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 →
Since it opened its doors in 2015, the Park Church co-op has been a unique space for both community gathering and worship in Greenpoint. Pastor Amy Kienzie describes the church as “more a new start ministry than a traditional Lutheran Church,” and that non-traditional approach has helped make the Park Church Co-op a welcome and beloved fixture in the neighborhood. The Co-op is well known for opening its doors to non-religious community events such as farmer’s markets, concerts, No Lights No Lycra dances, Drag Queen story hours and even a pop-up library.
Recently, it looked like Greenpoint was going to lose this vital and welcoming space. Pastor Amy’s last sermon was set for April 15th, as the Lutheran Church in American declined to continue grant funding the ministry at the Park Church Co-op. In reaching their decision, the Bishop’s office maintained that the Park Church Co-op didn’t have a large enough membership to warrant continued funding.
While the current congregation is small, 12-15 people on any given Sunday (with 40 people at Thursday Compline services, and growing to at least a hundred people at Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve), it is deeply connected to the space and to the community. Member Suzanne Green explains, “we’re vey candid and open here.” That inclusivity attracted her to the Park Church Co-op. She comes all the way from Fort Greene to be involved because she appreciates Pastor Amy’s non-traditional approach. “When you’re actually involved,” she says, “the message is so much closer to what’s actually happening in your own life.” And that involvement extends to the community, and into McGolrick Park in particular. Partitioner Lana Bliss, from Sunnyside, says, “There’s nothing better than in the springtime walking over here and walking through the park. And the farmer’s markets out there, it’s just beautiful.”
The passion of Park Church partitioners seems to have moved the Bishop’s office to grant a reprieve! Pastor Amy told us on March 19th that that the congregation will have a 9 month probationary period with funding to try and grow in funding and worship numbers! In that time, the congregation on Russell Street will try to make its unique approach to spirituality a sustainable part of the community that will hopefully have a home in Greenpoint for years to come. Continue reading →