Thursday, December 8, 2011

The City Council Proclamation

The West-Park Presbyterian Church, located at 165 West 86th Street, on the corner of Amsterdam Avenue, has spent the last 100 years serving its Upper West Side neighborhood and the entire city of New York as a beacon of hope and a progressive leader on the edge of change in church and society. This centennial anniversary celebrates a rich history while initiating a new beginning; and
WHEREAS: On June 11, 1911, the former West and Park congregations joined together to create the West-Park Presbyterian Church.  In its first century, West-Park established a truly diverse congregation, welcoming refugees from First Presbyterian and First Chinese Presbyterian, Havana as well as Spanish and Portuguese speaking immigrants from the Caribbean and South America and neighborhood Latinos who created La Iglesia Presbiteriana de West-Park; and  
WHEREAS: In 1978 West-Park became the first Presbyterian Church in the United States to welcome lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons at every level of church leadership by its More Light Declaration which began a movement that spread across the country continuing the struggle for inclusion for 33 years. West-Park pioneered marriage equality in celebrating same gender marriages and enjoyed the full inclusion of LGBT church leaders in July 2011; and
WHEREAS: West-Park has served on the frontlines of local and national social campaigns.  The church was the home of SANE and FREEZE for the planning of the 1982 march against nuclear proliferation that drew a million marchers to New York City.  Following 9-11, West-Park served as a hub church to meet the needs of those who fell between the cracks of programs and hosted work groups from across the country.  The church was also the first home of God's Love We Deliver, providing meals on wheels to persons with AIDS; and
            WHEREAS:    In addition to creating programs for both children and senior citizens West-Park participated in the founding of the Westside Campaign Against Hunger, the Interfaith Assembly on Housing and Homelessness, the Westside Federation for Senior and Supportive Housing and Manhattan Together.  The church has also long been a center for arts and culture, seeking to explore the intersection of beauty and justice, ethics and esthetics; and
             WHEREAS:    As it entered its centennial year in 2011, West-Park partnered with neighbors with a shared vision to create the Center at West-Park, an independent center for spiritual and social transformation through arts and culture, intergenerational education, social engagement and exploration of wonder and the human spirit, redefining its role on the West Side for the next century; now, therefore  
BE IT KNOWN:  That I, Gale A. Brewer, Council Member of the 6th District, most gratefully honor
West-Park Presbyterian Church
                                                       for 100 years of service to Manhattan’s West Side Community and all of New York City.  
                                    Signed this 5th Day of December in the year Two Thousand and Eleven.
        GALE A. BREWER
Council Member, 6th District Manhattan

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