Newsweek writer Ben Adler discusses the controversy surrounding the planned mosque near Ground Zero and mentions the influence of churches in his native Park Slope and near St. Ann’s where he went to school:
Newsweek: Perhaps my favorite is Plymouth Church in Brooklyn Heights, its unadorned, modest New England Congregationalist architecture a striking, peaceful counterpoint to the Victorian grandeur of its surrounding neighborhood. Plymouth was the home of the great abolitionist preacher Henry Ward Beecher and a stop on the Underground Railroad.
And then there is St. Ann’s, the Episcopal congregation that incubated my progressive high school, and still lends its large and riveting, if somewhat worn-out, space to the school for major events. There, in the pews, under the stained-glass windows, were the sources of some of my fondest and most poignant memories of high school: a teacher leading us all in an acoustic rendition of The Wall by Pink Floyd at the annual Christmas assembly, a recent memorial service for a social-studies teacher who mentored me.