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Media Room

RSS By: Metropolitan New York Synod

A listing of when and where Metropolitan New York congregations and members appear in the media. For more information or to share an article with us, contact Rebekah Thornhill.

Gramercy church takes jab at MTA saying even Jesus wouldn't take the subway

Aug 04, 2017

GA_signEven God cannot deny that subway service issues are getting hellish.


A sign outside Gramercy's Gustavus Adolphus Lutheran Church showing its service times took a jab at the city's subways, stating, "Jesus walked on water so he wouldn't have to take the subway.


Read the full article from amNY here




Leading Grace in Lutheranism’s 500th year

Aug 02, 2017

AngladaAs a reverend in the Lutheran church for 21 years, A. David Anglada has been a hospice chaplain, a multicultural leadership director and an assistant to several bishops. His newest title is pastor to the Grace Lutheran Church and school on Hempstead Avenue in Malverne. 


Though his installation ceremony takes place in September, Anglada, 60, has started working at Grace, becoming familiar with its operations and getting acquainted with the church’s congregation of 140 families – 70 percent are Malverne residents. "I see my role as providing a spiritual presence for children, family members and parishioners," said Anglada, the only clergy working full time at the church.


Read the full profile from the Long Island Herald here

Priest 'Adopts' Undocumented Immigrants To Save Them From Deportation

Aug 01, 2017

Argentinian pastor Fabián Arias, 53, is much more than the leader of a Lutheran congregation in Manhattan. He's also the legal guardian of countless undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States as unaccompanied minors.


Read the full story from Carbonated.TV here

NYC congregation theater troupe heads to Germany

Jul 27, 2017

st-johns-group-to-wittenberg-300x162In New York City, members from St. John’s Lutheran Church are preparing for their theater debut in Wittenberg, Germany.


St. John’s is participating in "gasthaus ecumenism" at the World Expo Reformation in Wittenberg, an international gathering hosted by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Germany Aug. 15-22. The event will commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation and also includes groups from Cairo, Egypt, and Bangalore, India.


Read the full article from Living Lutheran here


Bay Ridge City Council Candidate Khader El-Yateem Thinks Southwest Brooklyn Is Ready For Socialism

Jul 20, 2017

072017elyateemIn a continuing push to become a force in New York City politics, the Democratic Socialists of America have endorsed a second candidate in a City Council race, and this time it's a competitor in the hotly-contested Democratic primary in the 43rd District, which includes the neighborhoods of Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, and Bath Beach.


Lutheran pastor Reverend Khader El-Yateem is the latest DSA member to jump into city politics, and like the 35th District's Jabari Brisport, he's secured an endorsement from the rising group of socialists. But unlike Brisport, who told Gothamist he's running as a member of the Green Party because a multi-party system "allows for more nuanced politics," El-Yateem said he's running as a Democrat to reform the party from within.


Read the full article from Gothamist here


Vacation Bible School Concludes in Greenwood Lake

Jul 19, 2017

Grace-Lutheran-VBS-2Vacation Bible School at Grace Lutheran Church in Greenwood Lake wrapped up their Deep Sea Discovery theme on Fri., Jul. 14. A group of 53 children as well as 47 adults and teen volunteers spent the week enjoying crafts, sports, music, Bible study, and making friends. Friday evening ended with the children singing songs to their family and friends. The group is looking forward to another great year in 2018.


Read the full article and see pictures from the Warwick Valley Dispatch here.






11th annual Bay Ridge Arab-American Bazaar brings families and fun to Shoreline Park

Jul 14, 2017

One very visible candidate for the City Council’s 43rd District seat, soon to be vacated by a term-limited Vincent Gentile, was Rev. Khader El-Yateem. The Salaam-Arabic Lutheran Church pastor stood by himself on the grass with an order of freshly cooked falafel.


"[My campaign has] more than 3,000 signatures now," El-Yateem said. "I feel there’s a chance for us to demonstrate that people’s voices count; they can be heard, and each one of their votes will matter."


Read the full article from The Brooklyn Daily Eagle here


Watch full video of funeral for NYPD Detective Miosotis Familia

Jul 11, 2017

Thousands came together at a Bronx church to honor and remember NYPD Detective Miosotis Familia, who was laid to rest Tuesday, exactly 12 years after joining the police force.


Read the full article and watch the video, including MNYS Pr. Jonathan Recabarren who serves as a chaplain to the police department, from Pix11.  

El-Yateem will file 2,850 petition signatures to get on ballot

Jul 10, 2017

el-yateem-signaturesRev. Khader El-Yateem apparently isn’t taking any chances. A City Council candidate hoping to get his or her name on the ballot for the Sept. 12 primary is required by election law to submit at least 450 signatures from voters in the district who are registered in the candidate’s political party to the New York City Board of Elections.


El-Yateem said he plans to submit 2,850, more than six times the amount he would need to qualify for the ballot for the Democratic Primary in the 43rd Council District (CD). 


Read the full article from The Brooklyn Daily Eagle here

News from ELCA Advocacy

Jul 01, 2017

In March, students from The Vine NYC, a Lutheran and ecumenical campus ministry in New York City, traveled to Washington, D.C., on a spring break "faith in action" pilgrimage. While most of the students had participated in direct service to neighbors, this trip sought to effect change in a different way—through advocacy to elected officials.


Read the full article from Living Lutheran here

Women of Distinction: Rev. Amy Kienzle

Jun 30, 2017

"The Rev. Amy Kienzle is not your ordinary pastor; in fact, she proudly calls herself: 'the coolest pastor I know.'


Kienzle grew up on Long Island, and studied at New York University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in medieval and renaissance studies with a focus in art history. After graduating from NYU, she earned a Masters of Divinity degree from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, and spent the first several years of her ministry career in Michigan.


But New York wanted her back, and she came 'home' to serve as the mission development pastor at the Park Church Co-op in Greenpoint."


Read the full article from the Brooklyn Daily here

NASA picks Jasmin Moghbeli, of Baldwin, as astronaut candidate

Jun 09, 2017


"A Long Island woman was one of 12 people selected as part of NASA’s newest astronaut class, the administration announced.


Jasmin Moghbeli, 33, who grew up in Baldwin, will report to Houston in August for two years of training as an "astronaut candidate," according to a NASA news release."


Moghbeli grew up in Bethlehem, Baldwin and is the daughter of Synod Deacon Kamy Moghbeli. Read the full article from Newsday here or see her profile from NASA.


Rebranded ELCA church is a place of welcome for believers and nonbelievers alike

May 30, 2017

 Park_Church_Coop_33_m"On a sunny spring Sunday morning, the people of Park Church Co-op gathered for worship in their historic sanctuary, in the Brooklyn, New York, neighborhood of Greenpoint. The pews were totally empty. Instead, the congregants sat in an oval of chairs arranged on the chancel, around the communion table. Attendance that day: nine.


Simply by virtue of the body count, the church might appear to be failing. Once, more than 200 worshippers filled those pews on a typical Sunday. Yet since 2013, when the Rev. Amy Kienzle took over as pastor of what was then called the Lutheran Church of the Messiah, the congregation has shown signs of vigorous life and vibrant ministry."


