Mark Your Calendars: All Creatures Great & Small

Annual Blessing of the Animals nys

Just today I recalled we were reaching the time of year when the Church of the Ascension (in honor of St. Francis) hosts its annual blessing and remembrance service for critters of all kinds. Then, serendipitously enough, I spy Reverend Merz himself on Manhattan Avenue posting fliers. This is a wonderful event and a great opportunity to get to know your neighbors and fellow furkids— past and present. Check it out!

All Creatures Great & Small: Annual Blessing & Service of Remembrance
October 12, 2014 starting at 3:00 p.m.
Church of the Ascension
127 Kent Street
Brooklyn, New York 11222

From The New York Shitty Inbox: All Creatures Great & Small

October 7, 2013 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

animal blessing

Reverend Merz writes:

Hi Heather,Was wondering if you can post this event this week. We are having our Animal Blessing and Remembrance of those that have died this next weekend, Sunday October 13th at 3pm.

It is short, like 20 minutes and all the animals are in the Church. My “favorite part” is that we remember those that have died which to my mind is hugely important. There are few public places where we can come together and acknowledge the tremendous impact, love shared and grief when we experience when we  lose our animal friends.

Thanks a million (bring one or all of your Kitty’s down)

Yours, John

Gladly passed along! I have swung by this event in years past— it is wonderful! As for bringing all of Chez Shitty’s cats to be blessed: Mr. Merz better be careful of what he wishes for. Check it out!

Blessing of the Animals
Sunday, October 13, 2013 starting at 3:00 p.m.
Church of the Ascension
127 Kent Street
Brooklyn, New York 11222

From The New York Shitty Inbox, Part II: East Bank Music Series

September 2, 2013 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 


A very nice lady named Julia writes:

Dear Heather,

John Merz gave me your email address, I am the music director at Church of the Ascension and organizer of East Bank Music, a concert series at the church. We have our first show coming up on Friday, here is the press release. If you were able to post on newyorkshitty it would be wonderful!

East Bank Music Presents Aaron Blount (of Knife in the Water) with Dimestore Dance Trio
Friday Sept 6th, 8:00 pm
Suggested donation: $10.00
The Church of the Ascension
127 Kent St (btw Franklin Street and Manhattan Avenue)
Brooklyn, New York 11222

Aaron Blount is a songwriter and founder of the widely regarded Austin band Knife in the Water. Raised and home schooled in rural central Texas in the 1980s, his songs bear the residual influence of Country and Gospel with a surreal literary bent. Finding the balance between crime-novel storytelling and epiphany under the influence, his music is kindred to Denis Johnson, the Dirty Three, Sam Peckinpah, and Narcocorrido. Knife in the Water have released 3 Lps to much acclaim and he has released one solo Ep. He is currently at work on a new album.

Dimestore Dance Trio is an ongoing conversation of composition and improvisation between guitarist Jack Martin and bassist Jude Webre, now with Eric Read on the drum kit. Their spirited blend of 1940s small-combo stratagems, post-bop stumbling struts, and ethereal flights pays homage to various forebears (Erik Satie, Django, Charlie Christian, Albert Ayler, the Lounge Lizards) by taking apart their harmolodic machines to make ready for re-assembly on any occasion.


For more information about this event check out the Church of the Ascension’s web site or East Bank Music Series’s Facebook page.

Mark Your Calendars: Meeting On Crime

August 13, 2013 ·
Filed under: 11222, Criminal Activity, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn 



Be there!

Meeting On Crime
August 19, 2013 starting 6:30
Church of the Ascension
127 Kent Street
Brooklyn, New York 11222

From The New York Shitty Inbox, Part II: TAK


This the second in a series of affordable Sunday afternoon music will come to pass this upcoming May 4th at the Church of the Ascension! Those of you who are interested in updates as to what Reverend Merz is cooking up should follow the East Bank Music Series Facebook page by clicking here. Check it out!

2013 East Bank Music Series: TAK
May 4, 2013 starting at 3:00 p.m.
Suggested Donation: $10.00
Church of the Ascension
127 Kent Street
Brooklyn, New York 11222

From The New York Shitty Inbox: The East Bank Music Series

April 23, 2013 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 


This item comes courtesy of John Merz at the Church of the Ascension. He writes:

…We are initiating a concert series at Ascension. We’re trying to bring in good musicians but keep it inexpensive for all. Come on down for an hour of great music Sunday at 3pm!

Not only does this sound like a wonderful way to spend a Sunday afternoon, but I for one am very eager to see this series get some traction. Check it out!

2013 East Bank Music Series: An Afternoon of Violin Music
April 28, 2013 starting at 3:00 p.m.
Church of the Ascension
127 Kent Street
Brooklyn, New York 11222

From The New York Shitty Inbox: Electra Is Missing!


Pastor Merz (whose premises this felines call her place of enjoyment) writes:


this may not be ny shitty worthy but it is important to me. Electra is like our baby. thanks.

