Faith in Brooklyn: December 18

December 18, 2013 By Francesca Norsen Tate, Religion Editor Brooklyn Daily Eagle
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All Saints Church Celebrates Investiture of Fr. Paulikas as Rector

The celebration of the Institution of the Rev. Steven D. Paulikas as 15th Rector of All Saints Church reached even beyond the parish family and Park Slope itself.

Visiting Episcopal clergy and ordained ministers from other Christian denominations came from all over Brooklyn for the liturgical celebration of Paulikas’ new ministry here.

The Rt. Rev. Lawrence Provenzano presided at this liturgy. Episcopal clergy included the Rev. Howard Blunt, assisting priest in the liturgy; the Rev. Deacon Anthony Bowen, Deacon of Table; Deacon Kathleen Harte, the Very Rev. Ronald T. Lau, dean of St. Mark’s Deanery (a geographical cluster of parishes, of which All Saints is a part), the Rev. Stephen D. Muncie, rector of Grace Church, where Paulikas had served as a seminarian, deacon and then newly-ordained priest curate, the Rev. J. Christopher Ballard, curate at St. Luke-St. Matthew Church in Clinton Hill; Canon Robert Picken of the Cathedral of the Incarnation, Clayton Crawley, Chief Information Officer of the Church Pension Fund, Canon Richard Brewer and Mother Lynn Grifo, interim at St. John’s Park Slope, David Sibley of St. John’s Fort Hamilton. Visiting clergy included Dr. Daniel Meeter, pastor of the Old First Reformed Church, Pastor Easton Marks of the Seventh Day Adventist Kingsboro Temple on 7th St and Pastor Matt Brown of Resurrection Church. Paulikas, who actually began his work at All Saints Church in 2011 as priest-in-charge, was named as Rector earlier this fall. Preaching at the Liturgy of Institution was Dr. Robert Radtke, president of Episcopal Relief and Development.

The celebration spilled out into the parish hall, with a gala reception catered by Best, dancing and presentations. The wardens and vestry proclaimed that Paulikas, valuing and showing his love for each member of All Saints, has been a blessing to them ever since his arrival two years ago.

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Christmas Religious Services Plymouth Church Hosts Neighboring Grace Church for Christmas Eve

Because of a yearlong renovation project, Grace Church’s Christmas Eve service this year is being hosted at neighboring Plymouth Church.

Last spring, work began on the roof replacement and electrical upgrade of Grace Church’s landmark sanctuary at Hicks St. and Grace Court. At present, scaffolding fills the sanctuary. The Episcopal parish, which was founded in 1847, began worshipping at its present site 165 years ago.

Grace Church’s Christmas Eve Festival Eucharist begins at 9 p.m., with the Parish Choir singing works by Dietrich Buxtehude and the anthem Masters in this Hall, by 19th century William Morris, which was set to a dance from the French Baroque period. The Rev. Stephen D. Muncie, rector of Grace Church, will preach. Grace Church will also offer Christmas Day service, at 11 a.m. on Dec. 25, in its own Guild Hall.

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Earlier on Christmas Eve, Plymouth Church will offer its traditional Candlelight Service. This special family service of lessons and carols begins at 6 p.m. Doors open at 5:30 for a prelude with harp by guest soloist Marjory Fitts.

During the service, the Plymouth Choir will sing a variety of traditional Christmas carols, with the congregation joining in many favorites. The service concludes with everyone joining in “Silent Night.”

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Another Christmas Eve Candlelight Service is one of the most beloved traditions at the First Unitarian Congregational Society.

The landmark sanctuary, dating back to 1844, lit by candle and gaslight and decorated with pine trees and boughs, is the setting for this timeless service of music and meditation. This year’s service, which starts at 5 p.m., will feature a special program of Celtic music.

First Unitarian Church welcomes Jerry O’Sullivan, who is widely hailed as America’s premier uilleann piper. The musical selections will include traditional Irish, Scottish, and Welsh carols as well as instrumental airs, jigs and reels.

The choir with soloists Marielle Murphy, K’idar Miller and Andrew Cook-Feltz will sing choral and vocal works by Ralph Vaughan Williams, Morton Lauridsen and Pedro de Cristo. Music director William Peek will conduct. The Rev. Ana Levy-Lyons, Senior Minister, will offer a homily with readings by Director of Education Ministries, Meagan Henry. Of course, the congregation will get to sing favorite carols. Instrumental accompaniment includes organ and an ensemble fiddle, uilleann pipes (bagpipes), flute, guitar, hammered dulcimer and harp.

First Unitarian Church is at Pierrepont Street between Monroe Place and Clinton Street in Brooklyn Heights. All are always welcome! Child care will be provided.

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A children’s Christmas Eve Eucharist and Mass of Christmas Midnight with music by an  Argentine composer are offered at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.

A 5:30 Family Mass on Tuesday, Dec. 24 will give children a special moment of worship as they placed the figure of the Christ Child in the manger. The Mass of Christmas Midnight actually begins at 11 p.m., with a prelude of carols at 10:45. The St. Paul’s Choir, under the direction of Vince Peterson, will sing the “Missa Criolla” Mass setting by Argentine composer Ariel Ramirez.

