Brooklyn Boro

Faith In Brooklyn for May 12

May 12, 2017 By Francesca Norsen Tate, Religion Editor Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams gives a proclamation to Brooklyn Diocesan Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio. Eagle photo by Francesca N. Tate
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Faith Leaders Converge at Borough Hall Plaza for Brooklyn Day of Prayer

Downtown Brooklyn was filled with the sounds of prayer last Thursday evening.

Brooklyn Borough Pres-ident Eric L. Adams hosted his annual Brooklyn Day of Prayer, a local expression of the National Day of Prayer that is observed on the first Thursday of May. Congress designated this time for people of all faiths to celebrate their freedom to worship according to their respective traditions.

This particular day held added meaning as U.S. President Donald Trump, flanked by leaders of several religious traditions, from Roman Catholic to Orthodox Jewish, had just signed his executive order on religious liberty. Some of the clergy at the Brooklyn Borough Hall gathering expressed hope that the executive order will benefit people of all faiths.

Clergy representing different traditions prayed for various aspects of society, including government, the military and law-enforcement, the news and arts media, business and industry, education, families, churches and all of Brooklyn. Participants were urged to make personal prayer a central part of each person’s day, declaring that prayer empowers one’s life.

A delegation from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS) was in attendance. The LDS’ Brooklyn Stake has six wards, or congregations, here in Brooklyn, including Spanish- and Chinese-language branches.

The praise and worship band Debbie Wallace and Sistaz performed at the beginning and closing.

Clergy members participating in Brooklyn Day of Prayer included Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn; Pastor Jon Shaw, state director of the National Day of Prayer Task Force; Pastor Samuel Nicholas of the Evangelical Crusade of Fishers of Men; Dr. Rohan Wellington, Greater New York Conference, Seventh-Day Adventist Church; Rev. Dietra C. Bell, pastor of Bethel Tabernacle AME Church; Pastor Hestom Williams of Purpose Life Church; the Rev. Dr. Brett Younger, Plymouth Church; Jahzere Springs, a young adult representing Wayside Baptist Church; Pastora Vidalina Roldan, Iglesia Misionera de Jovenes Cristianos; the Rev. John E. Denaro, rector of St. Ann & the Holy Trinity Church; and Pastor Gilford Monrose of the Borough President’s Office of Faith-Based and Clergy Initiatives.

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Rev. Julie Hoplamazian Installed at St. Luke & St. Matthew Church

Joy was prevalent at the Church of St. Luke & St. Matthew in Clinton Hill on Sunday afternoon at the Celebration of a New Ministry liturgy in which the Rev. Julie M. Hoplamazian was instituted as the first woman rector and the seventh overall in the parish’s history.

Hoplamazian, who is widely respected in the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island and the interfaith community, was previously associate rector at Grace Church in Brooklyn Heights, where she served from 2012 until earlier this year. She was ordained to the priesthood in December 2012. During her ministry at Grace Church, she was also active in the Brooklyn Heights Interfaith Clergy Association and was instrumental in the creation of the interfaith youth service project.

The Rt. Rev. Lawrence Provenzano, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island, presided at the Institution Liturgy.

The guest preacher was the Rev. Dr. Charles D. Myers, associate professor of religion at Gettysburg College, a historically Lutheran school in Pennsylvania, where Hoplamazian (a Philadelphia native) earned her bachelor of science degree in music education.

Myers mentored her as he observed her nascent yearning toward the ministry, a path not open to her in her native Armenian (Orthodox) Church. Hoplamazian went on to earn her master of divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary. She then moved to New York and joined the Episcopal Church as she pursued her calling.

Preaching largely from Romans 12, Myers described Hoplamazian’s journey deeper into her own faith and her strongly-discerned vocation to be a pastor. Expressing support for Hoplamazian’s vocation. Myers echoed the words of the liturgy that their new rector and parish are interdependent; that in order to effectively minister, they must do so in tandem.

St. Luke & St. Matthew Church, founded in 1836, has gained wide acclaim for its outreach to the community, especially its innovative relief efforts after Superstorm Sandy in 2012. Both the previous rector and associate rector were promoted within the diocese: the Very Rev. Michael Sniffen is now dean of the diocesan Cathedral of the Incarnation in Garden City; and the Rev. J. Christopher Ballard is rector of Trinity-St. John’s Church in Hewlett. Both participated in the institution liturgy on Sunday. Also joining them were current and past Brooklyn Heights Interfaith Clergy Association colleagues: Pastor Adriene Thorne of First Presbyterian Church and Dr. Jane Huber, formerly of Plymouth Church and now at Union Theological Seminary.

