Faith In Brooklyn for December 12

December 12, 2013 By Francesca Norsen Tate, Religion Editor Brooklyn Daily Eagle
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New Ministries Celebrated

Two Brooklyn women were ordained as Episcopal priests last Saturday for the Diocese of Long Island. The Revs. Kerlin Richter and Marie Tatro, who have been serving as transitional deacons in Brooklyn parishes, were part of the ordination class at the Cathedral of the Incarnation in Garden City on Dec. 7. Ordained with them were the Revs. Frederic Alling Miller and Lauren Taylor McLeavey, who are serving parishes further out on Long Island.

The preacher was the Rev. Stephanie Spellers, who is Canon for Missional Vitality. She began her sermon by singing “This is the Day that the Lord Has Made,” and invoking the congregation to join in heartily. The Rev. Kerlin Joy Richter is a founder of Bushwick Abbey, a new creative liturgical community on the L subway line in Brooklyn. Bushwick Abbey is a new mission of the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island.

A recent graduate of the General Theological Seminary in Manhattan, Kerlin is assistant to the Canon for Missional Vitality, working with Mother Spellers. Her secular experience spans a wide variety of jobs and careers—from painter, potter, barista, to art supply clerk and teacher—which helps her relate to congregants from all walks of life. The church planter is also the former editor of Hip Mama, a parenting online magazine. She was involved with Wild Goose, a community gathered at the intersection of justice, spirituality, music and art. Raised in Nashville, Kerlin has also lived or spent time in Portland, Oregon, and Rapid City. She arrived in New York City to attend seminary.

Kerlin has been exploring ways to offer the richness of the Episcopal Church’s spiritual tradition to those who might otherwise never find it. “At Bushwick Abbey the goal is to question, to practice, and to explore incarnational, inclusive love, through ancient Christian practices and discovering them again for the first time,” she said in an article published on the diocesan website.

The Rev. Marie Tatro, who was graduated cum laude from the General Theological Seminary last spring, received the J. Wilson Sutton Prize for the top senior thesis. She holds a Juris doctor degree from C.U.N.Y. Law School, and a bachelor of arts degree from Amherst College.  Before seminary, she worked as an attorney in non-profit organizations representing low-income New Yorkers. She also conducted trainings and served in several coalitions, especially pertaining to HIV/AIDS policies. Marie speaks conversational Spanish and learned to read biblical Greek while in seminary. Her home parish is Grace Church-Brooklyn Heights.

She is currently serving as Assisting Cleric at St. Gabriel’s Church in Brooklyn. Marie lives in Fort Greene, Brooklyn with her partner of 13 years, Maggie Faux, who is also a legal services attorney, and their two young daughters.
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The Rev. Steven Paulikas, priest-in-charge at All Saints Episcopal Church, will be officially invested as rector there this Saturday.

Fr. Paulikas has ministered to All Saints Church since June, 2011. A graduate of the General Theological Seminary, the University of Cambridge and Yale University, he is a candidate for the DPhil in the Faculty of Theology at the University of Oxford, in a program that allows his to focus his ministry on his parish while he completes his doctoral degree. Prior to attending seminary, Fr. Paulikas was a journalist based in Vilnius, Lithuania.

All Saints Church sits directly across 7th Avenue from New York Methodist Hospital in Park Slope. Describing his church as a “forward-looking” parish, Fr. Paulikas recently told the Brooklyn Eagle the joy that parish ministry gives him. “I looked out on Easter this year. I got up into the pulpit and I just looked out on the congregation and thanked God—‘everyone is here’—children, old people, those born here, born in other parts of this country, in other countries.  And to me, that’s the Body of Christ. And I can’t tell you what a blessing it is to be part of a church where this is so palpable.”

“If you come to All Saints, you can see it in the makeup of the majority of the congregation.” Explaining that the biggest ministry is keeping the parish running, Fr. Paulikas said “Episcopal churches are not designed to run without a priest—especially a big, urban church. It’s fine to have programs. But we really need to work on being a parish church. The parish church needs to be there for the entire life cycle—for baptisms, weddings, funerals and everything in between.”

And the relationship between priest and parishioners is symbiotic, Fr. Paulikas believes. He thanks his congregation for having “done everything in their power to set me up so I can do that effectively and successfully. I take great joy in doing that.”