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South Brooklyn will be filled with shepherds, angels, barnyard animals and worshipers for Christmas Eve at St. Lydia’s Church.

This innovative congregation for which “Dinner Church” is a central part of worship, holds a neighborhood Christmas procession. Everyone will gather at the corner of Union St. and 4th Ave, at 7 p.m. on Christmas Eve, and then proceed towards Smith and Bergen streets for a repast at a local restaurant.

For more information on the church and its ministries, visit the website

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Pre-Christmas Programs

Brooklyn Interdenominational Choir Presents Christmas Benefit Concert

As part of its mission of being ambassadors to the world, the Brooklyn Interdenominational Choir is raising funds for an April 2014 concert tour in Italy.

Under the direction of Pastor Frank Haye, the ensemble’s founder, the Brooklyn Interdenominational Choir presents a fundraising winter concert this Thursday, Dec. 19, titled “Joy to the World.” The 7:30 p.m. concert, featuring the Brooklyn Interdenominational Choir and Friends, is hosted at Elim International Fellowship, 20 Madison St. in Clinton Hill. A pre-concert reception begins at 7 p.m.

According to a brochure for the benefit, the Brooklyn Interdenominational Choir will join other ensembles and will perform in concerts in Milan, Verona and Venice. This mission trip will give the singers the “opportunity to fellowship with other choirs, make new friends and pray for others.” The choir hopes to “make a difference around the world through the spreading of the gospel of Christ in word and song.”

For more information on the Brooklyn Interdenominational Choir, send an email to [email protected], or a tweet to @brooklynichoir.

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‘Radio Christmas Carol’ Comes to St. Charles Church

St. Charles Borromeo Church presents “A Radio Christmas Carol.”

Parishioners Pat & Locke Wallace will join artists Marc Deaton, David Fuller, Judith Jarosz, John Johmann and Elise Reynard as they present Charles Dickens’ Christmas Classic (David Fuller’s adaptation). This will be performed as an hour-long radio play, complete with Foley artist sound effects. The afternoon benefit includes an optional sing-along on some of the classics and a reception with the artists immediately following the concert.

This family program, suitable for everyone age five and over, begins at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 21. Doors will open at 2:30 p.m. and the admission price is any donation one can give. Proceeds go directly to St. Charles parish ministries. No reservations are required.
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1st Annual Messiah Sing Packs Carroll Gardens Church

A new Advent musical tradition for St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Carroll Gardens

proved widely popular.

St. Paul’s Church first annual Messiah Sing-It-Yourself on Sunday, Dec. 15 was packed, for singers and the non-singing audience alike.

The front rows on either side of the center aisle were packed with sopranos and altos ready for the choral portions of the Christmas portion of Handel’s masterpiece, Messiah. St. Paul’s organist/choirmaster Vince Peterson directed the orchestra and “chorus,” representing a wide range of choral experience. Soloists were Catherine Torrey, soprano; Netza Jimenez, boy soprano; Kristin Moore, mezzo soprano; Rufus Hallmark and Alexander Canovas, tenors; Garrett Scholberg, Baritone; and Dusty Francis, bass baritone and director of Ars Musica.

The orchestra personnel included: Sabina Torosjan, Zara Ruelle, Adam von Housen, on violins; Blake Allen on viola and violin; Brian Thompson on viola; Susan Mandel, Myrto Douma, on cello; Holly Codero on bass; and Steven Smith on harpsichord continuo.

During his time at St. Paul’s, Vince Peterson has expanded the parish’s commitment to music ministry. According to the parish’s website, Peterson is a Brooklyn-based composer, conductor and keyboardist, and founder of the critically-acclaimed vocal ensemble, Choral Chameleon, now in its sixth year, The Brooklyn Eagle has praised his concert programming as “a stunning symphony of the spiritual and secular,” while hailing him as a solo performer “with depth and vigor” who “provided a universal context which resonated with his audience.”

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Assumption Christmas Gala Benefits Parish Ministries

Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church’s annual Christmas Gala is one of the highlights of parish life.

Everyone who walked into the Assumption Church Hall on Dec. 7, found themselves enveloped in the “magic of Christmas” including a wide array of silent auction prizes. They dined on an unending source of antipasto, entrees and Italian desserts while they listened to a live jazz quartet.

All of these features came together beautifully to raise over $ 20,000 for parish ministries such as the January Homeless Shelter, family nights and senior activities. And it was the fruit of much hard work on the part of the “2013 Believe in the Magic of Christmas” committee. Together, they solicited donations from local merchants, sought out a widely-acclaimed caterer and band, decorated the church hall and endured the usual worry that accompanies the meticulous preparation of a great fundraiser.

Brooklyn-based Bon Soir Caterers provided a delicious menu of antipasto, chicken Marsala, beef tips and peppers, cheese tortellini and other pasta entrees. Steve Marks, Dave Sewelson and Friends jazzed up Christmas favorites and other popular standards, all the while interacting with the guests and happily playing their requests.

Partygoers had several chances to win prizes—by bidding on a silent auction whose prizes ranged from a silver formal tea set to appliances and theatre tickets, taking chances on a mini-auction, or buying raffle tickets.

The Christmas Gala and the St. Patrick’s-St. Joseph’s Dinner Dance are the major fundraisers for Assumption Church.
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