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Open House Weekend Showcases Brooklyn’s Sacred Sites

New Yorkers travel the globe to experience beautiful art, architecture and history. During The New York Landmarks Conservancy’s Sacred Sites Open House Weekend later this month, New York’s world-class houses of worship offer this experience in New Yorkers’ own neighborhoods.

The Landmarks Conserv-ancy’s seventh annual “Sacred Sites Open House Weekend” provides the opportunity for religious institutions throughout New York to simultaneously open their doors to the public, giving visitors a glimpse inside many of New York’s remarkable churches and synagogues, to view the artistic treasures of many faiths, styles, and periods.

More than 60 Sacred Sites in New York City and more than 150 statewide will participate in the weekend.  Congregations will also showcase the cultural and social service programs they provide the wider community with special tours, concerts, food fairs and other events.

The theme of this year’s Open House weekend is “Stained Glass: Windows on this World and the Next,” which will highlight the extraordinary works of American stained glass masters including John LaFarge, Henry Sharp and Louis Com-fort Tiffany, as well as prominent European artists and studios.

According to the New York Landmarks Conservancy’s list, Brooklyn congregations participating in the Open House Weekend to date include:

• First Unitarian Universalist Congregational Society of Brooklyn: 116 Pierrepont St., Brooklyn Heights, May 20, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

• Brown Memorial Baptist Church: 484 Washington Ave., Clinton Hill, Saturday, May 20, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

• St. Agnes Roman Catholic Church:  433 Sackett St., Carroll Gardens; May 20, noon-4 p.m., and May 21, 2-5 p.m.

• St. Charles Borromeo Church: 19 Sidney Place, Brooklyn Heights; May 21, 12:30-4:30 p.m.

• Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Catholic Cathedral: 113 Remsen St., Brooklyn Heights, May 20-21, 12:30-5 p.m.

• St. Joseph’s Co-Cathedral: 856 Pacific St., Prospect Heights, May 20, noon to 4 p.m. and May 21, 1-5 p.m.

• Old First Reformed Church: 729 Carroll St., Brooklyn, May 20, noon to 4 p.m.

• East Midwood Jewish Center: 1625 Ocean Ave., Midwood; Sunday, May 21, 2-5 p.m.

• Our Lady of Refuge R.C. Church: 2020 Foster Ave., Brooklyn, May 20, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (This church and the East Midwood Jewish Center, both of which face Ocean Avenue, share an interfaith coalition.)

• The Union Church of Bay Ridge: 7915 Ridge Blvd., Bay Ridge, May 20, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and May 21, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Separately, Grace Church-Brooklyn Heights and St. Ann & the Holy Trinity Church, two Episcopal parishes in Brooklyn Heights, each informed the Brooklyn Eagle that they will be participating in the Open House.

Grace Church will be open for tours on Sacred Sites Open House, bon Sunday, May 21, from 1-4 p.m. Docents will be conducting guided tours of the church. Along with the stained glass theme, Bob Whiteford, author of “Hidden Grace: A Study of the Signs, Symbols and History of Grace Episcopal Church, Brooklyn Heights,” will give talks at 2 and 3 pm on Grace Church’s stained glass windows.  

St. Ann & the Holy Trinity Church will participate in Open House on Saturday, May 20, from noon-4 p.m., with a featured tour of the windows by parishioner Jacqueline de Weever at 2 p.m; and on Sunday, May 21, from noon- 3 p.m., with a 30-minute organist recital offered by the parish’s interim music director, Gregory D’Agostino, immediately following the 11:15 am Holy Eucharist.

St. Ann’s Church was first incorporated as “The Episcopal Church of Brooklyn” on April 23, 1787, and the doors of the current church building, the former Holy Trinity Church, were first opened on April 25, 1847.

For more information and a complete list of Sacred Sites participating in this year’s Open House Weekend, visit

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Nightshul Series Celebrates Three Classic Comedy Duos

Two is better than one— in marriage and in comedy.

Therein is the theme of the next Nightshul at the East Midwood Jewish Center, starting Thursday, May 11.

“Two Is Better Than One: Three Classic Comedy Duos That Happened to be Jewish” will explore the partnerships of Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner, Mike Nichols and Elaine May and Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara.

The presenter is Dr. Ira Epstein, a musician who has toured with Theodore Bikel and Herschel Bernardi, professor of communications at LaGuardia Community College and popular lecturer who speaks on a wide range of subjects.

The sessions on May 11, 18 and 25 all begin at 8 p.m. The fee is $15 per class or $35 for the series, which includes a wine-and-cheese hour at 7 p.m.

Register online at or call the office at 718.338.3800.  


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