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Faith In Brooklyn for July 28

July 28, 2014 By Francesca Norsen-Tate, Religion Editor Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Paul Richard Olson, organist and choirmaster at Grace Church, always presents creative ways of learning new music. He leads a new series of the popular August Hymn Sings, starting on Aug. 5
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Hymn Sings Offer Time to Explore Beloved or Unusual Sacred Songs

Grace Church-Brooklyn Heights continues its tradition of August Tuesday Hymn Sings, starting on Aug. 5.

The popular series, which began about 10 years ago, is presented this year on Aug. 5, 12, 19 and 26. Grace Church’s organist and choirmaster, Paul Richard Olson, leads an exploration of popular, new and even comical texts to the music sung in churches over centuries.

The Hymn Sings program has quickly become a neighborhood event, with members of Plymouth and First Unitarian Churches joining in. The hymn sings run from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the Anne Versteeg McKittrick Choir Room, named for another beloved, longtime organist in parish history.

And yes, opportunity is provided for favorite hymn requests.

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Tisha B’Av Observance Recalls Brokenness in Jewish History

As violence has continued in Israel this past week, Jews around the world are preparing to mark the sorrowful observance and fast of Tisha B’Av, which falls this year on Monday, Aug. 4.

According to the Jewish calendar, Tisha B’Av (ninth day of the Hebrew month of Av) commemorates the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. But Judaism also recognizes Tisha B’Av for being a day to recognize the brokenness of the world, for acknowledging that things do not often turn out as we hope, and for the suffering that so often results.

The Book of Eicha (Lamentations) is customarily read on this day of fasting and the sanctuary is darkened for mourning.

Congregation Mount Sinai, 250 Cadman Plaza West, will hold a service to mark the start of the 25-hour-long Fast of Tisha B’Av, which will include chanting selections from Eicha and a brief evening service. Congregants will meet on Monday Aug. 4 at 7:30 p.m. at the synagogue entrance and then walk across the street to Cadman Park. In case of rain, the service will take place inside the synagogue. Those attending need to bring flashlights in either case.
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Book Discussion Examines FDR’s Treatment of Jews in Nazi-Controlled Europe

Nearly 75 years after World War II, a contentious debate lingers as to whether U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt turned his back on the Jews of Hitler’s Europe.

Roosevelt’s leadership during World War II is the subject of FDR and the Jews, a book by Richard Breitman and Allan Lichtman. Congregation Mount Sinai will host a book discussion on Wednesday, Aug. 13, with congregant Dr. Monty Weinstein leading the talk.

In their book, which is considered an extensive examination of this impassioned debate, Breitman and Lichtman find that the president was neither savior nor bystander. FDR’s moral position amidst the political realities of depression and war – and the question of whether he was a savior or bystander – will be engaged. Drinks and desserts will be served. Participants are asked to have already purchased the book. The RSVP deadline is Monday, Aug. 10. Suggested donation is $5.
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Brooklyn Children’s Museum Honors Ariel Property Advisors

The Jewish Children’s Museum in Crown Heights honored Shimon Shkury, president of Ariel Property Advisors, at its Eighth Annual Golf and Tennis Celebration, held recently at the Cold Spring Country Club in Huntington, L.I.

The 50,000-square-foot Jewish Children’s Museum offers interactive exhibits and programs that share the history, values and traditions of the Jewish culture with children of all faiths and backgrounds and fosters tolerance and understanding among all people.

As he accepted his award, Shkury said, “Part of our company’s mission is to be involved, very involved, in the communities we operate in – specifically when it comes to education of children and youth. The Jewish Children’s Museum is the kind of organization we are very happy to support. Its uniqueness is that it educates children and the community about Jewish heritage and culture and promotes religious tolerance in our diverse city.”

Fred Daniels and Rob Cecere, of Daniels Norelli Scully & Cecere, also were honored at the event, which was chaired by Mark and Matt Engel of Langsam Property Services Corp.

Ariel Property Advisors is a New York City investment property sales firm with an expertise in the multifamily market and development sites. The firm also produces a number of research reports, including the Multifamily Month in Review: New York City; Multifamily Quarter in Review: New York City; Multifamily Year in Review: New York City; and semi-annual sales reports on Manhattan, Northern Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx. For more information, see
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Bishop Hucles Nursing Home Becomes Providence Care Rehabilitation Center

Facility Was Named for Episcopal Suffragan Bishop for Long Island

A Brooklyn nursing facility that was named in memory of a past bishop in the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island is under new management.

The Bishop Hucles Nursing Home on Herkimer Street in Bedford-Stuyvesant has become the Providence Care Rehabilitation Center, effective July 17.

Providence Care, Inc. has acquired Bishop Hucles Nursing Home from Episcopal Health Services. Operation of the 230-bed facility has continued, uninterrupted, as Providence Care Rehabilitation Center.

Bishop Lawrence C. Provenzano, president of the Board of Trustees of Episcopal Health Services (EHS), said, “The Bishop Hucles Home has been a part of our Diocese of Long Island ministry for many years. Our board believes that Providence Care, Inc., which is wholly dedicated to nursing homes, will serve it well. In keeping with the mission of the diocese, proceeds from the sale of the nursing home will help our provision of health care services within Episcopal Health Services.”

