Faith In Brooklyn for May 31
Episcopal Church’s 1st Woman Presiding Bishop Is Feminist Scholar-in-Residence at Heights Church
Rt. Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, Elected in 2006, Served Until 2015
The 26th Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church and Primate in the worldwide Anglican Communion, the Rt. Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, will be the speaker and workshop leader at the second annual Feminist Scholar-in-Residence lecture at Grace Church Brooklyn Heights. Jefferts Schori is the first female presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church as well as the first female primate in the Anglican Communion.
This year’s event is themed, “Women Leading Change Toward Abundant Life for All.”
This free event is open to the public. It is sponsored by Grace Church and its Gender Equity in Word & Deed Committee, The Episcopal Diocese of Long Island and its Mercer School of Theology, and the parishes of St. Ann and the Holy Trinity, Brooklyn Heights, and All Saints, Park Slope.
The Rev. Marie Tatro, vicar for Community Justice Ministry for the Diocese of Long Island, noted the historical exclusion of women and sexual minorities by past and current religious and civic leaders.
“As the #MeToo Movement has challenged our society to reckon with the sins of the past and present, our Church—and all organized religions—must also participate in a broad-based reckoning. In particular, we need to confront the history of discrimination that has systematically excluded women from leadership,” she said.
Tatro added, “Bishop Katharine’s 2006 election as our first female Presiding Bishop and Anglican primate in the world not only broke through the ‘stained glass ceiling,’ it launched a rocket through it, and her voice and wisdom are vital to our conversation.”
The event starts at 10 a.m., ends at 3:30 p.m. and includes a lunch break. There will be a morning address by the bishop and an afternoon workshop.
The goal of the Gender Equity in Word and Deed Committee at Grace Church is to elevate the level of discourse and open dialogue about the biases of sexism and racism. “We believe the Feminist Scholar Residency is vital for the life of our churches and our communities,” read a statement from the committee.
Readers may reserve a free spot and order an optional buffet lunch for $20 through the Eventbrite website: https://feministscholarinresidence18.eventbrite.com/.
A more complete biography of Bishop Katharine is found at the Eventbrite website.
Media and other inquiries regarding the event may be directed to: [email protected] Grace Church is located at 254 Hicks Street (between Remsen and Joralemon Streets), Brooklyn, New York 11201.
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MAS Youth Center Announces Opening of New Food Pantry
The Muslim American Society’s first Youth Center in the United States announced the opening of a new food pantry during its annual community Iftar on May 30. The food pantry is an expansion of the center’s neighborhood outreach efforts.
Established in 1999, the MAS Youth Center’s mission is to develop committed Muslim youth that are capable of spreading the message of Islam, and to prepare them to be in the forefront of developing their communities. In order to accomplish this, the MAS Youth Center has created multiple programs and services ranging from the spiritual and physical to the recreational and intellectual. Ongoing programs include Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, summer camp, a Qu’ran Institute, an after-school program, karate and self-defense classes, and one-on-one tutoring.
They plan to launch the food pantry soon and hope to provide free meals to community members in Coney Island and Staten Island.
City Councilman Justin Brannan, who serves Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bath Beach and Bensonhurst, along with the center’s chairman, outreach director and other leaders said that these programs are for the entire neighborhood and are open to non-Muslims as well. They pointed out that charity and hospitality are central to all three Abrahamic faiths.
Rabbi Barat Ellman, an adjunct professor at Fordham University and with the Bard Prison Initiative (BPI), said at the Ifta that such events are important at a time when the nation’s leaders have enabled hatred among citizens of different racial, religious and ethnic groups to counteract the current national mood of hostility towards Muslims. She also stated her commitment to criminal justice reform, police accountability, forging connections and relationships between incarcerated and non-incarcerated populations, anti-racism, the rights of immigrants and refugees and to combating Islamophobia.
Other speakers and interfaith leaders in attendance included Chairman of the board of MAS Brooklyn-Staten Island Taher Abdelhadi; Rev. Stephen Trainer, Hindu Swami Satya Bhadra, Buddhist Chaplain Justin Von Bujdoss, and two Democratic candidates for the 11th Congressional District: Max Rose and Michael DeVito, both Democratic candidates for the 11th Congressional District.