Done! If you see something, say something— and spread the word!

UPDATE, April 15, 2013: I am pleased to announce Electra has found her way back home. Pastor Merz writes:

By the way, thanks all for the prayers and everything else…Electra came back. I think she was locked in someone’s basement. She looked like shit but smelled like bounce fabric softener

Live From The Informational Meeting Regarding the Respite Center at 122 Java Street


Spotted on Kent Street February 21, 2013.


Forwarded to me by a concerned citizen from Java Street, February 20, 2013. He/she writes:

hey there, father john (and miss heather). you may have seen the attached flyer by now, but i wanted to pass it along to make sure you’re aware of it. i saw it in our vestibule… this morning and have been seething ever since. after the contretemps on milton street, those of us who pay attention to such affairs are aware of the character of the opposition and you’re probably more than prepared for tomorrow evening. we’ve all heard the nimby exaggerations about public pee-pee and poo-poo, but the suggestion that ascension will be “making money on the backs of java street residents” was particularly galling…


Let’s review numbers and facts.


from people and public officials who not only gave their names, but also contact information! To this end I will share footage I shot from last night’s meeting. Here we go!

Anyone who:

  1. wishes to be apprised of the sex offenders in Greenpoint can do so here.
  2. wishes to volunteer at the Respite Center (and get to know the men who use it) can do so by contacting Pat McDonnell at Outreach via telephone at (347) 925 – 5532 or email at: ptmcdonn7 (at) aol (dot) com.
  3. wishes to get the scoop/details on the homeless “situation” hereabouts are invited to the Greenpoint Homeless Task Force Meeting. This will come to pass March 7th.

I am particularly interested in the lattermost. I want to know what resources are allocated for Greenpoint/North Brooklyn’s homeless women. I asked Mr. Sheehan if this would be covered at this meeting (provided one asked). He said it would. So there have you!

More to come…

From The New York Shitty Inbox: A Message From Reverend Merz

February 19, 2013 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

As many people reading this are undoubtedly aware the respite bed program was (somewhat) recently relocated to the Church of the Ascension. What lead to this happening, while highly unpleasant, indicated a lot of folks hereabouts do not know who is caring for our local homeless and how this being implemented. This is something Reverend Merz wishes to change. To this end he along with our elected officials, Common Ground and the Greenpoint Homeless Task Force will be conducting an informal meeting. He writes:

The Greenpoint Homeless Task Force, Common Ground and the Church of the Ascension invites you to an informational meeting about our work among the local homeless as we assist them in finding relief and recovery in their lives. Local elected and community leaders, will also be present. The meeting will take place Thursday February 21st at 7pm at 122 Java Street (Ascension Parish Hall). This time will offer an opportunity for you to learn more about the services we offer, to ask questions and make suggestions. In addition there will be opportunities to for you to plug in to various aspects of this important community work, we can use your good energy!  We look forward to your presence.

So there have you. Those of you who want to learn more about the respite shelter— and perhaps lend a hand to your neighbors in need— this is your chance. Be there!

Informa/Informational Meeting Regarding Greenpoint’s Homeless
February 21, 2013 at 7:00 p.m.
Church of the Ascension’s Parish Hall
122 Java Street
Brooklyn, New York 11222

From The New York Shitty Inbox: A Request From Reverend Merz

January 2, 2013 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

This missive comes from the Pastor-in-charge of Greenpoint’s very own Church of the Ascension (and all-around nice guy): John Merz:

From the Rev John Merz, Episcopal Priest at the Church of the Ascension at 127 Kent Street. Greenpoint’s oldest church:

Feb 13th is Ash Wednesday which is the beginning of the season of Lent. One of the ancient practices in Lent is for people to walk the stations of the cross (walking meditation…an ancient practice) At Ascension we have the traditional 14 stations around the church space.
The 14 portray these themes (click here). I would like to propose that people take one or two and interpret or rework them. There are no boundaries at all in this, save one, no irony. It has been my experience that ironic detachment is a cover for a certain kind of intellectual or creative impotence (i.e. Serrano’s Piss Christ or Chris Ofili’s work would not fall under something disrespectful or ironic if that gives a bit more nuance of where I am coming from).  So with that one ground rule I would love to open the opportunity for those interested in working on a station.

The stations are archetypal and display are icons of some of the basic processes of being human: letting go, facing fear and fate, finding help along the way, the utilitarian worlds knack for punishing the creative loving spirit (maybe some artists can relate to  that).  Finally there is the brooding and hard reality of death’s opacity. I am not sure if it would be possible to pull something together for the week of Ash Wednesday but if there are artists that want to jump on this email me at let me know what you think and if you have friends that would be down send it along to them and have them get back to me. Maybe we can do an opening sometime in Lent…anyway, if you like the idea let me know, if you have a station you want to do let me know too. If you want to come and see the stations stop by on a Sunday or schedule an appointment with me

Yours, John

I for one think this is a wonderful idea. Let’s get cracking north Brooklynites— and spread the word!

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