Brooklyn Boro

Faith In Brooklyn for August 8

August 8, 2018 By Francesca Norsen Tate, Religion Editor Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Pam McAllister, director of music at the Park Slope United Methodist Church, will be the presenter at next week’s community-wide August Hymn Sing, hosted at Grace Church-Brooklyn Heights. Photo courtesy of Pam McAllister
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Thunderstorm Bolsters Mood Of Praising God Through Song

Lord of all Creation — 2. Thor, the Norse god of thunder and lightning — 1.

Over the millennia, a wealth of songs and melodies have been created, in all kinds of situations, to praise God. On Tuesday night, August 7, a group of robust hymn-lovers from several Brooklyn congregations could be heard singing David N. Johnson’s danceable “Earth and All Stars,” while an electrical storm raged outdoors.

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The evening’s presenter, the Rev. Dr. Allen Robinson, rector of Grace Church, even led the group in singing the beloved Christmas carol, “O Come All Ye Faithful”—perhaps as a way to cool down during the latest heat wave. The August Tuesday Hymn Sing series, which became a tradition in 2004, explores the wide treasury of hymnody from the Episcopal/Anglican tradition as well as spirituals and new works.

Next week’s presenter (Tuesday, August 14 at 7 p.m.) is Pam McAllister, a church organist since age 15, music director of the Park Slope United Methodist Church, and a frequent participant in the popular Summer Sings at Grace Church Brooklyn Heights.

McAllister currently blogs at “Ask Her About Hymn(s)” McAllister is a member of the Hymn Society of the United States and Canada and the American Guild of Organists-Brooklyn Chapter.

She is also the author of nine published books (subjects include Shakespeare, Mark Twain, feminism, nonviolence and more). She has also written columns about sacred congregational song for two magazines: The Progressive Christian and The Hymn.

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Several FPWA Scholarship Winners Hail From Brooklyn

The Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies (FPWA) presented 14 college students with a $2,000 scholarship at its 2018 College Scholarship awards breakfast held recently in Lower Manhattan.

Several of  this year’s recipients are Brooklynites—drawn from a pool of New York residents—who are in their junior and senior year of college, and were recommended for the scholarship by FPWA’s network of community-based member agencies.

Students were selected for their individual abilities to excel despite challenging circumstances and have demonstrated a strong commitment to furthering their education.

The Brooklyn winners include Megan Soto, Sarah Slater, Tiara Simons, Jermaine Meadows, Jermani Faulk and Noeimie Desir.

Soto, a Brooklyn College senior, said, “My dream job in life is to become a speech pathologist down the line. Right now, I am a communications major and I want to be successful, and help children and people who are struggling.” Soto was recommended for the scholarship by Goddard Riverside Community Center.

Faulk, a senior at Binghamton University, said, “My education is the most important thing to me in my life right now…this scholarship will allow a kid out of East New York, who never knew he would be in college in the first place, to be the first in his family to obtain a bachelor’s degree.”

A political science major, Faulk and Meadows, another first-generation college student and physical education major, were recommended for the scholarship by Cypress Hills LDC.

The FPWA college scholarships are funded by the New York Times Neediest Cases. FPWA is an anti-poverty policy and advocacy organization committed to economic opportunity and upward mobility.  It has had a prominent New York presence for nearly 100 years.

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From the Brooklyn Eagle of August 16, 1909

New Assumption Church Building Is Dedicated

The Brooklyn Eagle reported the dedication of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church, which took place on the parish’s patronal feast day of August 15. The Assumption commemorates a Mystery of the Catholic Church (and of the Rosary) that the body of the Virgin Mary—mother of Jesus—was deemed too holy to decay and was carried into heaven.

Brooklyn Diocesan Bishop Charles Edward McDonnell, who had laid the foundation of the church the previous December, presided at the dedication High Mass, with the Rev. J.F. Mealia as celebrant.

“The dedicatory sermon was delivered by the Rev. William T. McGuirl, who paid a high tribute to the successful efforts of the pastor of the church, the Rev. Dr. William J. Donaldson. The interior decorations are light, with the exception of the woodwork, which is of dark oak. The walls are decorated in light colors, with gold bands. The sanctuary rail is of white and gold, and the large altar is of white marble. The organ is already in place in the loft at the entrance of the edifice. All of the windows are of stained glass and were made in Germany from special designs. The exterior of the church is of light pressed brick, terra cotta trimmings and of Italian Renaissance style. There are towers at either side of the entrance rising to a height of 124 feet. The church has a frontage of 66 feet and is 446 feet in depth. The seating capacity is one thousand. The basement, formerly used for worship, will now be utilized as a parish hall. Erected in connection with the church is a parish house for the accommodation of the clergy, and a parochial school will be ready soon. After the dedication exercises, clergymen and others taking active part in the ceremonies were the guests of the pastor of the church at dinner in the Hotel St. George. Solemn vespers were sung in the evening at half-past seven o’clock. The Rev. Edward McCue, rector at St. Joseph’s Church, Kensington, NY, officiated.”

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From the Brooklyn Eagle of August 9, 1923

Brooklynites of All Faiths Mourn President Harding

On August 9, 1923, the entire nation was mourning the loss of President Warren G. Harding, who had died the week before. The Eagle’s front-page coverage of the funeral and local observances stretched through several pages.

One front-page story began, “Whenever the people gather in Brooklyn tomorrow, whether it be in church, the meeting place of some secular organization, in temple, hall or the shelter of their own homes, the one dominant and all-pervading note will be that of deep sorrow over the death of Warren G. Harding.

“For the time being, the entire city will be one vast congregation, without distinction of creed of nationality–in which Jew and Gentile, Catholic and Protestant, or those who have affiliated with no church, will be of one mind in paying their meed of tribute to the plain man of the people who became the leader of the Great Republic.”

Harding had died suddenly—some historical accounts give the cause as a heart attack, and others say a stroke—on August 2 in San Francisco. He was touring Alaska and the West Coast. His Cabinet was ridden with allegation of corruption–the Teapot Dome Scandal was one example. However, Harding himself was considered by many to have been an honorable man.



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