It’s a local tradition that serves as both a look ahead to a fast-approaching summertime, and a look back to community gatherings that span the generations. Going up for an incredible 69th rain-or-shine edition this Saturday, the event known as Canterbury Fair returns to Rumson’s St. George’s by-the-River Church for a rain-or-shine opportunity to “celebrate friendship, family and summer.”
With a slate of public-welcome activities that includes the free weekly Sunday Dialog lectures, regularly scheduled social action film screenings, community forums, meditation/Tai Chi sessions and the well-received Earth Room Concerts series, the Lincroft meetinghouse of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Monmouth County is a resource that leaves the lights on for its neighbors year-round.
This Saturday evening, the UUCMC addresses its lighting bills with an annual event that stands as “the largest FUNdraiser” on its busy calendar.
The Greater Red Bank Green has its share of long-running rites of spring, and gatekeeper events to summer’s threshold, but none sweeter than the annual Strawberry Festival, the 2017 edition of which returns right on schedule to the Presbyterian Church at Shrewsbury for a morning and afternoon of family-friendly activities, foodstuffs and fundraiser shopping this Saturday.
Press release from St. George’s Episcopal Church
The historic St. George’s by the River Episcopal Church has announced a call to artists for its annual Canterbury Art Show…a Tapestry of the Arts, the premier local exhibition and sale of juried and non-juried artwork. The three-day event will take place Labor Day weekend, September 2-4, with the preview Meet the Artists reception held on Friday, September 1.
Each year, over 600 works by artists from all over New Jersey and beyond are on display. All proceeds from the event 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, including Lunch Break, Family Promise, HABcore, 180 Turning Lives Around and more.
In just one year as a regularly scheduled feature on this planet, the Earth Room Concert Series at Lincroft’s Unitarian Universalist Congregation has managed to make a big noise — in its own relatively quiet, intimately scaled fashion.
Internationally known touring and recording artists who otherwise couldn’t stake a claim at any of the Jersey Shore’s many concert halls, rock clubs and coverband bars have found snug harbor — and connected with passionate audiences of folk/ roots/ Americana music fans — within the welcoming walls of the UUC’s West Front Street meetinghouse.
This Saturday evening, the series that’s spotlighted the talents of singing spouses (the Kennedys), sisters (the Nields), surviving partners (Tracy Grammer) and stalwart solos (Matt Nakoa) introduces the Greater Red Bank Green to another couple of musically minded marrieds: the Toronto-based group known as the Young Novelists.
It’s being called “The Sheepishly Awesome, Amazingly Grand Billy Affair” — a way for families to welcome the coming of Easter Sunday, in a way that offers a delightful alternative to the usual egg hunts.
On Saturday, April 8, the corner of Oakland Street and Maple Avenue will the scene of a Parking Lot Party, as First Baptist Church Red Bank invites young members of the community to enjoy face painting, bounce houses, crafts, welcome gift and goodie bags, and a chance to meet and greet some really cute baby sheep and goats.
Press release from Monmouth Reform Temple
We bear witness to the violence inflicted upon our minority populations. We bear witness to the community-destroying finger pointing that accuses innocent and guilty alike, for the pain felt because of the growing and unanswered violence that plagues our nation.
Torah mandates that we respond and bring people together in prayer and support of our common dream for peace and equality. And on Monday night, March 13, Monmouth Reform Temple invites the community to come together to pray and share grace and support as people of faith from a spectrum of religious traditions.
Press release from Westminster Presbyterian Church
Guest performers, new voices in the choir, and an upcoming Christian Contemporary Music Coffee House are just some of the new ideas featured in an innovative music program developed by Erika Sayar, the new Minister of Music at Middletown’s Westminster Presbyterian Church (WPC).
Since joining the Tindall Road congregation last July, the Wall Township resident has revitalized WPC’s Sunday Service music with several new special events and projects. A guest soloist series has showcased popular Irish tenor Sean Hennessey, the soulful sounds of DeBorah White, and WPC church member/ well-known Shore music scene performer BethAnne Clayton — while all are invited to attend a new public-welcome offering on March 31.
