First Evangelical Lutheran Church is a congregation energized by lively engagement in our faith and life. “Our faith is a living, busy, active, mighty thing,” said Martin Luther, and we try to live up to that quote in our social outreach, in our fellowship and also in our study of the Bible, which we understand to be God’s Living Word, still speaking boldly and compellingly to us in the context of our everyday lives, today.
We expect to be surprised by God as we discuss Scripture together, using various methods of encountering God’s Word. And we also expect that we will be mutually encouraged and strengthened in our faith as together we share the intersection of our own faith stories with the stories of God’s interaction with God’s people in the Old and New Testaments of The Bible. Watch the Sunday bulletin for notices of periodically scheduled Bible Studies.
Faith Formation for Children and Youth
We are able to give individual attention to the children of our congregation, and treasure the inter-generational interaction that is part of our church family culture. While sharing the stories of the Bible is central in our faith formation programs, we are also eager to nurture in each child a deepening awareness of their own relationship with God and an increasing faith and trust in how God’s Holy Spirit is working in and through them in the everyday encounters of their lives.
- A Nursery is provided for younger children during the Sunday morning worship service
- A children’s sermon is included as part of our Sunday worship experience
- Sunday School is available for elementary-aged children who attend the first half of the Sunday worship service and then are excused for the second half to attend Sunday School
- An evening joint Vacation Bible School with Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church provides outreach to over 30 North Poughkeepsie neighborhood children in August each summer.
- Early in 2015, First Lutheran will begin a “Building Buddies” program for children residing in the ethnically diverse Garden Street neighborhood near our church, where we are supporting the Habitat for Humanity “Faith Build.” Designed around a Vacation Bible School model and inviting other downtown congregations to join us in this outreach, we will be inviting children to explore God’s “Shalom” through activities, music and story-sharing.
Confirmation classes are offered for youth and young adults. The traditional curriculum is augmented by exposure to local, national and global ecumenical and interfaith ministries, with special emphasis on peace and justice issues. Care is taken to affirm the individual gifts of each youth and young adult and to involve their parents and confirmation sponsors in our curriculum. For more information on when the next series of Confirmation classes are being held, please call the church office.