I am sitting in Charlotte Patisserie sipping on a large cup of coffee, full from devouring a ratatouille omelet, listening to Amy Winehouse and trying to decide which cake to get for dessert. It’s these little moments that I suspect I’d miss if I were to flee this place one day. In our comfort zone, it’s easy to feel disconnected and turn a blind eye to what is going on in Syria. But if you are in a good place as you read this, imagine life as you know it being torn from you. Look around and try to visualize it turning into a dangerous and scary place. Capture the feeling of desperation that would drive you to risk everything you care about and get on a boat to nowhere specific. I think the very last vestiges of hope would quickly slip away if I stumbled upon strange shores to be met with shut doors and suspicion. Don’t succumb to the culture of fear or indifference. Let’s show love the Greenpoint way!
In its days as the Lutheran Church of the Messiah, the Russell Street fixture was already veering toward a looser interpretation of spirituality. It provided a haven for traditional religious services as much as it accommodated some of the more off-beat tastes of its neighbors, who helped make things like “Punk Rope” and “No Lights No Lycra” a well-known part of Greenpoint life.
Now, membership is open to anyone of any religious persuasion (including all you atheists), making Greenpoint look way ahead of Pope Francis as he graces our city today to promote tolerance and inclusivity. No longer exactly a church, but the “Park Church Co-op,” it stands as a reminder that though religion is beginning to embrace progressive ideals in a much more public way, the movement has been well underway thanks to some of the more low-profile leaders like Pastor Amy Kienzle.
Kienzle officially rebranded the church in June in a move that was largely a response to our changing demographic, even though not all members necessarily welcomed the shift. That said, the future looks bright for Kienzle and her growing community.
With this in mind, Greenpointers sat down with Pastor Amy to get the scoop about all the exciting programs her church is offering to the community these days.
Greetings from Down to Earth Markets, the crew behind the McGolrick Park Farmers Market! We’re open indoors through the winter on Sundays from 11 am to 4 pm. Find us at the Lutheran Church of the Messiah on Russell Street, between Driggs and Nassau Avenues.
Unfortunately, this act of kind faith has ruffled some feathers among those living close by. In a surprising lack of neighborly love, more than 400 residents had signed a petition against the shelter when the idea was first announced at the beginning of the year. Local residents, angered that another homeless shelter was opening in the neighborhood, complained the small shelter would attract mentally unstable men and/or alcoholics to the area, leaving homes open to robberies and break-ins. Continue reading →
Last night, I met with Pastor Amy Kienzle at Lutheran Church of the Messiah (129 Russell St) mid installation of an art show that opens tonight at 7pm. For all you heathens, today is also Ash Wednesday.
The show titled Via Delorosa: Meditation on Mortality is a “sacred exhibit” – a take on The Stations of the Cross, which are different scenes of Jesus’ crucifixion from his arrest and conviction through his entombment.
Half of the show takes place at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Williamsburg (334 So. 5th St) and was co-curated by the Pastor there – Ben McKelahan, along with Pastor Amy and Baxter Alexander – a local musician and artist.
No Light No Lycra, the weekly dancing in the dark party at Lutheran Church of the Messiah (129 Russell St) is having a special group show benefit on December 14th, 2013 to benefit Common Ground, a homeless outreach program. Tickets are only $7! (in advance), $10 at the door.
100% of ticket sales will be donated!
Luke Temple (of Here We Go Magic)
Jo Schornikow (of Phosphoresent)
Laura & Greg
& DJ Pumpkin Patch
Brooklyn Craft Camp FLASH SALE! $100 off with Code FLASH at checkout!
If you’re a crafty type, you won’t want to miss Brooklyn Craft Camp — an epic day of modern making happening in Greenpoint on Saturday, October 5, in the hall of the Church of the Messiah on Russell Street.
Brought to you by the soon-to-launch Brooklyn Craft Company, Craft Camp is a full day of crafting, eating, meeting and greeting! Registration includes four 90-minute modern craft classes — including terrariums, glass etching, stampmaking, papercut, suede tassel charms, sequin bracelets, knitted necklace, needle felting, and more — taught by amazing Brooklyn makers including craft authors, bloggers and designers.
But Brooklyn Craft Camp isn’t just mere crafting. It’s also awesome food — a Peter Pan donut bar for breakfast, a fancy lunch by Greenpoint chef Lisa Leonard Lee, and a cocktail hour. It’s great music with a DJ spinning vintage vinyl all day, a photo booth, aDIY nail art bar, a keynote chat from Jenni Rasosevich of I Spy DIY — and the sparkling company of over a hundred amazing crafty peeps! It’s like a DIY party all day long.
Advance registration is required, so head over to Brooklyn Craft Camp to check out all the classes and grab your spot!
It’s sad to see such a great man go, but we wish him the best of luck! Thanks for everything Griffin! You rule.
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.
Nicole Reed, who began petitioning for a Farmer’s Market in McGolrick park sent me some positive feedback and updates:
The first meeting on 1/30 to discuss the possibility of a Farmer’s Market at McGolrick Park, with 709 signatures in hand, along with the support from District Leader Lincoln Restler, Morgan Pehme of the Friends of McGolrick Park, and Rev. Griffin Thomas of the Church of the Messiah was a success.
Community Markets is on the agenda to present tomorrow night, Thurs., 2/23 at 6:30pm, before the Parks and Waterfront Committee of Community Board 1 of Brooklyn. Location: 435 Graham Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11211. This meeting is open to the public. Please attend to show your support.