Lana Safah, director of marketing and communications at MAS’ national level, reminded the gathering that the MAS Youth Center, was a not-for-profit organization and does not endorse political candidates.
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Merger of Two Williamsburg Parishes Takes Effect
In a decree released earlier last month, Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio announced that Our Lady of Mount Carmel and the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary merger took effect on Friday, June 1. Its goal is to evangelize more effectively the community in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, as well to administrate the temporal goods of the faithful more efficiently.
Reverend Monsignor Jamie Gigantiello, the pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and administrator of Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, originally petitioned that the two parishes be canonically merged.
The single entity will be named the Parish of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Its main Parish office will be located at 275 N. 8th Street, Brooklyn, New York 11211 not far from Our Lady of Mount Carmel which is located at 275 N. 8th Street, and Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary which is located at 259 N. 5th Street.
Reverend Monsignor Jamie Gigantiello will be the pastor.
The territorial boundaries of the new parish will encompass all of the territory of the previously separate parishes. All of the assets and obligations currently belonging to the formerly separate parishes will be transferred to the Parish Our Lady of Mount Carmel Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary under the canonical merger.
Neither church building will have to close and both will continue to operate as houses of worship.
Changes in the spiritual practices among the faithful, a decrease in available clergy and men and women in consecrated life, changes in the general population within the Diocese, as well as concerns regarding temporal matters led to the merger. Bishop DiMarzio oversaw a comprehensive pastoral plan, which included the whole of the Diocese of Brooklyn.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel parish is world-famous for its annual Giglio Festival which takes place every year in July.
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Brooklyn Eagle Through History
General MacArthur Reviews Sunday School Union Parade
The Brooklyn Sunday School Union Parade has been a beloved tradition since 1816 which makes it even older than the Brooklyn Eagle, which was founded in 1841. The state holiday originated as a way to honor the Sabbath school movement. By 1829, the annual parade was established.
The holiday was created by the New York State Legislature in 1959 in commemoration of the organization of Sunday schools and the Brooklyn Sunday School Union Society.
In the 19th Century, Sabbath or Sunday schools were a powerful feature of education in the city. Churches had very large Sabbath schools in their own buildings. These schools were the primary educators of many African Americans because the public schools were segregated. Quickly, the Sabbath schools lead to the establishment of “African schools” which became public schools.
The Sabbath schools also taught many immigrants bible studies and how to speak, read and write in English. Catholics and Jews established similar schools, noting that they didn’t want the Protestants educating their children.
The Sunday School Union Parade was traditionally held on the first Thursday in June. Not only did the public schools release the youths so they could celebrate their faith, but they got to march in a parade that often brought in famous dignitaries. The parades grew to the point of attracting 75,000 participants. In 1966 the Brooklyn organization was recognized by the U.S. Congress as being the oldest organization of its kind in America.
However, controversy arose over the perceived violation of separation of church and state; although preventing the students from parading could also fall under the “prevent” clause of the First Amendment. The May 27, 1902 Brooklyn Eagle carried an editorial and several letters to the editor on this matter.
“So great has been the storm of protest against the opening of the schools on Anniversary Day, as revealed in the columns of the Eagle, that it now seems possible that the Board of Education will consent to close the schools on the afternoon of June 6.” The Eagle went on to report that a half-holiday would be granted. “The unanimity of sentiment as shown by these protests has had the effect of revealing to the Manhattan members of the Board of Education the fact that whether the schools are closed or not the parade will go on and the classrooms will be empty. Reports of the meager attendance at the Greenpoint schools on the occasion of the parade in that district have probably aided in winning over the members of the opposition.”
On May 31, 1951, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle front page reported that General Douglas MacArthur would be the guest of honor at the Brooklyn Sunday School Union Parade to be held a week hence, on June 7. He would be reviewing the marchers at the 122nd anniversary parade. More than 100,000 Brooklyn children were expected to participate. MacArthur, riding with police escort, would receive the salutes of the marchers. Among the other dignitaries scheduled to review the marchers were Mayor Impelliteri and his wife, Borough President John Cashmore and his spouse, and Brooklyn Eagle publisher Frank D. Schroth.