First Estate: April 18, 2012

April 18, 2012 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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By Francesca Norsen Tate

Ordination Liturgy Affirms

Roles of Community and Women

The liturgy of ordination for Meagan Manas last weekend at First Presbyterian Church affirmed that ministry is fulfilled in community rather than isolation.

The Rev. Meagan Manas was ordained to a Validated Ministry. This affirms that she was called to service in a special ministry, rather than in a specific parish church. This ministry is as Program Specialist of Presbyterian Women’s Justice and Peace Program. The Presbyterian Church (USA)’s Book of Order specifies how a Validated Ministry may be established.

Emphasizing in her sermon that each Christian is a “child of God” and part of the Body of Christ, Certified Ruling Elder Chris Wolf, representing the organization Presbyterian Women, asked each person present and witnessing the ordination to express his or her passion and gift on slips of paper, which were then collected at the offertory. And the entire congregation was invited up to lay hands on Manas during the Prayer of Ordination.

Presbyterian Women is an independent organization within the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) of more than 300,000 women. The group’s programming and resource options offer many ways for women to live out their faith in an inclusive, caring community. According to the website , “Women’s groups in the Presbyterian Church have a powerful history. Since the early 1800s Presbyterian women have organized themselves to support mission and combat social injustices nationally and internationally. While the levels of involvement and recognition from the denominations have varied, women’s dedication to living out God’s call through women’s organizations has remained steady.”

Rev. Meagan Manas, who is the granddaughter of the Rev. Florian Manas, a co-founder of Youth for Christ in Cleveland, says that she “came to recognize this call slowly but surely as I made choices based on the passions and desires of my heart. This path is where each of those steps have led. Confirmation of this call was especially important to me, as on a trip last April for my job with Presbyterian Women, over the course of leading workshops and retreats over several days I kept hearing women say to me things like ‘What a wonderful ministry you have!’ or ‘You are so clearly called to this work!’ Their words called me to examine how I looked at my work and acknowledge that I was indeed working in ministry to which God was calling me.”

During the Presentation of the Symbols of Ministry, Rev. Manas was given a pulpit gown and several clerical stoles from clergy and lay colleagues who encouraged and confirmed her call to ministry. And her father, Don Manas, presented the new minister with her grandfather’s Bible. One of these clerical stoles, which the Rev. Ann Tiemeyer gave Rev. Manas, is from a program, called “Tirzah,” that Women’s Ministries at the National Council of Churches used to present for young women. This particular stole lists the names of women in the Bible, including Tirzah. “It is a symbol both of the women of faith testified to in scripture and the many women working for justice in the entire ecumenical movement—past and present,” explained Rev. Manas. Tirzah was one of the daughters of Zelophedad, all part of the tribe of Manasseh, as narrated in the Torah. She is named several times, particularly in the genealogies in the Books of Numbers and Deuteronomy.

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Brownstone Synagogues Observe

Holocaust Remembrance Day

The Brownstone Coalition, a group of synagogues in Brooklyn, were set to offer an annual Holocaust Remembrance Day Service, hosted this year at the Brooklyn Heights Synagogue. The service, scheduled for Wednesday, April 18 at 7:30 p.m. is a contemporary Yom HaShoah evening service with musical reflections of sadness and hope, with six other synagogues for the Annual Brooklyn Brownstone Community Commemoration of Yom HaShoah. As of press time, eight cantors, cantorial students, musicians and performers from the Brooklyn area are participating. Rabbi Lippe and the Brooklyn Heights Synagogue’s student cantor will lead a Ma’Ariv service, with musical colleagues joining them for a very meaningful Yom HaShoah Commemoration as part of the service. The Brooklyn Heights Synagogue is at 131 Remsen St.

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Concerts Offer Range of

Programs and Repertoires

Reflecting the glory of the Easter season, St. Ann & the Holy Trinity Church will present “Heroic Flourishes 2: Music for Organ and Brass.”