Read the full article from Faith and Leadership at Duke Divinity here

Those Who Leave, Those Who Stay: 4 Queer Christians in New York City Tell Their Stories

May 30, 2017

"For queer people who have grown up evangelical, choosing a queer-affirming church is not an easy task. It can mean more than choosing a church with an inclusive stance on LGBTQ issues — it often means choosing a different type of church altogether, one that may read the Bible more radically, worship more liturgically, and congregate differently...


Abreu started attending St. Lydia's, an LGBT-affirming activist church in Brooklyn, on Sunday evenings. The liturgical form of worship was strange to him at first, coming from Hillsong’s charismatic style — he wondered whether God’s presence could be in a church where people were not crying during worship. But he was relieved to be in a space that was affirming that also actively talked about race and social justice, something he felt was missing at Hillsong, so he kept coming back."


Read the full article in Sojourners here


Finding Meaning in Health Crises

May 25, 2017

28vocations-master768What kind of support do you provide?

I do quite a bit of grief counseling, helping people who receive an unexpected medical diagnosis or are facing end-of-life decisions. That includes families who may have to decide whether to remove a family member from life support.


Is every decision about life or death?

Sometimes it’s helping someone deal with a chronic but life-changing illness, like rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes or kidney disease. I help people find meaning in their situation.


Read the full interview with MNYS Pastor Carol Schneider from The New York Times here




Campus ministry 101

Apr 04, 2017

What some new leaders say they’ve learned from their students including Pr. Becca Seely, director of Lutheran Ministry in Higher Education of NYC and pastor of The Vine NYC college ministry.


Read the full article from Living Lutheran

Your season of change

Apr 04, 2017

Watch Pr. Lamont Anthony Wells as a recent guest on Your Season of Change with David Alexander Bullock.

Golden praises Healing Center director as life saver

Mar 28, 2017

A woman who founded a center in Southwest Brooklyn to assist domestic violence victims and their children is winning recognition from the New York state Senate for her work.


Antonia Clemente, the co-founder and executive director of the Healing Center, will be the recipient of a special Women’s History Month Award from state Sen. Marty Golden during a ceremony to take place at the Norwegian Christian Home and Health Center, 1250 67th St., on April 28.


Read the full article from The Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

The Diamond’s Fiercely Loyal Following

Mar 13, 2017

Tucked away in Greenpoint, a couple of blocks from the East River, is the Diamond, which curates its calendar as carefully as its beer list. ... But there’s also an unencumbered streak of pure joy in oddity. On New Year’s Eve, there was free champagne and passionate, tipsy karaoke; in the back yard, in a decommissioned ski gondola, the Lutheran pastor Amy Kienzle offered free solace.


Read the full article from The New Yorker.

The 100 Most Influential People in Brooklyn Culture 2017

Mar 13, 2017

Under Amy’s leadership, this Greenpoint church has attracted a vibrant and artistic membership. Through candle-lit services, film screenings, and other events, it’s become a beacon for the neighborhood. 


Read the full article from Brooklyn Magazine.

More Babylon churches take on the challenge of feeding homeless

Mar 05, 2017

Ascension_Deer_ParkChristine Argiros said she knew what she would be doing on a recent Friday night if she hadn’t come to Ascension Lutheran Church in Deer Park.


She’d be on the street, said Argiros, 42, who is homeless.


Now, thanks to a growing church-led initiative to feed and house the needy in Babylon Town during the cold winter months, Argiros and others can find warm meals and a safe place to sleep three nights a week without having to apply for Suffolk County’s temporary assistance program.


Read the full article from Newsday

19 Sacred Sites Grants Awarded Throughout NYS

Mar 01, 2017


The New York Landmarks Conservancy has announced 19 Sacred Sites Grants totaling $260,000 awarded to historic religious properties throughout New York State including a $10,000 Sacred Sites Grant to New Life Pentecostal Church in Newburgh, New York to help fund roof replacement, and a Conservancy Grant of $10,000 to Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church in Kingston, New York to help fund asbestos removal and roof replacement at the attached education wing.


Read the full article in the Hudson Valley Press

Called, gathered and sent

Feb 22, 2017


"I’m everything personally that most people don’t expect in pastors," said Nicolette Faison. "You see me walking down the street with tattoos, nose ring, my hair—no one is expecting me to say, ‘Oh, yeah, I work in the Lutheran church,’ much less be a missionary."


A student at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, Faison’s one-year call is learning how to be a pastor with the United Evangelical Lutheran Church of Argentina and Uruguay as her mentor. She gives back to the church as an intern with the San Lucas congregation in suburban Buenos Aires, and is one of four who serve in global companion churches through the ELCA’s Horizon International Internship program.


Read the full article about missionaries, including MNYS Candidate Nicolette Faison, from Living Lutheran

Why a Musical About the Sex-Crazed Mystic Rasputin Plays a Church in Brooklyn

Feb 20, 2017


90St. John’s Lutheran Church becomes home to the Russian mystical faith healer in a racy, immersive staging of Dave Malloy’s new musical.


Off the G train, in the heart of Greenpoint, Brooklyn, theatregoers travel to a decaying 165-year-old church, where scaffolding covers the altar, theatrical lighting hangs above the pews, and a small rock band plays in the corner. It’s what writers Dave Malloy (who recently debuted his Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 on Broadway) and Jason Craig, and director Ellie Heyman deem the perfect home for their musical Beardo, the story of Grigori Yefimovich Rasputin.


Read the full article from Playbill.com.


Declaration of Concern by Religious Organizations

Feb 16, 2017


We are the leaders of congregations and communities of faith in Northern Westchester and Putnam Counties. We are keenly aware that as a result of recent actions and statements that have been made by the federal government, there are communities and groups of our neighbors who are now fearful of what may become of them and their families. ...


In keeping with our own deep-seated beliefs, we pledge to offer whatever lawful aid and assistance we can to our neighbors who are now in distress. We will draw upon the talents and skills of our membership to provide support to them. We can do no less.


Read the full declaration from TapInfo.


Interfaith Council repudiates Trump's ban on refugees

Jan 30, 2017


Clergy from the Greater Newburgh Interfaith Council gathered with the local Muslim community at the Masjid Al-Ihklas Mosque in Newburgh on Saturday to publicly repudiate President Trump’s ban on refugees and stand in solidarity with "the poor, the needy and the traumatized."


Read the full article from The Photo News here


Port Jervis church's Sister March draws a crowd

Jan 21, 2017


A Sister March in solidarity with the Women's March on Washington drew some 500 participants to St. Peter's Lutheran Church in Port Jervis on Saturday for a mile loop-around walk from the church through downtown streets.


The group — a mix of men, women and children — walked slowly and quietly. Some carried homemade signs in support of a variety of human rights, ranging from women's reproductive choices to LGBTQIA issues to fracking and environmental concerns. Others toted downloaded posters from artist Shepard Fairey's "We the People" campaign, provided by the church. The Fairey images depicted ethnically diverse women — a Muslim wearing a hijab; a Latina; and an African-American.