Kirsten Maxwell, above, and Matt Nakoa, below, perform Saturday night at the latest in a series of Earth Room Concerts.
While local folk music artists have occasionally been able to get face-to-face with audiences at annual festivals, coffeehouses and libraries, there just hasn’t been a consistent venue for national folk performers to ply their trade among the rock clubs, cover-band bars and theater-size stages of eastern Monmouth County.
That is, until the folks at Lincroft’s Unitarian Universalist Congregation initiated their series of Earth Room Concerts.
All Saints’ Church in Navesink (The Old Stone Church), one of the founding members of the Atlantic Highlands Area Association of Community Churches (AACC), is holding a St. Patrick’s Dinner on March 18 in its Parish House.
The proceeds will support work of the AACC Food Pantry to provide wholesome food for its clientele, as well as to support the outreach efforts of All Saints’ Church.
Among the five acts scheduled to perform at Little Silver’s Embury United Methodist Church this Sunday, the Last Whipporwill Bluegrass Band, above brings traditional bluegrass “as God and Monroe intended it.”
Like the jazz-and-blues house parties held on the last Friday of each month at the Red Bank Woman’s Club — and the regularly scheduled classical recitals at the White Street home of the Monmouth Conservatory — the libraries, community centers and places of worship on the Greater Red Bank Green have a long tradition of connecting music lovers with specialized sounds in a way that’s intriguingly under the radar, and off the beaten path.
This Sunday afternoon, another of the area’s “best kept secrets” raises its voice once more, as Little Silver’s Embury United Methodist Church plays host to a Bluegrass Stage Show and Jam that’s engaging, illuminating — and even interactive, should such things strike your fancy.
On the evening of Saturday, February 18, the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Monmouth County will be the setting for a special Voices of Black Experience presentation, under the theme “Inspiring Us to Resist the New Jim Crow.” A Black History Month followup to the February 3 screening of the film 13th, which examined the connection between the 13th Amendment to the US Constitution and the imprisonment of African Americans, the 5 p.m. event will feature a trio of guest speakers.
On Wednesday, January 25, Pilgrim Baptist Church of Red Bank hosted its “Project Community Cares” event in support of the Monmouth County Point-In-Time Survey of the homeless population. The event featured a winter coats and clothing giveaway, health screenings, meals, resource information and more, with Monmouth County residents who have been under-served and marginalized also given the opportunity to register for social services that are available throughout the Bayshore area. Pictured are the volunteers of Pilgrim who participated in the event. (not pictured: agency volunteers and allied health care personnel who serve throughout the day). For further information about Pilgrim’s Community Outreach initiatives, please call (732)747-2343.
Its “Earth Room” sanctuary has served for years as the greater Red Bank green’s go-to venue for guest lectures on progressive causes, in addition to regularly scheduled Social Action Film screenings of hot-topic documentaries — and, beginning in 2016, a slate of concert events that’s placed some internationally acclaimed modern folk music artists in front of Monmouth County audiences for the very first time.
This Sunday afternoon, January 29, Lincroft’s Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Monmouth County becomes a jazz club, albeit one that trades the candlelit-cool night owl vibe for the streaming light of the stained glass windows and the afternoon delights of pianist Spike Wilner.
Have you ever wanted to learn baking, cooking, or another hobby that you always meant to explore? Or attend an informational workshop on pets, the arts, and other fun topics? All Saints’ Memorial (the historic “Old Stone Church”) has announced a new monthly series of Mastery Classes, with guest leaders joining us each month for workshops that run from 1 to 2 hours in length.
