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ON THE GREEN: BLESSED PET EVENTS ABOUND

100514 beast blessing11Reverend Ophelia Laughlin blesses a dog, during a past St. Francis Day event at St. George’s-by-the-River in Rumson. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

It began several years back as a simple observance of St. Francis Day; a “pet blessing” ceremony conducted in the spirit of the patron saint of those furry, finned, feathered and variously phylum’d creatures with whom we share this planet and, often, our lunches.

But such was the response to the annual Blessing of the Animals at St. George’s-by-the-River, that the Episcopal church in Rumson soon found itself  accommodating some 200 dogs, cats, hamsters, turtles, birds, goldfish and numerous other species; up from “30 to 40” at the event’s onset — even flirting for a time with a monthly pets-welcome service in the church’s Parish Hall.

On Sunday, October 2, the historic house of worship on Waterman Avenue again welcomes pets of all shapes, sizes and breeds to be blessed individually by the clergy — with dog owners requested to keep their pets leashed, and even those without an animal companion welcome to attend the service that commences at 2 p.m. Call St. George’s at (732)888-1194 for additional information — and read on for more about another St. Francis observance here on the greater Green; one that’s grown this year to encompass a separate satellite event.

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RED BANK: FIRST DEBATE DOWN

pilgrim-debate-night-092616-1Election_2016_DebatesAbout two dozen Red Bank residents gathered at Pilgrim Baptist Church Monday night to watch the first 2016 presidential debate between Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton and participate in a discussion afterward.

Did you watch? Did anything you heard change, or reinforce, your thinking about the candidates? Feel free to share your takeaway in a comment. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

TINTON FALLS: HELPING FROM INSIDE THE BOX

cardboard-box-cityFrom press materials by Family Promise of Monmouth County

While Monmouth County is considered one of the more affluent counties of the Garden State, the issue of family homelessness remains a very real problem here and throughout the area. Beginning on the evening of Friday, October 14, a local place of worship will serve as host location for an interactive “friend and fund raiser” event designed to raise awareness of this often little-discussed cause — by giving participants the opportunity to experience spending the night living inside a cardboard box.

Sponsored by the nonprofit Family Promise of Monmouth County — and presented “rain or shine” on the grounds of Monmouth Church of Christ (312 Hance Avenue in Tinton Falls) — the fundraiser begins at 5 p.m., and offers participants an opportunity to raise a minimum of $100 in pledges and contributions, by sleeping overnight as a resident of “Cardboard Box City.”

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LINCROFT: SISTERS, MOMS, FELLOW FOLKIES

the-nieldsThe Nields — folk-singing sisters Nerissa and Katryna — make a rare local appearance Saturday at the latest in a new series of Earth Room Concerts at the Unitarian Meetinghouse.

The inaugural event may have happened way back in April, but when the Earth Room Concerts Series resumes in Lincroft this Saturday night, it will more than maintain its mission to “fill a local gap” by bringing nationally known folk musicians — acts more commonly seen and heard at festivals and venues in New York — to a friendly port of call on the Greater Red Bank Green.

That happy harbor is the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Monmouth County, where the stained-glass sanctuary (known for the occasion as the Earth Room) offers an environment that’s acoustically and aesthetically well suited to the sophisticated songcraft and sparkling harmonies of Nerissa and Katryna Nield — the Massachusetts-based sister act known for the past quarter-century as the Nields.

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RED BANK: TRACING FORTUNE’S FAMILY TREE

Newspaper editor and former slave T. Thomas Fortune formed the Nfortune_091716Regular readers of redbankgreen have been kept abreast of the campaign to rescue and restore the T. Thomas Fortune House, the historic site that was once home to the pioneering African American journalist and publisher whose name adorns the property on Drs. James Parker Boulevard. While much work remains to be done toward the goal of transforming the boarded-up 19th century home into an educational and cultural center, a group of Monmouth County neighbors is also engaged in making the long-deceased Mr. Fortune into a still-vital presence; one with a message to convey to contemporary community members of all ages and backgrounds.

This Saturday afternoon, September 17, Red Bank’s Calvary Baptist Church will be the setting for another in a regularly scheduled series of meetings by the African American Genealogy Group. Beginning at 1 p.m., it’s a special edition of the event that takes place on the third Saturday of each month.

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LINCROFT: UUC HOSTS BLACK LIVES RALLY

UUCMCNJPress release from UU Congregation of Monmouth County

On Sunday, September 25, the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Monmouth County will serve as the setting for a Black Lives Matter Community Rally, with all interested members of the public welcome to attend.

Scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m. in front of the UUC Meetinghouse at 1475 West Front Street in Lincroft, the rally will feature the participation of guest speakers and representatives from churches and other organizations in the greater Red Bank area, as well as other Monmouth County communities.

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RUMSON: A CANTERBURY TAIL ON SUMMER

The_Women_by_Ellen_Gavin“The Women” by Ellen Gavin (above) and “Pear Box” by Mary Beth Ober (below) are among the works represented at the annual Canterbury Art Show, the three-day “Tapestry of the Arts” that returns to St. George’s Church this Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Pear_Box_by_MaryBeth_OberIt’s a local tradition of relatively recent minting, despite the historic setting and a name that evokes the lore and legend of centuries. But when the Canterbury Art Show…a Tapestry of the Arts event returns to St. George’s by the River Episcopal Church in Rumson for a fifth annual edition (the third since making a well-received move to Labor Day weekend), it will take its place as one of most eagerly anticipated harbingers of “local” summer on the Greater Red Bank Green.

