“May the churches be communities of healing and compassion, and may we seed the Good News so that justice will grow and God’s deep peace rest on the world.” Msg of the tenth Assembly of the World Council of Churches 2013, Busan, South Korea.
The Germania of Poughkeepsie Men and Ladies Singers join with First Lutheran each year for three events: Oktoberfest, a German language Advent Service (Weihnacht) and for Good Friday worship in German (Karfreitag). Our connection has been strong since the mid-1800s, when German immigrants founded both the Germania Singing Society and this congregation – the German-speaking First Evangelical Lutheran Church of Poughkeepsie.
Habitat for Humanity
In 2013 First Lutheran began a new partnership with Habitat for Humanity’s local Dutchess County affiliate. This ecumenical Christian ministry helps people in our neighborhood and around the world by building or renovating simple, decent houses in partnership with those in need who assist in the physical building of their homes and also assume affordable mortgage payments. Members of First Lutheran have helped build a Habitat home in our North Poughkeepsie neighborhood in 2013, provided the send-off prayer and hosted lunch for nearly 400 volunteers involved in the fall 2013 “Neighborhood Make a Difference” home repair day. We will be joining with the local Dutchess County Habitat affiliate and local residents in a 10-year North Poughkeepsie neighborhood development initiative and partnering with 80 other Dutchess County congregations in a 2014 faith build.
The Lutheran Care Center
We are pleased to be in a new partnership in ministry with The Lutheran Care Center (LCC), a licensed, skilled nursing care center with 160 beds that is part of The Lutheran Care Network. Beginning in February, 2015, Pastor Deborah has been leading the mid-week worship service with Holy Communion at 10:15 a.m. on Wednesdays with the help of First Lutheran volunteers. She also assists the Chaplain, Pastor John Heller, in providing orientation to new staff and pastoral care to residents who come from all faith traditions, as well as to day program participants in the Adult Care/Extended Family center. The Lutheran Care Center’s mission is to care for people’s physical, emotional and spiritual needs. Our link through this partnership has enabled First Lutheran to join with LCC residents in worshipping together on Thanksgiving Eve and Ash Wednesday, and for members of our choir provide festive Christmas caroling. We anticipate a deepening of this partnership as we work together to open the Worship Respite Care Center.
The New Deliverance Church of Salvation and Praise
First Lutheran has offered hospitality and a home to the New Deliverance congregation led by Pastor Ruby McRae, an African American Pentecostal congregation worshipping on Sunday afternoons with Wednesday evening Bible Studies.
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Food Pantry
On a weekly basis, food that has been donated by members and friends of First Lutheran is delivered to the food pantry at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.
Vassar College Choral Directing Internship
For the past several years, First Lutheran has invited Vassar College music majors with interest in choral directing, to lead rehearsals and conduct our choir on Sunday mornings. Through the generosity and mentoring of our Music Director and organist, Eric Hepp, this program has proved to be a mutual blessing to our congregation and the respective student interns involved.