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Community board continues to question the size of proposed Woodside church

crowdchurch

December 6, By Christian Murray

Scores of congregants from a Woodside church attended Community Board 2’s monthly meeting Thursday to support their leaders who seek a zoning variance that would permit the construction of a 5 story structure on the corner of 69th Street and Roosevelt Avenue.

The leaders of Universal Church of the Kingdom of God, located at 68-03 Roosevelt Avenue, want to build a mega church on the site in order to expand their congregation and cater to growing programmatic needs.

The church aims to build the structure, which would total 67,950 square feet, on its current parking lot. The church needs a zoning variance in order to go ahead with its plans.

The new church, which would replace the existing structure, would be erected on a site where buildings are only permitted to be up to 45 feet tall and must be at least 30 feet from the property line.

The variance requested would alter those requirements, allowing the church to build its 79 feet tall structure and permit it to be within 10 feet from the property line at the rear of the site.

churchwoodsideThe existing church is a one-story 17,860 square feet structure that was once a nightclub. The main service area seats 650 people and there is one rectory.

This building would be demolished if the church is granted its variance and it would create room for about 150 parking spaces.

The new building would seat 996 people for religious services and would also include classrooms, a business center, gym, a production studio, offices and 10 rectories. The rectories would house visiting clergy members and their families.

The church in order to be granted the variance must show, among other items, that the existing zoning is causing an unnecessary hardship and that the new building would not alter the character of the area.

The decision as to whether the variance should be granted will ultimately be decided by the Board of Standards and Appeals. However, before the BSA rules on it, the community board is required to make a recommendation. The board is expected to vote on the church’s BSA application on  January 5. The recommendation is merely advisory.

Landuse attorney Eric Palatnik described the current 69th Street/Roosevelt Avenue location to be a “dark, dank corner…where there is crime up and down the block.”

He said that the church has been in discussion with the community board for some time and has modified its plans following its feedback. One significant change has been the inclusion of a public plaza along Roosevelt Avenue.

“We want to make it a beautiful neighborhood,” Palatnik said.

The church said that it would provide lighting and security for the plaza.

“The board was concerned that we were creating a dead zone [where the new parking area would be] so the church decided to build a public plaza and liven up the street,” Palatnik said. “It will open up the intersection.”

Community Board 2 Chair Denise Keehan-Smith agreed that the church has made such adjustments based on ongoing conversations.

Updated Plan

Updated Plan

Some community board members at Thursday’s meeting questioned whether the church needed a building of such scale given the size of its membership.

Church officials said that each Sunday about 700 parishioners attend services. The number is divided among four services, with the 10 a.m. mass catering to about 300 to 400 members.

“With only 700 congregants why the need for such a big building,” queried board member Carol Terrano.

Palatnik, who responded to Terrano, did not answer her question but instead brought up the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), a law that protects religious institutions from discrimination during the zoning process.

Former Community Board 2 Chair Joe Conley took except with Palatnik’s citing of RLUIPA.

“It is very disingenuous that you have brought that up three times,” Conley said, adding that board has always been supportive of the district’s religious institutions. “We stand proudly behind churches and for you to keep interjecting…that if somehow that if you don’t get your way that you’re going to call it religious persecution is an outrage.”

Several church members, many wearing white sweatshirts with a rendering of the new facility on the front, spoke passionately on behalf of their institution and how it has turned their lives around.

Original plan

Original plan

Eduardo Puebla said the church helped him overcome a 15-year drug addiction.

“I was 15 years with a drug habit especially crystal meth,” he said. “They showed me how to come out of my drug addiction.”

A young woman spoke about how the church had helped her overcome depression and aided her when her parents no longer wanted her.

“I had nowhere to go and coming to the church helped me see a real family,” she said. “You are worried about this being a bigger building…we are making a bigger space for a bigger family and making a bigger miracle.”

The project, if it were to go forward, would lead to the loss of parking during the 2-year construction phase.

The new church would be built on the existing parking lot, and once completed the existing church would then be demolished and the parking would go in there.

Some Woodside residents are concerned that the development would lead to traffic problems and parking issues (particularly during construction) that would reduce business for nearby restaurant owners in the area now referred to as Little Manila. Many of these residents held up ‘No’ signs during the meeting.

Other members of the Filipino community claimed that the development would encourage other property owners to construct large buildings. This they claim would be the beginning of gentrification.

antichurchexpansion

email the author: news@queenspost.com

267 Comments

Glinda the good witch

You are mistaken. Go to the library and read up on alcoholism. Since you probably don’t know, the library is the building with all the books on shelves




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linda

Its is amazing how some of these hammer-heads above are able to criticize with no knowledge, FYI there are very good, hard worker, God fear people who congregate over there, I may not follow their beliefs but I rather have churches at every corner than clinics for drug users and alcoholics who by the way, contribute with NOTHING, ZERO, NADA , and knowing that my taxes are there. Drugs and alcohol are not illnesses, those are weak people using a easy way to deal with real life, Cancer, MLS are illness




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Day laborers

Let the useless day laborers build it. Itll take 60 years to build. They will build the roof first and have to keep starting over




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Anonymous

Oh shut up your probably drunk up at 1 am worrying about my comment you loser. I like nice looking women, and plenty of them. Maybe ill marry one of those church going beautiful women so be quiet your probably ugly and jealous. There is nothing disrespectful about trying to meet beautiful pure church going woman,i might get lucky and actually stay with one. Mind your business ugly btw, mom is r.i.p., so whos disrespectful, no daughters, sister, or aunts. So f u




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Anonymous

I see some really hot women going in this church or whatever it is. Really hot women. I went to go in but wasnt really feeling welcome there so i didnt want to cause a commotion so i left but i wasnt really welcomed with open arms. I dont think they want white people. I just came from st Sebastians church so i was dressed well. I just saw hot women so i figured let me see whats this place all about. Im going to try again, it was like a bunch of strippers but with conservative clothes on. If you want to meet a beautiful woman ,thats church going, this is the place.




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Anonymous

I am resident of Community Board 2 and I don’t attend this church, but I must say that your comment was incredibly disrespectful. Please take a moment to think if you would like your mother, wife, sister, daughter, aunt, or any other female in your life you be sexually objectified in that way.




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No more

Your “church” shouldnt get any special treatment. No to a incredibly large building. It does not fit here. That simple, zoning laws are in place fo a reason. Its to big. Go to a better location that will accommodate this. You people just think of yourselves. What about the people who own a house over here . We cant get off our block because of you already. Im not against religion, im against building a building that will have a negative impact on everyday life over here. Its to congested already. One guy above posted itll help parking, yeah right, if theres a spot right on 69th, are they going to take it, or say, no, thats for the neighborhood,let me go in the parking lot. No let me grab this spot and later i wont have to wait 30 mins to get out of the parking lot, ito the traffic we created




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I CHANGED MY MIND!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hey an above post claims the congregation consists of many ex dealers, ex junkies, ex prostitutes…ex prostitutes???? Really….. sorry guys, i think this church is great, where do i join?? Ex prostitutes!!!!! Im in, i knew it, alot of sexy latin woman ,oh yea, where do i make a donation




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Anonymous

Saying church will not bring nothing to this community is like say God does not bring nothing to this community. But what do I know. I dont have the last word. There is reason why people are revel to God because something when wrong and they are angry at God because of that. But is not our way is his way. That’s what we have to understand
The doors will be open for you too even if you say NO. GOD will be there waiting for you.




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Anonymous

JESSIE-then why not just leave this one the way it is, and go build a bigger one somewhere that its less disruptive to the neighborhood. If your going to have two, why not leave yhis one be, it already is too big for that community




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María

I support The construction of The church in queens! If it wasnt for this institution i would be dead, there was no solution for my problem and i want More and More people to be helped.




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Curious

How big are those 10 rectories? Will there be 10 visiting pastors at one time or will these be residences for others?