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RED BANK: SONGS FOR A SUMMER NIGHT

Alexis-RoddaShe’s been hailed as an artist possessed of “a lovely voice, full of color and body in every register, and the poise to perform unselfconsciously in an intimate space” — a setting of which the reviewer observed, “can be more of a challenge than a large hall with 3,000 people.”

When soprano Alexis Rodda performs a Thursday evening concert at St. Anthony of Padua, she’ll be working on a scale that’s cozier than Carnegie — but she’ll also be feeling very much at home, as the Red Bank resident is a regular choir member at the Bridge Avenue house of worship. And, together with pianist Manon Hutton-DeWys, she’ll help to inaugurate a new series of public-welcome music presentations at St. Anthony’s.

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LINCROFT: A 60TH SEASON, A SUMMER SING

Neil F BrownThe Shrewsbury Chorale welcomes new permanent music director Neil F. Brown — and sounds a keynote to a milestone 60th season —  with a public-invited, informal performance of Vivaldi’s “Gloria” on August 16.

In a history highlighted by performances at places like Carnegie Hall and Washington’s National Cathedral, it’s an undeniable milestone: the Diamond Anniversary of the Shrewsbury Chorale, the community arts group that prepares to embark upon its 60th season of choral classics and popular repertoire in 2016.

It’s a season that begins in earnest this coming December, with the chorale’s annual presentation of holiday hymns and carols. But before that, the organization founded back in the 1950’s by Alden Hammond stays attuned to the more casual pace of the current season with an August 16 Summer Sing event that invites everyone who holds a song in their heart, as it welcomes a special person to the podium.

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RED BANK: A VIGIL FOR VICTIMS, AND PEACE

rb vigil 071016 2

HOT-TOPIC_03Children carried three bouquets of flowers — one for the five police officers slain in Dallas last week, one for victims of senseless violence, and one for “peace in our hearts and our country,” in the words of Mayor Pasquale Menna — at a vigil in Red Bank Sunday night.

About 40 residents, local clergy and a contingent of borough police officers participated in the brief ceremony, held at the Veterans Memorial on Monmouth Street at Drummond Place. 

Additional photos are below. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge) Read More »

RED BANK: MENNA CALLS FOR TOWN VIGIL

rb vigil 061616 10HOT-TOPIC_03Red Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna is calling on area residents to participate in a silent vigil Sunday evening for the five law enforcement officers slain in Dallas Thursday “and for civilian victims of violence in our country,” he said in an alert distributed Saturday.

Participants are asked to gather at 7 p.m. at the Veterans Memorial, at the corner of Monmouth Street and Drummond Place. Three wreaths will be on display, Menna said: one for the officers killed, one for victims of senseless violence, and one for “peace in our hearts and our country.”

Attendees may leave flowers at the site. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

RUMSON: ART SHOW RETURNS FOR LABOR DAY

Press release from St. George’s Episcopal Church

Sailing_out_to_Sea,_Mike_Quon,_2-10-16Presenting its fifth anniversary edition in 2016, the annual Canterbury Art Show…a Tapestry of the Arts returns to St. George’s by the River Episcopal Church for a premier local exhibition and sale of juried and non-juried artwork.

The three-day event will take place Labor Day Weekend at the historic church property, located at 7 Lincoln Avenue in Rumson. Event dates are Friday through Sunday, September 2-4, with a preview and Meet the Artists reception on Thursday, September 1 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Hundreds of attendees and art patrons have enjoyed the Canterbury Art show since its inception in 2011. Each year, over 600 works by artists from all over New Jersey and beyond (including Fair Haven favorite Mike Quon, whose “Sailing Out to Sea” is pictured here) are featured, with 38 new artists participating for the first time this year, according to event chair Coni Lefferts. Proceeds from the sale directly benefit St. George’s-by-the-River and its outreach grants to more than 30 local agencies serving the needy of Monmouth and Ocean Counties.

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MIDDLETOWN FAIR SETS UP FOR 73rd YEAR

St. Mary's FairPress release from St. Mary’s Fair Executive Committee

Regular readers of redbankgreen know the annual Fair Haven Fireman’s Fair as the August event that gives local families one last blast of summer fun before thoughts turn inexorably to school supplies and adjusted bedtimes. But on the other side of what we call the Greater Green — and at the other end of the school’s-out season — another eagerly anticipated carnival has been pitching its tent at the heart of community life for generations.

Back for its 73rd annual edition, The Great St. Mary Fair opens tonight, June 27, running through Saturday, July 2 on the grounds of St. Mary Mother of God Parish in the New Monmouth section of Middletown. Beginning each night at 6:30 p.m., the fair will feature rides and games for the entire family to enjoy.

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MIDDLETOWN: NANCY’S MUSICAL FIREWORKS

Nancy ScharffVeteran denizens of the greater Red Bank Green may remember Nancy Scharff for the annual Christmas extravaganzas she presented in seasons past at the Count Basie Theatre — some big joyous benefits that found the Middletown-based devotional singer, songwriter, musician, choirmaster, producer, conductor, and educator taking on yet another role: that of shepherdess tending to a flock of choral performers, orchestra members, rock bandmates, kid choirs, bell ringers, event volunteers and interactively inclined audience members that numbered in the hundreds.

While those logistically complex events have taken a hiatus in recent times, Scharff remains very much on the scene; as a faculty member with Red Bank’s Monmouth Conservatory of Music, as a busy music-maker who’s even been known to hit the sidewalks as a Red Bank Street Life performer — and as the long-standing music director at King of Kings Lutheran Church, the New Monmouth landmark that’s served as the globally touring artist’s home base for decades.

Nancy’s Christmas shows have long had a summer-season cousin in the annual God and Country Patriotic Concert, the 2016 edition of which returns to King of Kings this Friday evening, June 24.

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