Old First Reformed Church

Old First Respite Shelter Volunteers Honored

Old First Respite Shelter Volunteers Honored

Old First respite shelter co-manager Michael Bagnulo repped us at the recent appreciation dinner for our volunteers on September 29th. The Plymouth Church of the Pilgrim, located in downtown Brooklyn, and was once the church of controversial preacher and abolitionist Beecher Ward. Each year, it shares a celebratory dinner (Michael had the delicious curry chicken!) as a chance to recognize the people who help run […]

Respite Shelter Completes Another Successful, Loving Season

Respite Shelter Completes Another Successful, Loving Season

Cynthia Ponce has just completed her second year of managing the Old First respite shelter, which serves meals and provides beds to homeless men during the summer months. The biggest lesson she’s learned so far: a gift is often more for the benefit of the giver than the receiver. “During dinner with the guys, one gentleman came over and kept replenishing my orange juice,” Cynthia […]

Hymn Spotlight: And Can It Be That I Should Gain

Hymn Spotlight: And Can It Be That I Should Gain

Charles Wesley wrote six thousand Christian hymns, but this is arguably his best known.  Composed in 1738, he often worked in collaboration with his older brother, John, while they were both studying at Oxford. As part of a study group called The Holy Club, they were known to approach prayer, hymn writing and Bible study in an extremely methodical manner. As a result, their classmates […]

Wednesdays at Noon – Slow Yoga With Jenny Burrill

Wednesdays at Noon – Slow Yoga With Jenny Burrill

Jenny Burrill’s weekly yoga class at Old First (Wednesdays at 12 noon) is informal, fun and everyone is invited to drop in (no reservations or yoga experience needed). The method: “slow yoga,” which focuses on alignment and breath. Jenny feels this is the best way to get in touch with your body; when you align your body, you also align your mind. Slow yoga involves […]

Hymn Spotlight: Now We Thank We All Our God

Hymn Spotlight: Now We Thank We All Our God

The Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648) was as long and as agonizing as it sounds. Martin Rinkart, a Lutheran minister, spent a good part of it in the walled city of Eilenburg, Saxony, where he wrote this hymn (circa 1636) amidst great distress and destruction. The walls did little good; armies had overrun the city three times, and pestilence, famine and overcrowding added to the pain […]

Aleeza Meir’s New York Life in Music

Aleeza Meir’s New York Life in Music

Aleeza Meir – Old First’s organist and pianist for the last decade – contends that musicians who come to New York to make a living must have more than just talent; they also have to have a little bit of luck. Looks like she’s been blessed with both: she is able to keep herself busy – actually extremely busy – working as a full-time musician. In addition […]

Cecilia Whittaker-Doe: First SRO Gallery Exhibit Runs To May 26

Cecilia Whittaker-Doe: First SRO Gallery Exhibit Runs To May 26

The artwork of Brooklyn-born painter and muralist Archie Rand is the first showing at Cecilia Whittaker-Doe’s SRO Gallery (1144 Dean Street). His work: Eugenio Montale: Men Who Turn Back is based on the work of Montale, an Italian poet. Archie created a painting for every line of the poem  — all 24 of them — fitting perfectly into the showing space. Cecilia says the gallery […]

Michael Daves: Bluegrass and Electric At Vinyl Release Event

Michael Daves: Bluegrass and Electric At Vinyl Release Event

The vinyl edition of Michael Daves’ latest album has just been released – and it’s coursing with electricity! The reason: for his original February 2016 2-CD release (Orchids and Violence) Michael took 12 traditional traditional songs and interpreted them in contrasting styles: first bluegrass and then electric. Switch around the original CD title, mash up the contrasting bluegrass/electric versions of five songs on vinyl, and […]

Adult Education Opportunities Coming This Fall

Adult Education Opportunities Coming This Fall

Have you completed our survey inquiring of your interest in adult education activities?  With your input, we plan to roll out an enriching and informative program starting in September. Administrator Fabiola Gaerlan says that response has been enthusiastic, and we hope to have a definite game plan in place by June. The goal: to strengthen and expand adult education opportunities for our congregation. This does […]