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Anonymous

Of course I support this constrution because it is not only construction of a chruch it is construcion a better future to many famlies and queen society.




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Veronika

I agree with the Construction of the new building ?percent
why?? For many reasons:

The people need a big building because we are thinking about the future, we are not thinking selfishly.

Some of the comments I see are :

“I honestly don’t think they need a big space”
“I think the church is to big ”
“I think is going to be too much traffic”
“I think we don’t need a big church ”
“I”
This is the problem;

They only think of themselves , it’s so disappointing to see selfish people only thinking of how it is going to “affect us” .
But honestly , it won’t !
They are not thinking of the people out there ,people that really need a helping hand , strength to start from scratch, to have a new life.
No one is thinking about all the people out there who have no family, that are going through struggles ,a church is like a second home and yes the beauty of the church is to attract the eye , it will bring people , but that’s the point !

We want this church to be the home for those that need it , and like some people said it will attract “the homeless ” well , you don’t necessarily have to be without a home to be homeless , there are many people with a home but without a united family .
Here we are a Family .
People have to stop thinking ONLY in themselves .

I have seen complaints on the traffic!
Are you kidding me?!
This is New York , there is Traffic everywhere we go, let’s be realistic .

The Universal Church will bring life to those who lost everything, solutions to people who are looking just for one opportunity to star all over again.
This is what the Universal Church is !

We need a bigger space because like we said before , we have so many groups
Kids, toddlers and baby’s – are in need of a bigger bible school .
Pre teens group
Single mothers group
Our Culture groups in the Youth Group
Sports groups
A group for women that went through/ are going through domestic violence , and much more ..

We have found several ways to reach out to people , but with limited space our work as well has limits .

The youths of the drama group don’t have a space to practice every day, that goes to mention only one of the many groups.
these youth have found a way to stay away from the streets but they can’t embrace and develop their talent if they don’t have a decent place to practice .

By re constructing the church we will have space for all of you , those who want are welcome to come .
We don’t want limits on helping others and our goal is not to destroy the community , we want the permission to keep fulfilling our mission to save others .

One argument that was said was “Jesus didn’t need a big church to save people ”

But when Salomón built the temple , he used the finest and most expensive material , because it was not only a place to worship and seek God , but it was also a home to the people . This place was a holy place to glorify , and the beauty of the church we are fighting for is to glorify God and to welcome those who want to meet that same God we know .

Let’s start thinking less in “I” , stop for a second and think, how can a church “destroy” when all it wants is the right to help out more people ?




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Pwe

I read almost all the comments and it starts ” I support the contrition of this church” or “I lost an an arm…” It’s very obvious they’re members of the church but these people don’t live in this neighborhood! Oh please, don’t ask me to attend or see how fun and loving your congregation. NO I have no interest in going to your church. The point is, 69 st.as it is so congested with all these traffic in the neighborhood. Did your church ever care what will happen to the neighborhood once that monster is built. It will definitely displaced the Filipino community. I guess it doesn’t matter to you as long as you have your church built. Is that what your church teaching is all about? Displacing an important area of another culture? How would your congregation feels if a playboy magazine set up their showroom right where Krystals restaurant is located. It’s despicable, right? Well that’s how I fell as a resident of this neighborhood.




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Fan of dough boy park

” Continuing to grow” does not make the trouble go away. Nor does it change reality. Nor does it absolve sins. in a neglected yard, weeds will grow, it doesn’t make them good.




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Fan of Dough Boy park

204 comment! Is that a record? 90% new posters from the sounds of it. This ” church” has already gotten in trouble before. Anyone else get the feeling there ‘was pressure on people to post to defend their church




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Really?

Nope no pressure at all, this is to show how much we support this construction. And if the church got in trouble already why do we continue and will continue to grow? Expanding the ministry all over the world? Think about that …




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Anonymous

It looks as if the word wen/t out am;on/g m;em;b-ers to say they wan/t the variance. It really isn’t right for the people who will benefit from the variance to gang up on this site and try to overwhelm the rest of the community who isn’t as aware of the issue but who will nonetheless be swamped by the building and the congestion. The neighborhood is small. It shouldn’t be the international headquarters for anything whatsoever. It is residential. Let people live in peace. It is unimaginably selfish to believe the needs of a single religious community outweigh the lives of everyone around you. Wake up to your neighbors’ needs. Take the same money and use it to grow outward or in another place. Please.




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Anonymous

YES! We need a church that shows the GREAT GOD we worship…the bigger it is the more souls will be saved with his word…plus it’ll improve the community it’ll make it more beautiful and i bet the business will also benefit since people after they get out of church will most likely want to grab a bit

The more bigger the church the more lives will be reached

YES TO THE CONSTRUCTION




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Alternate Universe

I lost my arm in a motorbike accident. The church helped me grow another one. No doctor could do that.




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JT

Wow! Is it like a cool cyborg arm? Or totally like human?

Also, would this church help me get tickets to Hamilton? (asking for a friend!)




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JT

Too many concessions for an organization riddled with money laundering and fraud charges. Their pastors are LOADED and rake in way more than theyr congregants are able to. Religious institutions are also tax exempt – why allow a zoning change for this project that doesn’t benefit the community as a whole? You know what would benefit the community? A tax levy on the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God and the millions of dollars raised every year.




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Let's get to the point

I’m sorry Mr. JT, where are you getting your information from? Because I can assure you that the pastors are not ‘loaded’ as you state .. if your eye is on the ‘money’ being spent, than obviously you really have no idea what we are all about. But if you want to find out more, don’t ‘google’ us, I can google the symptoms of pain that I would be having and it can tell me that I’ll die on the next 3 days in other words everything the internet says in inaccurate .. come and see what we are all about, than you’ll realize that all we want to do is share what was given to us.




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JT

No thanks! Keep on believing. There’s nothing wrong with that. Your argument is invalid. If you researched, you would find many articles and court filings against this organization in the US and abroad. Religious institutions should not be tax exempt when their pockets are lined with the amount of cash that this church swindles from its members.




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Just saying

Again, where are you getting the research from? Online? Or did you actually go to the headquarters and asked? Did you go to the courts and asked? Did you do an investigation by speaking to people? Or is everything your getting from the internet? Don’t judge something that you know nothing about.




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Jackson

I support the construction of this church.
It will be great for our community. 🙂
I say: YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES ,YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, TES, YES…. TO THE CONSTRUCTION OF IT.




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Anonymous

I support the construction of this church! I believe it will help give a better look to the neighborhood. Help bring more customers to the stores around the church because who won’t want to pass by something as beautiful as that? Even if you’re not a church goer you would still want to check it out to see the construction.




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Adriana

I 100% support the construction of this new church! The Universal church has given me a second chance to live! I found true happiness and a family that supports me no matter the situation! Why be against a place that will only help your community? I say yes to this project!!




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Supporting this project

I support this project and I’m 100% sure that it will happen. This will not only be a building , it will be a place to help many people who are suffering. I’m not the only one who has been helped in this place. There are millions of people around the world who has been helped and are grateful for the hard work and dedication of everyone who volunteers to help us there. Can’t wait to see the new project 🙂 yes I said it because it will happen.




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Anonymous

We need it asap for our community to better it self
Atleast we know someone is caring to invest in our comminity




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Jen

Aren’t there other things to be worrying about ? It’s a church people get over it. Now if it were a club or a bar nobody would be saying anything. I don’t go to church and this doesn’t bother me at all. Don’t like this church simple don’t go to it. My goodness people have to make such a big deal over everything.




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Nasreen Ahmad

To those speaking badly of the Universal Church, I would like to remind you that this is not an issue concerning whether or not you want the church in your community. Were already here and were not going anywhere. We respect your oppinions & concerns on the height, traffic, and parking issues. BUT we ask you to think with us.. your concern is, why build a mega church for 1000 people if we don’t have that many members?

