Churches report emergency plans implemented for Hurricane Sandy

November 1, 2012 By Francesca Norsen Tate Brooklyn Daily Eagle
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St. Ann & the Holy Trinity Church emailed an announcement on Tuesday night that, in addition to praying for all those who have suffered loss in the storm, the parish will “do its part to address the needs of our neighbors by reopening our doors on Wednesday, making our sanctuary available for quiet meditation between 12 noon and 2 p.m. as usual, and offering pastoral and other support as we can.”

St. Ann’s will commemorate All Saints Day at its 6 p.m. Eucharist on Thursday, Nov. 1 (the actual feast day). All Saints will also be celebrated at this parish on Sunday, Nov. 4, at 9:30 Early Church and the main service of Holy Eucharist at 11 a.m.  St. Ann’s Church reminds everyone that Daylight Saving Time ends on Saturday night, and that the New York Marathon affecting the traffic routes of churchgoers, is on Sunday, Nov. 4.

St. Ann’s decided to go ahead with its annual Haunted Halloween Concert to be performed by “Undead Organist” Gregory Eaton on Wednesday, Oct. 31, at 7 p.m. However, the regular 1:10 p.m. organ recital earlier that day was canceled.


Grace Church-Brooklyn Heights canceled its activities from Sunday through Tuesday nights, according to email announcements. A film on Buddha and Christ and a dinner for the parish’s 20s-and-30s group were canceled, as were the regular Tuesday morning Eucharist and Tuesday Evening Centering Prayer Group. 


Plymouth Church likewise scheduled its regular Monday and Tuesday activities, and advised its members to stay indoors and safe. Plymouth also arranged shelter at its buildings for those congregants residing in the Evacuation Zone A, which included DUMBO and other parts of the Brooklyn waterfront.


The Brooklyn Oratory at St. Boniface Church canceled its regular Meditation Practice for Nov. 1. The meditation group normally meets Thursdays at 6:15 p.m.


Congregation Beth Elohim in Park Slope also canceled all of its programs through Tuesday, October 30, due to Hurricane Sandy. 

The announcement also read: “Witnessing nature’s awesome power is truly humbling and our Tradition reminds us that in the face of challenge, we reach out to those in most need.  ‘We are all responsible for one another,’ the Talmud teaches.”


St. Lydia’s Dinner Church in Carroll Gardens canceled its regular Sunday night dinner worship on Oct. 28, as Governor Cuomo ordered the halt of the transit system in order to prepare it for the hurricane.


Hurricane claims lives of childhood friends

The family, friends and faith-communities of Jessie Streich-Kest and Jacob Vogelman mourn the deaths of these two longtime friends, who were killed during Hurricane Sandy on Monday night.

According to reports from Congregation Beth Elohim, the New York Observer, New York Times and the Forward that were published as this column was going to press, 24-year-old Streich-Kest and 23-year-old Vogelman were killed when a tree fell on them as they walked their dogs in Ditmas Park.

Jessie Streich-Kest was a member of Congregation Kolot-Cheyeinu, a progressive synagogue. Jacob Vogelman was a member of Congregation Beth Elohim, a Reform synagogue. Both congregations are in Park Slope. A teaching fellow working at the Bushwick High School for Social Justice, Streich-Kest was the daughter of noted activist Jon Kest, who is executive director of New York Communities for Change. Vogelman’s Facebook page indicates that he had earned his degree in theatre design from SUNY-Buffalo. One report mentioned that the two had known each other since middle school.

Funeral services were being arranged as of press time.


First Unitarian Church set to install its first woman senior minister

The First Unitarian Congregational Society of Brooklyn plans to celebrate the installation of its new Senior Minister, the Rev. Ana Levy-Lyons, on Sunday, Nov. 4 at 5 p.m. Past clergy of the landmark congregation will participate in the Installation.

A press release announcing this date and time was issued before Hurricane Sandy’s arrival. As of press time, no changes have been announced, in the wake of the storm.

First Unitarian’s Senior Minister Emeritus, the Rev. Dr. Donald McKinney, the Rev. Orlanda Brugnola, Chaplain Emerita, and the Rev. Hope Johnson, Senior Minister of the UU Church of Central Nassau, who served at the Heights congregation in recent years, are expected to lead the Installation Service.  The Rev. Donna Schaper, senior minister of Judson Memorial Church in Manhattan, is expected to preach.

Community participation will include remarks by Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, Rabbi Serge Lippe of the Brooklyn Heights Clergy Association and the Rev. Tracy Sprowls-Jenks, representing the UU Metro District Board of Trustees.

The choir of First Unitarian will lead the music for the Service and special musical guests will be ActorCor, an interfaith chorus.  

A reception will follow the service and the public is welcome to attend this special event and celebrate with the Congregation.

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