Lutheran Church of the Messiah

A Q&A With Greenpoint’s Post-Denominational Pastor


In its days as the Lutheran Church of the Messiah, the Russell Street fixture was already veering toward a looser interpretation of spirituality. It provided a haven for traditional religious services as much as it accommodated some of the more off-beat tastes of its neighbors, who helped make things like “Punk Rope” and “No Lights No Lycra” a well-known part of Greenpoint life.

Now, membership is open to anyone of any religious persuasion (including all you atheists), making Greenpoint look way ahead of Pope Francis as he graces our city today to promote tolerance and inclusivity. No longer exactly a church, but the “Park Church Co-op,” it stands as a reminder that though religion is beginning to embrace progressive ideals in a much more public way, the movement has been well underway thanks to some of the more low-profile leaders like Pastor Amy Kienzle.

Kienzle officially rebranded the church in June in a move that was largely a response to our changing demographic, even though not all members necessarily welcomed the shift. That said, the future looks bright for Kienzle and her growing community.

With this in mind, Greenpointers sat down with Pastor Amy to get the scoop about all the exciting programs her church is offering to the community these days.

Continue reading

Category: Community, News | Tags: , , , , , | 0 Comments

McGolrick Park Farmers Market Hosts Vegetarian Feast this Sunday, July 26th

Barry Schwartz
Barry Schwartz of Barry’s Tempeh will cook at Sunday’s Vegetarian Feast!

Recently at the McGolrick Park Farmers Market in Greenpoint, we chatted with the ONE and ONLY Barry Schwartz of Barry’s Tempeh. Not only is he Brooklyn’s resident tempeh-whisperer, but he’s also the chef lined up for the Vegetarian Feast Fundraiser this coming Sunday, July 26th. Tickets are $20; includes appetizer, entrée, dessert, and drink. Proceeds go to the Lutheran Church of the Messiah. Continue reading

Category: Community, Eat & Drink, Events | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 0 Comments

News from the McGolrick Park Farmers Market + Growing Cities Screening (3/4)


Greetings from Down to Earth Markets, the crew behind the McGolrick Park Farmers Market! We’re open indoors through the winter on Sundays from 11 am to 4 pm. Find us at the Lutheran Church of the Messiah on Russell Street, between Driggs and Nassau Avenues.

Continue reading

Category: Community, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Small Homeless Shelter opens on Russell Street

Greenpoint Lutheran Church of the Messiah at 129 Russell Street

Looks like 10 lucky people are feeling much warmer these days thanks to Pastor Amy Kinezle of Greenpoint’s Lutheran Church of the Messiah, who quietly opened a 10 person homeless shelter at the end of January.

Unfortunately, this act of kind faith has ruffled some feathers among those living close by. In a surprising lack of neighborly love, more than 400 residents had signed a petition against the shelter when the idea was first announced at the beginning of the year. Local residents, angered that another homeless shelter was opening in the neighborhood, complained the small shelter would attract mentally unstable men and/or alcoholics to the area, leaving homes open to robberies and break-ins. Continue reading

Category: Community, News | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

“Via Delorosa: Meditation on Mortality” Opens Tonight at Messiah Church (3/5)

Lutheran Church of the Messiah hosts sacred art show

Last night, I met with Pastor Amy Kienzle at Lutheran Church of the Messiah (129 Russell St) mid installation of an art show that opens tonight at 7pm. For all you heathens, today is also Ash Wednesday.

The show titled Via Delorosa: Meditation on Mortality is a “sacred exhibit” – a take on The Stations of the Cross, which are different scenes of Jesus’ crucifixion from his arrest and conviction through his entombment.

Half of the show takes place at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Williamsburg (334 So. 5th St) and was co-curated by the Pastor there – Ben McKelahan, along with Pastor Amy and Baxter Alexander – a local musician and artist.

Continue reading

Category: Art/Music, Culture, Events | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 0 Comments

No Lights No Lycra Benefit for Common Ground (12/14)

No Light No Lycra, the weekly dancing in the dark party at Lutheran Church of the Messiah (129 Russell St) is having a special group show benefit on December 14th, 2013 to benefit Common Ground, a homeless outreach program. Tickets are only $7! (in advance), $10 at the door.

100% of ticket sales will be donated!

Luke Temple (of Here We Go Magic)
Jo Schornikow (of Phosphoresent)
Laura & Greg
Single Ben
Eastern Midwestern
& DJ Pumpkin Patch

Beer lovingly supplied by Brooklyn Brewery

Category: Events | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 0 Comments

FLASH SALE! $100 OFF! Brooklyn Craft Camp: A One-Day DIY Extravaganza (10/5)

Brooklyn Craft Camp FLASH SALE!
$100 off with Code FLASH at checkout!