The bishop added, “This action strengthens our continuing mission at EHS, which includes St. John’s Episcopal Hospital, the only hospital remaining to serve the people of the Rockaways and the South Shore of Long Island.”

The nursing home is at 835 Herkimer St. in Bedford-Stuyvesant.

A web page devoted to the Episcopal Church USA’s Black Ministries and Black Clergy lists the Rt. Rev. Henry Boyd Hucles III (1923-89) as suffragan bishop for the Diocese of Long Island.  Not to be confused with his father, Henry Boyd Hucles, Jr., famed football coach at Virginia Union University, Henry Hucles III was a native of New York City and became an Episcopal priest. The younger Hucles was rector of St. George’s Church in the Archdeaconry of Brooklyn before being consecrated as suffragan bishop on June 20, 1981. He served as suffragan, visiting many Brooklyn parishes, until his death in 1989.

Bishop Hucles was one of only 38 black Episcopal bishops in the United States since 1874. At least two others on that list have ties to Brooklyn in 1933: The Rt. Rev. Herbert Thompson, Jr. was born in Brooklyn and served parishes here until elected as the bishop of the Diocese of Southern Ohio. He died unexpectedly in 2006. And the Rt. Rev. Orris G. Walker, consecrated in 1988, served as the seventh bishop of Long Island until his retirement. Succeeding Bishop Walker is the Rt. Rev. Lawrence Provenzano, also a Brooklyn native, who was consecrated in September 2009.
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Milestones in Faith

Christ Church, Now in Scaffolding, Was Consecrated 172 Years Ago

Christ Church-Cobble Hill has been under scaffolding for the past year after a lightning strike damaged the building, causing masonry and equipment to collapse onto and kill a member of the community. As the church building marks this tragic anniversary, it also marked an architectural milestone this week.  The cornerstone had been laid on June 26, 1841, and the tower was built that year. Before it had to be dismantled, the tower stood 117-feet high. On July 28, 1842, Bishop Benjamin Treadwell Onderdonk consecrated the completed building. This makes Christ Church, at 172 years, the oldest Episcopal Church building in Brooklyn, and a key neighborhood landmark.

The cornerstone had been laid on June 26, 1841 and the tower was built that year. Before it had to be dismantled, the tower stood 117 feet high. On July 28, 1842, Bishop Benjamin Treadwell Onderdonk consecrated the completed building. This makes Christ Church, at 172 years, the oldest Episcopal Church building in Brooklyn and a key neighborhood landmark.

A spokesperson for the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, responding to a question from the Eagle last week, wrote, “Christ Church is in the Cobble Hill Historic District and the Church of St. Ann is in the Brooklyn Heights Historic District. Both are regulated as landmarks.”

Meanwhile, neighboring Kane Street Synagogue has been offering worship space in one of its meeting halls for the congregation of Christ Church.

A spokesperson for the Diocese of Long Island told the Brooklyn Eagle via email last week that “the vestry is working in consultation with Bishop Provenzano to finalize plans for moving forward.”
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World at Large:

Concordia Publishing Set to Release Lutheran Bible Companion This Fall

Members of Lutheran congregations around Brooklyn and those interested in the Lutheran expression of the Christian faith celebrate the release this week of Lutheran Bible Companion.

Originally set to release this fall, the Companion’s publication is ahead of schedule and is available now, according to a July 24 announcement from Concordia Publishing House.

Concordia Publishing House has introduced Lutheran Bible Companion, a highly visual work spanning two volumes that invites readers to learn the cultural and historical context of the world during biblical times.

The Companion is already receiving acclaim from religious leaders.

Lutheran Bible Companion’s content includes theological topics and literary features from each book of the Bible; detailed outlines and maps that call out significant events, people and places; Biblical reflections from Martin Luther and Johann Gerhard; and more than 600 pages of color photography and art illustrating stories, daily life and landscapes.

Concordia Publishing House has also published Martin Luther’s Words in Luther’s Works Vol. 68. This book transports the reader back to the late 1530s, when Martin Luther delivered the Gospel message from the Book of Matthew to the people of Wittenberg, Germany. His powerful exposition warns against the dangers of caving to temptation and compromise, which he viewed as threats to the Reformation. The messages he delivered in the 16th century still remain relevant today.

Concordia Publishing House (CPH) is the publishing arm of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. For nearly 145 years, CPH has been providing individuals, churches and schools with products that are faithful to the Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions. From books and Bibles to church supplies, curriculum and software, CPH offers more than 8,000 products to support the proclamation of the Gospel worldwide. Visit CPH online at

There are several Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod congregations in Brooklyn; among them are  Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bay Ridge; Good Shepherd Lutheran Church on New York Avenue in Flatlands; Risen Christ Lutheran Church in Brownsville; Saint John The Evangelist Lutheran Church in Williamsburg; Saint Matthew Lutheran Church in Canarsie; Saint Paul Lutheran Church in Bushwick; and Saint Peter Lutheran Church in Cypress Hills.



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