Religion Newsmakers Pastor Dyson to Be Honored For Ministry of Social Justice

Francesca Norsen Tate
First Estate

The Rev. David Dyson will retire after 18 years of leading the Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church and its social justice programs. Photo courtesy of Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church.

The Reverend David Dyson, for 18 years the widely-respected pastor of the Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church (LAPC) in Fort Greene, will be honored this Sunday as he retires from this role. Pastor Dyson and LAPC have long advocated for, and protected the rights of, persons in their communities.

City Councilmember Letitia James is a leading organizer of the Community Tribute to Pastor Dyson, along with the Pratt Area Community Council, State Senator Velmanette Montgomery and State Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries. Pastor Dyson’s background is also in faith and social justice. He was graduated in 1972 from the University of Pittsburgh with a joint Master’s in Public Administration),

After completing his program with the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, Dyson worked for several years as a boycott coordinator for the United Farm Workers, and as a driver and bodyguard for Cesar Chavez. Chavez then sent Dyson to New York City to direct a UFW campaign. Dyson eventually worked for the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers as the National Field Director of the JP Stevens textile boycott.

He has since worked for civil rights, human rights, women’s rights, labor rights, affordable housing and community service.

Rev. Dyson has also served as the interim pastor of the Tremont Avenue Presbyterian Church in the Bronx, the Fourth Avenue Presbyterian Church in Brooklyn, and as the executive minister of the Riverside Church in New York City.

Sunday’s tribute, featuring music, performances and other special presentations, takes place at the Irondale Center, 85 South Oxford St., in Fort Greene. For more information, call 718-522-2613, ext. 22.

Navy League Honors Beloved Admiral, Rabbi Kloner


Rabbi William Kloner, seated, is pictured with friends and colleagues from the US Navy, New York City Technical College, and the Cobble Hill Health Center. Photo courtesy of Nini Rubin.

During an emotional ceremony held in the day room at Cobble Hill Health Center, Rear Admiral Rabbi William Kloner (New York Naval Militia) was presented with a special citation by members of the Navy League of the United States. The Admiral is recovering at Cobble Hill Health Center after a serious accident in which he fell from a stage as he was about to deliver a benediction at a Coast Guard event in Staten Island. Admiral Kloner, a Brooklyn resident, was a Jewish chaplain who served on the Intrepid, was the Rabbi for 36 years of Temple Beth Emeth v’Ohr Progressive Shaari Zedek in Flatbush, and Rabbi of the synagogue on Governors’ Island before the Coast Guard closed the base in 1996. He was also the National Chaplain of the Navy League of the United States.

The recognition of Rear Admiral Kloner was an expression of appreciation for the 82-year-old’s many years of service. Daniel B. Branch Jr., National President of the Navy League, presented the citation as several members of the Navy League who had travelled to Cobble Hill Health Center to attend the ceremony, Admiral Kloner’s wife Elizabeth and Cobble Hill staff members also witnessed the poignant award ceremony.

James Goldman, Ph.D., who, for many years was deputy dean and acting dean of the Continuing Education Division, remarked during a conversation held after the event, “Many at New York City Technical College remember Rabbi Kloner from the several college occasions such as commencements where he delivered the invocation or benedictions. His wife, Dr. Elizabeth Kloner, now retired, was a longtime member of the CityTech faculty.”

* * *

Sacred Spaces Celebrating Milestones This Month

Congregation Beth Jacob Ohev Sholom in Williamsburg, which is considered the oldest Orthodox synagogue in Brooklyn, marked its 142nd anniversary with a dinner on Sept. 18.

Rabbi Joshua Fishman was honored for his 40th Anniversary as the Shul’s religious leader. His wife, Rebbetzin Esther Fishman, was also honored. She is prominent in her own right, serving as director of the Satmar sect’s Senior Citizen Center in Williamsburg.

