The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Reflecting the neighborhood

Advent Lutheran Church blends several ethnic/racial groups in a Manhattan neighborhood that its pastor, J. Elise Brown, says has been gentrifying in the last 10 years. It’s a multicultural neighborhood, Brown said, “and we try our best to reflect that.” The congregation has a strong and large young adult population  — and many families with children too.

<BR><BR><BR><BR>Spelman Beaubrun, originally
Spelman Beaubrun, originally from Haiti, sings and claps as he worships at Advent Lutheran Church in Manhattan, where he’s been a member for 15 years.
Djamillah Samad, congregational vice president, said the blend of “white, African-American, African, Latino and Asian is a challenge but not as much as one might think.” New Yorkers are used to being in the midst of “the other” in all aspects of their lives, she said.

Advent blends several faiths and cultures too. “We have lifelong Lutherans and new Lutherans from many Christian traditions plus those from the two other Abrahamic religions (Judaism and Islam),” Samad said. These differences, she added, are honored by “acknowledging them, sharing and learning and by providing a home for them.”

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