Atleast once a month we have major state wide concentrations where we have had to station people outside because there was not enough room! The Universal Church has had concentrations that have filled up the Barclays Center, and even Madison Square Garden. Like a child that outgrows his clothes, we too are growing and need space to expand.

The philipino community should be overjoyed instead of fearful of our growth. More people means more flow of money through the small businesses in the area.

And lets face it. Parking in that area has always been a hastle. As a member I feel free to park my car in the church parking lot and go about doing my errands in the area & not have to worry about expired meters or street cleaning. This is a privilage residents of the community are being offered!

There will always be adjustments when construction is concerned but we live in NYC.. how can you tell us to stop growing in the city of growth & opportunities?

I am proud to call The Universal Church my home, and I personally believe that God deserves the best. Did they care about how big the white house would be when they remodeled it? NO.

So please don’t put limits on our growth.




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Teresa

I said yes it’s in these church we’re my life change we’re I find really friend a really family they are there for me they care about u manny lifes are changing in universal church manny family restored so my vote is yes yes yes yes




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Jacelina

Allow the project to be built. It’s in this church that I found life and a reason to live. From my childhood up until 15-16 years old, I had depression, was involved with bad company, lots of fights in my house, suicidal thoughts and much more. The Universal Church fought for me in every way and today my life is transformed. Please allow the construction. Many more lives will be helped and also the community will benefit. Today I could of been a problem to the community but thanks to the Universal Church,I am a different person. I support the construction.




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Jen

I support this project and construction of the new church. People need to realize the importance of building a bigger and better church is to provide a better place to welcome new members and be able to grow.




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Victor Da Silva

THIS IS A GREAT IDEA!!!! If you check out this place it helped many people, it even helped amy family and I ,I believe this Project will help the community and have a Positive effect .




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Andre alexander

I am definitely in the favor of this construction because it is not for a bad cause the main goal is to help people…and whats wrong with a church?! Like honestly it would be nice for the community of woodside to have one its not like whats being built is a jail or anything so I am in full support of this construction 100%




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to be honest...

The variance should be approved, the building will be there regardless, the size of it will only benefit the neighborhood. If you know Woodside, Jackson Heights, you know there the struggle for jobs, and how many people suffer from addictions among other problems.
The bigger building will have space for more programs that will freely help people who battle with addictions. Especially those who have been rejected by friends and family. This place doesn’t discriminate.
If you’re afraid of gentrification, you should be more worried about the Mini-Manhattan that’s already growing in Sunnyside. Not to mention the higher end apartments that have already been constructed/remodeled around Woodside.
They’re the ones who are causing (or leading) gentrification, not this building.
Having space for people to come freely to the church will help the local business’s income too.




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Florina L

The variance should be approved, any project this institution has I will fully support. I used to be a burden for the government, living off of a welfare (not by choice) but by necessity because no one could help me.
This place did, not by giving me money or a house but by helping me understand what faith is and how it can change my life. It did. I am now a small business owner, with my own house, happy family, and no longer a burden to the US government.




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Jess

This church always does amazing things for whatever community it’s amoung – they have done wonderful things to people whom have been forgotten in the most hidden places of the world … it’s brought the word of God to many people across the world and not just the word but they bring life changes through God … I myself have experienced a life changing experience through the Universal Church




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Marlene

I support the construction of the new church. By reading all the comments we can see it has helped so many people. Now imagine if they had more space to be able to go on with their projects.




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Kanisha

I vote yes for the construction of this church it’s a great opportunity to open doors for those that want to see a difference in there life. The benefits is endless and many more other people’s life’s will be transformed. ??




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'74 Dodge Coronet

The brainwashed cult members sure are out in force on this thread. It’s like Scientology’s Filipino cousin.




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Anonymous

Except the congregants are mostly Latino, with the headquarters based in Brazil. It actually will negatively affect Filipino residents and local businesses along 69th.




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Get your facts straight

That’s actually not true, we had a speaker that is part of the church that is half Korean, not only that but we have a diversity of people being part of the church the name ‘universal’ should say it all .. doesn’t matter who you are, or what youve done your welcome to be a part of our family .. and go around asking the businesses: Sandras beauty salon, Daros, Chinese food Maxim, the corner store, Dunkin’ Donuts, we actually BRING costumers to them.




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Trying to be objective

Hi atheist, I don’t think one word answers provide an adequate argument (in favor or against) any issue. Would you mind elaborating?
Keep in mind no one is discussing religious views because no one cares. The issue at hand is a variance for a construction permit.




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Alexandria

I support this project 100% Just like how my life was transformed many other people’s like are going to be transformed!!!




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Anonymous

We should move forward with this plan the only thing the Universal Church offers is a transformation in our lives. When this building ifitfitmoit will be a blessing to the community.




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Anonymous

I say yes! I support it 100% the church is there to help save lives! People are willing to dedicate their whole lives to help save and transform lives!




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yes we can

The universal church has credibility it’s been around for over 35 plus years and continues to grow along with the thousand of lives that have a been transformed. to all the skeptics i ask you this if we do is wrong why does it continue to grow?




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Eldy

I too say why not? In this case the good outweighs the bad. Most of the cons I’ve understood are coming from a selfish or envious point of view rather than for the good of the community. What’s being asked for isn’t for more land but for an expansion within the property, which will only allow more of an effective flow in the church with the objective of reaching out to more people in need of finding inner peace regardless of beliefs, race and so on. The goal here seems rather selfless than anything to me, to the point that we’re insisting on a YES!




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Anonymous

People they are building a church! It’s just a church not a jail cell!
You can’t judge a book by it’s cover if you haven’t read it.




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Claudia

Reading through the comments, both against and for the project, I realized why not? Anything that is new attracts attention and having a new building (in this case a church) will help the community improve. A new building will not harm the image of the community but instead attract positive attention from officials and investors. Also, if the project is being sponsored by the church itself then it’s even better because the neighbors can sleep in peace knowing it is not coming out of their pockets.




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Raphaela

I leave here in woodside next to this church, I agree to the construction of it.
It will bring more value to our neighborhood.
#isayyes




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Ruben

I agree with the construction of the new cathedral. In this church I found the help I needed when I was suffering with health problems and yet even more when I was involved in the drug world. And just like me there are many more who need help and this is the place to receive the help. So I support 10000000x this construction.




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Cristian G

– I definitely support this church because of one single reason , and that Is that we always want to bring more people to the church , we don’t ever want the number to stop from members to come , simply because we know we can’t change the whole world but we can try to at least do as much as possible , I personally used to hate the church , I disagreed with Everything, but i never had tried myself , but once I did , I saw a way of life , and I like it , and now I want to bring even more people to at least agree with this way of life i found , i understand that many won’t want it but , it doesn’t mean I can’t reach those who really do , because of this place I saw happiness and peace , all this place wants to do is to share the same thing with many people as possible. Everyone is welcome to come , may God bless everyone.




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Jamil M. Ahmad

Firstly, for those who call the works of the church “shady” your source of information is the internet, the most “shadiest” place for information to begin with.
Secondly, the bulding of this church will not affect neighboring businesses negatively nor will it promote gentrification overall. Wake up people, its a church! We are not constructing a walmart or an amazon warehouse!!
Thirdly the church’s resizing is VERY justified. Check out our churches not only nationwide, but WORLDWIDE, you will see that we definitely have a very high occupancy rate of members. Apart from that this specific church is a state cathedral where we conduct most of the statewide events, conferences and duties. We need more room for our recreational groups, our studio, accounting, communications, AP departments and much more. We need space for our new incoming pastors from other parts of the world to be housed and trained.
Lastly, we have an extreme ambition to grow and reach out to more lives. We respect your faith, but if you are comfortable with your own number of followers please, do not try to put a cap on ours. Thank you & Godbless.




