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Faith In Brooklyn for January 25: Plymouth Church partners with Restore NYC to support survivors of sex trafficking

January 25, 2019 By Francesca Norsen Tate Brooklyn Daily Eagle
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Plymouth Church led the abolitionist movement in New York City during the 19th century and was a site of the Underground Railroad. The landmark church now supports the anti-trafficking movement in the city. Plymouth teams with other organizations such as Restore NYC to fight modern-day slavery by raising awareness and money to prevent trafficking and aid its survivors.

This Sun., Jan. 27, to observe National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, Plymouth will host a presentation with Chris Muller, director of training and external Affairs for Restore NYC.

His presentation, titled “Sex Is Not Work,” will outline the impact of legalizing and exploiting sexuality. During the program, which begins at 12:30 p.m., attendees will also learn how they can support local trafficking survivors.

Restore NYC is a leading faith-based anti-trafficking organization with the mission to end sex trafficking and make freedom real for trafficking survivors. The nonprofit achieves this by creating innovative solutions for survivors, specializing in safe housing and economic empowerment.

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

Plymouth Church’s anti-trafficking ministry, The New Abolitionists, spearheads community service and fundraising projects. A portion of funds raised from the church’s ongoing thrift shop is donated to a local anti-trafficking organization.

Recent outreach projects have included providing fresh clothing and hygiene products for women in Trafficking Court in Queens, and offering workshops and education events to share the facts about human trafficking and to address the specific needs of survivors.

RSVP is requested but not required. To register, readers can visit


From the Brooklyn Eagle Archives:

Dignitaries gathered at St. George Ballroom to mark Tricentenary of Brooklyn Protestantism

Protestantism’s presence in Brooklyn marks 365 years in 2019. The Brooklyn Eagle of January 23, 1954—65 years ago—gave extensive coverage to the Tercentenary (300th anniversary) of the establishment of Protestantism in Brooklyn—specifically the founding of the three Dutch Reformed churches established here in 1654.

The Tercentenary Gala, held in the ballroom of the St. George Hotel, brought in 1,600 people, including representatives of more than 135 churches and religious organizations. Several key civic and religious dignitaries attended, including Mayor Robert Wagner and former State Supreme Court Justice John Bartels (who later became a federal judge), and the Rev. Gardiner Taylor of Concord Baptist Church.

Frederick Polhemus of Princeton, N.J., a direct descendant of the Rev. Johannes Theodorus Polhemus, received a certificate of recognition. The Rev. Johannes Polhemus had, in 1654, become the first pastor of the three congregations that were established that year: the Old First Reformed Church (in what is now Park Slope), the Flatbush Dutch Reformed Church; and the Flatlands Dutch Reformed Church (on Kings Highway).

The landmarked Greek Revival-style building of the Flatlands Reformed Church was constructed in 1848. The congregation itself was founded in 1654 but didn’t build its first dual worship space/parsonage for another nine years; population growth over the next two centuries warranted a new church. The 1848 church is made of white clapboard with a tall spire and is set in a historic graveyard. The place looks like a Currier and Ives print of a 19th-century New England country church — if one blocks out the vehicular traffic on Kings Highway. Brooklyn Eagle File Photo by Lore Croghan

The Tricentenary Gala, taking place during the height of the Red Scare, held a sobering note. U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower, and Queen Juliana of the Netherlands—who two years prior had visited the Flatbush Reformed Church—sent greetings.

Queen Juliana wrote, “Faith could span an immense ocean in the 17th century. May it now know how to span the enormous difficulties of our times.”

Bishop William Martin, presiding bishop of the Methodist Church and president of the National Council of Churches, warned that “you can say it can’t happen here.

“Who’s going to take our liberties from us?” asked Martin, recalling people living under dictatorships who lost their religious freedom.

Martin’s next statement could itself nowadays be perceived as a violation of religious freedom at a time when people of non-Christian faith traditions were not yet openly welcome in many civic groups.  “If the churches are neglected, if the Bible is closed for one generation…anything can happen in America. Unless, the church Christianize the city, the city will paganize the nation,” he said.


Brooklyn Jewish Community Chorus presents ‘A Song and A Prayer’

Shir Chadash: The Brooklyn Jewish Community Chorus presents “A Song and a Prayer,” its winter concert, this coming Sunday evening, Jan. 27, at the Flatbush Jewish Center (327 East Fifth St.) Concert time is 7 p.m.

Scott Stein conducts the ensemble, with guest soloists Sarah Myerson and Judith Bergson. Adult admission is $15 in advance/$20 at the door; admission for children is $5 in advance/$10 at the door. To reserve tickets, email name(s) and number of tickets by Fri., Jan 25 to [email protected] for payment at the door.

For more interest in Shir Chadash, readers can visit the chorus’ website:


Jewish groups join forces to ease financial burdens during government shutdown

Responding to the financial strain on federal employees who have been furloughed or are working without pay, UJA-Federation of New York and the Hebrew Free Loan Society (HFLS) on Tues., Jan. 22 announced that they will fund interest-free “paycheck” loans that will replace missed paychecks for federal workers who reside in in the five boroughs, Long Island and Westchester who earn $40,000 or less.

UJA-Federation’s Board of Directors voted unanimously to approve a $5 million dollar loan for HFLS to run the program. According to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office, 18,000 federal employees work at affected agencies in New York City.

Eligibility will be established by the employee’s paystub and employee ID.

Employee income will determine eligibility (rather than household income).

The employee’s take-home pay will establish the maximum loan per pay period.

Borrowers will be required to provide one guarantor (HFLS usually requires two guarantors). Repayment will be due only when the government reopens and employees receive back wages. Contractors are not eligible for the loans.

Affected workers in New York City (Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, Bronx and Staten Island), and in Westchester, Nassau and Suffolk Counties, can avail themselves of this program.

Brooklyn has a federal building located downtown, on Cadman Plaza East. Its counterpart in Queens is the Joseph P. Addabbo Federal Building, on Jamaica Ave., in Jamaica.

Borrowers wishing to apply for this loan should visit to download loan application forms.


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