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.
WEDNESDAY 7/02 ♥ The Great Reissdorf Kölsch-Off @ The Diamond (43 Franklin St) 8pm, FREE, Watch bartenders compete to see who can pour the fastest Kranz and enjoy all the complimentary Kölsch, More info * Stargazing with the Tipi Project @ Havemeyer Park (South 4th btw Kent & Wythe) 8pm, FREE, See the stars from the park with members of the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York, More info * House of Screwball’s Circus of Dreams @ Bizarre Bushwick (12 Jefferson St) 9pm, $5–$15, Acrobats, magicians, burlesque, and more, RSVP Continue reading →
It takes place inside a dimly lit church where attendants are encouraged to do nothing but dance in the dark. It’s an ingenious alternative to dancing in clubs where intoxicated douchebags come aplenty and shorts skirts and heels make for an eyesore. Nothing will come between you and your beats. Ladies won’t be accosted by an ugly drunk fellow as there is neither alcohol or enough lighting to actually see each other. And men won’t feel the pressure to tap their wallets to get a girl to dance with them for the same reasons stated above.
Creepily but awesomely enough, this is a pure and spiritual experience, releasing that urge to shake and doing it without dealing with the social nuances of dancing in public. I’m personally super stoked about this as it allows me to do what I do at home alone, fist pumping and booty shaking with complete freedom, but with better sound and music and within a community of fellow dance freaks.