Thursday, March 18, 2010

AT FPC THIS WEEK: Report from Haiti, a Lenten Journey, and More

A weekly e-newsletter of First Presbyterian Church of Brooklyn:

Main office (718) 624-3770               Email



THIS FRIDAY, March 19, 2010:

Special Report From Haiti:  At 7 p.m. in the Elliott Room, Ninaj Raoul of Haitian Women’s Refugees and Dr. Melissa Barber, recently returned from providing medical care in Haiti, will talk about their experiences. Sponsored by the Social Action Committee. For more information please contact Linda Kolts at or Emily Thomas at or call the Church office at 718-624-3770.


THIS SUNDAY, March 21, 2010:

Rev. Stephen H. Phelps, Interim Pastor, will preach a sermon titled: “For the Healing of the Nations.” Recent sermons are available online at, and printed copies are available in the Narthex (Henry Street Foyer).


The nursery will be open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., with Christina and Patty.


ROOTS of OUR RELIGION: Rev. Phelps continues with an introduction to the Old Testament with “Can You Be Blessed When Broken? Wisdom Literature: Job.”  The class meets in the Rose Room at the far end of the second floor of the church.


Other News:


Peace Garden: Green Team 2010 planning meeting on Saturday March 20, 11 to noon just inside the side entrance to the church. All are welcome. Contact Uda, or Jill,  for more information.


Many Mansions: meeting immediately following Worship Service on Sunday March 21 in the Rose Room. If you are interested and would like to join the committee, please contact Emily Thomas at (cell: 347.262.6466, email: )


New Location for Wednesday Evening Lenten Program:  On Wednesday, March 24, our Lenten program will take place at Faith House in Manhattan (, 274 Fifth Ave., next door to Marble Collegiate Church between 29th and 30th Streets.  Faith House gathers people from all religious traditions in its twice-monthly “Living Room” to experience practices and teachings of now one, then another tradition.  On March 24, the pastor of St. Lydia's in the East Village will speak about early Christian worship, and give the Faith House community a taste of how the congregation of St. Lydia’s lives into this ancient ritual.  Simple songs will be sung, scripture explored, and prayers offered in the context of “dinner church.”  PLEASE BRING fresh cut fruit or veggies, olives, cheese or dips. 

First Church members who want to travel together to Faith House should leave from 124 Henry promptly at 6:15 pm to take a train to Faith House.

This will be the final Wednesday Lenten service. Next week is Holy Week, including a Seder on Thursday and a Tenebrae service on Good Friday. (See schedule below) Midweek-Boost resumes on Wednesdays after Easter.




Please come out and celebrate the second performance of FPC's exciting new concert series, MUSIC AT FIRST!  The series is curated by organist/pianist Wil Smith, and features some of our area’s most talented new music ensembles and performers.  In order to introduce our congregation to the music, each performer or ensemble performs a work on the Sunday morning service of the same week of the concert.

Each concert lasts between an hour and a hour and a half, and there is a $10 suggested admission per person which will be collected at the door.


This concert will feature the critically acclaimed, Brooklyn-based pianist KATHLEEN SUPOVÉ, who has been hailed by the Boston Globe as being "a living multimedia work of art."  She will perform works by contemporary composers, including a work for piano and prerecorded sounds by Dutch sensation Jacob TV based on an American informercial for the AB-TRONIC stomach-reducing machine.  You can preview her playing it here:


Please help us make this series a success--your attendance and support ensures that more concerts of all types take place at FPC in the future.  For more information, check out our website designed by FPC member Susan Schultz:



Easter Lilies: If you wish to provide a Lily in honor of or in memory of your loved ones, please fill out the Easter Lilies form available in the Narthex (Henry Street Foyer) or email at, or call the church office at 718-624-3770. A list of names received no later than March 28, 2010 will be published in the Easter Bulletin.


