church

The Park Church Co-op Needs Your Help

Pastor Amy in front of the Park Church Co-Op on Russell Street.
Pastor Amy in front of the Park Church Co-Op on Russell Street.

If you’ve ever been to a dance party, a concert, a reading, or a farmers market in Greenpoint, chances are you’ve been to the Park Church Co-op at 129 Russell Street. Greenpoint’s coolest church has been leading cultural venue as well as a space of spirituality and worship since it began its mission as a New Start Ministry in 2015. Now, the church is soliciting donations to continue its work.

Earlier this year, the Co-op was slated to lose funding from the Lutheran Church in America and shut its doors. Thankfully, the Church was granted a reprieve to continue operating til the end of 2018. With that deadline approaching, The Park Church Co-op has launched a campaign “designed to increase the number of worshipers attending Sunday services as well as to generate more giving from the community-at-large to continue and expand the church’s outreach programs.” The goal is for the Park Church Co-op to be fully self-sustaining through donations by the end of 2018.  Continue reading

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Historic Union Baptist Church Reopens its Doors This Weekend (5/6)

Union Baptist Church. Photo: Megan Penmann

The beautiful and landmarked Union Baptist Church (151 Noble Street) has been through a lot in its 170-year history. Having been shuttered by the city, faced demolition and surviving a leadership change and two years of renovations, the church is finally now ready to re-open its doors for rededication this weekend! This Sunday, May 6th at 11am, there will be special music, presentations and preaching from the Montoro Family of Astoria, Queens.

More info on Facebook.

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Park Church Co-Op Exhibition Highlights Female Voices this Holy Week

We all know the Twelve Apostles’ reactions to Jesus’ resurrection. From joyous celebration to Thomas the Doubter’s human skepticism, you might say their responses were the original OMG. But it was women who first encountered Jesus outside the tomb, and men considered their reports “ides tales.” Greenpoint’s Park Church Co-Op, the liberal Lutheran church focused on radical love and inclusion,  is reclaiming these female voices, defiantly (and hysterically) calling men’s history of outshining female voices “mansplaining the resurrection.”

Citing the #metoo movement as an opportunity to empower women’s voices that are often overshadowed in the Bible, Park Church Co-Op (129 Russell Street) will commemorate this Holy Week — the day’s leading up to Jesus’ resurrection — by bringing together artists from varying cultural and religious backgrounds to discuss themes of justice and gender. Curated by Concetta Abbate and Pastor Amy Kienzle (one of Brooklyn Magazine‘s Top 100 Influencers), this Friday’s exhibit opening, from 6 to 10 PM, jumpstarts a week of events that blend art, religion, and activism. The exhibition will continue through April 1, Easter Sunday.

As with any wholesome and hip church, all are welcome.

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O Holy Night: North Brooklyn Christmas Services Roundup!


For many folks, attending church is an annual event. Luckily we have some pretty cool houses of worship right here in our neighborhood, if you’d like to dabble in holiday worship this year.
Continue reading

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Holiday Caroling With Park Church Co-Op This Saturday! (12/2)

Holiday Caroling Park Church Co-Op

Jingle your bells and wish your neighbors a Merry Christmas by joining the Park Church Co-Op’s Holiday Caroling this weekend, Saturday Dec 2nd at 9am!

“Join us for some singing at Park Church Co-op! We’ll start our morning with hot chocolate and breakfast at 129 Russell Street where we’ll practice kid-friendly holiday tunes. Then we will walk over to St. John Lutheran’s Church (155 Milton St) to sing for those attending their community meal! Meet us promptly at 9am. Get a head start with practicing our song book, available at this link.

Cost: FREE.
RSVP on Facebook, or at [email protected]

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A Night of Experimental Jazz & Lydia Lunch at the Park Church Co-Op

Lydia Lunch performs, speaking about misogyny and today’s pessimistic world. Photo: Angelica Hill

Last Thursday, artist Martynka Wawrzyniak hosted “A Night of Experimental Jazz & Lydia Lunch” at the Park Church Co-Op (129 Russell Street) to support her McGolrick Park community art installation, Ziemia.  Ziemia, when finished, will consist of a large ceramic orb made from soil from across the globe and placed in a carefully cultivated meadow in McGolrick Park, adjacent to Russell Street between Nassau Ave and Driggs Ave.