This benefit concert, on May 13, features music director Gregory Eaton on the church’s Landmark E.M. Skinner organ, with seven brass players & percussion. They join forces to present a heroically resounding program of music by Bonelli, Dupré, Gigout, Hurd, Phillips, Strauss, and others. Guest artists are: Jim Lake, Angela Gosse, Michael Gorham, on trumpet;

Angela Flores, horn; Mark Broschinsky and Robert Fournier on trombone; Chanell Crichlow on tuba; and Ed Gonzalez, on percussion.

Concert proceeds (at $25 regular, $20 for seniors and students) will help the parish move to the next phase in the preservation of the historic landmark building—the restoration of the church’s tower and organ. Since 1848, the National Historic Landmark church building has stood as an important example of American Gothic Revival architecture and is world famous for its set of figural stained glass windows, the first ever made in America. In recent years, the parish has restored many of the windows and the side roofs after decades of neglect in the last century and has brought non-functioning parts of the organ back to life. The present challenge is to assess the consequences of deferred maintenance of the 112-foot tower. Any restoration work on the structure will require removal of the 4,718 organ pipes, which in turn will facilitate continued restoration of the instrument.

The goal of the parish’s restoration efforts is to preserve this Brooklyn treasure and community resource for years to come. St. Ann’s Church is the performance space for a number of musical organizations and other artists, welcoming visitors from around the world who have heard about the church or simply wish to enjoy its beauty and peace.

Mr. Eaton has been a major supporter of the church’s restoration efforts through his benefit concerts and music programs since 1993, when he arrived at St. Ann & the Holy Trinity Church as director of music and organist. He is well-known to the general public who attend his concerts and the free Wednesday recitals, held weekly from September to June at 1:10 p.m.

The church is at the corner of Montague and Clinton Streets, Brooklyn Heights.

A reception will follow the 7 p.m. concert.

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Gregory Eaton is also dean of the American Guild of Organists-Brooklyn Chapter, which presents its annual Members Recital this Sunday at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Carroll Gardens.

Titled “An Organ Sounds in Brooklyn,” the program features the talents of chapter members, playing the church’s instrument, a III/46 Austin Organ Company, Op. 479-A. The concert begins at 4 p.m. this Sunday, April 22. Admission is free. St. Paul’s Church is at 199 Carroll Street at Clinton Street.

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Bass baritone David J. Baldwin serenades Brooklyn this Friday night, also at St. Paul’s Church in Carroll Gardens.

St Paul’s Music Program and its director, Vince Peterson, present “How Can I Keep From Singing: An Evening of American Song,” with David J. Baldwin Friday April 20. All of the composers featured in this 8 p.m. program represent a different way to be thoroughly American. Each brings unique life experiences and varied backgrounds, to give voice to the American spirit. They range from the creative and haunting settings of the folksongs of Aaron Copland, the entertaining show-tunes of Richard Rodgers (of Rodgers and Hammerstein) to the inspirational and spiritual songs of Leonard Bernstein. Their music and this recital is meant as a celebration of faith, hard work, love, loss, hope and all that makes America great, according to program organizers.

David J. Baldwin, a recent transplant to NYC from Chicago, is a bass baritone who has performed with such institutions as the Chicago Symphony Chorus and the Chicago Lyric Opera Chorus. He is presently singing with the chorus of The Metropolitan Opera and the choir at St Paul’s Episcopal Church. His accompanist is Vince Peterson, musical director at St. Paul’s and founder, director of the “Choral Chameleon” singing ensemble. Suggested admission is $10.

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Alexis Zhu   Photo by Roy CoxThe Concerts on the Slope series at St. John’s Episcopal Church continues this Sunday, with “An Afternoon of Music for Cello and Piano.:Benjamin Larsen   Photo by Bill Morgan

Cellist Benjamin Larsen and pianist Alexis Zhu, piano will perform Beethoven’s Sonata in F Major, Op. 5, No. 1; the Brahms: Sonata in e minor, Op. 38; and Cesar Franck’s Sonata in A Major. The concert begins at 3 p.m. The church is at 139 St. John’s Place, just west of 7th Ave.

