Park Avenue Christian Church
|Park Avenue Christian Church|
|Location||Upper East Side, New York, NY, USA|
|Affiliation||Disciples of Christ, Reform Judaism|
|Website||Park Avenue Christian Church, Congregation Da'at Elohim, the Temple of Universal Judaism|
|Architect(s)||Cram, Goodhue & Ferguson|
|Direction of façade||East|
|Spire height||70 feet (21 m)|
The Park Avenue Christian Church is located at 1010 Park Avenue at 85th Street, on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. At present, the building houses the Park Avenue Christian Church (PACC) congregation of the Disciples of Christ, which also routinely shares its facilities and cosponsors interfaith events with the Reform Temple of Universal Judaism (TUJ), also known as Congregation Da'at Elohim.
In 1911, the original owners, the South Dutch Reformed Church, commissioned the firm of Cram, Goodhue & Ferguson, to design the Park Avenue sanctuary. The architects were clearly inspired by the features of La Sainte-Chapelle in Paris, which were translated into the stately proportions and the slender 70-foot spire (flèche) of its New York counterpart. Buttresses enabled the building to stand without any steel girding. In a further aspect of architectural note, many of the stained glass windows were designed by the leading artist Louis Comfort Tiffany. After passing through the hands of the Park Avenue Presbyterian Church, the building was finally acquired in 1945 by the Christian Church. The original rectory was replaced in 1963 by a much larger five storey facility which in addition to church facilities also houses the church's day school. A 56-rank organ, built by Holtkamp, was installed in 1982. Major restoration of the sanctuary building was completed in 1993. The building is an architectural "landmark" of the City of New York.
PACC traces its descent from a group called "the Disciples of Christ", formed by nine former members of the Ebenezer Church of New York City in 1810, out of a "fervent desire to embrace a pure and simple understanding of church life as found in the New Testament." Beginning with its participation in the movement to abolish slavery during the 19th century, the Church has espoused an ethical commitment to pursue social justice. One of its current emphases is a commitment to diversity. This includes helping to increase the number of Open and Affirming congregations and to eliminate bias regarding sexual orientation in the selection of ministers within the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). The congregation continues to be committed to the ecumenical movement for Christian unity, community service, interfaith acceptance, peacemaking and a major involvement in the arts, especially music. A variety of concerts are offered to the community. Since 1989 the church has sponsored a Saturday Lunch Program for the hungry and/or homeless in its facilities.
Temple of Universal Judaism
TUJ was founded in 1974 by Rabbi Roy A. Rosenberg as a haven for interfaith couples and families, while also welcoming Jews from other backgrounds, as well as non-Jews interested in Judaism. The congregation holds services once a month and on Jewish holidays. As an example of its efforts to follow the imperative of tikkun olam ("repairing the world") through social action and interfaith cooperation, TUJ holds various events together with PACC, such as the joint annual commemoration in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr., and his friend in the Civil Rights movement, Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel.
- Bukowsky, Rivka (September 23, 2005). "Moving to a New Beat". The Jewish Week. Retrieved 2007-04-11.
- Park Avenue Christian Church. "Our Rich History". Retrieved 2007-04-11.
- Roshevsky, Eve. "Shul Shopping". Retrieved 2007-04-11.
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