Read the full article from The Record Online here

Women's March in Port Jervis on Saturday

Jan 17, 2017


Members of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Port Jervis were unable to go to Washington, D.C., to join the Women’s March on Saturday, so they decided to organize a march of their own.


The protest was started by just a few church members, but the numbers are growing quickly. The march will begin at the St. Peter’s Church. 31 West Main St., at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 21, and loop around the streets of Port Jervis.


Read the full article from The Chronicle here

Downtown Kingston church getting $10K from NY state Landmarks Conservancy for restoration work

Jan 12, 2017


The Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church at 22 Livingston St. has received a $10,000 grant from the New York Landmarks Conservancy.


The money, earmarked as a Conservancy Grant, will help the Downtown church pay for removing asbestos in its education wing and replacing the wing’s roof.


The outlay for the Kingston church is part of $260,000 from the conservancy being divided among 19 historic religious properties in the state.


Read the full article from The Daily Freeman here.

A Place for All at St. Lydia’s: Brooklyn’s Progressive Church Gem

Jan 10, 2017

"Welcome to St. Lydia’s. We are a dinner church that gathers each week to cook and share a sacred meal, and you are very welcome here."


The candles glow, a shruti box hums, and congregants—Lydians, as they’re called—look to Pastor Emily Scott, who offers warm benediction (and bread) toward the start of each worship.


"The church was formed from hunger I was detecting when I first moved to New York," Scott remembers. "I found that I was meeting a lot of people who had spiritual interests but hadn’t found a church community, and sometimes they’d say they had tried going to a church but found it was too formal. I started thinking: what would a church for the people I’ve been meeting look like?"


Read the full article from Brooklyn Magazine here.

What is Late Modernism? And why you should care

Jan 05, 2017


If non-architects know the Citicorp Center—New York’s youngest landmark when designated at 38—they know it for its flaw. Shortly after its completion in 1978, a student called the office of its engineer, William J. LeMessurier, and asked about the four 24-foot-square, 100-foot-tall "super" columns, unusually positioned at the center of each of the skyscraper’s facades, that help to hold the building up. ...


Similarly, it is a shame that religious interiors are exempt from the Landmarks Law, because Massimo and Lella Vignelli’s warm, Scandinavian-inspired design for St. Peter’s Church, a diamond embedded at the base of the Citicorp cantilever, looks better than ever, down to the Op Art bargello embroidery on the seat cushions. Many a modernist marriage has chosen that backdrop.


Read the full article from Curbed here

Church donates packages to seafarers

Jan 04, 2017

SeafarerSatchelsatSTJohnsSeafarers, people who work on rigs at sea, had a brighter Christmas thanks to this group of people from St. John’s Lutheran Church in Poughkeepsie who put together 44 satchels of donated items. The satchel gifts were purchased by church members and through Action Team money from Thrivent Financial.


"The satchels were given to let the seafarers know they are not forgotten and are cared for; making Christmas special despite the miles between them and their loved ones back home," said Jeanne Jones, director of lay ministries at the church.


See the full post from the Poughkeepsie Journal here




Kiwanis club helps the needy

Dec 29, 2016

Kiwanis_helps_St.BarnabasThe Kiwanis Club of Howard Beach started handing out presents days before Christmas.


The philanthropic group last Thursday donated $250 gift certificates to religious and charitable organizations in the community, which in turn were to be donated to those in need during the holiday season.


Read the full article in the Queens Chronicle.

Celebration Of Praise And Thanksgiving Recognizing Wartburg’s 150th

Dec 16, 2016


2016.11.05_Celebration_Group_VIP__Photo_edited-2A Celebration of Praise and Thanksgiving in its historic chapel was attended by 165 people, including board members, religious leaders, community members, residents and guests.


"The remarkable story of Wartburg, since the days of its founding up until today, is that it reflects living in Christian charity and in Christ’s love, this is what Wartburg is all about," said The Rev. Dr. Robert A. Rimbo, Bishop of The Metropolitan New York Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America presided over the ceremony.


Read the full article in the Mount Vernon Daily Voice.

All Faiths Celebrated at Thanksgiving Dinner in Yorktown

Dec 10, 2016

Yorktown_InterfaithThe entire Yorktown faith community joined together Sunday, Nov. 20, at the Hudson Valley Islamic Cultural Center in Mohegan Lake to celebrate the value of Thanksgiving.


Through Jewish, Christian, Muslim and Buddhist prayers, those in attendance showed their appreciation for faiths. Buddhist Priest Paul Silverman delivered the sermon. Financial donations were collected for local food pantries.


Read the full article from TapInfo Yorktown

Bay Ridge Center’s food pantry sees donations from students

Nov 22, 2016

Bethlehem_Bay_RidgesmIn the spirit of holiday giving, donations for the Bay Ridge Center’s food pantry were plentiful and coupled with bright, smiling faces on the morning of Tuesday, November 22.


After a morning service inside of the Bethlehem Lutheran Church (6935 Fourth Avenue), which included special songs form the Lutheran Elementary School choir, monetary donations were collected for City Harvest and food donations were collected for the Bay Ridge Center’s food pantry.


Read the full article from the Brooklyn Reporter here

Catholics, Lutherans Find Common Ground at Sheen Center Prayer Service

Nov 09, 2016


Among the apropos revelations at a gathering of local Catholics and Lutherans last week were the Lutheran roots of Auxiliary Bishop John J. O’Hara of the archdiocese and the Catholic roots of Bishop Robert Rimbo of the Metropolitan New York Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.


Each shared his story in remarks delivered during an ecumenical prayer service both prelates led at the Sheen Center in Lower Manhattan on Oct. 31.


Read the full article from Catholic New York here

Blessed Be The Pets

Oct 14, 2016

19p1.previewA gathering of animal lovers assembled with their pets despite inclement weather at Trinity Lutheran Church, at 31-18 37th St. in Astoria, for the Blessing of the Animals ceremony performed by Pastor Paul B. Millholland. The event is held in commemoration of St. Francis of Assisi, who believed all creatures are part of God’s creation, and the unconditional love given and received from animals is a gift and part of the circle of life.  


Read the full article from the Queens Gazette here


Trinity Lutheran Holds Special 9/11 Mass

Sep 28, 2016

28p2.previewTrinity Lutheran Church in Astoria held a special September 11th Mass in memory of the almost 3,000 people killed in the terrorist attacks on our country 15 years ago.


NYPD officers Sean Marchia-Duckworth, Yuna Lee and Jean-Louis Amedee from the 114th Precinct came to meet the congregation and also answer questions from youngsters representing the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts of America.


Pastor Paul encouraged the youngsters to ask questions, and they asked, "Why did you want to become a police officer? Is it hard work? Do you enjoy what you do?"


Read the full article in the Queens Gazette.


Domestic Violence and Film

Sep 27, 2016

We sat with Antonia Clemente, Executive Director of The Healing Center, and Naima Ramos-Chapman, the filmmaker behind "And Nothing Happened" to discuss the realities of domestic violence, and how filmmaking can raise awareness of this issue.


