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The First Estate: January 25, 2012


News and Trends From Brooklyn’s Houses of Worship

Francesca Norsen Tate, editor

Special Choir Forming for

Lenten Compline Services

St. Ann & the Holy Trinity Church is seeking auditions for a volunteer choir to sing at Compline services during each of the five Sunday evenings in Lent.

Compline (a derivation of the word “complete”), which has its roots in the monastic cycle of prayer called the Daily Office, is customarily the last service before bedtime. The Compline liturgy includes Psalms, brief readings and prayers for protection through the night, as well as the beloved Nunc Dimittis canticle that is based on Simeon’s prayer in Luke 2:25-32. Lent is the most penitential and solemn season of the Christian liturgical year, and culminates in the observance of Jesus’ Passion and Crucifixion. As part of a tradition dating back to the Early Church, new candidates for baptism are prepared for this entry into the Christian faith during Lent.  The Lenten season begins on Ash Wednesday, this year on February 22; the first Sunday in Lent falls on February 26.

Director of Music and Organist Gregory Eaton is recruiting volunteers to build an ensemble of 30 members for sung Compline. Auditions will be held on Friday, February 10 from 3:30 pm to 8 p.m., and on Saturday, February 11 from 10:30 am to 3 p.m.  Each audition will last 10 minutes, and will consist of a selection of a chant, and the melody and harmony part of a given hymn. The organist will supply the music.

Auditions will be held in the Choir Room at St. Ann & the Holy Trinity, on the mezzanine level of the 2nd Floor of the Parish House, at 157 Montague St. Those wishing to audition need to register online: http://www. signupgenius.com/go/20F0A4BAFAC2DA57-compline.

Once its members are selected, the ensemble will rehearse the chants and motets on Saturday, February 25 from 10:30 am to approximately noon.  Each Sunday evening, starting February 26, and continuing March 4, 11, 18 and 25, the Compline Choir will meet at 6 p.m. at St. Ann’s to rehearse. Compline will begin at 8 p.m. and run 35-40 minutes. Prospective choristers who have additional questions may contact the St. Ann’s Church Office at 718-875-6960.


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Biblical Matriarchs’ Stories

Enlivened Through Drama

Five matriarchs of the Bible — Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, Leah, and Miriam — tell their stories from their own perspectives, searching for their individual voices, and for the voice of God as they determine to follow God’s directive.  

This is the theme of a drama, In the Voice of Our Mothers, of which internationally-acclaimed acting coach Carol Fox Prescott is the writer and director.  Brooklyn Heights storyteller Carole Forman has the role of Miriam.

Carole Forman is an actor and storyteller, a Baal Misaper Ruchani— Master Spiritual Storyteller in the Jewish tradition. She also tells stories from many spiritual paths.

The performers have described In the Voice of Our Mothers as “vibrant, modern, deeply spiritual, Jewish, interfaith, feminist, probing, healing, and ultimately exhilarating.  We have heard audience members unravel long buried questions; we have heard deep heart-opening revelations — even epiphanies — from folks exploring what this play meant to them.”

Forman explains, “The play can be performed in a sanctuary, on a stage, or in-the-round amidst concentric circles of chairs.  We adapt to each space.  We seek to create as intimate a container as possible and be as close to our listeners as we may. All the members of the cast and the writer-director are seasoned professionals with an impressive resume of credits including Broadway. We bring our hearts, our spirits, and our years of acting experience to this piece.”

In the Voice of Our Mothers speaks to people who espouse any, or no, religious tradition. This performance is one of many in synagogues, churches, colleges and prisons in the Tri-State Area and throughout the United States.

In the Voice of Our Mothers returns to Brooklyn for a performance at the East Midwood Jewish Center, Brooklyn on Friday, January 28, at 7:30 p.m. The East Midwood Jewish Center is at 1625 Ocean Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11230. Tickets cost $20 with reservations; $25 at the door. Ticket information:   tickets@emjc.org or call 718 338-3800.