* * *

St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Park Slope launched its 125th anniversary celebration last weekend with an Opening Mass. Throughout the year, the parish, at Sixth Ave. & Carroll St. will host special events: fundraiser stoop sales around the neighborhood during October, an exhibit of parish archives and religious artifacts in November; a concert, “The Passion of Christ in Art and Music,” with Dr. Francis Greene and the St. Francis Xavier Choir under the direction of Dr. Michael Kaminski next March; a gala dinner dance next April, a guided tour and the closing liturgy for the 125th anniversary in May.

* * *

As Queen of All Saints Catholic Church in Fort Greene marks its centennial, the parish wants to make sure the community stays healthy.

The parish hosts its 4th Annual Health & Wellness Fair, from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 1, as part of the centennial celebration.

Information, products and services will be offered on several facets of wellness and healthcare management, among them: insurance, assisted living, home health care, nursing/rehabilitation centers, pharmacies, medical equipment and supplies, home security, physical therapy, banks, migration information. Free health screenings will also be offered: blood pressure, blood glucose, cholesterol, PSA testing, hearing and a blood drive. All information and services will be conducted in strict confidence.

Admission is free. The Health & Wellness Fair takes place at 300 Vanderbilt Ave., at Lafayette Ave.

* * *

Senior Centers Get ‘Extreme Makeovers’

The Pete McGuinness Senior Center in Greenpoint, and Peter J. Dellamonica Center, in Astoria, both Catholic Charities facilities for senior citizens, were treated to an “extreme makeover” last week.

The “extreme makeover was part of the Tenth Annual University Service Day of St. John’s University. Students participate in this project with painting, cleaning and other general tasks, to help keep the lively senior centers a vibrant and functioning part of the community. St. John’s students were present at various other Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens programs throughout Brooklyn and Queens. The Home Depot donated the paint and supplies.

Every weekday, enthusiastic older adults gather at the centers to take part in numerous multicultural activities and classes that enhance healthy aging including tai chi, yoga, salsa dancing, ESL classes, art classes, celebrations, hot lunches and much more. Thanks to community partnerships that Catholic Charities enjoys with St. John’s University and The Home Depot, seniors at the Peter J. Dellamonica and Pete McGuinness Senior Centers will continue to feel at home in a welcoming and beautiful environment.

* * *

Pets to Be Blessed At Francis Day Services

Several neighborhood churches will be celebrating the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi with animal blessings this weekend. St. Francis — known for his love all of creation, renounced his background of wealth and luxury to help the poor. His feast day is on October 4, which falls on a Tuesday this year.

Grace Church-Brooklyn Heights will bless pets during the parish’s regular 5 p.m. Eucharist on Sunday, October 2….St. Ann & the Holy Trinity Church offers a brief service to bless pets and time for remembrances of beloved deceased animals. Pets of every kind, including the “stuffed” variety belonging to children, are most welcome. Weather permitting, participants will gather in the north garden of the church on Clinton Street. The service begins at 3 p.m. this Sunday…St. Paul’s Episcopal Church (at Clinton and Carroll streets), holds its Blessing of the Animals at 4 p.m. Earlier in the day, St. Paul’s parish will present the viewing of a film that celebrates the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible.

* * *

St. Charles Church Offers Programs On Catholicism and the Sacraments

Father Edward Doran, pastor of St. Charles Borromeo Church, has begun inquiry classes for those considering baptism or full reception into the Catholic Church, for example, adult parishioners who have not had First Communion and Confirmation). The exploration will include online exploration as well as discussion meetings. The classes will convene after the 10:30 a.m. Sunday Mass (around noon).

Those who are interested may contact the St. Charles Rectory at 718-625-1177.

* * *

St. Charles Church has also begun a new season of the popular Theology on Tap series.

Theology on Tap is a fun, informal program held at local restaurants. The October 18 meeting will have a different theme — “Catholic Trivia,” offering participants a chance at games and laughter, with prizes awarded. For more information on location, contact the St. Charles Rectory at 718-625-1177.


Leave a comment

Filed under Religion

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s