Watch the video from BRIC TV here

Blessed are the children - and their backpacks

Sep 19, 2016

AR-160919960The children of Grace Lutheran Church of Greenwood Lake had their backpacks blessed by the Rev. Patt Kauffman on Sunday, Sept. 11, for the beginning of the new school year.


See the posting in the Warwick Advertiser here



Eger Lutheran Homes & Services celebrates a century of caring

Sep 18, 2016

Eger Lutheran Homes and Services celebrated its 100th anniversary at a "Red Ball" gala in the ballroom of the Excelsior Grand Saturday evening, where some 600 prominent community leaders, philanthropists and politicos attended to support the cause.


The evening sizzled with entertainment, fine food, elegant decor and dancing and was reminiscent of Hollywood's red carpet glamour.


Read the full article with photos at SIlive.com.

LGBTQ Harlem: Still Queer and Here

Sep 15, 2016

"When a person is homeless they’re really just fighting for daily survival," said Kevin Lotz, a social worker and co-founder of Trinity Place Shelter, an LGBTQ-focused youth and young adult transitional shelter.


HIV/AIDS awareness, testing, and intervention are very important, but the root is homelessness and its related ills. The unique nature of Harlem, both the history and community, attracts LGBTQ/SGL youth at a high rate, even if they can’t afford to live here.


For that reason, advocates want to shift the discussions from testing and prevention, to the risk factors contributing to new infections.


Read the full post from Medium here

Eger celebrates 100 years of senior health care with 'Red Ball'

Sep 09, 2016

Eger Lutheran Homes and Services, Inc., now a leader in the delivery of post-hospital, long term and end-of-life care and support services, strives to remain responsive to the diverse needs of Staten Island and its neighboring communities.


It seeks to provide a safe, caring and learning environment in which people can live and work, and is designed to enhance the quality of life for all, relying upon Lutheran values as its anchor in the heart of Staten Island's Greenbelt.


As Eger celebrates its 100th anniversary year, they mark the milestones of Eger and look forward to the next stages of their ministry, including major renovations and new construction to enable them to serve those in need in new and more proficient ways.


Read the full article from SILive.com.

The Jazz Church

Sep 07, 2016


Tucked in the massive Citicorp skyscraper at 54th Street and Lexington Avenue is Saint Peter's Lutheran Church, widely known for its jazz ministry. Especially at 5 p.m. on Sunday evenings.


That's the time for Jazz Vespers, created back in the 1960s by Pastor John Garcia Gensel. He believed that jazz musicians, who found it hard to come to church on Sunday mornings after working late Saturday nights, would welcome the accommodation.


Read the full article from NY Press

Pluck, Cluck, Luck

Sep 01, 2016


"It's not as hot as hell"

So said a roadside sandwich board on a sweltering evening in late July outside Incarnation Lutheran Church on Montauk Highway near Bridgehampton. The words could be interpreted a number of ways...


"Don't hesitate to go out on a limb, that's where the fruit is." What is it about the Lutherans and their roadside signs? This one was outside St. Peter's Lutheran Church in Greenport, spotted around the time we went to press. 


Read the full editor's letter from East Magazine.

West Village Church Launches 'Eclectic' Concert Series

Sep 01, 2016


St. John's Lutheran Church is launching a new fall concert series under the guidance of their new music director/organist, Janet Chung.


The church is donating their space at 81 Christopher St. for the performances, so proceeds from the ticket sales go to the artists.


Read the full article from DNAinfo here. 



Wagner College named one of America's top schools by Princeton Review

Aug 30, 2016


Wagner College was named one of America's best colleges in the Princeton Review's list of 2017 "Best 381 Colleges" guide, released Monday.


The Wagner College Theatre program was also ranked No. 3 in the nation.


Only about 15 percent of America's 2,500 four-year colleges are profiled in the "Best 381 Colleges" book, which is the Princeton Review's flagship college guide.


Read the full article from SILive here

NYPD hosts backpack giveaway at 123rd Precinct

Aug 27, 2016

The 123rd Precinct Community Council hosted their first-ever backpack giveaway Friday, launching a community event that the group hopes to make an annual affair.


With help in donations from community members, Councilman Joe Borelli (R-South Shore), Messiah Lutheran Church and other supporters, the Council was able to give out almost 200 backpacks.


Read the full story from SILive.com

US Lutherans Vote to Divest from Fossil Fuels, to Work Towards a Sustainable Future

Aug 18, 2016

The church’s action was the culmination of efforts by a coalition of members, spearheaded by Gerry Falco from the Metro New York Synod. "We joined forces with activists from five synods that had pending resolutions like ours," Falco said.


The assembly theme of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation galvanized voters.


Read the full article from Common Dreams here

Garrett VanderBrink IV of Smithtown Becomes an Eagle Scout

Aug 17, 2016

1_331.jpg.644x0_q85Garrett’s Eagle Scout project was to build a storage facility for his church, Abiding Presence Lutheran Church in Fort Salonga, New York. He designed the plans for the construction of the shed, as well as overseeing the building of the facility.


"Achieving the rank of Eagle Scout will stay with Garrett for the rest of his life, and the skills and leadership qualities he attained through scouting will guide him in his future endeavors," said Legislator Rob Trotta.


Read the full article about this MNYS member from LongIsland.com here.

Pastor Johnsen Retires from St. Andrew’s in Yorktown

Aug 09, 2016

Pastor Paul Johnsen has stepped down from his leadership role at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church in Yorktown and is retiring from ministry after 41 years. ... "It’s all about relationships," Johnsen said. "Relationship with God, relationship with people and relationship with the earth."


Read the full article from TapInfo here

Ecumenical vigil on Main Street in New Paltz honors victims of violence

Jul 21, 2016

vigil-HZTAn ecumenical vigil for peace and healing, in response to Orlando and in support of LGBTQ people and communities around the world was held last Wednesday evening beginning at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church on Main Street in New Paltz. Local clergy participating were Tobias Anderson of Redeemer Lutheran Church, Robin James of St. Andrews Episcopal Church, Bette Sohm of New Paltz United Methodist Church, Mark Mast of the Reformed Church of New Paltz, and representatives of The Friends Meeting House.


Read the full story in the New Paltz Times.

The Uncertain Future of Saving the Past

Jun 28, 2016

gallery-1466018691-chapel-of-the-good-shepardIn the Chapel of the Good Shepherd at Saint Peter's Church, large, abstract wooden sculptures seem to move along much of the 28-foot walls. The figures are strange yet somehow calming, giving the impression of quiet and space juxtaposed against the commotion of midtown Manhattan just outside. Nearby, three five-foot-long rectangular columns, representing the Holy Trinity, hang suspended from the ceiling next to the altar, covered in a gleaming gold leaf.


...Upon closer inspection, however, the pieces don't look so good. "The sculptures are in really bad shape," Nunberg says. She's an objects conservator with the Objects Conservation Studio, and it's her job to restore these sculptures to their former glory.


Read the full story in Popular Mechanics

NYC's 'Little Shelter That Could' Provides Refuge for LGBTQ Youth

Jun 28, 2016

Trinity Place, a shelter located in New York City, has been helping LGBTQ youth transition out of homelessness since June 2006.