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Teresita

I think that the ugly building should be knocked down and create a beautiful building that will help others. Think with me if the church has 650 people and they each bring 1 person that is in need then we have 1300 people. It means there is a need for a bigger church a bigger place to fit these people. If the church was a fraud it wouldn’t grow at the rate of growth that it has clearly there is something special in that place that makes 650 people attend on a weekly basis. I approve the construction of this building it is a positive influence for our community.




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Manuel Jesus Rossi

I know for a fact that building and making this church bigger in size will also mean the size of lives being changed will grow also . It only makes sense. It’s not about religion , it’s about results . The results are there . The politics can say whatever they want but in the end how can you stop something that has good behind it. Wether you are religious or not it’s all about results. So many time we see new night clubs being built on that very same avenue . Bars , lounges that have actually helped in the crime rate easing and in lives being destroyed etc. So there is no reason why the construction of this new cathedral should be stopped or prolonged . The outcome will be the same as the one people have spoken about . Greatness and new beginning for people from all over the New York area not just queens . It’s time to stop only thinking of ourself and think about what good has come to the lives of others through this church . Wether you are a believer or not , how can you deny Results . How can anyone deny THE TRUTH.




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Yecenia H

We do need the space, to keep helping out those in need. Take out from the streets youths that are struggling with addictions, sudicial thoughts, illnesses, family problems,etc. More than a church we are a family! I support the new construction of the Universal Church at 100%




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Katherine

After Reading the previous comments and concerns the community had made my opinion is to let the church be built. The church has been running there for more than ten years and it will continue to run whether people like it or not. It’s their property!!! The church wants a building to accommodate their people. Clearly their people are in need. They want to build it better more beautiful and comfortable for their followers. They are showing what they do with the offerings that people give. Others will pocket the money but they are investing it in creating a better place for the members that congregate there. The church has programs to fight those that suffer with addiction, abuse, family problems ext… Not only that but this church is willing to help the community but the community has to be willing to accept their help. They are doing a fenomenal job and they should be able to worship in a beautiful building where they feel comfortable regardless of the height and width.




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Araceli Casimiro

I support the construction of the New Church many people get helped when they need it.

I got helped here when I was going through depression and many other issues I am still getting the help I need.




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Mayra Gonzalez

I am in full support for the construction of the building. It’s amazing to see how the UNIVERSAL church wants to expand so many more souls can be save.




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Robert

I support this project not only because it will bless more amount of people but Gods work needs to expand! Im all for it YES 100%




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Maria

I support the construction of this new church will Gods guidance I was cured of a sickness no man was able to find a cure for here I learned to use my faith and that God is faithful and powerful




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Dama Arias

To whoever doubts the marvelous work that God does thru this church you are more than welcome to visit. Here you learn how to use and depend on your own faith ( many may laugh)but to those who believe it’s power and it empowers you. This place is for the community so why not expand it for the greater good of all mankind.
God bless all who read this. YES !




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Betania

The purpose of building the new church is not to harm or cause any kind of conflict with its surrounding members; infact we’re trying to help the community with its improved features: trying to reduce the dark area by provide light etc.
As you see this church has helped a lot of people change their lives, what other place has as many testimonies as we have? And we’re trying to help even more people out! How many tradgeies do you see on the news? We’re that lending hand that is trying to help people who are passing through tough situations.
You can’t judge a book by its cover, why take focus on the the minimal factors of the change when the purpose is so much bigger: helping, changing lives. The more people we help out, the bigger the place needs to be.
We don’t only have elder people attending services, but adults (who bring their children), youths. When the services are going on volunteers take care of the children, preteens in a small space teaching them how to overcome their problems (cause even if they’re small they do face their own problems), and how to do good. Over time more people have been coming, having been staying, have been helped, have had their lives changed for the better and we’re going for more.
The doors are always open for a listening ear, advice, etc.
We’re here for the community. We’re here for everyone.
Have a great day!




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Dama Arias

To whoever doubts the marvelous work that God does thru this church you are more than welcome to visit. Here you learn how to use and depend on your own faith ( many may laugh)but to those who believe it’s power and it empowers you. This place is for the community so why not expand it for the greater good of all mankind.
God bless all who read this. YES !




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Marlen Santana

I approve 100% the construction of this church. I don’t just believe, I know that this church will improve the community. The programs that are provided by this church are not common, which include, help for the adolescents, youth, teens and the elderly. The completion of this project is very necessary, there is no questioning that matter. I suggest that if anyone has any doubts in this, they should go and participate in one of our various meetings.
The church provides these services at no cost. Now think about this, how much does saving and helping to transform a persons life cost?




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Anonymous

That lawyer for the church is an operator. He sounds like he has a religious persecution complex.
I wonder how his advocacy for this church would work in Israel.
Maybe that’s a question next Passover.




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Misty

There is someone out there that is suffering and going through pain, searching for someone to help them now imagine if the church is full no more room for more.
What are we going to say?
“sorry there’s no space, leave”
The space is for you, the space is the church opening it’s arms for that person that needs a friend, a sister, a brother, a mother that is what the Universal Church is for me, a family.
I support the reconstruction of the new Queens church. And no they are not thieves, I have been part of the church for years and they have not stolen anything from me, contrary, my family and I where welcomed since the first day we stepped foot in the church.




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Lou

Many individuals stated “why do you need a building of this size” , if this congregations has the support of its member, financial means, and the authority of God, I don’t see a legitimate reason why it shouldn’t build a larger scaled Parish. In addition, call them w.e you want to call them , “thiefs”, “shady”, “followers ” , sounds like envy to my ears. I resided in woodside for the past 16yrs , seen the good and the bad in this neighborhood. It’s funny how stripclubs operate, nightclubs, bars , surrounds our neighborhood. Now the minute this family wants to construct on their own property and “ask” for permission and follow all guidelines get put down like if they are not in their right to grow and expand. Also when you claim that their founder this, their founder that, the founder could be w.e presumably people assume, he’s not running this parish nor does he influence me in any way. When I walk through those doors and people greet me with a smile and offer me a seat, I feel at peace, comfortable, in the presence of God. At no point during nor after do they tell me I NEED to give them. Money. And let’s all be serious we live in NYC the home of the BOLDEsT , your not robbing me unless you have a weapon on you. So my suggestions are this is a church trying to progress, advance , help prosper a community where we clearly see lots of problems , drugs , prostitution, robberies, alcohol. This is the Home of the Brave, how about we start working together to better each other and our streets. Not discourage each other’s beliefs and moral standards. We are The HUMAN RACE, all ethnicities included. Peace and Love ??




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Danndara

Hello everyone I just want to allow everyone here to understand the truth of this place really is. This place is a facility where people that have lost everything go those that are in drugs the youths or anyone that are having problems in their family people that have disorders and depression people that want to kill themselves. And e.c.t so allowing this place to be built will bebefit our society by changing the lives of those that attend. Everything is free so those that go are not being taken advantage so please before you leave a bad and false review go check out the place and you will see that people are very dependent on it to help change their lives.




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Yessenia G

After reading all the comments, seems like people are more emphasized about their obvious dislike towards the church instead of what’s better for the community. For those that have walked Roosevelt late at night you could see how dark, and dangerous it could be, the new construction will bring better light, more security and definitely a much beautiful view to the neighborhood. Not only will it impact the community in appearance but mainly it will help many people as it obviously has to all those that have shared their story. Throughout time we see how people have become so selfish and hateful towards each other, turn your TV on and all you hear about are crimes, kids are not how they used to be before, you will never hear kids committing suicide as you heard of it now, family members killing each other, people being discriminated, etc. Common, they are not building a night club, a concentration camp or anything like that, it’s a church! And is a non denominational, you are welcomed regardless of your beliefs. Let’s think, how can a church harm our neighborhood??! I support this construction! Why not?!
By the way, we are in NYC, public transportation is most common, if they haven’t created a major traffic now with the 700 congregants they have why would it now with a building that would offer more parking availability. Change is good!