Future performances are on February 10 at Stage Left Studios and March 10 at the Jewish Community Center (JCC), both in Manhattan.


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Brooklyn’s Heritage Ensemble

Reprises ‘We Got Rhythms’ Concert

Brooklyn-based Heritage Ensemble, which performed to a standing ovation last month at Congregation Mount Sinai, gives an encore performance of “We’ve Got Rhythms,” this Friday in Manhattan.

“We’ve Got Rhythms” is an interactive musical performance of the Afro-Cuban and Brazilian rhythms underlying The Heritage Ensemble’s arrangements. The ensemble will play selections from its latest CDs “Celebrations” & “A Fresh Take” as well as their forthcoming (2012) CD “Obrigado Brasil!”  

Special guest artist Shauli Einav joins Eugene Marlow, founder and leader of The Heritage Ensemble, and its performers for We’ve Got Rhythms,” at the Nuyorican Poets Café, 236 E. 3rd Street (between Avenues B & C. Their one set begins at 8 p.m. on January 27. Tickets: $12; $7 Students with valid school ID.


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Brownbag Bible Study Also

Focuses on Light and Dark

The community is invited to bring brown bag lunches to St. Ann & the Holy Trinity Church for a series of three hour-long Bible studies.

The Rev. Nell Archer will lead three one-hour lunchtime Bible Studies titled, “The Epiphany of Nicodemus: Light and Dark in the Fourth Gospel.” The discussion will focus on imagery of light in the Gospel of John through the story of the religious leader Nicodemus. Bring your lunch and join us for a lively and thought-provoking discussion.

The Brown Bag Bible Studies will convene on Wednesdays, Jan 25, Feb. 1 & 8, at 12:10 p.m. in St. Ann’s Parish Hall, 157 Montague Street (adjacent to the R subway entrance.)


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Book Club Examines Origins

Of the King James Bible

The book, God’s Secretaries: The Making of the King James Bible by Adam Nicolson is the selection for St. Ann & the Holy Trinity Church’s Book of the Month Club.

After 400 years, the King James Bible remains the most influential Bible translation of all time, and is known for its elegant, poetic style. Adam Nicholson’s book is a history of the preparation of the King James Bible, told through stories of the translators and the social, political and religious cross-currents in Jacobean England. He presents compelling portraits and the varying motives of Puritans, Anglicans, and King James I. Some 50 translators, churchmen and laity, spent seven years, from 1604 to 1611, poring over Greek and Hebrew texts, comparing previous translations, and arguing over fine details to produce this masterpiece of English literature and milestone of the Protestant movement in Britain. The Book Club meets Thursday, February 2 at 6:45 p.m. Light refreshments will be served.

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New Year of the Trees Begins

Early in Borough Park

The Jewish community celebrates Tu B’Shevat, the New Year of the Trees, often with mystical themes.

This year, Tu B’Shevat (the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Shevat) begins at sundown on Tuesday, February 7. Progressive Temple Beth Ahavath Sholom in Borough Park celebrates Tu B’Shevat a few days early, on Saturday, February 4. Cantor Suzanne Bernstein will lead services and a seder (ritual meal), starting at 10:30 a.m.

Reservations required by Jan 27, 2012. Progressive Temple Beth Ahavath Sholom is at 1515-46 St. Those wishing to attend may contact the Temple office for details: 718-436-5082

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Progressive Temple Beth Ahavath Sholom also invites all to worship at a special service featuring music of the 1960s and ‘70s.

This Shabbat service takes place on Friday, February 3 at 8 p.m. The Temple is at

1515-46 St. in Boro Park.

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Religion Newsmakers

Sausalito Church to Ordain

Former Heights Churchman

The Presbytery of the Redwoods and Sausalito Presbyterian Church will ordain Paul Richard Mowry as a Teaching Elder in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and install him as Pastor of Sausalito Presbyterian Church this Sunday. January 29. Mowry was a member and seminarian at First Presbyterian Church of Brooklyn for several years.




January 25, 2012 - 12:22pm


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