2016-03-30 / Front Page

Sunnyside Chamber, Boro Prez Say Farewell To Pastor Joe

By Thomas Cogan
A talk about smartphones (or iPhones also) and a fond send-off to a local clergyman who was being transferred to another pastorate were the highlights of the March luncheon of the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce, held at Bliss 86 Bistro, 43-20 46th St. A visit from Borough President Melinda Katz was part of a farewell ceremony for the Reverend Joseph “Pastor Joe” Jerome, of All Saints Episcopal Church of Sunnyside, on 46th Street between Queens Boulevard and 43rd Avenue.  It was unfortunate that Rev. Jerome was late, since he was at another meeting on Long Island and got delayed in traffic while trying to get to the Sunnyside luncheon.  The borough president had to move on to another part of her full schedule, so an aide took her place saying goodbye to Pastor Joe.

Adrian Bordoni, late of Woodside on the Move and currently a teacher at John Jay College of Criminal Law, called his address an introduction to smartphone features.  Though he could assume that those he was addressing were familiar with their mobile phones, he walked them through the opening steps (“Turn on your phone and go to start screen,” etc.) and got to the functions, applications—apps— and programs they would probably find most interesting.  Locating the useful buttons and inputs on the phone and practicing sliding up or sideways to select different screens were also recommended practices.

He was sure that however many apps they were using, those at the meeting had seen only a few of the ones available, as their number is boundless.  He told them they could “find their personality” through apps, which could, for instance, get them great deals for travel, including where to find the best seat (to get) and the worst seat (to avoid) on a plane; walking apps or the Walking Dead; health articles and a heart sensor; language learning, crossword puzzles and, again, thousands of other things.  With Viber, you can call for free all around the world; with a do-not-disturb function you can establish time periods where those persons other than the ones you would like to hear from cannot get through to you. 

There are behavioral and safety issues you should be aware of, he said.  Just as you shouldn’t literally shout into a phone, you should not figuratively shout with strings of words in upper case when texting.  And yes, there are apps (one is called Dragon) that can help you dictate emails and texts.  Bordoni said some of his John Jay students said that no one should over-share, over-tag or constantly send

messages to friends and loved ones on Facebook—a warning they wished he would pass on to others.  One safety tip he offered was no doubt too absolute for anyone to bear but remained a simple truth:  “If you do not want your identity stolen, do not shop online and do not use a credit card ever.”  Given that nearly everybody has done both, it becomes necessary to have identity protection software.  There are many options, he said, from free programs to well-known ones such as Lifelock and Creditkarma.  Another popular activity is posting pictures on Facebook or your phone itself.  Identity thieves are looking for openings, so don’t let them find them in photos with either GPS locations in the background or backgrounds that might reveal to them where you live, he said.  He asked his audience to look hard at such postings in the first place.  “Posting on social media is an agreement that the information and images now can be used by that company, an issue for artists and writers,” he said.  “Deleting posts will not guarantee that they have not been saved, tagged or posted elsewhere.”

When Rev. Jerome got to the luncheon, one of the persons waiting for him was the Reverend Neil Margetson of Sunnyside Reformed Church on 48th Street at Skillman Avenue.  Rev. Margetson said he made contact with Rev. Jerome when he was new to Sunnyside and was having a hard time adjusting to his new church, whose parishioners seemed to stand off from him.  He explained his situation to Rev. Jerome and heard him recall his own lonely feelings when he was newly arrived at All Saints.  It’s that way for nearly everybody, he said.  Rev. Margetson went away feeling relieved.  At the luncheon, he said that ecumenism lives in Sunnyside while Rev. Jerome is here.

Of course, he will soon be leaving, bearing a citation of honor from Borough President Katz among his other going-away presents.  Though he’ll be gone from Sunnyside, he’ll be a Sunnysider for life, he said.








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