A church is “a place of love,” says Fr. Paulikas. “Christianity is a religion of love. If we’re not practicing that, or if we don’t have that intention, then I have trouble recognizing that as an authentic Christian community. They want to know that they are loved. I want to know the same thing. That’s the pearl of great price—the Christian ministry.”

The Institution Liturgy, officially called “Celebration of a New Ministry, begins at 4 p.m. this Saturday, Dec. 14. All Saints Church is at 7th Ave. and 7th St.

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‘Hope Concert’ To Honor Legacy of Anne Frank

A special performance of “Hope,” which has toured a number of Brooklyn churches, will feature composer Linda Tutas Haugen’s “Anne Frank: A Living Voice.”

Composer Linda Tutas Haugen, on her website, states “My goals for this composition are to honor the life of Anne Frank, and to gain a deeper understanding of what she, her family and friends experienced during the Holocaust.”

The San Francisco Girls Chorus commissioned this work in celebration of its Silver Anniversary. The text is based on excerpts from The Diary of Anne Frank, taken from the 1952 and 1991 English translations of the book.

Through her web page, Haugen explains, “The text excerpts are chronologically arranged, and span more than two years. They portray a psychological progression from fear and despair to strength and hope. The first three movements explore the grim reality of the war and her situation.

“In the next three movements, she finds meaning and purpose in nature, her writing, and her first love with Peter Van Pels. In the final movement, she recognizes the chaos and destruction of society and ideals, and faces the likelihood that she and her family will not survive.”

Linda Tutas Haugen holds a B.A. in Music from St. Olaf College, and a M.A. in Music Composition and Theory from the University of Minnesota, studying with Dominick Argento. She has written for several vocal and instrumental genres, including chamber music, orchestral, solo voice, choral, opera and wind ensemble. Her works have received critical acclaim as “music of character and genuine beauty” [Minneapolis Star Tribune]. In particular, Opera Today praised Haugen’s opera, Pocahontas, as “superbly crafted,” “engaging” and “beautiful and often powerful.”

“Anne Frank: A History for Today” was developed by the Anne Frank House. The Anne Frank Center USA sponsors the program in North America. This program is made possible, in part, thanks to grants from the Open Meadows Foundation and by the Greater New York Arts Development Fund of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, as well as public funds from the Decentralization Program of the New York State Council on the Arts, both administered in Kings County by Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC).

“Anne Frank: a Living Voice,” begins at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 14, also includes works Dale Warland, Elizabeth Alexander, Donald Moore and Mark Weston. The concert is hosted Charles Borromeo Church 21 Sidney Place (at Joralemon Street) Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn Tickets $15 at the door

Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Bay Ridge, and Greenwood Baptist Church in Park Slope also hosted recent performances of “Anne Frank: A Living Voice.”

Brooklyn-Based Bella Voce Singers Has Grown to Be Multi-Generational

The ensemble performing the Brooklyn performances of “Anne Frank: A Living Voice” is Bella Voce Singers, a women’s choir based in here in Brooklyn. The choir gives numerous concerts throughout the year, including regularly scheduled performances in Park Slope and Bay Ridge.

The choir originated as an all-female teen group when Founding Director Jessica Corbin was teaching at New York City’s F. H. La Guardia High School of Music and Art and Performing Arts. When Jessica left La Guardia in 2001, the choir followed her to Brooklyn, where they continued to grow and perform, eventually being named one of the top high-school age choirs in the city and performing with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s at Carnegie Hall. As the Bella Voce members began to graduate and move on to college, many decided that they still wanted to sing together, so the choir expanded to include all women ages 18 and up.

Bella Voce is now a 45-member multigenerational group dedicated to excellence in choral singing. Bella Voce Singers released its first CD recording in the spring of 2010, called “Songs of Peace and Love.” The choir rehearses on Monday nights from 7–9 p.m. at Greenwood Baptist Church in Park Slope. Bella Voce Singers auditions new members twice a year.
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Holiday Concerts

St. Paul’s Church Hosts ‘Sing-It-Yourself’ Messiah

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Carroll Gardens presents a lively performance of Handel’s masterpiece—with you as the main singers!

Music Director Vince Peterson conducts the entire gathering, with a baroque consort and soloists from St. Paul’s Choir and beyond.

The evening has a fundraiser component, also: a special silent auction with the prize being a chance to mount the podium and conduct the famous “Hallelujah Chorus.”