Watch the video from NBC News here


The Third Place

Jun 27, 2016

A crowd gathered at the bars and clubs in Jackson Heights to remember the lives lost in Orlando.


...The crowd crammed into the cocktail bar, where Hugo Ovejero, the director of Latinos D., stood under a disco ball and read the names of the dead—"Simón Adrián Carrillo Fernández, treinta y uno años . . . Mercedez Marisol Flores, veintiséis años . . ." After each one, the attendees mumbled, in unison, "Que en paz descanse," or "Rest in peace." Pastor Fabián Arias, from St. Peter’s Church, in Manhattan, led a moment of silence, and then the group headed east down Roosevelt Avenue, past Taqueria Chila and Optima Beauty Supply and Crazy Tattoos Corporation.


Read the full story in The New Yorker. 

Kennedy Named Pastor Emeritus at Grace Lutheran Church

Jun 27, 2016

Rev. Dr. Timothy J. Kennedy has been given the title of Pastor Emeritus by his former congregation.


Grace Lutheran Church in Yorktown Heights bestowed the honor upon Kennedy at a Father's Day ceremony. Kennedy retired from Grace last October but still holds a special place in the hearts of the parishioners. The honorary title recognizes Kennedy's 37-plus years of service at the church on the corner, located on the corner of Curry Street and Gomer Street. The congregation is being currently led by Interim Pastor Susan Nagle.


Read the full article from Tap Info here


This Latino-Heavy, And Gay Friendly, NYC Neighborhood Remembers Orlando

Jun 16, 2016

"I am gay. I am heterosexual. I am lesbian. I am transsexual. I am what I want to be. Because it is what God created me for," said Rev. Fabian Arias, as he and others gathered at the Manhattan Cocktail Lounge in bustling Jackson Heights, Queens....


Arias, the senior pastor of the Lutheran Church of Sion, located at St. Peter's Church in Manhattan, marched on the neighborhood's iconic and diverse Roosevelt Avenue with LGBT activists, residents and community leaders holding candles, banners, flags and photos to remember the 49 victims of Sunday's mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.


Read the full article from NBC News here.


Astoria Characters: God’s Handyman

Jun 14, 2016

2016-06-05-1465132163-747480-Kimpel17-thumbAs Henry Kimpel climbs the stone steps of Trinity Lutheran Church, an act he has done some 12,000 times since he joined the congregation nearly seven decades ago, he apologizes.


"I’m a slowpoke," he says, leaning heavily on his wooden cane.


The bad thing about old age, he says, is that you get old. That goes for churches, too.


There’s nobody who knows more about the physical aches and pains of Trinity than Henry. For nearly three decades, he took care of its repairs.


Read the full article in The Huflfington Post.


2016 Memorial Day Run: A man, a scooter, and a dream

May 15, 2016

20327064-mmmainJohn Daggan's first stroke, when a Snug Harbor security guard found him sitting under a tree after struggling during a routine jog, was bad enough.


The second stroke, a day later, was devastating.


"We overheard someone in the hospital say that he'd probably never walk again, that he'd have a tube in his body for the rest of his life," said Jean Daggan, his wife. "My son and I just sat down and wept." ...


Medical speculation, it turned out, hadn't measured Daggan's indomitable spirit.


Read MNYS congregation member John Daggan's story from SILive.com.  




Kids' Table

May 15, 2016

Students from Little Blessings Preschool at Resurrection, Mt. Kisco were interviewed by Dateline NBC to participate in several short segments on their Sunday evening On Assignment broadcast, called Kids' Table.


View the May 8 segment on money matters from nbcnews.com


View the May 15 segment on the presidential election from nbcnews.com.


Joseph Mantovani: Pastor shared church with community

May 12, 2016

The pastor of St. Jacobus Evangelical Lutheran Church in Woodside has helped the church become more connected to the surrounding community.


Joseph Mantovani, 35, has been the church’s pastor for the last seven years. He said that when he first joined the church, attendance was low, with a general lack of church-community engagement.


Since then he has worked to bring the church back into prominence by sharing space with other congregations, community groups, sports teams and Little Leagues as well as Alcoholics Anonymous and Cocaine Anonymous meetings. The church has always hosted a preschool that serves about 150 families.


Mantovani said the church’s greatest accomplishment has been using its space to welcome other congregations and taking part in neighborhood improvement efforts such as graffiti removal, painting and greening. 


Continue reading in the Times Ledger.


Tennessee Williams’s Rare Play, Orpheus Descending, Hits the Stage

May 05, 2016


The current theater trend running through the thesbian world is a reexamination and revitalization of Tennessee Williams's lesser known works. Currently, Beth Bartley and Irene Glezos, in association with the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival, are presenting Orpheus Descending, a production that’s skillfully directed by Austin Pendleton.


The play originally premiered in 1940 in Boston under the title Battle of Angels. It closed amid scandal for its controversial juxtaposition of religion and sexuality. Later, however, the play was rewritten by Williams and arrived on Broadway in 1957 as Orpheus Descending. While a critical and commercial flop, The New York Times's critic Brooks Atkinson praised the script and the play was revived on Broadway in 1989. It now returns to New York at St. John’s Lutheran Church.


Read the full article from Out Magazine here


Hundreds of construction workers attend Workers’ Memorial Day ceremony to honor 17 workers killed

Apr 29, 2016


Fallen hardhat workers were mourned Thursday by labor unions, community groups and elected officials in honor of Workers’ Memorial Day.


The commemoration began at 46th St. and Eighth Ave., where Air Force veteran-turned construction worker Christian Ginesi died after falling 24 stories from a platform that was not powered correctly.


...White carnations — each bearing the name of a construction worker who died in 2015 — were placed at a memorial site outside St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, across the street from where Ginesi died.


Read the full article from the Daily News here

Pastor’s flock fellowships with shaved heads at St. Baldrick's event

Mar 25, 2016

Good_Shep_PLainview_st._BaldrickEver since St. Baldrick’s Foundation events began at H.B. Mattlin Middle School in Plainview, members of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Plainview have brought a team together to participate and raise awareness to children suffering from cancer.


"It’s been a great experience for the congregation and for my family personally," explained the church’s pastor, Eric Olsen.


Read the full article from Newsday here

Unity campaign reaffirmed at task force meeting

Mar 24, 2016

The meeting and recent efforts of the group were responses to a sense of growing unrest and a perceived backlash toward Muslims in the neighborhood and beyond, in the wake of attacks such as those in Paris and San Bernardino (and, subsequent to the meeting, in Brussels), as well as divisive statements by presidential candidates Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.


"This community is amazing," said El-Yateem, who is the spiritual leader of the Salam Arabic Lutheran Church. "It stands for welcome. It stands for working with each other. The relationship between the houses of worship is fantastic. We work together on any issues in the community, should they arise, and we’re not just building bridges, but crossing them, to work with each other."


Read the full article in The Home Reporter here

Preachers on Preaching: Episode 20: Emily Scott

Mar 21, 2016

Emily Scott is pastor of Saint Lydia’s church in Brooklyn, New York.


In this episode, Matt talks to Emily about preaching at liturgies around the dinner table, the immediacy of homiletic dialogue, and the challenge of writing sermons that will elicit storytelling from the congregation.


