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Faith In Brooklyn for Nov. 12

November 12, 2015 By Francesca Norsen Tate, Religion Editor Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The mural depicting the Virgin Mary’s protection of Lebanon is visible above the altar at Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Cathedral, which will host a new tradition in Downtown Brooklyn — the Brooklyn Heights Clergy Association’s first annual interfaith Thanksgiving service — on Nov. 22. Eagle photo by Francesca N. Tate
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Interfaith Thanksgiving Events: New Tradition Established in B’klyn Heights

The Brooklyn Heights Clergy Association (BHCA) invites the community to participate in a new neighborhood tradition at the association’s first annual interfaith Thanksgiving service on Sunday, Nov. 22.

This interfaith and ecumenical service aims to bring neighbors together to celebrate the holiday season in a spirit of unity and fellowship.

“Ecumenical” refers to interaction and cooperation among different Christian denominations (i.e. Catholic-Protestant). “Interfaith” refers to the same among Christian, Jewish, Muslim and other faith traditions.

Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Cathedral is the hosting congregation. Participants are asked to to consider a donation of canned or nonperishable goods to benefit Christian Help in Park Slope (CHiPS). Monetary donations to CHiPS will also be accepted. The service begins at 5 p.m. at the cathedral, on Henry Street between Montague and Remsen streets.

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Midwood Congregations Host 15th Annual Interfaith Thanksgiving

Three Ditmas Park-Midwood congregations that have worked together for many years are co-sponsoring and hosting their 15th annual interfaith Thanksgiving service, to be held on the Sunday before the national holiday.

Our Lady of Refuge Church will host the East Midwood Jewish Center and the Episcopal Church of the Nativity for this service, which begins at 4 p.m. All three houses of worship are on Ocean Avenue, between Foster Avenue and Avenue L. Our Lady of Refuge Church (2020 Foster Ave.) sits at the corner of Ocean and Foster avenues.

The three congregations’ Interfaith Committee was established in 1996, during the pastorship of the Rev. Andy Struzzieri at Our Lady of Refuge. He worked with Sister Celia Deutsch of the religious order Our Lady of Zion and with Rabbi (now emeritus) Alvin Kass of the East Midwood Jewish Center.

The congregations also operate a food pantry. The Interfaith Committee plans approximately five events each year, including field trips, concerts, a world dance workshop (held last winter) and the interfaith Thanksgiving.

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Heights & Hills Annual Thanksgiving for Seniors Now in its 44th Year

The Heights and Hills Community Council, the Cobble Hill Health Center, Grace Church-Brooklyn Heights and the 84th Precinct are teaming up once again for a tradition that began more than 40 years ago — the annual Thanksgiving dinner for senior citizens.

Thanksgiving Day is Thursday, Nov. 26 this year. Heights & Hills will once again feed more than 200 seniors a sit-down, home-cooked holiday meal. Volunteers will deliver 50 additional meals to local homebound seniors. This event is now in its 44th year and continues to be successful, thanks to a large volunteer base.

This event does more than just feed Brooklyn seniors in need who would otherwise spend the day alone. It allows everyone — volunteer and diner alike — to be part of a caring community and to experience a deeper sense of meaning for the day.

Volunteers must register/RSVP in advance to receive a job assignment and check-in time. The RSVP point person is Betsy Guttmacher: [email protected] or 718-596-8789. Advance RSVPs via phone or email are required this year. Volunteers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult. There are limited volunteer jobs for children under the age of 12. Dinner will be served at noon. Volunteers will arrive from 9 to 11 a.m., based on job assignment, and should be prepared to stay until 2 or 3 p.m. to help clean up if possible.

Grace Church is at 254 Hicks St., just north of Joralemon Street.

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Hone Your Hebrew Reading Skills in Course Starting Nov. 15

Congregation Mount Sinai is offering a new Hebrew reading class.

Classes will be held on Nov. 15 and 22 and Dec. 6, 13 and 20.

Attendees will reinforce and internalize their Hebrew reading skills. This course provides systematic engagement with the Hebrew “alef bet” through practical exercises and the study of classics from Jewish liturgy.

This class is ideal for Hebrew-in-a-day alumni and adults in need of reading practice.

With student interest, this course may continue in 2016. Required text: “Aleph Isn’t Tough” (Linda Motzkin, Ed. Hara E. Person; URJ Press). There is a $100 class fee.

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First Presbyterian Church Hosts Thanksgiving Food, Coat Drives

First Presbyterian Church (FPC) is holding its Thanksgiving food drive for the Church of Gethsemane.

In addition to FPC’s weekly food pantry hours, the church’s Social Action Ministry is holding a special drive to collect food for Gethsemane members living in group homes or in prison. Gethsemane is an intentional faith community for incarcerated persons and their families. The drive runs through Saturday, Nov. 20.

Needed items include cans of nonperishable foods (15 ounces or less each), canned meats, beans, vegetables, fruits, spaghetti and meatballs and raviolis.

First Presbyterian Church is also operating a fall-winter coat drive. Contact the church at 718-624-3770 for more information on these outreach ministries.


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