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Suzy Varella

I vote YES!!!! ? No doubt amazing things will be done through this project!!!* So I say YES to life and YES to transformation, YES to revival, YES to light in this dark times that this world is facing!!!!*




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Anonymous

I believe it’s a great idea! So many people in New York need help and what better place than this! My life was transform here! I was able to overcome depression, suicidal thoughts, abuse, and so much more. Today I am happy, free, I have peace, I reach in my goals! How much more lives have to be lost for these people to understand this place is here to help not to harm. Think about it and respect people’s ideas.




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Anonymous

This visionary project will increase all the sorrounding properties values and our community environment will have a better quality in all the aspects, for example less crime and its consequences. I support this visionay project




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Moses

I am in full support of this construction! , dedication, honesty and hard work to change the lives of the many people who come in to seek help. This church has the objective to grow because it’s only goal is to help those who are suffering and in need. I vote Yes to the construction of the church. The year of 2017 will be a great blessing. With the newly renovated church.




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Moses

I am in full support of this construction! , dedication, honesty and hard work to change the lives of the many people who come in to seek help. This church has the objective to grow because it’s only goal is to help those who are suffering and in need. I vote Yes to the construction of the church. The year of 2017 will be a great blessing. With the newly renovated church.




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Amanda Martinez

GREAT IDEA! I support this 100%! This building will bring much peace and happiness to the community!




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To answer your questions

As you can tell by the comments, the congregants support this church. And as a church (a non-profit organization), who doesn’t receive subsidies or any type of financial aid from the government, the goodwill of the congregants will provide the money.




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Karen

I support this projet 100% , I believe that many lives are going to be transformed in this church, just like mine when I got here to this church my life was completely transformed and I was cured from Lupus by learning from them how to use my Faith.




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Anonymous

First-speak english
Second-there are zoning laws for a reason.
Third-let the church be built, but not bigger than what laws permit
Fourth-some of you people sound brainwashed. If thats what you want, its your right.
Fifth- they should put the church by sunnyside garden, 48st, by where the schools being built




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Jessie

1- We do speak English, but some like to reach out to those that ALSO speak Spanish
2- we understand that there’s laws, which is why we went to the community.
3 – we need a bigger establishment because we think BIG, we have a BIG vision (check out our website I’ll find USEFUL information there)
4 – SO WHAT? If we are brainwashed as you say than that’s okay right? Our lives are changing so that’s the part that everyone wants, a better life, people opening their own business left and right and not having to ‘depend’ on minimum wage, buying big houses for our families and doing great things! If this is being brainwashed, than I would be FIRST in line for it.
5- Maybe we will put ANOTHER church there, we will construct this one, and open another one there 😉 thanks for the tip! Another great thing to look forward too!




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Elisa

They should totally allow the new construction! It’s the work of God. Therefore more life’s will be saved!




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Jazmin

I support it 100% because I do believe that this new building will bring life to this neighborhood and will catch many people’s attention by its beauty. I’m a member of the Universal Church for a long time now and I can say that I myself have seen the great support and help that the people of the church do to help others. They do an amazing job and it’s all for the glory of our God. I’m also a living testimony! I’m free from depression, bullying, and also suicidal thoughts.




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Nayeli

I give my 100% support to this project. It has helped many people and truly it will help many more!




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Diana

It is not an obligation to give “money” (an offering) to God. It is one’s decision to do so. This Cathedral SHOULD be built. It will give greater opportunity to help much more lives!




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Nicolás Tovar

This church helped me and cured me from almost having Down syndrome, so for you that doesn’t believe then come and see because if see then you’ll know what this place really does. The church should be constructed! Please don’t judge a book by its cover. Go and see for yourself!! Your not gonna loose anything from doing that. Go and then you have all the right to judge the church but I highly doubt it if you actually go. #BUILDTHECHURCH!!




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JT

My friend, the church could not possibly have cured you from “almost having down syndrome”. This isn’t possible. I believe everyone has a right to their on beliefs but, the rest of the community should not have to carry the burden of this much larger structure that does not benefit the area as a whole.




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Just saying

Hey JT, it is very possible actually, it depends on each ones faith .. and this ‘larger structure’ as you stated would not effect the area it would actually beautify the area, and capture the attention of many bringing costumers to the local buisnesses .. so there’s no way that it would ‘harm’ anyone




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JT

Then build it with the church’s money and pay taxes on the structure! I’d be okay with it then. We shouldn’t be bending zoning laws for religious institutions.

And no – no it is not possible. Down’s Syndrome is not a curable disease. The blatant lies you spread are a slap in the face of many people who actually suffer with these diseases. WAKE UP.




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Robert Smith

Hundreds of people attended the public meeting held on December 1, 2016, at the Community Board No. 2, in Queens, New York. The aim of this meeting was to review the variance request by The Universal Church to the members of the Community Board in order to renovate the structure of the existing location at 68-03 Roosevelt Avenue in Woodside, since the location has become small because of the growth of its attendees. In this meeting, there were neighbors, local business owners and current members of the church who outstandingly showed their support.

The Universal Church is counting on the approval votes of the members of the Community Board in January 2017. Board members and those who were against the project had various questions and concerns that were successfully addressed as it was explained how the project would be beneficial to the community.

Some people might ask themselves why a variance request for the height of the new project should be approved and many may answer that question with another question: Why Not?

Why not approve a project that will improve our community?

Why not approve a project that will boost the local economy?

Why not approve a project that will better local real estates?

Why not approve a project that will keep and produce more job opportunities?

Why not approve a project that will create a safer environment and help the local enforcement?

Why not approve a project that will offer its own private parking lot, which will be bigger, to its neighbors at no cost?

Why not approve a project of an institution that is willing to give up part of its private property and parking lot, as we know how expensive land space is, to become a public plaza and receive no profit at all in return?

Why not approve of a project of a location that is going to be an extension of local homes with its doors open every day to welcome every single person regardless of their age, race, ethnicity, religion or social class?

As we know each other, we can understand each other and work together to build our lives.




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Anonymous

After looking at both points of view I encourage this construction. It will bring a more positive side to this tough area. Obviously there will be some work done with such a big construction but constructions happen all the time in highways which for a period of time will slow down the traffic a bit but eventually it is for the greater good of the civilians. Same thing here, the construction will take place but to make the place and the neighborhood better. I strongly encourage this building!




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Yessica

Hi everyone, i support this project in the community to help the residents from it. One day i learned as americans we like comfort and we like bigger spaces that why we go to the stadium to watch a football game o the ideal for every family is to own a house and not only rent. If we want the woodside community to be united should be in supporting construccion like this that would be a reference in Queens itself. Many can say no but the meaning of being part of this project and help others it is priceless. Lets no push this project to other area because this blessing is for the woodside residents.




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Noah

I would like for the Cathedral to be built because it’s like a second home, where many people are welcome no matter where they come from or who they are and are helped. This place will save alot of life’s and I say yes to building this cathedral.




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Really?

Why not vote ‘yes’ for this construction? It’s better than having our youths lost in drugs .. not only that but they accept ANYONE with arm wide open (btw you guys are all invited for the inauguration ;)) so why not vote yes? to a place that helps us?




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MF

I don’t see what’s all the fuss about, it’s not like it’s any type of business(bar…) or anything like that that’s going to be open, anyways, I say YES!




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John

I believe it’s an excellent idea for the new catedral to be built. It will help many people and the community as well. I know because by going to the church I also have recieved alot of help and my family too.




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Cecy

Build it please! Honestly, I am not here to argue but this Church changed my life and many lives. This Church does not force you to do anything, but of you want to do it, it is because it comes from your heart. The church is open every and covers all areas of your life. Because God wants us to have a good life.




