FAIR HAVEN: A GARDEN OF EDEN SUMMIT

Father_Shecker_&_Rabbi_SultarFather Bob Shecker and Rabbi Jeff Sultar join for an interfaith discussion on “The Garden of Eden – Then and Now,” on the evening of May 20.

Press release from The Church of the Nativity, Fair Haven

On Wednesday, May 20, Father Robert Shecker of the Church of the Nativity in Fair Haven will team up with Rabbi Jeff Sultar of Congregation B’nai Israel (CBI) in Rumson for a special interfaith discussion on the topic of the Garden of Eden – Then and Now.

Hosted at Nativity Parish Hall (180 Ridge Road) and open to all members of the community, the 7:30 pm program is free to attend, with refreshments and a public talk session to follow.

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RUMSON: A DOC-THRILLER ON THE GREEN

The trailer for “The Green Prince,” screening at Congregation B’nai Israel later this month with a kosher lunch.

It’s preceded by “a delicious, kosher Israeli lunch,” according to a press release — and it’s followed by a discussion of the substantial issues raised within its 101-minute running time. It’s the feature-length documentary The Green Prince, and it’s coming to the greater Green for a single screening hosted at Congregation B’nai Israel in Rumson.

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RED BANK: FEEDING A HUNGRY MULTITUDE

121214 feast4Laura Pena, center, and helpers prepared a feast for 1,200 guests in the kitchen of Saint Anthony’s Church. Below, every little container of salsa verde was filled by hand.  (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

121214 feast2What does it take to feed some 1,200 hungry Hispanics at a religious feast following a long procession through Red Bank?

If the event is the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, we’re talking many trays filled with slow-roasted, fall-off-the-bone, juicy spiced pork infused with pineapple.

The aroma from the kitchen of Saint Anthony’s Church on Bridge Avenue certainly got a multitude of mouths salivating.

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RUMSON: MENORAH LIGHTS THE NIGHT

121714 menorah11121714 menorah2Congregation B’nai Israel’s menorah lit up the second night of Hanukkah in Rumson Wednesday evening. Rabbi Jeff Sultar led the group of more than a hundred congregants in two prayers, one for each candle. Many of the children took part by holding signs reminding everyone of the different parts of the prayers. They then proceeded inside to a symbolic meal of fried potato latkes,  jelly donuts and spinning dreidels while Rabbbi Sultar made his way to the Red Bank train station to light the menorah there.  (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

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RED BANK: A PROCESSION, A MASS & A FEAST

121214 St Anthony19121214 St Anthony15Hundreds of Saint Anthony’s Church parishioners held their annual procession on Red Bank’s West Side Friday night, carrying statues of Our Lady Of Guadalupe and the Virgin Mary, baskets containing the baby Jesus, and flags representing Mexico, the United States and Central and South American countries. At Saint Anthony’s, on Bridge Avenue, hundreds more waited for a mass to begin followed by a Mexican feast. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

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LINCROFT: CALL IN THE GOD SQUAD

Rabbi-Brooks-SusmanPress release from Brookdale Community College

“We are living in a age of polarization,” observes Christopher Bellitto — and with religion-based tensions running high throughout the world, trying to make sense of things could be a job befitting the special skills of the God Squad.

A professor of history at Kean University, Dr. Bellitto has appeared on CNN, the History Channel and other national media outlets as an expert on church history and Catholicism. He’s teamed in the God Squad with Rabbi Brooks Susman (pictured), a humanities instructor at  Brookdale Community College and the founding rabbi of Congregation Kol Am in Freehold.

On Thursday, December 11, the popular duo of speakers will present “Jews and Christians, Words and Deeds,” on BCC’s Lincroft campus; a lively, dynamic, pre-holiday examination of the texts that serve as the basis for Western faith belief.

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RED BANK: FAITH, COFFEE AND CANDOR

Rabbi Marc KlinePress release from Monmouth Reform Temple

Ever wonder how it is that so many different religions all expect to heal the world on only their own terms? Every religious denomination has published studies demonstrating how modern America is running from organized religion. There is a reason for this phenomenon: organized religion spends more time perpetuating itself than offering relevant paths for the expression of faith. Whatever your denomination, there are core values that we share and which should lead us into a better respect for one another.

Every Sunday afternoon at 4 pm, Rabbi Marc Kline of Monmouth Reform Temple is inviting all members of the public, of all faiths (and even “ye of little faith”) to do just that — during a series of free, “no holds barred,” non-denominational open conversations presented (not at a house of worship, but in the neutral territory of a favorite neighborhood coffeehouse) under the name “This Is About Faith!”

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REFORM TEMPLE WELCOMES NEW RABBI

BernardKlineWiesenfeldPictured left to right are Monmouth Reform Temple’s new Rabbi Marc Kline (center) with his wife Lori Bernard and the MRT President Jay Wiesenfeld of Lincroft. 

