By Francesca Norsen Tate, Religion Editor
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Spokesperson for Redeemer Project Says Church Not Slated for Imminent Demolition
An article published last Friday in a popular real estate website claims that the now-defunct Church of the Redeemer near Barclays Center is slated for imminent demolition.
However, a spokesman for the Redeemer Project says that assertion is premature.
According to a Nov. 22, 2013 story in Brownstoner, “Neighbors have been trying to save Boerum Hill’s Church of the Redeemer since the summer of 2012, when the diocese announced its plans to demolish the Gothic Revival structure at 24 4th Avenue. Unfortunately, it seems like the site is destined for high-rise condos.”
The Rev. Christopher Ballard, project manager for The Redeemer Project, refuted the plans for immediate demolition in an email reply to the Brooklyn Eagle last Friday.
“No, [the] demo of the building is not imminent. The Diocese is looking for a building partner that will buy the building and return 22k square feet of space in a new building to the Diocese.”
The Brownstoner story also reflected this strategy: “The diocese requires that anyone who develops the land has to set aside 22,000 square feet for the church. They’re looking for a developer to build an eight- to 10-story condo building with possible ground floor retail.”
The Brownstoner article then describes a plan for the diocese to sell the property for $17 million and a plan to save the 146-year-old building from demolition.
Almost 17 months ago, on June 30, 2012, the Rt. Rev. Lawrence Provenzano, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island, presided at a de-consecration liturgy for the rundown church building at 4th Ave. and Pacific St., where a subway entrance sits parallel to the front of the sanctuary. Much of the damage is attributed to the subway train vibrations.
The costs of fixing the building would be in the millions, church authorities estimated.
The parish that the church serves was founded on Dec. 26, 1853. After its founding, the parish was admitted to the Diocese of New York in 1854. Redeemer Church pre-dated the establishment of the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island by 15 years. "The Prince of American Catholic architects,” Patrick C. Keely, built Redeemer Church.
World AIDS Day Service Will Incorporate Pranic Healing
The Rev. Dr. Johnny Ray Youngblood’s Mount Pisgah Baptist Church, known for activism in the community, will observe World AIDS Day with an unconventional approach to healing.
The World AIDS Day worship service on Sunday, Dec. 1, starting at 10:45 a.m., will include prayer leadership with The Noble Touch Ministries, whose Energy Medicine practitioners are certified in Pranic Healing. The founder of “The Noble Touch” is entrepreneur and life/wellness coach Jeffrey V. Noble. Noble has been healing and transforming lives with non-traditional healing modalities for over 25 years. He established “The Noble Touch” in 2010, with an emphasis on a holistic approach to health and wellness. “What we’re hoping to do is bring a healing revolution to churches. This method is a ‘no touch, no drug, no side effect’ treatment and is a natural way to improve physical, spiritual and emotional well-being by eliminating stress,” remarks Noble in an announcement. Noble has just published his first book about healing, titled “Is Church ‘as is’ Really Enough?” Noble calls into question whether Christian Church leadership does enough to teach the practical application of scriptures in people’s daily lives, including potentially transformational and proven healing modalities.
During one part of the service – which includes prayer songs and dance – meditative music will be played while pranic healers “work” on any congregants who wish to participate, including those who have been affected by AIDS Pranic Healing. It is often written with the “registered trademark” symbol, which was formulated by GrandMaster Choa Kok Sui of the Philippines. Popular in Asian nations, this spiritual and metaphysical discipline is practiced in more than 81 countries, according to several websites on healing modalities. One source, Ascension, defines Pranic as a Sanskrit word meaning “life force.” Some medical journals have published articles on the co-relation of Pranic Healing to a healthier heart rate and to a reduction of cancer cells.
According to Noble Touch Ministries’ website, Noble had two life altering experiences –his mother’s transition from cancer and a spiritual journey to India – which led him to reaffirm his covenant with God and fully embrace his purpose and vocation.
“Jeff has developed a reputation for helping people identify deeply held hurts and disappointments and then helping them to release the emotional baggage of their past without years of therapy. He believes God Wants to Show Us Off!,” according to the website.