 Holy Week Schedule


Sun.  March 28, 11:00 am       Palm Sunday Service — Rev. Beth Waltemath, preaching


Thu. April 1, 7:00 pm              Maundy Thursday Seder, led by Rev. Beth Waltemath

Elliott Room


Fri. April 2, 7:00 pm               Good Friday-Tenebrae Service


Sun. April 4, 6:30 am              Easter Sunrise Service at the Promenade


Sun. April 4, 11:00 am            Easter Worship Service, Rev. Stephen H. Phelps, preaching


Updates on Margaret Grace: Go to

Consider signing a petition to help St. Vincent’s Hospital (where Margaret Grace is a patient) stay open, so that New York state officials and those involved in its financial future understand it is important to many people:


March of Dimes in Honor of Margaret Grace: Jill Huguet started a team for the March of Dimes, March of the Babies 2010 in honor of Margaret Grace. The walk is on Sunday April 25 at 9 a.m. and it is only 3 miles. If you or your family would like to walk or donate, please click on the link below.


Correspondent desired:  An inmate of Sing Sing Correctional Facility has written to First Church with a simple request. An excerpt: “I have no family or friends or anyone on the outside writing to me. . . I’m hoping that . . . someone within the church will write to me.”  As one who works with groups at the prison, Rev. Phelps is prevented by state policy from corresponding with this man or any other individual at Sing Sing.  However, anyone in the church who would like to think through the possibility of taking up this ministry of compassion should feel free to speak with Rev. Phelps. He has the name and contact information for the particular inmate, and many years of experience in prison ministries.


First Church Staff Email Addresses:

To simplify communications with the web world, we are finally changing our e-addresses to standard business formats, using first initial + whole last name + church domain name. For example:

Rev. Phelps       

Rev. Waltemath

Victor Forde, sexton

Although emails will get through to our church administrator Anne Solages at, Annie notes that it is best to use  That is the address to begin using.  Please delete the old address,


Messages sent to Amy Neuner, Wil Smith, and Sunday School Director Elizabeth de la Garza Vargas with the new addresses will be forwarded to their personal addresses, which have not changed.

Amy Neuner     

Wil Smith          

Elizabeth de la  Garza Vargas   


New boxes can be created very easily.  Church projects—especially those aimed to serve or connect with people outside the church—can benefit when the public has a simple handle for them.  For example, an email for a children’s Shakespeare theater program set for July here at First Church has been created at If you think a box would help your church work, please call the church office to have one set up.


Don’t worry about emails sent to the old AOL addresses.  We will maintain the old AOL account for the next few months so that nothing is missed and make sure you know when they are suspended.  But why not change your address book now, while it’s on your mind?


Cuba Trip Planned with FPC White Rose Ministry

DEADLINE TWO WEEKS AWAY:  Now's the time to decide if you can be part of First Church's delegation to participate in Cuba's National Week Against Homophobia, May 13-21 (and stay longer for an additional program.)  

FPC White Rose Ministry has been invited to participate in several events in Cuba during the country's National Week against Homophobia.  The FPC delegation will be involved in planned programs in Havana, Santa Clara and Veradero with religious and party officials.  Other social and cultural activities will also be scheduled.  Projected cost for participating is $1,800/person, which includes airfare, room, board and travel visas.  Contact either Emily Thomas (cell: 347.262.6466, email: ) or Patrick Dail (cell: 347.880.1530 or email: for more information.


Inquirers Class: A good-sized group of FPC participants is gathering soon to reflect together on the meaning of their faith and the life of First Church.  If you want to take part in these conversations, please contact Paul Austin at


2009 FPC Annual Report: Copies are available in the Narthex (Henry Street Foyer).  If you would like to have the Annual Report mailed to you, please call the Church office at 718 624-3770 or email Annie Solages at An electronic version is also available.


2010 Offering Envelopes are available in the Narthex (Henry Street Foyer).  If you would like to request (or unsubscribe from receiving) offering envelopes for this year or next year please call the Church office at 718 624-3770 or email Annie Solages at


Still Needed: Dick Turmail still is in need of three strong people to help bring a beautiful convertible leather couch from Pacific Street to the Thurman Room. Please call the church office at 718-624-3770 if you can help Dick.



