This past Saturday, I finally went to see a mental clinic (aside from a $150/hr doctor I saw about three weeks ago, explained in more detail below). The intake process took about an hour. Now I’ve got to wait for them to find me a good match.
The place is called Blanton-Peale Institute and Counseling Center (Blanton-Peale, for short) located at Marble Collegiate Church, which has an interesting history as quoted below.
“Marble Collegiate Church is the oldest place of worship of the Collegiate Reformed Protestant Dutch Church of the City of New York, organized in 1628 under the Dutch West India Company when Peter Minuit was Governor of New Amsterdam. The first minister was Jonas Michaelius, who appointed Peter Minuit as Elder and Bastiaen Jonaz Krol as Deacon. It is the oldest Protestant organization in North America with continuous service for 382 years.
The earliest organized services of the congregation were held in the loft over a gristmill on what is now South William Street. The first church building was erected in 1633 on what is now 33 Pearl Street.
In 1696, when New Amsterdam was under British rule and renamed New York, King William III granted the church a Royal Charter, which was confirmed in 1753 by the Legislature of the Colony of New York and continued in force by the Constitution of the State of New York. It is the oldest corporation in America. Its denominational affiliation is with the Reformed Church in America, known in earlier days as the Dutch Reformed Church. The church has served under three flags: Dutch, British and American.”
“The Marble Collegiate Church, founded in 1628, is one of the oldest continuous Protestant congregations in North America. The congregation, which is part of the Reformed Church in America, is now located at 272 Fifth Avenue at the corner of West 29th Street in the NoMad neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City. It was built in 1851-54 and was designed by Samuel A. Warner in Romanesque Revival style with Gothic trim. The facade is covered in Tuckahoe marble, for which the church, originally called the Fifth Avenue Church, was renamed in 1906.
The building was designated a New York City landmark in 1967, and in 1980 was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
The church congregation was founded in 1628 as the Collegiate Reformed Protestant Dutch Church and was affiliated with the Dutch Reformed Church, a Calvinist church in the Netherlands. During its first 150 years, Marble shared its ministers with the other Collegiate congregations as they developed in the city. This pooling of pastoral ministry was abandoned in 1871. The name ‘Collegiate’ remains as part of the heritage of the four such churches in New York City today, and they participate in an administrative unit that oversees physical properties and investments held in common. The other congregations are Middle Collegiate, West End Collegiate, and Fort Washington Collegiate.”
“The Dutch Reformed Church (in Dutch: Nederlandse Hervormde Kerk or NHK) was a Reformed Christian denomination in the Netherlands. Growing out of the Roman Catholic Church, it came into being in the 1570s and lasted until 2004, the year it merged with the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Kingdom of the Netherlands to form the Protestant Church in the Netherlands. At the time of the merger, the Church had 2 million members organised in 1,350 congregations. A minority of members of the Church chose not to participate in the merger. These former members re-organized as the Restored Reformed Church.
It was one of the many local churches reconstituted across Europe during the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century. While the Dutch Reformed Church was based in the Netherlands, other churches holding similar theological views were founded in France, Switzerland, Germany, Hungary, England, and Scotland. The theology and practice of the Dutch Reformed Church, and its sister churches in the countries named, were based on the teachings of John Calvin and the many other Reformers of his time.
The Reformation was a time of religious violence and persecution, and many leaders of the newly established Reformed congregations fled abroad. The first Synod of 23 Dutch Reformed leaders was held in October 1571 in the German city of Emden. The Synod of Emden is generally considered to be the founding of the Dutch Reformed Church, the oldest of the Reformed churches in the Netherlands.
The first Synod in the Dutch Republic itself was held in Dordrecht in 1578. This synodical meeting is not to be confused with the better known Second Synod of Dort of 1618, during which Arminians were expelled from the Church and the Canons of Dort were added to the Confessions. The Canons of Dordt, together with the previously adopted Belgic Confession and the Heidelberg Catechism, were called the Drie formulieren van Enigheid (Three Forms of Unity). In fact, most conflicts and splits in the Church were brought about by disagreement over the substance and interpretation of these doctrinal documents. The government of the Dutch Republic, which had instigated the Arminians’ expulsion, subsequently prohibited the Reformed Church from assembling synodically. No Synod was held in the Netherlands until after the end of the Republic in 1795.
Before the demise of the Dutch Republic in 1795, it enjoyed the status of ‘public’ or ‘privileged’ church. Though it was never formally adopted as the state religion, the law demanded that every public official should be a communicant member. Consequently, the Church had close relations with the Dutch government.”
The idea of a mental clinic ran by Christians (a church, no less) was something that I’d never thought of till someone from outreach program in NJ brought it to my attention. To satisfy my curiosity, I asked one of the ministers at FAPC who referred me to the psychoanalyst who then referred me to the clinic. I’d have never known about this clinic had it not been by a stranger (now friend) in NJ, a minister at FAPC and a doctor I met.
Strangely enough, Marble Collegiate Church is one of the few churches I had planned to visit for the past three years or so, but I’d never done so. I even considered making it my home church from all the good reviews and information I’d read for years about it.