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Nelson

This project has my full support due to the fact that not only has the church helped me in many ways but it brings a positivity to the community people helping others brings hope and helps the community be a better place




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Jose

i would like this cathedral to be built because it would help many suffering people to come in and receive attention and spiritual reason
So I say yesssssssss! I will like to




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Julio

Yo estoy de acuerdo con la construccion de esta catedral. Porque es un beneficio tanto para nosotros y para toda la comunidad. Porque es un centro donde se va a ayudar a muchas personas.




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Anonymous

Build it, The Universal Church has changed my life and many others. It is fun, and you get to discover the truth everyday. I can promise one thing
, the church will not fail you




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Damian

Yo apoyo y acepto q se contruya la construcción de la iglesia xq alli me livere de vicio de alcol y toda mi enfermedades y fui restaurado mi vida en la iglesia xq conoci la verdadera fe alli




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Anonymous

I approve the construction of this building. Not only has it helped many people as it’s been established I think it’s a beautiful thing. It’s hard for people to want change but change is good. Their building in there own property which I don’t see the problem it already belongs to them. Like any visionary they want to expand and grow. The community should want the same. They wouldn’t want to expand just because clearly they have a need to expand. They have been there for a really long time they should continue to be there. These people need a comfortable place of worship. They help change the lives of many people if they were a fraud they wouldn’t have +700 followers congregating. Every one should be entitled to have a place of worship according to their liking.




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Jordan

I am a neighbor to this church. I’ve seen how much this church has helped the community. But with this new cathedral it will not only help enourmesly the community but also bring beauty to it.
& I say yes to the build of the Cathedral. YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES !




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Anonymous

I am a neighbor of this Church & I agree with the construction of the Cathedral. I’ve seen how much this church has helped the community. To the construction I say YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES!




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Anonymous 21

Why wouldnt we let the project continue? This can give us a boost in the community! We’re hearing all of these amazing stories of these people, who by some way have received help from here. I know change might be scary, but imagine if we give this the green light, who knows, maybe we can ask them for their support in another project that one of our small businesses might have in the future. I’ve never seen a church like that in my life, and who knows what it can bring. I doubt its the beginning of gentrification to be honest, because Woodside doesn’t need any gentrifying, but aren’t churches supposed to be hospitals for the broken? Why don’t we as a community put them to the test to see if they’re truly living up to their word? I’d like to even see what that plaza might look like! I know its probably a bit difficult to see the brightside, with so much crime around that area, but we should look at this from a positive standpoint.




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Miguel

Hola doy miguel este lugar ayuda a mucha jente multitudes de gente y es tambie es centro de ayuda para todo el pais que sea no inporta tambie es mu bueno pa la comunidada va te un a vista ermoso no es solo para la iglesia y es muy para las personas de negosio la gente que vien siempro nesesitara de compra una siempre queran comer algo en el benefeficio es para todos tanto en comunidad como los negocios y para la iglesia




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Anonymous 21

Why wouldnt we let the project continue? This can give us a boost in the community! We’re hearing all of these amazing stories of these people, who by some way have received help from here. I know change might be scary, but imagine if we give this the green light, who knows, maybe we can ask them for their support in another project that one of our small businesses might have in the future. I’ve never seen a church like that in my life, and who knows what it can bring. I doubt its the beginning of gentrification to be honest, because Woodside doesn’t need any gentrifying, but aren’t churches supposed to be hospitals for the broken? Why don’t we as a community put them to the test to see if they’re truly living up to their word? I’d like to even see what that plaza might look like!




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Junior vega

I’m a member at the universal church here in New York I support the construction of the church my family is a living testimony that the construction of the church is going to benefit families around the community.My family and I was free from addiction family problems and my mother was cure from Aids my family was restored and Families around the community will have the chance to restored their families just like it happened with my family




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Anonymous

I’m a member at the universal church here in New York I approve the construction of the church my family is a living testimony my mother was cure from Aids and My family and I was free from addiction and family problems




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Claribel Hernandez

Yes I supports the church construction. Because thousands and alot of peoples are going to receive help like I received, I said yes yes and yesssssssssss for this constitution ?




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Maria

Devil you know what in the name of Jesus I order all the demons that are using people to right negative things here that’s doesn’t want this universal church to grow and get build to get out right now in Jesus name !!! And you going to see that on January 5 we will win and the church will start their new project!




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Really?

Are you here to criticize people’s faith? If so this is the wrong place to do it – just saying




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anon

Free speech is a bitch ain’t it? Step away from the Koop-Aid is good advice to any cult member.




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Vinnie

Really- anywhere the believers of myths fairy tales and invisible gods throw their so called faith in your face is the place to criticize it…just saying….




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Really?

I’m sorry, but we aren’t throwing our faith in anyone’s face, we are simply stating the reason as to why we support it, just like many of you are stating why you don’t accept.




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Norma

I support this construction because when I needed it I was attended and helped and it is important because there are many people who will also be venetified and the city will also be venetified.




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Anonimus

I think the Church got to be construct because of the límit space that the chuchr have. The numbers of membres y growthing can on universal Church you can do it!!!!




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Natalia

I’m 100% with the construction of the church, it as the only place that when I needed help support me and has the doors open for me, is strange how people judge the church but have help so much people like me who one day I was lost and found life again.




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Phil

Given the request for a massive parking lot, it’s clear the patrons are not from the surrounding community. I resent them using the neighborhood as a parking lot, increasing traffic and contributing nothing in the process.




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Maybe just maybe

Here’s an idea I’d like to run by you, what if the people who have cars and go to that church live 10 blocks away but use that car for OTHER things like I don’t know getting to work in the city, going to the mall, or making a road trip… crazy stuff I know but maybe they also want to arrive in a car since they’re paying insurance and premiums on the thing.




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Pedro

I support the construction of this church. Its going to be built on its own property and it also has the right to expand. The expansion of the church will help accomodate the many members inbthe church including its many groups that aim to aid everyone from men to women as well as the young and old




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Karin Barcelos

For Many Many reasons I’m in favor of this project and the questions is why we need a bigger place.
The current church looks big from the outside but it’s not!
We need room for out projects, we need room for out kids, we need more space in general. If anyone that doesn’t know the church would come and see how it is, the traffic of people, all the things that goes on at the same time, you would understand why we need this.
I personally used to teach ESL in the church, but we had to suspend the clases to lack of space.
I’m sure that this project will improve the way of living and not make it worst.

Humble opinion… VOTE YES!




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Trying to be objective

I’m trying to look at this construction from a balanced and objective view.
Putting aside personal assumptions, accusations, partial bias, claims, or intentions; just for the sake of argument because if not we’ll never see the end of it.

The issue on trial is the height. The article explained that the added height will be for more rooms to accommodate the 700+ members that attend. Makes sense if 700 people come and go within a single building. I was at the meeting and they have a lot of projects going on that would require space. As well as a studio.

Human nature begs to feel comfortable (regardless of it being a church, tavern, hospital, grocery store, etc), not cramped. If that’s what the church is asking for, why not give it?

The cons include: increased traffic on this block. Don’t see how though if someone previously commented “Who, exactly wants to spend time in a “public plaza” below the 7 train line and right next to a dirty polluted thoroughfare that will become more so with this massive development?”

Another con includes possible gentrification of an entire neighborhood. Based on one church construction? Fear of possible gentrification is too abstract an argument to base a decision on. We’re trying to work with facts right?

Just like the article explains that those who object don’t see a reason for the height to be so tall, I don’t see an legitimate reason why it shouldn’t or couldn’t.

A business owner was present at the meeting to show support of the construction (who is not a congregant) and says he has continued to receive more clients at his salon and would not mind seeing this neighborhood have something new and beautiful. There weren’t any business owners present to oppose the construction.