Listen to the full podcast from The Christian Century here

Congregations re-enact Christ’s arrival in Jerusalem

Mar 20, 2016

Parishioners from two congregations on Long Island came together for a special Palm Sunday service.


The pastor of Our Savior Lutheran Church and the minister of Congregational Church in Manhasset thought it would be a good idea to make Palm Sunday as realistic as it was in the past.


The two congregations came together to re-enact Jesus Christ's arrival in Jerusalem.


A donkey was part of the service to commemorate how Christ entered the holy city of Jerusalem riding one.


Read the full article and watch the video from New 12 Long Island here.

Easter Events for the Faithful and Festive

Mar 17, 2016

A sampling of seasonal celebrations in New York, including musical and choral services, screenings, readings and processions. All events are free and in Manhattan, unless otherwise noted.


Holy Trinity Lutheran Church This Bach-championing church also presents the music of Heinrich Schütz in a program that includes the composer’s "Die Sieben Worte Jesu am Kreuz." Donald R. Meineke, music director. At 5 p.m.; with a lecture from Michael Marissen at 3:45 p.m.; 3 West 65th Street; 212-877-6815; holytrinitynyc.org.


St. Peter’s Church (Lutheran) Bach’s "St. Matthew Passion" is performed in its entirety, with arias and poetic choruses in German and biblical portions of the libretto in English. Bálint Karosi, the church’s recently appointed cantor, leads this performance, which features period instruments, including the 400-year-old archlute. At noon; 619 Lexington Avenue, at 54th Street; 212-935-2200; saintpeters.org.


Read the full article from the New York Times here.

Plenty of options to keep kids occupied while NYC public schools go on spring recess next month

Mar 16, 2016

springbreak16stjohnbrooklynChess NYC Spring Break Camp

(St. John’s Lutheran Church, 155 Milton St., Brooklyn; 866-321-2437, chessnyc.com; Full week, $295; single day, $79)


Your kid can feel like a player at this all-levels chess camp taught by nationally ranked champs who both educate and motivate young strategists. An eight-hour day includes at least three hours of chess — but also pizza, ice cream, outdoor activities, and brain games. Since the program’s designed for all levels — beginner to Grandmaster — kids associate chess with fun. And that’s a great move.


Read the full article from the NY Daily News here


The 10 best places for reflection

Mar 15, 2016

Saint Peter's NYCFrom Reykjavik to Tate Modern, we look at spaces to inspire contemplation during Lent


6. Nevelson chapel

St Peter’s Lutheran church, New York

In the 1970s, St Peter’s church, in the heart of midtown Manhattan, tore down its neogothic building in favour of a sleek modern structure in the shadow of a skyscraper. The transformation was not only architectural. Inside, Louise Nevelson created a shimmering, silent chapel full of her signature assemblages of painted scrap wood.



Read the full article from The Guardian


Safe, Warm, Supported and Homeless: Sheltering LGBTQ Youth Who Need Our Help

Mar 01, 2016

trinityplaceI learned not long ago that many of the homeless youth and young adults who call Trinity Place Shelter (TPS) home, have their very first birthday there. In my world of privilege, it had never occurred to me that children might grow up without ever having a birthday cake. Or a birthday present. But yes, it happens. Often. When I think of the faded photographs of my own birthdays, at age 5, and 7, and 12 years old, a cake adorned with candles in the dining room, family gathered. I can't imagine if those photographs were taken away from me, the memories never made. It doesn't take much for us to buy a cake, and a gift. To gather around, offer support and love, and a safe, welcoming space; the feeling of a dozen people singing happy birthday to you, for the very first time. Is there anything you wouldn't do to make sure every young person has that? That is part of what makes TPS more than a shelter; what makes it a home for the youth who live here. 


Read the full article on the Huffington Post.

PIX Financial Fix: Colleges with the best bang for your buck

Feb 23, 2016

Paying for college is a feat in itself — but paying the least amount is like hitting the jackpot.


Robert Franek, co-author of "Colleges that Pay You Back," has a few local colleges that will help you get the best bang for your buck.


See how Wagner College ranked in Pix 11's video.

Grace Lutheran Church celebrates Boy Scouts

Feb 23, 2016

GraceGreenwoodlakeboyscoutsserviceA special Boy Scout Sunday service was held at Grace Lutheran Church in Greenwood Lake on Feb. 7. The service was hosted by Cub Scout Pack 121 which is chartered by the Church.


Scouts from the Pack assisted with the service by singing patriotic songs and helping with the offertory procession. Webelos Scouts conducted the weekly bible readings, Gospel and Psalms.


Read the full artcile in the Warwick Advertiser here.


Head of Port Jervis animal shelter says facility is making progress

Feb 22, 2016

AR-160229849.jpg_MaxW_650_MaxH_650With animal adoptions expedited and 400 feral and stray cats and kittens spayed this past year, Susan Beecher feels some satisfaction with progress at the Humane Society of Port Jervis/Deerpark. ... Several collaborations with volunteers and organizations have also helped.


The shelter’s partnership with St. Peter’s Pet Pantry in Port Jervis and other pet food pantries may be helping more people to keep their animals, Beecher said.


"We funnel our surplus food contributions to pantries who help needy pet owners, and that keeps pets out of the shelter," she said.


Read the full article from the Times Herald-Record here


Leading like Lydia

Feb 19, 2016

Emily Scott, pastor of St. Lydia’s in Brook­lyn (ELCA), was chatting with a group of church-planting women on Twitter. She wrote, "I’d be interested in hearing about methods for planting used by women." When she exhausted her 140-character limit, she started another tweet. "I know the way I’ve planted church has been different from my male colleagues’ approach." Other women on the stream concurred.


Read the full article from The Christian Century here



'We Walk Together' Service to Affirm Belief in Religious Freedom

Feb 18, 2016

A multi-faith service to bring awareness to victims of religious extremism will take place Sunday, Feb. 21 at the Westchester Jewish Center in Mamaroneck. ...


"As the world witnesses extremist attacks on religious and ethnic communities and random terrorist attacks, please join us to affirm our belief in religious freedom for all," organizers said in a prepared statement.


Read the full article about this event, sponsored in part by the Metropolitan New York Synod, from the Tarrytown-Sleepy Hollow Patch here. 

Wife, Minister Who's Performed More than 1,000 Weddings Share Keys to Happy Marriage

Feb 14, 2016

20160256bf50a9d2f56Carl Weaver, a Lutheran pastor, has officiated at more than 1,000 weddings —and his wife of 58 years, Marilyn, a teacher, has shared the journey.


"I’ve done weddings on the beach in winter, hospitals, lighthouses, at catering halls, at churches and with rabbis," he said.


But the wedding that’s set the foundation for all that was to come is Carl’s own union with his beloved wife Marilyn. 


Read the full article from the North Fork Patch


Commuters Take Ash Wednesday ‘To Go’

Feb 11, 2016

Brandt_Ash_Wednesday_2016Commuters at the Huntington Long Island Railroad Station Wednesday morning may have noticed Rev. Joel Brandt holding a bible on the platform as he stood next to a sign that read "Ashes To Go."