If you’re a crafty type, you won’t want to miss Brooklyn Craft Camp — an epic day of modern making happening in Greenpoint on Saturday, October 5, in the hall of the Church of the Messiah on Russell Street.


Brought to you by the soon-to-launch Brooklyn Craft Company, Craft Camp is a full day of crafting, eating, meeting and greeting! Registration includes four 90-minute modern craft classes — including terrariums, glass etching, stampmaking, papercut, suede tassel charms, sequin bracelets, knitted necklace, needle felting, and more — taught by amazing Brooklyn makers including craft authors, bloggers and designers.


But Brooklyn Craft Camp isn’t just mere crafting. It’s also awesome food — a Peter Pan donut bar for breakfast, a fancy lunch by Greenpoint chef Lisa Leonard Lee, and a cocktail hour. It’s great music with a DJ spinning vintage vinyl all day, a photo booth, a DIY nail art bar, a keynote chat from Jenni Rasosevich of I Spy DIY — and the sparkling company of over a hundred amazing crafty peeps! It’s like a DIY party all day long.


Advance registration is required, so head over to Brooklyn Craft Camp to check out all the classes and grab your spot!


Sponsored post courtesy of Brooklyn Craft Camp.
Category: Classes, Events | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 0 Comments

A Letter from The Pastor: Griffin Resigns

It’s sad to see such a great man go, but we wish him the best of luck! Thanks for everything Griffin! You rule.

Dear Friends,

On Monday evening at the Congregational Council meeting, I submitted my resignation as the pastor of the Lutheran Church of the Messiah. It has been my honor to serve you for the last seven and a half years. You have been my teachers and friends. For that, I am eternally grateful. Together, we have worked to reach out to the community in innovative ways — being a beacon of hope to our neighbors and beyond. 

As I enter a new decade in my life, I am feeling called by God into new adventures in my personal and professional life. I will be moving to Boston. At this time, I do not have a pastoral call or a job secured, but I have several possibilities in the mix. I am looking forward to what God has in store for me!

I have spoken with Bishop Rimbo about my plans. He and his staff are committed to walking closely with the congregation through the upcoming transition. The work accomplished by the Messiah/St. John’s dialog committee has laid the groundwork for moving forward together. Messiah is a resilient congregation, and I know that the future is bright even though it is a bit unclear at this time.

I plan to serve through the end of June, and my last Sunday will be June 24. I look forward to making the most of these final days with you. 

Again, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your on-going prayers and support. 

Grace and peace,
The Rev. Griffin Thomas

Category: Community | Tags: , , , , , , , | 0 Comments

McGolrick Park Farmer’s Market Update

Eastern Gray Squirrel, Wiewiorka Szara
© BasikKD from Greenpointers Flickr Pool

Nicole Reed, who began petitioning for a Farmer’s Market in McGolrick park sent me some positive feedback and updates:

The first meeting on 1/30 to discuss the possibility of a Farmer’s Market at McGolrick Park, with 709 signatures in hand, along with the support from District Leader Lincoln Restler, Morgan Pehme of the Friends of McGolrick Park, and Rev. Griffin Thomas of the Church of the Messiah was a success.

Community Markets is on the agenda to present tomorrow night, Thurs., 2/23 at 6:30pm, before the Parks and Waterfront Committee of Community Board 1 of Brooklyn. Location:  435 Graham Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11211. This meeting is open to the public. Please attend to show your support.

Category: Community | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 0 Comments


The Love Birds Valentine’s Market at the Lutheran Church of the Messiah was so much fun that I feel like Valentine’s Day already happened!

Check out your Love Nest Photos and Market Photos on Facebook.

Guests were raving about all the great gifts and delicious sweets & savories they enjoyed from local vendors, and there was a real African Grey Parrot for the kids to feed! The space was decorated so lovely by Julie of J.Hollis Styles and the artwork on display was gorgeous.

Thanks to Cara from Write by Hand and Jessie, from Sadie Magazine for the love letter writing station, to Miguel of Marofoto for his love nest photos, Eric from Sidereal Signs for doing astrology readings and the ladies of Holler for putting on a great show. Special thanks to all the local businesses who made the raffle and surprise gifts fun and exciting.

Thanks to our awesome contributors Hilary, Yana & Peter for helping to set-up the market and Griffin for letting us use the church! I would also like to thank my special Valentine Jon for all of his support, problem solving and encouragement. This great event could not have happened without everyone’s love, brawn & great attitudes! (has the music started?)

See more photos on Greenpointers Facebook.

Category: Events | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment