Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Michigan church visits New Utrecht

New Era Reformed Church, New Era, Michigan did tremendous volunteer work in repair and painting at the New Utrecht Reformed Church. They also attended the Men of Valor service on Sunday, June 11 and a luncheon afterwards. The church extends great thanks to them for their mission trip to Brooklyn!

Men of Valor 2006

At the 11 AM service at the Parish House on Sunday, June 11, two Men of Valor, Sons of Micah were honored by the New Utrecht Reformed Church. The honorees were Robert Fabiszak, husband of Elder Louise Fabiszak, and the Rev. Young Min Kim, pastor of the Mirral Church. Both men were accompanied by members of their families. A luncheon followed afterwards.

Robert Fabiszak (left) accompanied by his wife Louise (2nd from right) and his two daughters.

The Rev. Young Min Kim, pastor of the Mirral Church.

Summer message from the Rev. Terry Troia

June 25, 2006

Dear Friends and Family of New Utrecht,

I want to wish each and every one of you a peaceful, restful, safe, sane, happy and holy summer break from school and work and the pressures of city life. I know that each of you carries a burden that God seeks to lift from your shoulders: the mourning of a recently lost loved one, a sick or aged family member, a child in trouble, parents or family who need you but who live far away, or the experience of your own spiritual or physical or emotional frailty that gives us pause. I invite you, as the disciples yielded their fear to the Jesus present among them in this week’s gospel reading, to allow God to lift the fear and the burden from your lives. Trust in God’s power to calm the storms we suffer. Trust in God’s power to hold us safe. Trust in God’s power to bring peace and stillness to our lives. Do not be afraid of the storms of life. More so, do not fear the power of God in your own lives. Yield yourself over to God and the spirit will work within you and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit will be present to you, drenching you with grace.

As many of you know, I have been preoccupied with the serious illness of my father these last four months. He is now being sustained on a respirator at the Intensive Care Unit of Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital and he lingers between life and death. I ask your prayers for him that God may heal his lungs and allow him to breathe independently again. I ask your prayers for myself and my family that God may sustain us in this time of journey.

Please know that while I am not filling the pulpit this summer to seek my own rest, renewal and to give of myself to my family, I am available to New Utrecht for its pastoral needs and concerns. Do not hesitate to call contact Deacon Rose Lood at 718-745-1269 over the summer. She will reach out to me as I am needed.

Take care and Godspeed ----terry

The Reverend Dr. Terry Troia, minister of the New Utrecht Reformed Church since 1994, also serves as the Director of Project Hospitality, an interfaith effort serving hungry and homeless persons and people living with HIV in Staten Island, NY. She is also an adjunct faculty member at the City Univeristy of NY - College of Technology. Rev. Troia is a graduate of St. Mary's Seminary & University, Baltimore and completed post graduate work in Christian Ethics at Union Theolgical Seminary, NY and the Seminario Biblico Latinoamericano, San Jose, Costa Rica. 

Monday, June 26, 2006

Brooklyn school works to save landmark

Fourth-graders from P.S. 205 Clarion School, on 20th Ave., getting a close-up look at a 12-foot by 18-foot Betsy Ross flag near the famous Liberty Pole on the historic grounds of the New Utrecht Reformed Church in Bensonhurst. Assisting in one of the educational programs in the historic complex are staff members of the Brooklyn historic organization, Friends of Historic New Utrecht. (Photo by Friends of Historic New Utrecht)

Friends of Historic New Utrecht
New Utrecht Reformed Church


Fourth-graders Contribute - and Learn - at Brooklyn Historic Site

BROOKLYN - P.S. 205 Clarion School, on 20th Ave., is putting the school's mission statement into practice as it pledges to help save one of Brooklyn's most treasured landmarks, the New Utrecht Reformed Church building on 18th Ave. and 84th St. in Bensonhurst.

The stone and wood structure, dating back to 1828, is the focus of a nearly $2 million campaign to pay for repair and restoration. Scaffolding erected recently on the outside shows that progress is being made since the building was closed in December 2003.

About 30 students and staff from P.S. 205 took a page from their mission statement when they visited the historic site and were met by Robert Buonvino, president of the Friends of Historic New Utrecht. The statement says: "P.S. 205 is dedicated to the creation of a synergetic educational environment where students, teachers, administrators, parents and community work hard together as a family, to build strong, confident and independent learners who excel."

"That's what we found when I met the students at the front gate," Mr. Buonvino says. "The fourth-graders were eager to learn all they can about New Utrecht's history in Brooklyn as a 'cradle of liberty;' they raised a 12-foot by 18-foot Betsy Ross flag on the Liberty Pole." The 106- foot pole, the last of its kind in the nation, sits on the church's front lawn. The first such pole was placed there in 1783 when the British had left.

P.S. 205's mission statement also recognizes that "children have different learning styles, ability levels, challenges, life experiences, family backgrounds and cultures," and the school designs learning experiences with that in mind. "We spoke of the significance of the flagpole to the United States, and I asked how many of the students were born in another country, and many hands went up," Mr. Buonvino said. "We spoke of how our parents or grandparents or greatgrandparents came as immigrants, many seeking freedom of religion and a better life for their children."

He said the countries where the Brooklyn fourth-graders had family ties included Malaysia, Egypt, Ecuador, Italy, Lithuania, Pakistan, Israel, China, South Korea, Ireland, Mexico and Russia. "More evidence that Brooklyn is a tremendously diverse borough," the historian said. "As we spoke of migration over the years and immigration and the significance of the American flag, we told the students about the history of the New Utrecht community and visited the church's 1654 cemetery, where many Dutch settlers are buried."