Press release from Monmouth Reform Temple

After a year-long search, the Monmouth Reform Temple selected Rabbi Marc Kline to lead the Tinton Falls congregation. Rabbi Kline, who most recently served as the Rabbi at Temple Adath Israel in Lexington, Kentucky, began his tenure at MRT on July 1. Rabbi Bob Ourach served as MRT’s interim spiritual leader for over a year during this search.

A native of Las Vegas, NV, the graduate of the University of Arkansas law school became re-immersed in his faith at a Reform Temple while working at a Little Rock law firm. He began to take on a more involved role in the congregation and was encouraged to become, what he terms, “a second career rabbi.”

Rabbi Kline graduated from the Hebrew Union College — Jewish Institute of Religion in 1994 with a Masters of Arts in Hebrew Letters, and was ordained as a Rabbi the following year. His first major service in a Jewish Congregation brought him to South Carolina, where he forged a close alliance with interfaith clergy and even co-led the 2000 march on the South Carolina Capital to remove the controversial Confederate flag.

The event was described as the largest march on a Southern capital (with over 40,000 people) since the Civil Rights era. He states of that experience, “I remain deeply indebted to the ministers who became my dear friends and teachers. They taught me what it meant to serve a congregation and a community in a meaningful and relevant way.”

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RBR SENIOR WINS CHRISTIAN ATHLETE AWARD

RyanPicRed Bank Regional senior Ryan Lloyd, pictured at his future school, St. Joseph University in Philadelphia,  received the Fellowship of Christian Athletes’ Sam Mills Scholarship in the State of New Jersey, given to a high school club member who has overcome great adversity.

Press release from Red Bank Regional High School

It took a serious injury from a traffic accident — and the chaos in the wake of Superstorm Sandy — to endow Ryan Lloyd’s life with challenges and adversity. It took faith, courage, and dedication to confront those challenges, and to earn the Red Bank Regional High School senior a well-deserved recognition from the New Jersey Chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

Each year, the Fellowship presents a scholarship to the male and female member who have most triumphed over adversity. This year’s recipient of the Sam Mills Memorial Scholarship award (for young men) was bestowed upon Ryan Lloyd.

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RED BANK: MCC LIGHTS UP TOWER HILL

Monmouth-Civic-Chorus.3.16.13Dr. Ryan Brandau (right) and the assembled voices of the Monmouth Civic Chorus keynote a weekend of words and music at Red Bank’s First Presbyterian Church. 

When Dr. Ryan Brandau and the assembled voices of The Monmouth Civic Chorus return to First Presbyterian (Tower Hill) Church of Red Bank on Friday night, they’ll be presenting two emotionally forceful, mystically compelling meditations on life and death; one with a local angle — if by local we mean Sergei Rachmaninoff.

The Russian master — who summered at Locust Point on the Navesink after escaping his homeland in the wake of the Revolution — is represented on the 7:30 pm program with an encore MCC presentation of Vespers (aka All Night Vigil), a piece based on the Russian Orthodox Good Friday service. Also on the bill will be Lux Aeterna (Eternal Light) by contemporary American composer Morten Lauridsen; a study of “enlightenment of all sorts: intellectual, and, of course, spiritual, artistic.” Tickets ($25 adults, with senior, student and group discounts) can be reserved here or by calling (732)933-9333 — and a weekend of inspirational words and music continues high atop Tower Hill, a place just that much closer to heaven.

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RED BANK: CHURCH PLAN WINS FULL BLESSING

rb church 033114Developer Bob Silver, below, hugs congregants of the First Church of Christ, Scientist, above, after gaining approval to convert the 62-year-old structure to offices. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

bob silver 040314The proposed conversion of First Church of Christ, Scientist in Red Bank into an office complex was praised to the heavens Thursday night, even by a couple of neighbors who’d previously expressed wariness about it.

Developer Bob Silver, who previously converted a Christian Scientist church in Montclair into offices, won kudos for preserving one of Broad Street’s architectural gems while yielding to concerns about traffic. His project, dubbed “Two Eleven Broad,” was also lauded for “saving the home” of a shrunken congregation, which will continue to use a portion of the building, and for touches including electric-car rechargers and bike racks.

Silver is “the best possible neighbor that the neighbors could want,” said abutting property owner William Hartigan of Hudson Avenue, whose concerns about the plan were spotlighted by redbankgreen earlier this week.

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RED BANK: CHURCH PLAN UPSETS NEIGHBORS

hartigan 1 033114William Hartigan notes the proximity of a church garage to his family’s outdoor dining area. Below, the church as seen from Broad Street; the wing at the left would get a second story. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rb church 033114It’s a story as old as the concept of property rights: a couple settles into  their dream home, and then the folks next door do something on their patch of heaven to disturb the idyll.