The Park Church Co-Op was dimly lit, the stage awash with red and blue light. Meditative electronic new-age music played as the image of Jesus on the crucifix centered on the back wall looked over the scene. It may not seem like the most likely venue for a night of experimental jazz, but Pastor Amy Kienzle remarked that this event was part of the church’s larger event series that supports community art. And with Wawrzyniak being such an enthusiastic member of the church she felt it was important to support. She added that the church “believes in art and it being spiritually beneficial.” Continue reading

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Meet Ann Kansfield, Greenpoint’s Coolest Pastor

Pastor Ann Kansfield. Photo via Greenpoint Reformed Church
Rev. Ann Kansfield. Photo via Greenpoint Reformed Church

If you think that all pastors are uptight, judgmental, straight laced, bores, that only shows you never met Reverend Ann Kansfield. I spoke with Ann for an hour and a half and the time seemed to whiz by. She is a great conversationalist with a disarming sense of humor, most of it self-deprecating.

I took careful notes on our conversation, but experienced writer’s block when trying to write about her. Suddenly, I had an aha moment, and realized why. Ann very rarely speaks in first person. She avoids the pronoun I, and invariably shifts from saying I to we. I realized that Ann is one of the least egotistical people I have ever met. Even though she was chosen as the New York Times person of the year in 2016, Ann is the personification of humility. As the old saying goes, “There is no I in team,” and Ann is the consummate team builder. Continue reading

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Patrick Keely, The Prolific Architect of Saint Anthony of Padua Church

Saint Anthony of Padua Church - image via Historic Districts Council
Saint Anthony of Padua Church. Photo via Historic Districts Council

For years I passed the graceful façade of Saint Anthony of Padua church (862 Manhattan Avenue) and admired its beauty, but never really thought much about the man who built it. Recently I researched the life of the amazing man who built this Greenpoint landmark and his story is every bit as amazing as the church he built.

Patrick Keely (1816-1896) was the most prolific church builder in American history, constructing, by some estimates, seven hundred churches stretching from Nova Scotia to the Gulf of Mexico and from New England to Iowa. He built St. Anthony’s in 1876. It is like many of his churches built in the neo-gothic style. Keely’s prolific career is all the more shocking when we consider that he never received any formal training as an architect. Continue reading

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A History of Greenpoint in 25 Buildings: St. Anthony of Padua Church

St Anthony's, illustration by Sara Harvey
St Anthony’s, illustration by Sara Harvey

For many Greenpointers there is no more iconic local image than the façade of St. Anthony of Padua church on Manhattan Avenue at Milton Street. The 240-foot-high church steeple is a landmark and the church is angled in so that it commands a sweeping vista of Milton Street. It is one of the most elegant churches in all of Brooklyn, and was built by one of the most prolific church architects in American history, Patrick Keely of Ireland, who designed at least six hundred other churches around North America—but few with the simple elegance of St. Anthony. Many say that the church on Manhattan Avenue is, in fact, his finest creation.
The Manhattan Avenue structure is not the first St. Anthony of Padua. The original church was built on India Street in 1858, but it proved too small for the mushrooming Catholic population and the famous Bishop Loughlin sought to buy a site to construct a much larger church. In 1865 Samuel Tilden sold five lots along Manhattan Avenue to the Catholic Church, generously charging the church for only one lot, even though Tilden was not a Catholic. The church acquired more land on Leonard Street in 1873 and in the same year the cornerstone was laid. Continue reading

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A History of Greenpoint in 25 Buildings: St. Stanislaus Kostka Church

Saint Stanislaus Kostka Church - Illustration by Sara Harvey
Saint Stanislaus Kostka Church – Illustration by Sara Harvey

Perhaps no local building defines Polish Greenpoint than St. Stanislaus Kostka Church at 607 Humboldt Street. St Stanislaus Kostka is home to the largest Polish Catholic congregation in Brooklyn. Each weekend nine masses are celebrated, five in Polish and four in English. This parish also has an elementary school with 300 students and another 300 who attend Sunday school. Each Sunday thousands of the faithful attend mass there. It is where many locals were christened, received their first communion and were married. When Pope John Paul II, the Polish Pope, visited New York he had to visit his people’s church. John Paul II, still as Cardinal Karol Wojtyla, prayed in the parish during his 1969 visit when he spoke from the marble pulpit, prayed near the altar and received the heartfelt wishes of hundreds of local Catholics. There is a statue of John Paul II outside the church, which implores the faithful, “Nie Boj sie,” Don’t be afraid. Continue reading

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