"Many people won’t have time today to run into a church to get ashes at the beginning of this holy season," said Brandt, referencing Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent in the Western Christian Church. "And so we come to them."


Brandt, of the Gloria Dei Evangelical Lutheran Church in Huntington Station, said Ashes To Go is a worldwide movement that started in St. Louis in 2007, but has since "been catching on" in other areas. He said he brought the movement to the Huntington train station three years ago, and plans to continue doing so on a yearly basis.


Read the full article from the Long Islander News here

Rare Revival of ORPHEUS DESCENDING to Open at St. John's Lutheran Church This Spring

Feb 08, 2016

A rare revival of Orpheus Descending by Tennessee Williams will run for a limited engagement, April 23-May 14, at St. John's Lutheran Church, one of the oldest buildings in Greenwich Village. Directed by Austin Pendleton, the production features a 16-person cast lead by Irene Glezos, Thomas Beaudoin and Beth Bartley. 


Read the full article from BroadwayWorld.com here

The Women Who Should Love Hillary Clinton

Jan 29, 2016

The Rev. Katrina Foster, a Lutheran pastor for 21 years, told me, "I’m no longer interested in the physical packaging of these candidates." Pastor Foster, who is gay, acknowledged that Mrs. Clinton finally had the right position on gay issues. "But we now have won rights, I’m more concerned with what we have lost — what it means to be an American."


Read the full article in The New York Times

Brooklyn celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Jan 19, 2016

Rather than stay home and keep warm on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, about 200 Brooklynites braved frigid temperatures and icy winds of sufficient magnitude to warrant an advisory from City Hall to rally and march through the streets of Bay Ridge on Monday. The participants marched in support of their Muslim neighbors in an area that has become New York City’s largest Muslim-populated neighborhood.


Kids wielding signs gaily decorated with hearts and messages of conciliation — many crafted the day before under the supervision of noted local artists such as Tamara Zahaykevich — marched with their parents behind the ecumenical leadership of Reverend Khader N. El-Yateem, Dr. Ahmad Jaber of the Arab American Association of New York, Rabbi Jeffrey Marker and Rev. Robert Emerick of the Bay Ridge United Methodist Church.


Read the full article from the Brooklyn Daily Eagle

City pre-K programs lag behind nonprofits in quality: analysis

Jan 10, 2016

astoriapreschoolCity-funded pre-kindergarten programs run by nonprofit, community and faith-based organizations rated an average 12 percent higher in quality than those run by the city Department of Education, a stunning analysis shows.


The findings are based on the city’s "quality reports," which evaluate factors such as health and safety, classroom environment, and meaningful activities. ... The program with the highest score — 5.9 — is run by the Grace Lutheran Church in Astoria.


Read the full article from the New York Post here.

Our Savior pastor pick 3 years in the making

Jan 07, 2016

The Church of Our Saviour Lutheran in Manhasset had expected to spend a year finding a new pastor who could form a strong connection to community, according to congregation president Kathy McNally.


That, McNally said, was three years ago.


As it turned out, she said, the extended process was a blessing, allowing them to select Rev. Marc Herbst, who was installed as the church’s fifth pastor on Dec. 6.


Read the full article from The Island Now here

Where New Yorkers Worship: Finding God in a City of Bustle

Dec 24, 2015

25WORSHIP1-FULLBLEED-superJumbo-v2New York has an image. In the American imagination it stands for money, culture and entertainment. It is a city of restaurants, nightclubs, theaters and art galleries. It is not, in the popular mind, a spiritual city. Mammon is its god, worshiped daily at the New York Stock Exchange. Thus it has always been, and shall be.

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But wait. There is another New York. "In some respects, New York may be called the city of churches," the minister-turned-journalist James D. McCabe Jr. wrote in 1872, at the dawn of the Gilded Age....


...In a study conducted last year, the Pew Research Center found that more than two-thirds of New Yorkers identified as having a religious affiliation, a figure that might startle the rest of the country — or indeed, the world.


Read the full article from the New York Times, which pictured St John's in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

Where to Give Locally in Greenwich Village and SoHo

Dec 23, 2015

If you're moved by the holiday spirit to donate or volunteer your time, there are places and people in need right in Greenwich Village and SoHo...


St. John's Lutheran Church

81 Christopher St., West Village


The Lutheran church on Christopher Street is famous for its acceptance of people from all walks of life. They hold "Rest Stop" hours during the week, where they keep the church open for anyone who wants to come and just sit, but they need volunteers to "host."


Read the full article from DNAinfo here.

Have Yourself A Messy Little Christmas

Dec 23, 2015

One of the things I love about Christmas is that it comes whether we are ready or not. It comes if there is snow on the ground or its 60 degrees. It comes if there is peace on earth or the world seems to be going up in flames. It comes whether or not the shopping is done. It comes whether or not the grief is still present. It comes when pain is at its height or when healing has finally come. Christmas shows up. And why? Because Jesus shows up.


It is not contingent on us. That is the promise.


Read the full article from MNYS Pr. Danielle Miller in the Oceanside Herald.

City to Offer Legal Support to Immigrants

Dec 21, 2015

Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced the formation of hubs at immigrant service organizations in all five boroughs of New York City that next spring will begin providing legal support to immigrants.


The participating legal service providers are BronxWorks, CAMBA, Catholic Charities Community Services, Lutheran Social Services of New York, Make the Road New York, New York Legal Assistance Group and the Northern Manhattan Improvement Corporation.



Read the full article from New York Law Journal

Pastor Forges a New Path in Brooklyn

Dec 18, 2015

BN-LT688_NYPROF_H_20151217173722In her own way, Ms. Scott, 35 years old, is making a radical push at St. Lydia’s, her storefront church in the Gowanus section of Brooklyn. Her "dinner church" service weaves song, scripture and prayer with a simple homemade supper, drawing a diverse set of worshipers—young and old, gay and straight, Quaker and Evangelical.


The service, held in a loft-like space without a cross or altar, could be mistaken for a hip social club, but the worship is deeply rooted in Christian traditions of humble table fellowship.


Read the full article from the Wall Street Journal here


Local officials, clergy express support for local Muslims

Dec 18, 2015

Rustico_Muslim_SupportWe are all children of God," the Rev. Peter Rustico, who heads the Middletown Interfaith Council, told the congregation at the Middletown Islamic Center after Friday prayers. "We are with you, we support you."


Rustico, the pastor of St. John’s Lutheran Church, was one of a host of local officials: clergy, a state police sergeant, a county legislator, and the Middletown mayor, who visited the mosque Friday. They came to assure local Muslims that the community will be on watch to head off intolerance, given the recent incidents of terrorism in San Bernardino, Calif., and Paris.


Read the full article from the Times Herald Record here.  

Waffle Church– It’s A Real Thing!

Dec 16, 2015

In the spring of 2015, I took my then three and a half year-old son to a small church near our home in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn. The pews were sparsely populated by an aging congregation, as so many are these days. There were no other children; no Sunday school; no children’s message. Prepared for this, I had packed an arsenal­ toy cars, goldfish, crayons, more goldfish, and, for emergency use only, my iPhone.