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Mireya. Solis

MI JENTE.
ESTE ES UN PROYECTO PARA LA COMUNIDAD ACTUALMENTE . SE ESTA TRABAJANDO PARA VENEFICIAR ALA COMUNIDAD Y A SUS FAMILIAS JENTE REAL . SALIENDO DE LA OPRESION.LAS DROGAS. FAMILIAS DESTRUIDAS SIENDO RESTAURADAS.
JENTE PIENSE EN ESTO EL VARRIO SERIA COMO EN TODA CONSTRUCCION
UN POCO INCOMODO PERO AL FINAL LOS RESULTADOS SERIAN ENORMES . MARAVILLOSOS .
YA QUE EL VARRIO SERIA MAS ILUMINADO CON MENOS INSEGURIDAD .
LOS NEGOSIOS UNA VEZ TERMINADA LA CONSTRUCCION DARIA MAS CLIENTELA PARA LOS MISMOS.
ESTE PROYECTO TANBIEN TRAERIA NUEVAS OPORTUNIDADES DE PROSPERIDAD Y NEGOSIOS MAS PROSPEROS
POR EL NUMERO DE NUEVOS MIENBROS EN LA IGLESIA .
JENTE RESPETUOSA EDUCADA. PIENSE EN ESTO MI JENTE PIENZE A.
FUTURO ABRA SU MENTE Y SU CORAZON. PROYECTESE A SI AL FUTURO. ???
que tengan un buendia tod@s.




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Anonymous

Can you please also use google translate next time to post in English? ¿También puede usar google translate la próxima vez para publicar en inglés?




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Really?

I’m sorry I find it very rude to decide what language we can post ANYTHING here .. we don’t criticize you so please don’t do that to us.




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Mario

This is the perfect example why this mega church must not be constructed. Ignorant people claiming to be cured of many diseases, they’re just hallucinating. Places like these only attract trashy people like this lady writing nonsense in spanish with terrible orthography, pray to god to help you with that. Deberia darte vergüenza escribir vieja puta, ponte a leer y trata de mejorar tu vocabulario en vez de leer la biblia chetumadre.




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Alberta Garcia

I support the constructionof this cathedral. I get helpped in this place when i was sick. And i know it will help many other too.




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Junior

I’m a member at the universal church here in New York I support the construction of the church my family is a living testimony that the construction of the church is going to benefit families around the community.My family and I was free from addiction family problems and my mother was cure from Aids my family was restored and Families around the community will have the chance to restored their families just like it happened with my family




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Phil

The church cured your mother’s AIDS?

I and many in the area know people personally who died from AIDS. Do NOT appreciate your lies on this matter. Greasy scum.




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Anonymous

Sir, the church doesnt cure but the the God we serve does! That family was restored because of their faith in God, He who created the earth! If he did that, then man He can sure cure someone who has a mortal disease. Don’t you think?
I too am a member of the church and I have seen his wonders in my life and my family. The impossible to men is possible for God.
I too support the construction!!!, i know its going to help more and more families.




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Eduardo

And Drugs addiction, and my mom cured of cancer, if you or any of your family had any of this problems you would had search to find a solution. We found it!




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Cris

Mr Phil,
The power is not in the church , but in God . That’s what we want to show to people , no need for insulting to bring your point out , we can understand you’re against this construction , but just like your opinion is respected , please respect the people that support it . Nobody is insulting you , do not ruin your image to bring out your point . Thank you .




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Barbara Perez

I barbara perez support the construction 100 % if it wasn’t for the universal church help i would not be today.?




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Mac

-Pearl Cream There goes your gay obsession again. Is there any part of the day you don’t obsess over it? Get some help loser.




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Jaime Lopez

I support the contrition of this cathedral, I had no life, ivy very despised by society. I Was an alcoholic and when i came to this place. I was resided with open arms and I was healed ok this place. I support this project.




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Camilla

With no doubt I support the construction of this beautiful church. Any where that the Universal Church is and its work grows makes the community and the city into a much better and safer place.
This will make the community it self grow so much in so many aspects!




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Gustavo

This church has been open in this location for more than a decade.. never gave problems to neighborhood or community, the exact opposite! They have helped many people be free of problems n find solutions! There was nobody there for these people besides the church, open everyday!
1.) New church will be constructed in its own property!
2.) Will not take up any more space then it already does!
3.) Will provide parking ( which means less cars on street!)
4.) It has the right to continue growing as any institute does!
5.) It’s a universal church, meaning anyone is accepted
6.) It’s totally free!
7.) Why neglect a helping hand!
– what cops, lawyers, teachers, friends & family can’t do.. this church provides!

” Don’t judge a book by its cover” – George Eliot




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Phil

Yours is a perfect argument for rejecting the proposal. It’s doing great now, why does it need this fancy new eye sore?




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Tania

Hi Phil! If you were to join us for one full week, you’d see how we are run. Besides of the many comments here, it is cited in the article that we need space for our programs. The space for the church congregation is not going to get bigger by much, but we’ll have more room to run our programs properly.

Our Bible School for Children is too small for the amount of kids we get on a daily basis, especially on Sundays. It is an open area, so the primary school kids can hear the toddlers and babies yelling and crying and can’t focus on their activities.

We have one conference room that fits 100 people and have to use that as a multi-purpose room. Sundays for example, we have 5 meetings happening one after the other – ushers training 830 to 930, pre-teen ministry 945-11:45, prayer session 12 to 12:15, youth group 12:30 – 2:30, girls ministry 3:00 – 4:30, and depending on the week, seminars, domestic violence aid, single mothers meeting, etc – can you imagine how much body odor, heat, smell, and trash there is in that room with barely any time to clean up between sessions?

The youth group has many groups within it – drama, dance, sports, etc – yet, we still only have 1 room for all of them. There are some youth involved in 2 or more groups, so if we make everything on a separate day of the week, they will have to be there all week long, and its not possible.

The pre-teen ministry shares the conference room because there is no other spot for them – the bible school is already packed, so where else could they go? the hallway? It’s not fair to them.

There is simply no room for our programs anymore. We had to shut down our free English Language Courses because we didn’t have a good room, let alone an appropriate classroom to hold them.

The building will beautify the area, give the community an additional plaza (the one on 65th street is not pleasant), and provide more free services to anyone who wishes to receive them.




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Bruna

I am in full support of this construction! As a member of the church, I see only honesty and hard work to change the lives of the many people who come in to seek help. This church has the objective to grow because it’s only goal is to help.




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Debora Costa

I for one can’t wait until the new church is built! It’s all for honor and glory to God. He has done changes in many people’s lives (including mine) and now we will have an opportunity to reach out to many more! I go here and from my perspective, sometimes we can’t even do much, because the place is so cramped up! With this new building we will be able to reach out to more people, more youths, not only that but it looks beautiful! It will certainly beautify the place even more.




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Edwin Loza

I agree with the Construction of the new building 100 percent. Its time for a change, and the community would benefit greatly. Business will flourish and crime rates will fall because of greater security around the area. I attend the church on a regular basis and the Testimonies are amazing. Hundreds of people are changing thier lives and starting anew with the help of the guidance and Faith passed on by the church. Lets get the construction started as soon as possible, so more people can be helped.




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Phil

that area is well known as a place to cruise for prostitutes and drugs. How is creating a giant “plaza” for people to loiter in going to *decrease* crime, exactly?




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Anonymous

Well, we have EX – DRUG DEALERS, EX- PROSTITUTES, EX THIEFS, EX- …… which means less crime and less problems in the community. You must come to hear their stories.




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Seriously now...

We offer quite some help for people who want to leave that life behind. so THAT’s who it will *decrease* crime.




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Anonymous

Your Church has already been here for close to 20 years and brought NOTHING to the Community. Your church has bought and knocked down 4 private homes on 38th avenue and paved over them for more parking. it is a compelte eyesore and does not fit in our community. Businesses on 69th street are all abandoned….once again, your church has brought nothing to our community, but their own agenda.