As part of their vow to keep in contact with the Friends organization to save the historic site, P.S. 205 students voted to make a $500 contribution to the Friends of Historic New Utrecht educational program. Through a "Penny Harvest," students collect pennies from friends, families and neighbors that they vote to spend for the benefit of the community.

"These young citizens are fully behind helping us save these historic Brooklyn grounds for future generations," Mr. Buonvino said. "Hopefully, that will serve as an inspiration, especially to others living in the parts of the borough that were in the old town of New Utrecht."

P.S. 205's mission statement also tells of designing "learning experiences that are standards driven with the expectation that each student will be empowered for life with the desire to search for knowledge." With the assistance of Principal Beth Grater and Parent Coordinator Joyce Fisher, Mr. Buonovino said, the school and the historic organization are finding new ways to enhance the organization's educational-cultural programs. Among its other contributions, P.S. 205 is looking into developing a video documentary on the progress of the restoration.

More information on the history of New Utrecht is available at (718) 256-7173 and (718) 234-9268 and www.historicnewutrecht.org and www.newutrechtchurch.org.


Public relations services donated by bhprEspeciallyForChurches June 2006

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Readings: Summer 2006

Readings for Proper 8 (13) to Proper 17 (22), Year B from the Revised Common Lectionary at the Vanderbilt Divinity Library (see below)

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Readings: June 25 - Proper 7B

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Readings: June 18 - Proper 6B

With Church Still Closed, Over 100 School Children Get 'Outside History Lesson'

Friends of Historic New Utrecht

Eds: Photos from the Liberty Weekend 2006 events - including pictures of the new scaffolding outside the old church building - are available at 917-345-9000. The events were held Friday, June 2 through Sunday, June 4. Photo discs also may be obtained for your photo libraries.


With Church Still Closed, Over 100 School Children Get 'Outside History Lesson'

BROOKLYN - With the old New Utrecht Reformed Church in Bensonhurst still closed for a nearly $2 million restoration, over 150 Brooklyn school children were given an "outside history lesson" during the 2006 Liberty Weekend sponsored by the Friends of Historic New Utrecht, the New Utrecht Liberty Pole Association and the church.

Until December 2003, most of the Friends' educational programs were centered inside the 1828 church building, on 18th Ave. and 84th St. (Liberty Pole Blvd.). "We are determined to carry on while the renovation takes place," said Robert Buonvino, president of the New Utrecht history organization. "Nowadays, the community can tell by the scaffolding outside the building that progress is being made."

Each year hundreds of visitors participating in the Liberty Weekend activities walk through a Civil War Encampment prepared by the 14th Brooklyn Regiment, Co. 'H', on the church lawn, featuring the Cannon of Winslow Battery 'D'.

Some 160 youngsters from public and private schools in School Region 7 attended "outside classes" as a "living history" program was conducted on the church grounds with an emphasis on the Revolutionary and Civil Wars.

Participants included New York State Spanish re-enactors who led a parade to the church's old Dutch cemetery, which dates from the 17th century, where a wreath was placed near the monument of Gen. Nathaniel Woodhull, who was imprisoned by the British at the site and later died of his wounds.

Also during the Liberty Weekend, a wreath was placed at the New Utrecht Liberty Pole in honor of American veterans of all wars. The New Utrecht High School band led the raising of the colors of a replica of the Betsy Ross flag at the 106-foot flagpole on the church lawn. The first such pole was erected there 223 years ago in celebration of the departure of the British.
Over 125 people attended a concert given by the Interschool Orchestra Concert Band under the direction of Brian P. Worsdale.

Government representatives who joined in the Liberty Weekend celebration included state senator Martin Golden and city councilman Vincent Gentile. Also participating was Brooklyn attorney Stephen A. Harrison, Democratic candidate for Congress.

Those in attendance saw the progress being made near the start of restoration of the old Dutch church building with scaffolding put up outside and protection given to its famous stained-glass windows.

During an all-faith worship service in the Parish House, some worshippers wore costumes from the days of the Civil and Spanish-American wars.

The New Utrecht Reformed Church, within the mainline Reformed Church in America (RCA) denomination, dates back almost 330 years in Brooklyn. Its sanctuary has been closed about 2 1/2 years and until recently the only scaffolding had been inside, to make certain the roof did not collapse from the weight of snow in winters.

Persons interested in learning more about Brooklyn's early history are invited to call (718) 256-7173 or (718) 234-9268. They also may log onto the Friends of Historic New Utrecht's Web site at www.historicnewutrecht.org. Contributions for repair and restoration of the landmark are welcome at Friends of Historic New Utrecht, 1831 84th St., Brooklyn, NY 11214. Checks, tax deductible, may be made out to the Friends of Historic New Utrecht Restoration Fund.


Public relations services donated by bhprEspeciallyForChurches June 2006

Read the press release

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Men of Valor may be postponed; coffee hour after 6/11 service

The Men of Valor ceremony for Sunday, June 11 may be postponed. If postponed, the event will be rescheduled at a later date. Otherwise, at the 11 AM communion service, three Men of Valor, Sons of Micah will be honored. The honorees are Robert Fabiszak, the Rev. Young Min Kim of the Mirral Church and posthumously, Bill Nicotra. Also on June 11 the church will receive volunteers from Michigan with a coffee hour scheduled afterwards.

Readings: June 11 - Trinity Sunday B