religion

Greenpoint Power Couples – Ann & Jen, Greenpoint Reformed Church

Ann & Jen, Greenpoint Reformed Church

The next love story in our Valentine’s Day series is courtesy of Rev. Ann Kansfield and Rev. Jennifer Aull, who are co-pastors at Greenpoint Reformed Churchon Milton Street. Jen is also a licensed marriage and family therapist with a practice in North Brooklyn and midtown. Read on to hear more about how they met and established roots in Greenpoint. Continue reading

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Ask El Padre: Displaced Disciple

Question: What do you do when you have very deep roots within a church that you love and sacrifice for, and then in comes a new honcho who stops ALL ACTIVITIES within the church and Parish. The Parish was finally in a good place, someplace it had not been in awhile and wham, torn to pieces again. Do you look for a new Parish or do you keep fighting those in charge?

Dear Displaced Disciple,

It sounds like you’re going through some difficult changes in your local church. Who knows, you could be describing my church. Over the time that I’ve served the Greenpoint Reformed Church, lots of changes have occurred. I’m sure that some of these were greeted with joy and others…well, I know that some folks aren’t so thrilled with the changes that have been made.

Houses of worship, especially in a city as vibrant as ours, are constantly changing. Continue reading

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All About The Giglio: The Feast

Zeppole + Rocco (my dad)

The feast is starting today! And it’s not just about winning goldfish and eating zeppoles, though that is how we celebrate it in my family. The story behind the feast began in a little town outside of Naples called Nola.

(If you don’t know what a zeppole is, read about it here.)

The feast in “Italian Williamsburg” is actually two feasts in one. The “Giglio” part of the feast honors Saint Paolino of Nola, who is celebrated because he sacrificed himself to North African slave abducting pirates in order to free a young man from the hometown. Word spread of his courage and a Turkish sultan talked to a guy and Saint Paolini and his “paesani” (homeboys) were freed.

The feast culminates on July 16th to honor Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Referred to as the Blessed Mother, the devotion to the Virgin by Southern Italians often leaves you asking, “God who?”

Even though we love our Madonna in Brooklyn, that aspect of the feast was added on later. The feast was originally was all about the Giglio. Continue reading

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A Letter from The Pastor: Griffin Resigns

It’s sad to see such a great man go, but we wish him the best of luck! Thanks for everything Griffin! You rule.

Dear Friends,

On Monday evening at the Congregational Council meeting, I submitted my resignation as the pastor of the Lutheran Church of the Messiah. It has been my honor to serve you for the last seven and a half years. You have been my teachers and friends. For that, I am eternally grateful. Together, we have worked to reach out to the community in innovative ways — being a beacon of hope to our neighbors and beyond. 

As I enter a new decade in my life, I am feeling called by God into new adventures in my personal and professional life. I will be moving to Boston. At this time, I do not have a pastoral call or a job secured, but I have several possibilities in the mix. I am looking forward to what God has in store for me!

I have spoken with Bishop Rimbo about my plans. He and his staff are committed to walking closely with the congregation through the upcoming transition. The work accomplished by the Messiah/St. John’s dialog committee has laid the groundwork for moving forward together. Messiah is a resilient congregation, and I know that the future is bright even though it is a bit unclear at this time.

I plan to serve through the end of June, and my last Sunday will be June 24. I look forward to making the most of these final days with you. 

Again, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your on-going prayers and support. 

Grace and peace,
The Rev. Griffin Thomas
Pastor

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PASTOR ANN ON SIDEWALK PERMITS

When I heard Lokal got a citation for serving Brunch on the sidewalk before noon on Sunday because it would prevent people from making it to church, I thought, “You gotta be kidding me!” Aetheism, laziness and in my experience hangovers are what stop people from attending. But let’s hear what my badass and hilarious preacher Ann Kansfield has to say:

Dear Members of Community Board 1:

This letter is in regard to sidewalk café seating, specifically the City prohibition against outdoor seating before noon on the Lord’s Day. The notion that sidewalk dining in some way restricts, inhibits or in any other way interferes with church attendance is utter hogwash. Consequently, I respectfully request that you not cite religious observance, specifically church attendance, as an argument against sidewalk dining. Unless a local clergyperson or other representative from a faith community actually complains about an issue, it is not an issue for us. To my knowledge, neither I, nor none of my clergy colleagues, have voiced any complaint about this issue.

Two observations might be additionally relevant. If there were so many church-going people in Greenpoint and Williamsburg that sidewalk seating would interfere with church attendance, all of our churches would be packed full of people. This is not the case.

Sunday morning worship at the Greenpoint Reformed Church is so exciting and my sermons are so riveting and life-changing that sidewalk seating in no way keeps our congregation from attending services here. We simply traverse along the empty portion of the sidewalk and are able to get to church.

Lastly, regarding the law itself. By only pertaining to Sundays, the law clearly discriminates against others who observe Sabbath on other days of the week. Therefore, it would be my hope that the community board would petition the City to eliminate the law all together.

Sincerely yours,

Rev. Ann Kansfield
Co-Pastor
Greenpoint Reformed Church

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