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Marlen gomez

Este sentro de ayuda lo unico que hace es ayudarnos a todos los que para el mundo ya no tenemos ningun balor yo estaba enferma y muy mal aqui me ayudaron y por eso mi vida cambió




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Barbara

As a life long English speaking tax paying American I am not privy to your Spanish language post. How offensive and rude of you.




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Seriously now...

That’s pretty rude of you – I speak fluent Spanish and pay my taxes too you know.




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Mac

-Really now However you would still be privy to the information in the post because you speak the language. For someone to post a posting in Spanish in the middle of an English speaking comment stream without an English interpretation is more than rude it is offensive and ignorant.




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Jessie

I honestly don’t think it’s rude, if you don’t understand it use google translate, she wanted to voice her opinion in her native language given that this is a public post I think she’s entitled to it. Not only that but it’s showing that EVERYONE is entitled to their own opinion, in any language they like.




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Sara

Jessie- Than she is engaging in a conversation she has very little understanding in and therefore just wasting everyone’s time. Just because someone has something to say doesn’t mean this has to be the place it’s said.




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America

I’m sorry, there are some things I can’t tolerate like ignorance and discrimination. As a life long tax paying American myself I am aware that America doesn’t have an official language therefore under the first amendments people have the right to freedom of speech regardless of the language they speak. So please as a tax paying American that you are respect people’s native language.




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Celebrate diversity - or else!

Why can’t immigrants have more respect for the language the Constitution and Declaration of Independence were written in? The language all of our laws are written in. The language spoken in our courts, Congress and Senate, the language the president addresses the people in?




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Anonymous

The founders would not have ended every sentence with a proposition. Why don’t you have more respect for the English language?




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Way too amusing

Hahahahahahaha, you’re so petty. Easily offended by everything; welcome to (North) America in the 21st century.




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Barbara

What at one time was considered rude behavior or just plain bad manners is now championed by low information idiots like way too amusing.




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Jose

Mi nombre es José y estoy de acuerdo con esta construcción va ayudar a mucha gente y también a la comunidad.de woodside.




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Phil

1. If you think traffic and pollution is bad on Roosevelt now (and trains jampacked on Sundays) wait until 700+ new congregants come to a very dense area where every major street is at best 1 lane each direction.

2. Anyone who’s been around Roosevelt and 69 knows that the last thing the area needs is more space for people to loiter about. They seem to do that quite well and in more than sufficient numbers as it stands. Who, exactly wants to spend time in a “public plaza” below the 7 train line and right next to a dirty polluted thoroughfare that will become more so with this massive development?

Go to Long Island.




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Anonymous

Hi Phil, 700 congregants already go to the church, I think the article explained that. It’s not 700 congregants plus another 700.

And the public plaza was a request of the community board, not an idea of the Church to have there.




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Eloisa

Hi Phil, the article stated 700 people already attend the church. It’s not 700 plus another 700 congregants.

Also, the public plaza was a request of the community board and not the church itself.




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Anonymous

The current building is hideous. The new building is much nicer. The first proposal with the parking garage was terrible, but the public plaza is a nice addition to the area.




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Karin Barcelos

Phil the church is already operating with that amount of members and the number of cars will continue to be the same.




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Seriously now...

We actually have 2 branches in Long Island already, we’d like to stay here. Thank you.




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Barbara Perez

Traffic is everywhere the universal church on Roosevelt ave will bring life ,light and solutions to the Avenue. Not only business, people.




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Anonymous

They are con artists! They should be arrested for robbery not given favors! The Catholic Church used to sell salvation, too! But they got over it. Don’t let them connive people into believing giving money to the church will cure their problems. They are completely illegitimate.
.




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Claribel Hernandez

This church help me completely when I was depress and try to kill myself, they game the supor and attention needed, God bless this church.




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Really?

There’s no need to be rude Ms. or Mrs. Barbera, if you don’t approve than you don’t approve but attacking us is really not helping anyone




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Anonymous

Yes we will, she has already accomplished a lot from nothing to something, I gladly invite you to join us to learn: kindness, compassion and Respect!




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Jenn

Yes !!! We are helping her and we will continue to help many others with FREE ESL classes, She’s been accomplished a lot,
From nothing to something,,,,
I gladly invite you to join us to learn, kindness, compassion and Respect.




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Seriously now...

Strong argument without much backup, eh there tough guy? 1) The church asks for money because it’s biblical, 2) in this church you will NEVER be forced to give or be made to feel bad because you can’t/don’t want to give, 3) many people in this church, including myself and some in my family, were healed from diseases doctors deemed incurable.




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Barbara Perez

Iam happy for the universal church help me be free from many things and one of them was a herina disk in my lower back that the doctor’s when to stick a needle in my back. And money can’t buy me health but the creator who made me restore me completely, now I have no more therapy no more problems with my back thanks to the church that show me how to use the gift that everyone have that called faith.




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Barbara Perez

No one is a con artists and no one is obligated to do anything in church everything is volunteering. We share with what gave us.Love, peace and harmony ?




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Eduardo

That not true, I used to buy Drugs and on a weekend I could go over 1000 now, I am free and have other plans more positive in my life! If you ever have an addiction Or a family come I could help on how to come free thank you




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linda

Unfortunately we cannot convince people that they are been lied to, robbed from their money, or used to convince others, believe me I tried. They will try to exorcise you/




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ann

What a monstrosity. The proposed building is gigantic – both tall and too close to the street line. Not to mention all the shady doings of this church. Zoning rules exist for a reason, to prevent overbuilding like this. CB2 should uphold current zoning and not support a variance.




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Seriously now...

This particular branch is open basically day every day – please stop by to clear up any “shady doings” you think we may be up to.




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A.Bundy

yeah, but that’s like every church. and zoning rules are worthless when they can be bought, as proven by many new developments in sunnyside. they might not have much on the collection plate once trumps eviction process is a go.




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Good For Conley

Good on Joe Conley for not letting the board be intimidated. They don’t get to avoid providing sufficient justification for the variances they seek because they are a church. Making them explain themselves like any other applicant is the opposite of discrimination.




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Diane

What does Jvb have to say about this…as long as it’s not in Sunnyside Gardens,dump more on the residents of 69th st.




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Phil

They don’t answer. I’ve contacted his office about various matters, including this week, and they don’t reply at all.




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Barbara

Not true Phil. In the pass three months I contacted the office over broken sewers, illegal dumping and various other issues. My best results are with e-mails which are always followed up with phone calls from the office.




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Diane

Hey Vinnie if you don’t have anything productive to say,keep your immature comments to yourself.




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Vinnie

Shut up Diane..You’re the immature one who constantly posts the very same post in every comment stream. If you were sincere you’d just contact VanBramers office yourself. You’re not fooling anyone. I never post to this thing but I had to finally say something.




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Mac

@Diane Vinnies post is actually sound advice. Why don’t you just go to the horses mouth? You’re forever asking other people to tell you what JVB is thinking or saying and it doesn’t seem to be getting you anywhere.




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Diane

Sarcasm is lost on the both of you…I wonder why. I have contacted his office,but thanks for the advice.




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Kramden's Delicious Marshall

“With only 700 congregants why the need for such a big building,” queried board member Carol Terrano.”
.
Exactly.
.
This group seems more like a cult than a legitimate religion.




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Jenny Patricia

Hello Kramden’s, there are times that we receive more than 1000 people at the same time. You are welcomed to visit us anytime.




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Really?

Hi Freddy, have you been there before? Than you would have a reason to say that it’s not true.




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doc

“more like a cult than a legitimate religion”
Add years and years and lots of members and the cult becomes a legitimate religion. I see little difference.




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linda

sorry to disappoint you but I visited there and you misinformed. Maybe because you are from stone age, Freddy.




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Barbara Perez

Hi you are more than welcome to come Universal church. Don’t knock it to you try it.




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