Brooklyn Boro

Faith In Brooklyn for August 15

August 15, 2018 By Francesca Norsen Tate, Religion Editor Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The singers enjoy the “herzlich wilkommen” that Pastor Klaus Dieter Gress (at right) expresses to them. Photo by Francesca N. Tate
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Youth Choir from Weinheim Gives Concert At Church that Shares its German Heritage

Zion German Evangelical Lutheran Church and Pastor Klaus Dieter Gress welcomed the Vivida Banda Youth Choir from Germany last week as part of the ensemble’s first U.S. tour.

Vivida Banda, whose youths and parents describe themselves as a big intergenerational family, sings in several languages. They opened their full-length, two-hour concert on the outdoor steps of the church on Henry Street with a spiritual, “Jesus in the Morning.”

The ensemble then moved into the sanctuary, reprising this opening hymn and offering a wide repertoire of English-language pieces, including “What a Wonderful World” (made famous by Louis Armstrong), “You Raise Me Up” and “The Storm Is Passing Over,” as well as German and Swedish songs. They crunched a demanding tour into about three days, also singing at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

News for those who live, work and play in Brooklyn and beyond

The youths are also part of the Singschule of the Chöre Peterskirche Weinheim, where they begin their musical training as early as toddlers. They describe the Singschule as an intergenerational family which offers several different types of choir experiences, from toddler and youth choirs to elder choir and the Adult Kantorei in between. They also have bands and a Gospel choir.

The choir’s founder/choral director is Anne Christine Langenbach. Her husband Simon is piano accompanist. Their son Jakob plays trumpet.

The youths’ biggest surprise about New York City: “the food,” Miriam, a choir member, told INBrooklyn. “I think there are a lot of small things standing out, for example, how different the food is and how everyone is so nice. But I think what really stood out to me was when we went to Times Square yesterday in the evening—because it is way bigger than everything I have ever seen in my life. The [food] portions are bigger and there are so many more items. You know, you don’t just order a burger, you order a burger and then you order four different toppings for that.”

Her choirmate Isabelle quickly found a corpus metaphor for New York City: “There are just so many pieces, so many different stories coming together as whole, and if you walk down the streets you see so many different situations of life coming together, it’s just beautiful.”

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Catholic Media Groups Partner to Cover World Meeting of Families in Ireland

Currents News and Crux, a Catholic news website, are partnering to provide in-depth coverage of the World Meeting of Families in Dublin, Ireland next week.

Held triennially, the celebration hosts hundreds of thousands of people and is the world’s largest Catholic gathering of families.

The meeting, from August 21-26, will feature an open-air mass with Pope Francis, as well as workshops and presentations. It comes in the wake of a vote to reform abortion laws and takes place nearly a decade after Ireland’s clerical sex abuse scandal first broke.

Once deemed the most “Catholic country,” Ireland is witnessing its church in the midst of advocating a new chapter and mission for the family in the context of the 21st century.

During the weeklong event, Currents News and Crux will explore theology, doctrine, liturgy, practices and traditions of Catholicism in the context of the life of modern-day Catholics, giving full voice to disagreements and challenges facing the church and believers.

The Diocese of Brooklyn’s DeSales Media produces Currents News. Currents’ Liz Faublas will anchor coverage from New York, while correspondents Michelle Powers and Tim Harfmann report from Ireland. Members of Crux’s editorial team will offer analysis and expertise. Concurrently, Currents News’ reports will appear on Crux’s website.

Television coverage takes place from Monday, August 20 to Friday, August 24 on NET-TV’s Currents News at 7:30 p.m. EDT. Extended live coverage will begin with Pope Francis’s arrival in Dublin on Saturday, August 25 at 5:30 a.m. EDT, and then again on Sunday, August 26 at 4:15 a.m.

Currents News airs on NET-TV in the New York City area on Spectrum, channel 97; Optimum, channel 30; and Verizon Fios, channel 48. Live streaming is available at

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Religion in the original Brooklyn Eagle: August 20, 1945

Brooklyn Prays for Victory and Peace

The religion section of the Monday, August 20, 1945 Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported, “Thousands of Brooklyn residents thronged church and synagogue yesterday to attend services held in virtually every borough house of worship in line with President Truman’s proclamation making the day one of national prayer and thanksgiving for victory and peace.”

The Eagle quoted several clergy including Rabbi Samuel J. Levinson of Temple Beth Emeth on Marlborough Road in Victorian Flatbush.

Offering prayers for the future of America, Rabbi Levinson counseled his congregation to “divest their minds of hatred, and not to indulge in recrimination,” according to the Eagle story. He said, “It is difficult to feel as one with our enemies, but we must educate them and ourselves before the true brotherhood of man can come about.”

Today, in 2018, Temple Beth Emeth is a thriving congregation, with a Borough Park synagogue having recently merged with the 1911 temple. Its new name is Beth Shalom Emeth Reform Temple.




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