The “Sing-It-Yourself” Messiah begins at 7 p.m. Tickets in advance are $15 for adults/$10 for youths under age 12; and, at the door: $20 for adults and $15 for kids under 12. Visit the parish website to order tickets:
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St. John’s Church in Park Slope presents a Festive Holiday Concert (including some sing-alongs ) to benefit C.H.I.P.S. (Christian Help in Park Slope).

This concert, starting at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 15, features soloists of the church choir: soprano Mary Jane Dingledy, bass-baritone James Newman, mezzo soprano Heather Peterson, soprano Angela Pinti and tenor Mitchell Raftery. Featured special guest is Dean Driver. A free-will donation will be accepted.

St. John’s Episcopal Church is at 139 St. John’s Place (near Seventh Avenue) in Park Slope. Closest subway lines are the Q (7th Ave.) stop and 2/3 (Grand Army Plaza stop.) The B-67 bus also stops nearby.
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Young Clergy Forum, Peace with Justice Grants Offered through wider United Methodist Church

The United Methodist Church, which has several congregations in Brooklyn, is offering opportunities for clergy leadership programs and a Peace with Justice Grant.

Clergy serving United Methodist congregations in Brooklyn may be interested in learning about an upcoming Young Clergy Leadership forum coming in January.

The Board of Church & Society to hold its 12th Young Clergy Leadership Forum, Jan. 26-29. Applications are being accepted for clergy members ages 35 and under to participate in this Capitol Hill event at United Methodist Building.

Since 2004, more than 500 young clergy have participated in these gatherings held at the United Methodist Building on Capitol Hill. This year General Board of Church and Society will host a maximum of 75 participants, age 35 or younger.

Each annual conference is encouraged to send two young clergy: Elders or Deacons, provisional or ordained. Preference for selection goes to provisional or ordained clergy serving in full-time appointments. GBCS hopes to achieve inclusivity goals by gender, race and ethnicity as well.

The 2014 forum will provide an opportunity to network, fellowship, study and worship with other young clergy from across the United Methodist connection; conversations with the agency’s new General Secretary, Dr. Susan Henry-Crowe, and other GBCS program staff; advocacy on key legislative issues being debated on Capitol Hill and their impact on children in the United States and beyond and creative and participatory ways to teach the Social Principles in local churches. Continuing Education Credits of 1.5 will be awarded for this training.

Registration deadline is Jan. 10. Registration fee of $175 per participant covers room, meals and program expenses while in Washington, D.C. Those who register by Dec. 25 can save $50 on the fee. Participants or annual conferences are asked to cover travel cost to and from Washington, D.C., and incidentals.

Registration can be completed online at Young Clergy Leadership Forum. For more information, contact the Rev. Dr. Clayton Childers, director of Conference Relations at (202) 488-5642 or [email protected].
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Jan. 10 is also the deadline to apply for a Peace with Justice Grant from the United Methodist General Board of Church & Society (GBCS).

Peace with Justice Grants are awarded in two cycles: spring and fall. Applications must be received no later than Jan. 10 for the spring funding cycle and Aug. 10 for the fall. Applications are evaluated by GBCS’s Board of Directors.

Funding for this program is generated through the Peace with Justice Special Sunday offering of The United Methodist Church. One of six Special Sundays in the denomination, Peace with Justice “witnesses to God’s demands for a faithful, just, disarmed and secure world.” Peace with Justice Sunday is June 15 in 2014.

Grant applicants must be either a United Methodist or other affiliated organization, or an ecumenical group working with and through at least one United Methodist agency or organization.

Applicants must work toward achieving at least one of the following objectives: Assist United Methodists in understanding and responding to violence and militarism, and in moving and leading nations and peoples to reconciliation, transformation and redemption;

  • Involve and develop principal leaders among United Methodists and enjoin the general public in efforts to end conflicts, human rights violations and violent aggression around the world;

  • Promote just national and international policies and actions (governmental and non-governmental) seeking to address poverty and restore communities; or

  • Support policies that promote systematic economic justice and the self-development of peoples, in particular to respond to the disproportionate effect of injustices on racial, indigenous and ethnic persons.

Preference will be given to institutions related to The United Methodist Church, then to first-time requests and, finally, to those including an advocacy component in their program or project.

Applicants may seek assistance in filling out the form, Peace with Justice Grant application, which is available on the GBCS website or by contacting Marvlyn Scott, (202) 488-5643.

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