Broadway Presbyterian Church has been my anchor, my community, my place to give and my place to receive—it’s home! In the midst of a bustling, striving city, and a world that is often unpredictable and chaotic, BPC has been a constant for me and for my family. It’s always there, my gloriously beautiful church home, offering endless welcome and support for us. It’s where my boys have grown up singing on Christmas Eve, and performing in the annual Christmas Singalong; it’s where they have participated in theatre field trips and apple picking and impromptu basketball games in the basement. It’s where they learn that we all have gifts to give; we share our talents, our ideas, and we take in the gifts of others—and we all need each other and are better for it... It’s a place where we can speak our minds and expect to be heard. A place where we can laugh, create, serve, aid, and learn. And in return, we listen; we open our hearts, our eyes, and our minds to each other which then helps us to walk with joy, open hearts, and resilience in our daily lives. We are a cohesive community, but that doesn’t imply that we are all the same, on the contrary, we are a very eclectic group with a lot of differing opinions! But at BPC, all are welcome. Always. And that’s the “walk” not just the "talk”, as one of our members said to me the other day. We celebrate our differences and rejoice in the many ways we come together and support each other, our community and beyond.
I had passed the big stone building hundreds of times during my years at Barnard College, and then living in theneighborhood...passed but never went in. I knew it was a church,but wasn’t at a “church-going” stage of life. When our son Peterwas born, David and I began going to Riverside Church wherePeter was baptized. But there didn’t seem to be a comfortable “home” for us there, despite (or maybe because of) its massive size.
Then one Sunday Peter and I ventured to that big stone building, Broadway Presbyterian Church. When we walked upstairs into the Nursery, not only were we met with smiles, but within a few minutes both Rev. Carl Rosenblum and Rev Debra Given came inand made us feel welcome. By the time we’d come for only a fewSundays I discovered that almost every adult greeted Peter by nameduring coffee hour, and before long I’d been invited to getinvolved. I taught Sunday School, Junior Church and served on the Child Nurture committee with Hilda Koehler.
Broadway was a church that cared about people and families. From spaghetti suppers to square dances, the church brought fun and excitement, and we felt a part of the community. Peter still talks about hiding Easter eggs on the ceiling in the Parish Hall when the older kids used to hide them for the little ones.
I am so grateful for all the spiritual and emotional connections I have with members of the congregation. I am grateful for John Donaldson and Bobby Graham who lead our Sunday BibleStudy. O’Brien’s weekly prayers are so wonderfully shared. I am particularly grateful for Chris who has helped me deepen my understanding of my relationship with God and the place of worship in my life. Each week I am inspired anew by his words and insights.
Serving on the Trustees years ago when we orchestrated the first substantial renovation of the church, (new pew cushions, floors, painting, repairing) has made me feel a part of the building itself. I will always see Bruce Johnson poised on a ladder scrubbing the very highest mullions between the stained-glass windows, and Marie Kalson and Helen Robinson during our annual pre-Easter cleaning delicately polishing the silver and applying lemon oil to the pews.
To me Broadway Presbyterian Church is a very special place and in moving to New York from Boston I was looking for many things. Being new-community was important; I think we all really long for community. Broadway is absolutely that for me. I researched the church before I left Boston & emailed Revered Shelton and toldhim I was interested in attending. It’s a church that is inclusive, diverse, andwelcoming, but it also has a heart and passion for giving back to the community with
the soup kitchen and shelter.
The fact that the church is welcoming and accepting to the LGBTQ community is important to me. I love how spiritual BPC is and how it both nurtures and challenges my spirit. I feel like there is a spirt of love, kindness, and compassion at Broadway. I feel that little Broadway has more going for it than many larger churches.
Then sermons from Revered Shelton are spot on and especially poignant with the world today and coupled with the kindnesses from the people in the church -I feel as God is there. I leave from services with a glow and lighter heart. The Church helps keep me focused on the positives of life. I really do think our church is special and doing what Jesus said in terms of loving our neighbors.