Letters To The Editor
Lament over church project Dear Editor:
I just read that they are trying to sell The United Presbyterian Church on 60th Place in Ridgewood (“After Rumors Fly, Ridgewood Church Eyes Sr. Housing Plan,” May 6 issue, available online at www.times newsweekly.com). Isn’t anything sacred anymore?
I know the economy is bad right now but that is when people need a place to go for help and sanctuary. The United Presbyterian Church is a great asset to this neighborhood. They offer a lot of programs for the community. If they close, where are the people they service supposed to go?
Instead of spending money to help other countries, we should help our own. I am not being prejudiced but we have our own problems here in this country. Look what happened in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. We took the money that was allocated to fix the levees there for the war in Iraq.
I invited Pastor Fury to speak at the Maspeth West End Block Association meeting a few months ago. He said that money was tight. He said that once you start taking money from the government you have to follow their rules.
He said that the government wants you to look for benefit cards in order to feed people. He said he feels if a person comes to the soup kitchen they are hungry whether they have a benefit card or not. I agree with him. Not all people who are in need are able to get help from the government. Did Jesus turn away people who were hungry and didn’t have a benefit card? I think not.
I hope the church can do something to save the programs that they offer.
I know there is a need for senior housing around here. I just wonder how they are going to keep the church and build the senior housing too.
What happened to the senior housing they were supposed to build above the Glenridge Senior Citizen Center on Summerfield Street in Ridgewood?
I know that Trinity-St. Andrews Lutheran Church here in Maspeth is also struggling to stay open. There was an interview with Pastor Weber a few years ago in the New York Daily News. He said as people die off in his congregation no one replaces them. Children of members of the church have moved out of this neighborhood. He said the new immigrants moving into this neighborhood are not Lutheran.
I know he is trying to sell the parish house. He spoke to the Department of Education about purchasing it. It needs a lot of work.
Another neighbor told me that they rent the parsonage to make money to stay open.
I just hope one of these churches doesn’t turn into another St. Savior's.
That will be so sad. I hope something can be done to save our churches. They are sacred and a vital part of our communities.
Editor’s note: As reported in the article referenced, the pastor of the United Presbyterian Church of Ridgewood, Rev. Henry Fury, stated that the church will not close. The proposed senior housing units would be built within part of the church and on the site of the parsonage, which would be demolished. The remaining space in the church would continue to be used for services and various programs operated at the site.
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