Noble brings to his ministry experience as an entrepreneur and has been featured in The New York Times, NY Daily News, Black Enterprise Magazine and Chicago Defender, among many other publications and broadcast media, for example, Fox 5’s Good Day New York and the WPIX Entrepreneur Series.
Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church’s sanctuary is at 212 Tompkins Avenue, near DeKalb Ave., in Bedford-Stuyvesant.
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Grace Church Salutes Sally Larson for 20 Years As Parish Administrator
Neighborhood leader Sally Larson was honored Sunday for 20 years of being the Parish Administrator at Grace Church.
Saying that “Sally is right at the center of this parish,” Senior Warden Tom Chittenden praised her, using three words he believes describes her best: “unflappable, cheerful and indispensable.”
Likewise, the Rev. Stephen D. Muncie, rector of Grace Church, remarked, “one of the great joys of ministry is seeing people who give themselves wholeheartedly—all of their being to their vocation: what they’re called to be in Christ’s name. Sally has been that wonderful witness. She is unflappable, and cheerful and indispensable….One of the things that she does is that she keeps us calm and focused, and makes us better than we are without her. What more can a church ask? Sally has made Grace Church better than we could ever be without her. God bless her.”
But Sally Larson belongs to the entire Brooklyn Heights community. She, along with Grace Church’s rector emeritus, helped establish Heights & Hills Community Council, which services the elderly. Heights & Hills honored her in 2005. She also finds time to worship and volunteer at her home church and the neighborhood. And she leads a team of in-house caterers who are credited with many parish luncheons, dinners, gala receptions and other special events that bring in members of the wider community. Sally told the Brooklyn Eagle on Sunday that she is definitely staying on board at Grace Church.
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Prayer Flags On Display At Grace Church Guild Hall
Grace Church’s “Growing in Grace” Sunday School program this fall invited the entire parish to contribute to its colorful Prayer Flag Project.
Based on the Luke 11:1 Gospel verse, “Lord, teach us to pray,” this prayer flag project was an opportunity for parishioners to write or draw a prayer or message onto a brightly-colored fabric square. A practice originating in Tibet, the prayer flag is simply a prayer written into a piece of fabric and hung outside for the wind to carry the prayer to the heavens. As a community of prayer, Grace Church embarked on this project over the course of several weeks. The completed flags were displayed in the Guild Hall, which serves as the worship space while the sanctuary undergoes renovation.
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Chanukah Concert Welcomes Acclaimed Israeli Ensemble
The Brooklyn Heights Synagogue, in collaboration with the Kane Street Synagogue, presents BEIT TEFILAH ISRAELI, the musical sensation.
This Chanukah celebration is hosted at the Brooklyn Heights Synagogue (131 Remsen St.) on Monday, Dec. 2 at 6 p.m. Advance tickets at email@example.com.
Walk-ins: $10 per person; children under 13 are FREE.
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Congregations Provided Outreach For Philippines Relief Effort
St. Charles Borromeo Church holds a fundraiser this Saturday for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda in the Philippines.
The benefit is titled “One World, One Heart, One People, Bangon Philipinas!: An Evening of Music and Sharing for Haiyan/Yolanda Survivors. The concert will consist of three parts: Italian songs, arias and opera; an instrumental set featuring a world premiere of a Japanese koto and flute piece; and a third act featuring Filipino Kundiman songs, Broadway solos and duets and ending with three inspirational pieces.
All proceeds will be donated to Catholic Relief Services and other charities doing typhoon relief work in the Philippines. The concert begins at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 30.
Tickets are $15 and will be sold at the door. St. Charles Borromeo Church is at 21 Sidney Place (between Joralemon and State Streets).
Plymouth Church organized a special offering for World Vision-Philippines in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan's catastrophic damage there. World Vision is a global Christian humanitarian organization with missions in the Philippines…Congregation Mount Sinai, also participating in the Philippines relief effort, points out that Jewish tradition “demands that we reach out to others in their time of need, teaching that “charity is equal in importance to all other commandments combined” (Babylonian Talmud Bava Batra 9a).”The American Jewish World Service: www.ajws.org is accepting donations.