program, visit www.ccosbq.org.
The televised radio talk show “In the Arena” returns on Sept. 21 for its third season, with moderator and host Msgr. Kieran Harrington, vicar for communications for the Diocese of Brooklyn and former political strategist. The weekly series explores the latest news, current events, political topics and social opinions from a Catholic cultural perspective, airing Sundays at 8 p.m. ET.
Net TV can be viewed on Time Warner Cable, channel 97, and Cablevision, channel 30, as well as on Verizon FIOS On Demand and on Net TV’s website at www.netny.tv.
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Brooklyn Clergy Couples Honored for Excellence in Parenting
Honored on 20th Anniversary of Parents’ Day Observed on Capitol Hill
Brooklyn distinguished itself once again by producing two exemplary clergy couples who are leaders in the fight to keep high standards for the nurturing of children in New York.
In a culture in which marriage, parenting and nurturing of children is tougher than ever, parents who stick with it should be honored. That’s the idea of National Parents’ Day, a federal observance that celebrated its 20th anniversary this summer. Outstanding parents whose nurturing skills are recognized were honored at a reception in the Cannon House Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.
The Rev. Dr. Robert Waterman and Lola Waterman were selected as the “Pastoral Parents of the Year for 2014.” Their ministry at Antioch Baptist Church encourages responsible parenting and strengthening families. U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries presented the recognition to the Waterman couple.
Archbishop Sylveta Gonzalez and Lawrence Gonzalez of Brooklyn were finalists for the National Parents of the Year Award. She is the founder, chief executive officer and bishop of Q Kingdom Ministries, Inc., an interfaith, community-based organization. They were presented the National Excellence in Parenting Award.
A joint resolution of Congress in 1994 established the fourth Sunday of July as Parents’ Day. President Bill Clinton then signed the resolution, making Parents’ Day a recurring day of commemoration. For 20 years, churches and community groups across the country have held annual activities designed to celebrate and strengthen families and to honor outstanding parents in their communities.
Selected parents are recognized in their communities as having demonstrated sacrificial love and overcoming emotional, physical and financial obstacles to provide for the development and happiness of their children – qualities of personal moral virtue and/or religious commitment and a noteworthy record of contributions to the family and community.
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Milestones in Faith
Cornerstone Baptist Church Established 97 Years Ago This Month
During the year 1917, as bombs and bullets were being hurled across the European continent, a group of Christians began a new congregation here in Brooklyn.
This group, believing they were led by the Holy Spirt, went from home to home and held their first meeting at 933 DeKalb Ave., in the home of Mrs. M. Freeman. On Sept. 10, 1917, the Cornerstone Baptist Church was organized and dedicated to the service of God. The Rev. William H. Rodman was the founder and first pastor.
Fast forward 15 years to 1932: Cornerstone moved to its first church edifice at Gates Avenue and Irving Place. The word spread of a place in which “Welcome and Worship Are Warm” and grew to be one of Brooklyn’s largest congregations.
Today, Cornerstone Baptist Church has some 65 boards, clubs and organizations that offer every member a mini-home, in which they can expand their talents and ministries. The church has a large and active Sunday School program, including a month-long Vacation Bible School during the summer, which is free to the public. An outstanding Music Ministry supports five choirs for every age and musical ability – and there is so much more.
Visit the online calendar for scheduled services, musical events and programs. This church is a place at which the motto “Welcome and Worship Are Warm” has real meaning.