When William and Kathryn Hartigan moved to Red Bank from Jersey City four years ago, they never imagined that the church that abuts their Hudson Avenue property would be anything other than a house of worship, quiet and unnoticed except for the bells pealing in the steeple on Sunday mornings.

But the proposed conversion of First Church of Christ, Scientist on Broad Street into an office complex has Hudson Avenue neighbors alarmed about traffic, and the Hartigans about the impact on their dream.

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A DIALOGUE ON THE POPES AND THE JEWS

carol_rittnerPress release from Congregation B’nai Israel

Jewish-Catholic relations, from Pope John XXIII to Pope Francis I, will be the topic on Wednesday, April 2, when Congregation B’nai Israel (CBI) in Rumson hosts guest speaker Dr. Carol Rittner, a Catholic nun and a Distinguished Professor of Holocaust and Genocide Studies at The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.

The 7 pm lecture, which is co-sponsored by CBI, the Church of the Nativity of Fair Haven (Nativity) and the Center for Holocaust Human Rights & Genocide Education (CHHANGE) in Lincroft, will include comments from Reverend Robert J.W. Schecker, Pastor of Nativity, and Rabbi Jeff Sultar, spiritual leader of CBI.

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RED BANK: GATE MAIN ISSUE IN CHURCH PLAN

rbpb 032014 3Hudson Avenue resident William Hartigan discusses the church’s plan for fencing at Thursday night’s planning board meeting with neighbor Kevin Moss. Below, a rendering of the proposal. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

211 broad 032014The proposed conversion of a steepled Red Bank church into an office complex – with provision for a dramatically shrunken Sunday worship space – drew a full house to the planning board Thursday night.

Nearly all the concerns and objections to the plan for the First Church of Christ, Scientist house of worship on Broad Street were focused on one element: a gate on the Hudson Avenue side of the property.

Allowing for the gate, instead of sealing off access to Hudson, would surely result in more traffic on the residential street, neighbors said.

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RED BANK: SWAPPING PEWS FOR CUBICLES

211 broad 031114211 broad 2 031114On the Red Bank Planning Board agenda Thursday night: the First Church of Christ, Scientist, at 211 Broad Street wants to turn a good portion of its worship space into offices for rent.

The plan also calls for an addition to an existing one-story wing and other changes at the site, which would be rebranded as “Two Eleven Broad,” with about 1,500 square feet dedicated for church use. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

TV HOST SHARES INDIAN CULTURE AT RBR

NishaDuring journalist, actress and TV personality Nisha Mathur’s visit to a class in RBR’s Academy of International & Cultural Studies, sophomore Aliyyah Muhammad volunteered to demonstrate the traditional Sari dress.

Press release from Red Bank Regional High School

Nisha Mathur is a journalist, actress and co-anchor of The Asian Variety Show, which reaches a world-wide TV audience. Most recently, she added to her credits author of an autobiographic book.  My Mango Tango traces Ms. Mathur’s three-generational family’s quest of the American dream and how she balances a life caught between two very different cultures.

Red Bank Regional High School students in the Academy of International & Cultural Studies (AICS) were fortunate to recently welcome her to their Cultural Explorations class as she shared stories of her Indian culture, her American assimilation, and her impressive communication career.

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RED BANK: A PARISH CELEBRATES

With temperatures in the low 20s, several hundred parishoners of Red Bank’s St. Anthony of Padua Church celebrated the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe with their largest procession in years Thursday night. Starting at the pocket park at Shrewsbury Avenue and Doctors James Parker Boulevard, the procession headed east and then up Bridge Avenue, where marchers joined hundreds of other gathered in the parish auditorium for a Mass. (Photos by John T. Ward.)

RED BANK: PROUD VETS AND PINK-OUT PRAISE

Pink-Out IPilgrim Baptist Church of Red Bank recently hosted two special services —  including the annual Pink-Out Praise and Worship (above),  coordinated by the Nurse’s and Health & Wellness Ministries of PBC in recognition of individuals who are survivors of breast cancer, and dedicated to the early detection and treatment of all forms of cancer. Last week saw the annual Veteran’s Day service (below), with the Pilgrim congregation’s member veterans recognized for their service and sacrifice for our nation’s freedoms and liberties. (photos by Milagros Jeter)

PBC - Veterans Day 2013

RED BANK: STEEPLE STABLE, WEDDING’S ON

tower hill 110713Quick work by contractors and inspectors led to the reopening of the church Friday morning. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The landmark First Presbyterian Church at Tower Hill in Red Bank was back to doing the Lord’s work Friday morning following a 10-day shutdown triggered by a dicey steeple.

That means Sunday services will be held, dozens of students will return to their school and – most pressing – a wedding will go off as planned Friday evening.