The proceeds from the classes benefit our Community Outreach programs, and provide funding for the upkeep of our National Historic Landmark Buildings and grounds. There is no age limit for participation (bring your family and friends), and the sessions start with the following two scheduled events:
As part of its Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Social Awareness Weekend, Pilgrim Baptist Church of Red Bank hosted a first sannual Law Enforcement Appreciation Day Service on Sunday, January 15. The worship and prayer service featured the preaching of Rev. Robert Perkins (Pastor and retired police officer) , the PBC Color Guard and a community reception that followed the service. Pictured are officers from the Red Bank , Neptune City, and Neptune Police Departments and the Monmouth County Prosecutors Office, as well as Police Chiefs from Middletown, Neptune City and Spring Lake. (Photo by Milagros Jeter)
Special guest speakers, music, prayer services, a walk and a talk with local law enforcement professionals are all on the agenda, during an extended Social Awareness Weekend keyed to Martin Luther King Day, and hosted by Pilgrim Baptist Church and Monmouth Reform Temple.[See UPDATE below]
While the calendar of federal holidays marks just one official day to honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. — this coming Monday, January 16 — Red Bank’s Pilgrim Baptist Church believes that King’s work is too important, and still very relevant to our time, to be encapsulated within one 24 hour period. That’s why, beginning on Friday evening and following through the next three days, the Shrewsbury Avenue congregation sponsors a “Social Awareness Weekend” that carries forward a special collaboration with another long-established house of worship: Monmouth Reform Temple of Tinton Falls.
It’s a relationship that’s formed the foundation of a local tradition in recent years; one that continues for a third annual edition on January 13 with a Friday evening Shabbat service at MRT — a 7 p.m. all-welcome observance that features special guest speaker Diem Jones, executive director of Voices of Our Nations (VONA) Arts Foundation.
Press release from Congregation B’nai Israel
On Sunday, January 8, Congregation B’nai Israel will host a “PJ Library” event for children in Pre-K through Grade 2 and their parents, in which participants will create a personal story book, view Jewish children’s videos, explore Jewish songs and enjoy refreshments, all at no cost.
Scheduled from 10 to 11:30 a.m., the program will include an adult discussion on building a Jewish home library. Guests will also have the opportunity to register for the monthly Jewish book or music CD that PJ Library provides for free.
An indoor “labyrinth” walk at the Unitarian Universalist Meetinghouse — and an outdoor excursion in the fresh and bracing air of Sandy Hook — offer opportunities for reflection and community on New Year’s Day.
Fortunately, some forward-thinking neighbors on the Greater Red Bank Green are inviting all members of the community to start 2017 off on a good foot or two.
The holidays are a time that can be difficult for those who may not have family close by to share in cheer. This Christmas Day, the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Monmouth County — a non-creedal congregation that encourages each person to articulate their own faith, and to listen deeply to what calls them to life — is opening their doors to all members of the local community.
Whether they find themselves separated from loved ones or are looking to start their day in a meaningful way among friends and neighbors, people of all faiths are welcome to attend this special December 25 gathering.
The Vienna Boys Choir, above, returns to the stage of the Count Basie Theatre on December 12, and the New Jersey Chamber Singers, below make their annual Yuletide stop at Red Bank’s United Methodist Church Friday.
Classic Christmas carols, cantatas and the most cherished of Yuletide ballets fill up the calendar this time of year. Read on for details on traditional holiday offerings from the Tower Hill Choir, the Company of Dance Arts, and a musical organization that traces its ancestry back more than 600 years.
The Greater Red Bank Green has never lacked for historic churches and meetinghouses, and beginning this weekend one of its most picturesque places of worship — All Saints Memorial — will be initiating an all-new tradition at the landmark “Old Stone Church” (located at the crossroads of Navesink and Monmouth Avenues, just inland from Route 36). Going on over the course of three days, December 9 through 11, the first annual Winter Festival offers a rain-or-shine range of attractions that include homemade refreshments, handcrafted gifts, kid-friendly activities — and, as a centerpiece, a Live Nativity scene on view at the church’s historic carriage-shed outbuildings.
At a time when it seems the various voices of the American choir are in discord, each shouting out a different tune, it seems more than ever that we could use a little bit of “United We Sing.” And as if on cue, the event of that same name returns to Lincroft this Sunday for a session that encourages neighbors to “come together from our different cultural and faith traditions, to proclaim and celebrate our rich diversity.”
“Postmodern, mythic” American folk music icon Tracy Grammer makes a rare local appearance at the Unitarian Meetinghouse.
For the latest (and last of 2016) entry in a recently minted series of Earth Room Concerts, the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Monmouth County in Lincroft presents a performance Saturday night that’s as much about an artist whose absence will be deeply felt as it is about the acclaimed singer/storyteller whose presence promises to make it a special occasion.