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“Rise Heart: A Spring Concert of Praise” is a free concert that several Brooklyn-based musicians are offering at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Fort Hamilton.

Baritone Frank Kain and bassoonist Clint Padgitt join Julian Goodwin on organ and piano for the 4:30 p.m. program. St. John’s/Fort Hamilton is at Fort Hamilton Parkway and 99th St.

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Union Church celebrates spring with a concert, “From Opera to Broadway” on Sunday, April 22, at 4 p.m. Selections from beloved operas and hit Broadway shows will be performed by the talented soloists of Union Church’s Choir. A free-will donation will be taken at the door.

The Church is at 7915 Ridge Boulevard (corner of 80th Street).

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Plymouth Church Offers

New Member Classes

Plymouth Church offers New Member Classes starting this Sunday, April 22, for anyone interested in becoming a part of the Plymouth congregation.

The Spring 2012 New Member classes meet on Sundays, April 22 and April 29, at 9:30 a.m. in the Reception Room. At the worship service on May 6, Plymouth will welcome new members into the congregation at its May 6 worship service, on the historic congregation’s Anniversary Sunday.

Prospective members should plan to attend both sessions. Childcare will be provided, and a light breakfast served. Make-up sessions for those unable to attend one or both classes will be scheduled. For more information, and to reserve a place, please contact Amy Talcott in the Plymouth Church office: 718-624-4743.

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Bridge Street Development Corp.

Hosts Empowerment Sunday

Grammy Award-winning gospel artist Bishop Hezekiah Walker and his Love Fellowship Tabernacle Church lead a call to parishioners to take control of their financial future.

Bridge Street Development Corporation (BSDC), in partnership with the Coalition for the Improvement of Bedford-Stuyvesant (CIBS), organizes the 3rd Annual Empowerment Sunday, scheduled for April 29. Each spring since 2010, these two organizations have collaborated with dozens of churches throughout Central Brooklyn to dedicate a day to providing information and resources to parishioners about financial empowerment and combating foreclosure. Last year, with 55 churches participating in Empowerment Sunday, approximately 8,000 parishioners heard sermons about financial health and the importance of seeking foreclosure assistance early in the process. BSDC and CIBS are dedicated to helping families meet the challenge of surviving one of the toughest economic periods in modern times.

Clergy at approximately 50 participating churches will take the pulpit on Empowerment Sunday to preach the same message encouraging parishioners to take control of their financial future. After worship services, volunteers will be on hand to provide church members with valuable information and resources to achieve financial stability and create wealth. Information will be provided on foreclosure prevention, financial counseling, employment services, first-time homebuyers’ assistance, post-purchase homeownership counseling, legal aid, and starting or growing a small business. Together, BSDC and CIBS will link parishioners who are in need of assistance with free counselors, programs and services to help them preserve their homes, become financially stable, and create wealth.

As of press time, some of the participating churches included: Antioch Baptist Church; Bridge Street A.W.M.E. Church; Grace Tabernacle Christian Center; Nazarene Congregational Church; and the Pentecostal House of Prayer.

Founded in 1995, the Bridge Street Development Corporation (BSDC) is a faith-based, 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization whose mission is to build partnerships with businesses, government, and other community stakeholders to provide civic and economic opportunities to the residents of Central Brooklyn. BSDC’s vision is to preserve Bedford-Stuyvesant as a desirable neighborhood for raising families, owning businesses and taking part in rich cultural, spiritual and recreational opportunities.

Coalition for the Improvement of Bedford-Stuyvesant (CIBS) is a member association dedicated to working to create effective collaboration among local organizations committed to positively impacting the Bedford-Stuyvesant community. Our primary goals focus on maintaining and enhancing an equitable, healthy and sustainable community that produces economic and social betterment for the indigenous people of our community. To learn more about CIBS visit

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