Thursday, July 1, 2010

Summer's not slow here

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

Main office (718) 624-3770               Email


THIS SUNDAY July 4, 2010


Our Worship Celebration BEGINS at 10:00 a.m. this Sunday and will continue at that hour throughout July and August.


This Sunday, Rev. Phelps has invited friend and colleague Pastor Samir Selmanovic to deliver the sermon "God Our Stranger."   Pastor Selmanovic is a pastor, activist, and author (  After 12 years of pastoring in New York City and Los Angeles, he began to implement a vision here for FaithHouse, a "living room" in which people of all faiths--including "none of the above"--can gather to learn from one another.  His book, It's Really All About God: Reflections of a Muslim Atheist Jewish Christian, was published by Jossey-Bass last year.


Rev. Phelps and Pastor Selmanovic will jointly celebrate the service of Holy Communion with the congregation.  (Rev. Waltemath is on vacation this Sunday.)


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


No Kids Worship


Note that there will be no adult education hour preceding the worship celebration this summer.  The Ten O'Clock Hour will resume in September.



Other News:


We celebrate the arrival of Stella Faye Olson, who entered into this world on May 30, 2010!  She is blessing her parents Diana Kim and Steig Olson and her big sister, Zoe.


On June 30, the Presbytery of New York City took two major actions.  Elder Tony de la Rosa of Los Angeles, a seminary classmate of Rev. Phelps, was elected to serve as Interim Executive Presbyter for up to three years. Tony brings many gifts to this work.  On page 12 of this PDF:  you can read much more about him. 

            The second action the Presbytery took was to downsize staff in the offices at 475 Riverside Drive.  The process the Personnel Committee engaged in, followed by the one that went past midnight on June 30, was exhausting, sad, painful, and necessary.  To cope with vastly reduced income from churches, required annual savings exceeded cuts of 25%, more than $200,000.  All staff positions except Mr. de la Rosa's are restructured, and although it is hoped that current employees will apply for the new positions, there are many fewer positions.  You who have worked with Presbytery staff may wish to send words of thanks before the last day of employment under the old staffing plan, which is July 31.


The 219th General Assembly convenes this Saturday for eight full days.  The term (also "G.A.") refers to the bi-annual legislative assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA).  Every one of the 170 presbyteries covering all the lands of the fifty states will be represented by equal numbers of lay and clergy commissioners as they gather in Minneapolis over the next week.  Some major questions will be addressed.  Along with several other presbyteries, NYC Presbytery is bringing a bill (called an "overture") to rescind the policy that has restricted the rights of gay and lesbian church members to seek ordination.  Especially in the Northeast, churches and presbyteries have met this policy with firm disapproval for many years.  Perhaps it will at last be lifted. Follow proceedings at


The Church office will be closed on Monday July 5 in observance of Independence Day.


Choir Rehearsals   Starting July 4 and throughout the summer, choir members will join the Music Director at 9:00 am on Sunday for the one weekly rehearsal.  Rehearsals on Thursday evenings resume on Thursday, September 2.


Baby Shower: Please join us after the 10 am service on July 11 for a welcoming baby shower for Lynn Schnarr Mullé and David Mullé.  We will gather in the Elliot Room for a celebration of the upcoming birth of their first baby.  If you are interested in joining in the group gift please see Marcia or Edna!


A Phone Directory of First Church Members and Friends is now available.  This will be a very useful tool for strengthening our connections in work and in fellowship.  Get a copy in the foyer entrances directly after worship or you may visit the office during the week or call to have one sent to you.


 Kids Worship this summer: will run through August 22.  Join our teacher Laura Koenig and kids ages 4 and up for faith, fun, and talking vegetables. No Kids Worship on July 4, August 29 & September 5. Our regular Sunday School Year begins on September 12.


Summer Garden Parties: Join us for the first Garden Party of the summer: Friday, July 9th, 5:30-7:30 p.m. in the Peace Garden.  Light refreshments will be served.  FPC's Friday evening Garden Parties will be held throughout the summer.  If you're interested in hosting, please contact Edna Asknes via the Church office.


Communications Team: If you would like to contribute ideas and energy to web site development/enhancement and other strategies and designs for strengthening our community connections, send an email to Richard Greene ( who is organizing volunteers for this work. 


Coping With Job Loss- "Beyond the Grief to Hitting the Pavement." Wednesday evenings from 5:00-6:15p.m. (June 23rd to July 28th) in the Thurman room.  For more information and details, see and/or contact group leader, Tonya Deniz, at


Shakespeare on the Steps: This summer, from July 19-July 30, First Presbyterian Church and teacher Lauren Mancia will be offering a Shakespeare Summer Theater Camp for 7-12 year olds. Classes incorporating voice, movement, acting, and theater games will allow young actors to become acquainted with the exciting world of theater through the language of Shakespeare. $75/camper.  Registration open till, July 8, 2010.  To register contact Jill Huguet at or 718 624-3770.

Summer Music Series: Hymn Sing on the front steps of the church on Thursday, July 15 at 7 p.m.  Please join us for an evening of great music and fellowship to kick off our Summer series this year.  More details to follow.  Contact our Minister of Music Amy Neuner through the Church office at 718-624-3770.

Flower Donations. We welcome flower donations of $30 or more in memory or in honor of friends and loved ones. Call Annie Solages in the Church office at 718-624-3770 or see Barbara Cummings during fellowship hour on Sundays.


Mentoring Youth: If you are interested in mentoring our youth as they continue their faith journey contact Rev. Beth at


Updates on Margaret Grace: Go to


Appointments with Ministry Staff

Call Rev. Phelps at the Church or, as needed, at home: 718 928-3797 or email: . Contact Rev. Waltemath at The Church Office number is 718 624-3770.


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.



On the calendar:

Tuesday, July 6

Living with Loss at 4:45-6:15 p.m. in the Thurman Room. Contact Rev. Charles Monaco at 718-647-5479 or email at


Wednesday, July 7

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


Coping with Job Loss at 5:00-6:15 p.m. in the Thurman  Room. For more information and details, contact Tonya Deniz at 646 289 0872 or


Thursday, July 8

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


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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