Community Outreach

“Aren’t you the church? Then DO something!”

Mable Mann, Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church, East Boston, MA 1985

Blanket Sewing Group

First Lutheran’s blanket sewers began a partnership with Lutheran World Relief in 1972 that continues to this day. Over the course of more than 40 years, over 5,000 quilts have been sent to uprooted people in need around the world as well as in our immediate neighborhood. Friends from the community join First Lutheran’s quilters every Monday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. in the fellowship hall for a day of sewing and sharing.

Family Fun Day

Each summer, rain or shine, we host a Family Fun Day. It’s a free summer BBQ out on Catharine St, with food, games, crafts, face painting, live music, and a raffle of 2 bikes. Any who walk by are invited to join us.

Fellowship Breakfast

In non-pandemic times, members and friends of First Lutheran meet at the Acropolis Diner on alternating Thursday mornings at 9 AM for informal conversation and the sharing of our joys and sorrows. We gather the concerns of our community and individual requests into a brief time of prayer at the beginning of our meal. Come join us at the Acropolis Diner, 829 Main Street, Poughkeepsie, NY 12603. Visit our church calendar for the schedule. In the face of the pandemic we are keeping this time alive by meeting through Zoom.

Fellowship Suppers

A special hallmark of this congregation is the warm and delicious hospitality offered to the whole community at our traditional fellowship dinners where plenty of laughter, some singing and dancing, and even an appearance or two of the rather eccentric “Sisters of Perpetual Motion” – an underground order of Lutheran nuns who missed their calling as stand-up comedians – is enjoyed. Our repertoire of meals each year features our German heritage, including the annual Oktoberfest and Sauerbraten Dinners but also includes a Ham Dinner, and a traditional Spaghetti Dinner.

Lunch ‘N Listen Concerts

First Evangelical Lutheran is home to the Lunch ‘n Listen Music Series, which began in 1979 under the leadership of Dr. Hermann Wolff, and in more recent years has been led by Carol Reichert and Susan Russell. These free, monthly noontime concerts bring hundreds of people into our church to enjoy the talents of regional professional musicians as well as the beauty of our church sanctuary. All concerts begin on the first Wednesday of the month at noon. Doors open at 11:30 a.m. for “brown baggers” and coffee, tea and home baked goods by members of the congregation are available before and after the concerts in our fellowship hall. Currently the Lunch ‘N Listen concerts are on hold – but we look forward to their return!

 Make a Difference Day

In the past, First Evangelical Lutheran Church has provided the “kick-off” venue, invocation, and luncheon site for over 300 volunteers from across the community who sign up with our partner, Habitat for Humanity of Dutchess County, to tackle 45-50 home improvement projects for homeowners living in our community. Local restaurants, other churches in the area, and the homeowners themselves joined First Lutheran members in providing and serving what we called ‘the biggest pot luck lunch ever!’

Pub Night

Members and friends of First Lutheran gather alternate Thursday evenings at 6 p.m. for Pub Night in a local brew pub for fellowship in the tradition of Martin & Katie Luther who loved to have conversation with friends around the table. Beverages and food are available for purchase. Please join us and feel free to bring a friend! Please check our church calendar for upcoming Pub Might dates and locations. In the face of the pandemic we are keeping this time alive by meeting through Zoom.

Refugees and Immigrants

From its inception as a congregation, the people of First Lutheran have had a particular heart for uprooted people. This is because the founders of this congregation were among a group of German immigrants who fled the rise of Prussian militancy and the German Revolution between 1838 and 1855. The congregation was born on February 17, 1856 and purchased its present home at the corner of Mill and Catharine Streets in 1921. The dedication of the current church building was held on January 28, 1923. Throughout our history we have partnered with Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service and their predecessor organizations, to help welcome and resettle more than 250 displaced persons in the Hudson Valley. In the beginning, these were primarily from war-torn Europe; in more recent years they have included refugees from Southeast Asia, Africa and the Balkans. Members of the congregation have also offered literacy classes to the neighborhood’s extensive Mexican and Latino populations.

Repair Cafe

Working in partnership with members of the Poughkeepsie Society of Friends (Quaker Meeting), First Lutheran hosts Repair Café an innovative, festive and free meeting venue that is all about repairing broken things together. What do you do with a chair when the leg has come loose? With a toaster that no longer works? Or a sweater with moth holes? Toss it? No way! You can repair it at the Repair Café which is set up periodically on Saturday mornings in the fellowship hall of First Lutheran Church. Those who participate will find tools, materials and repair specialists/coaches who volunteer their skills to help participants make any repairs needed – electricians, computer “geeks,” carpenters, seamstresses, bicycle mechanics, etc. all gather over coffee, tea and baked goods to share in an ongoing learning process. For those interested in volunteering, contact: Repair Café directly. You may also follow Repair Café on Facebook. For upcoming Repair Café dates please check the church calendar.

sPOKe  Bicycle Re-CYCLE Project

In exchange for 6 hours community service or approximately $50.00, our program will provide you with a bicycle that comes with a helmet, a lock and will be registered with the city of Poughkeepsie. In addition to a bicycle we also offer:

  • Repairs: We provide tools and space for self-repair and offer help as needed.
  • Education: We offer instruction on home repair, safe bicycle riding, road use etiquette, and other bike related topics.

We meet at the First Lutheran Church, 325 Mill St.
Please refer to the calendar of Events to find when the next sPOKe meeting will take place.

Thanksgiving and Christmas Gifts & Baskets

Each year, under the auspices of our Social Action Committee, donations of money and turkeys are collected and some 20 Thanksgiving and Christmas food baskets are prepared for Grace Smith House, the local women’s shelter. Additional baskets are also provided for members of our congregation in need. From a list provided by Hudson River Housing, specific Christmas gifts are purchased for residents of the River Haven Independent Living program which houses at-risk youth.