The bride-and-groom-to-be, whose names were not disclosed, held a rehearsal Thursday night at their fallback sanctuary, the United Methodist Church on Broad Street, “but tonight they’ll be having their wedding here,” Tower Hill spokeswoman Karen Gyimesi tells redbankgreen.

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RED BANK: STEEPLE CRACK SHUTS CHURCH

tower hill 1 103013The 61-year-old steeple, which rises to 128 feet from the ground, has a failing timber inside, a church official says.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

tower hill 2 103013A cracked timber in the steeple has forced the temporary closure of the landmark First Presbyterian Church at Tower Hill in Red Bank.

Borough officials ordered the church and an adjoining school closed Tuesday morning after structural engineers could not rule out a catastrophic collapse of the 70-foot tall steeple, said construction official Stanley Sickels.

“In these situations, you either get to see it before it collapses or after,” he said. “There’s no way of knowing” what might trigger a failure.

The discovery prompted the shutdown of the Tower Hill School, as well as the relocation of Sunday services and community group meetings that serve hundreds of congregants and visitors each week, church property manager Rob Wallman tells redbankgreen. It could also derail a wedding planned for next week.

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FIVE + FIVE ADD UP, AT FIRST BAPTIST EVENT

scotthoffDr. Scott Hoffman of Billy Graham Evangelistic Association is among the guest speakers at the annual Jersey Shore Men’s Conference, hosted on October 5 at First Baptist Church in Red Bank. (click to enlarge)

Press release from First Baptist Church of Red Bank

Five seems to be the key number for the 2013 Jersey Shore Men’s Conference.  For five years, First Baptist Church of Red Bank has sponsored the annual event — and this year the event is on Saturday October 5, beginning at 8:30 am inside the church on 84 Maple Avenue. Past conferences have offered top quality speakers, exchanging thoughts with men about where they are in life, and where they want to be.

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RED BANK: A PSYCHIC’S QUEST FOR BELIEF

Lenore Dinger with a client at Earth Spirit in Red Bank last month. (Click to enlarge)

By GRACE GOLDONI

As someone who bills herself as a “spiritual intuitive counselor” and professes to hear angels talking in languages she doesn’t speak, Lenore Dinger might defy expectations.

She looks, quite frankly, like the average mom she is. Seated at a small table in closet-sized room where she counsels clients at Earth Spirit new age store on Monmouth Street in Red Bank, she’s more likely to wear a denim shirt than a peasant dress. Her hair, simply cut, is free of dreamcatchers and swirling silks. There’s no crystal ball on the table.

Nor, she says, does she just make stuff up to seem all-knowing.

“I don’t play that game that a lot of psychics out there play,” said Dinger. “I don’t want it played on me, and I don’t play it on people.”

Meet the seer who admits that she doesn’t always see. When it comes to insights into a client’s past lives, or guidance on the future, Dinger said, “if I don’t know, I’m going to tell you I don’t know.”

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NEW LOOK, NEW FEATURES, RIGHT HERE…

PieHole All Good headers

Welcome to redbankgreen 3.0.

The newest version of this seven-year-old authentically local news and information site comes with changes both cosmetic – as you’ve probably already noticed – and substantive.

The cosmetic is self-evident. The substance is hinted at above: PieHole and All Good are the names of new pages that we hope will satisfy particular needs in your life. And there’s some new fun stuff, too.

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WEEKENDER: ON THE GREEN AND ON THE SAND

Contractors building a new staircase over the sea wall at the Mad Hatter in Sea Bright, where thousands of revelers are expected for the daylong Dunesday fundraiser. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By ALEXIS ORLACCHIO

Friday, July 19:

LINCROFT: Royalty graces Brookdale Community College’s Lincroft campus as Shakespeare’s witty early comedy, “Love’s Labor’s Lost,” comes to the Great Lawn. Bring blankets, lawn chairs and picnic baskets (rain site: Performing Arts Center). The performance begins at 7 p.m. Park in lot 2. Lawn outside PAC building/Newman Springs Road/Route 520.

RED BANK: The versatile five-piece cover band Pez Head visits the Walt Street Pub for an invigorating Friday night set. The show pops at 8 p.m. 180 Monmouth Street.

RED BANK: Jazz pianist and pocalist Champian Fulton visits the Summer Jazz Café at Two River Theatre, presented by Jazz Arts Project. The series promises a big city club vibe with coffee and refreshments. The show begins at 8 p.m. and tickets are $22. 21 Bridge Avenue.

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RED BANK: STEEPLE RISING

The cross atop St. James Church in Red Bank Catholic Church is back after six months of rehabilitation. Among other repairs, the replacement of the old cross, which was damaged by a violent wind storm, should be finished by September, said a church business manager Veronica Alexander. (Photos by Dan Natale. Click to enlarge)