Rev. Phelps’ introduction to the Old Testament continues during the 10 o’ Clock Hour.  Aware that some people can only come once or twice during this season, Rev. Phelps endeavors to make each session make sense to a first-time attender. Remaining classes will look at the books of the Bible in this manner:

March 28: More Wisdom: Psalms and Ecclesiastes

April 4: Big Questions the Bible Only Asks, Never Answers (Literature of 400 BC and later)


Classes are held in the Rose Room at the far end of the second floor.


The Heights Interfaith Shelter needs volunteer cooks and sleepers as backups for members of the three host churches (Assumption – January; Grace – February; Plymouth - March).   If you wish to volunteer to cook meals for 12 (entree and dessert), or stay overnight in the shelter any Monday through Friday, your service is more than welcome.  This is an extremely important effort for our faith community.  If we did not have beds for these men, they would have to spend the night sitting upright on a chair.  Contact Kathy Reynolds ( at Assumption, Mary Lou Wells ( at Plymouth and Vicky Schippers ( at Grace if you can help. If you have additional questions, contact Vicky Schippers ( or speak to Erik Brogger at First Church.


Job Bank: Do you have skills or know of employment? Contact Susan Schultz at  to list your ideas on the FPC Job Bank.  If you are able to help others with writing resumes and cover letters, please also let us know.


Piano and Organ Lessons: Customized piano and organ lessons for kids and adults by FPC organist Wil Smith.  Contact him at or 646-320-0606 for info. 


Haiti Disaster Relief Update:


Humanitarian Aid to Haiti: Barbara Palmer is traveling to Haiti March 24 and is allowed to take 100 pounds of humanitarian supplies, to be delivered to an orphanage and orthopedic clinic. Gratefully accepting donations: gloves, (sterile and non sterile) all sizes, hand sanitizer, ibuprofen, antibiotic ointment, cortisone cream, vitamins, toothbrushes, toothpaste, Benedryl cream, antifungal cream. Also have a list of needed drugs and can take samples from physicians. Will be collecting March 14 and 21 at church, or cash donations and I will buy supplies. For more information, call Barbara at 718-483-6600.


First Church of Brooklyn has raised over $4,550 for Haiti’s relief. Thank you so much for your generous donations. Please continue to support our Haitian brothers and Sisters.


How You Can Help?


Haitian Women for Haitian Refugee
1212 Ocean Ave #5A
Brooklyn, NY 11230


MEDICC is a multiplier. Your donation will touch the lives of people in Haiti and across the globe through the work of thousands of talented young health professionals trained in Cuba in the spirit of public service. To donate by mail, send a check to: MEDICC, P.O. Box 361449, Decatur, GA 30036.


Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA)

To donate online:

Contributions by cash, check, or money order may be sent to:

Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
P.O. Box 643700
Pittsburgh, PA 15264-3700


Partners in Health

To donate online:

Contributions by check – note "Haiti Earthquake Relief" in the memo line – may be sent to:

Partners In Health
P.O. Box 845578
Boston, MA 02284-5578


International Red Cross and Red Crescent

To donate online:





On the calendar:


Sunday, March 21

Many Mansions: meeting in the Rose Room immediately following Worship Service. If you are interested and would like to join the committee, please contact Emily Thomas at (cell: 347.262.6466, email: )


Tuesday, March 23

Living with Loss at 6:00 p.m. in the Thurman Room. Contact Rev. Charles Monaco at 718-647-5479 or email at


Wednesday, March 24

Men’s Breakfast at 7:30 a.m., at the Park Plaza Diner on Cadman Plaza. Contact Jim Palmer at


Evening Lenten Program at 7:00pm in Manhattan. See Other News above.


Thursday, March 25

Food Pantry, 10 to 11 a.m. To volunteer, contact Jane Woland at


FPC Choir Thursday night rehearsals at 7 p.m.   All are welcome.  For more information about FPC Choir please contact our Music Director Amy Neuner at


Friday, March 26

7:30 p.m., Sanctuary $10 suggested admission per person which will be collected at the door. For more information contact Wil Smith at or 646-320-0606. 


Who/where to connect:

Online Donations: Set up a recurring gift to the church through a secure online account.
On the church website,, click the DONATE button at the lower left of the page.  To set up an account, click on the "First Church Donation Account Setup" link. To edit an existing gift, choose the “First Church Donation Login” link.


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