Henry fidgeted; he asked questions; he rustled the bulletin; he dropped his metal cars on the wooden pews and the sound reverberated through the empty sanctuary. This was in the first five minutes. Beads of sweat formed on my brow. I shushed. I pleaded. Please sit still. Please be quiet. My three year ­old did the best a three year ­old can do under those circumstances. I did not. I was so worried about disturbing the worship of the adults around us that I paid no attention to what was taking place in front of me.


...And then came the waffles…


Waffle Church began this past July, when Emily Scott, pastor of St. Lydia’s Dinner Church and Co­Working Space, asked if I might be willing to help her church create a Sunday morning, all­ages, worship service. St. Lydia’s is a progressive, GLBTQ­ affirming congregation where life is lived out, literally, around the table. Sharing a meal is a tradition from the earliest days of the church— one that is now revived each Sunday and Monday evening at Dinner Church, and now, once a month on Sunday mornings at Waffle Church.


Read the full blog post from A Child Grows in Brooklyn...

Christmas Pageant at the Lutheran Church

Dec 16, 2015

2015125672239753823"A Star is Born!" The Almighty commissions Archangel Luke and the heavenly host to devise a plan for announcing the birth of His Son, Jesus. Angel Bridget suggests a talent show be held the angels to determine a spectacular announcement. She herself performs a masterful liturgical dance to the Cameroon traditional song, "He Came Down." Angel Bella sings and dances the "Reindeer Pokey." The Almighty interrupts the talent show to express a preference for a song that will rock the vaulting of eternity and always be remembered. What song will that be? Come and see and hear!


Read the full story from the Port Washington Patch.



Review: A Broadened Christmas Repertoire at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church

Dec 13, 2015

14TENET-master675When it comes to festive Christmas dazzle, Handel and Bach have cornered the classical market with performances of their "Messiah" and "Christmas Oratorio" taking up much of the season’s real estate. On Saturday at the Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, two stellar early-music ensembles, Tenet and the Dark Horse Consort, made a strong case for allowing the glittering and refined Christmas music of Michael Praetorius (1571-1621) into the competition. The concert also counted members of Bach Vespers at Holy Trinity among the excellent performers.


Read the full review from the New York Times



Hundreds rally against Donald Trump outside his NYC hotel: ‘We are asking for basic respect..."

Dec 11, 2015

Anti-Trump-rally-NYC-REUTERS-800x430A woman [MNYS Pastor Emily Scott] shouts slogans as she takes part in an anti-Donald Trump, pro-immigration protest in the Manhattan borough of New York December 10, 2015.


Read the full article from Raw Story.





Redeemer Evangelical Lutheran Church hosts benefit concert for Family on Friday, December 11

Dec 07, 2015

redeemer-HZTFor the third year running, New Paltz’s Redeemer Evangelical Lutheran Church will be hosting a Christmastime Benefit Concert for Family of Woodstock, Inc. next Friday evening, December 11. Titled "Hark! A Thrilling Voice is Sounding!" the musical event will feature the acoustic quartet Betty and the Baby Boomers, bluesman Big Joe Fitz, Debbie Lan’s Rosendale-based women’s vocal ensemble Bloom and the fourth- and fifth-graders of the Mountain Laurel Youth Choir.


"Our pastor, Tobias Anderson, is going to be performing too," says the church’s community coordinator, Erich Markert. "He was part of a music ministry called Faithful Folk, and put out a CD of Christmas music with some great musicians from the New York City area. But in the last year he has been doing more solo work, mostly singing gospel music."


Read the full article from the New Paltz Times here or from Myinforms.

Candlelight Vigil, March, & Gathering Mark Out of the Darkness World AIDS Day Observance

Dec 03, 2015

The 27th annual World AIDS Day and its 24th annual Out of the Darkness observance took place on December 1. While events all around the city marked the day, the one on the Upper West Side of Manhattan included a candlelight vigil at Trinity Lutheran Church of Manhattan, on West 100th Street; a candlelight march along Broadway; and an interfaith gathering at the United Methodist Church of St. Paul and St. Andrew, on West 86th Street.


Read the full article from New York Q Times here

Marchers remember AIDS victims on Upper West Side

Dec 02, 2015

Just over a dozen activists marched down Broadway Tuesday night carrying candles through the rain in remembrance of the many who have succumbed to AIDS.


The marchers proceeded from Trinity Lutheran Church of Manhattan on West 100th Street to the United Methodist Church of St. Paul and St. Andrew on West 86th Street, where nearly 100 activists were in attendance for a vigil to mourn AIDS victims.


Read the full article from amNY here

Saugerties groups give back

Nov 25, 2015

food-drive-SQDuring the month of November, the Saugerties Central School District held two evenings for parent/teacher conferencing, taking the opportunity to include a food drive at each of the five campuses. Food collected at the junior and senior high school was donated to the Atonement Lutheran Church on Market St. All four elementary school collections were donated to Kings Fire Church to assist local families with the necessary items for a Thanksgiving dinner. Thanks to all who donated and continue to make it possible for families in the community in need.


Read the full article in the Saugerties Times here



Rachel Held Evans: You don’t have to give away iPads at church to reach millennials

Nov 19, 2015

St. Lydia’s is a Lutheran church in Brooklyn, N.Y., that does a whole service around an actual shared meal; it’s called a dinner church. Going back to the very ancient practice of Communion, but in a way that kind of hasn’t been done in a long time. You don’t have to put on a show, you don’t have to give away iPads. That stuff rings kind of hollow. It’s more about recovering these ancient practices, but expressing them to a new generation in a new way.


Read the full interview with Rachel Held Evans in the Charlotte Observer here

Linda’s Angels raise money for American Cancer Society

Nov 17, 2015

american-cancer-society-relayAthletes usually prepare for a big race by training. But members of a relay team called Linda’s Angels are getting ready for the race of their lives in a different way — by raising money.


Cancer survivor Linda Swalling, the woman for whom the team "Linda’s Angels" is named, is pictured with her goddaughter Angelia Lubrano at a previous Relay For Life in Bay Ridge. Photo courtesy of Donna Russo-LubranoCancer survivor Linda Swalling, the woman for whom the team "Linda’s Angels" is named, is pictured with her goddaughter Angelia Lubrano at a previous Relay For Life in Bay Ridge. Photo courtesy of Donna Russo-Lubrano


The team hosted a fundraiser at the Soul Café at the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in Bay Ridge on Nov. 13 and garnered close to $4,000 in a single night.


And they’re not through yet!


Read the full article from the Brooklyn Daily Eagle here

North Shore holiday fairs offer variety of items and activities

Nov 14, 2015

Trinity,SISt.nickfairTrinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in Stapleton [Staten Island] hosted its annual "St. Nick's Fair"... The fair offered handmade items for sale, including items imported from Asia. Proceeds from the sale of the imported items are used to help women and children in the impoverished areas of the world where the items were made. The items included goods made by All Mothers Be Educated Now, and other goods made by children in an orphanage in Guatemala, according to fair coordinator Lorraine Danischewski.


"Most of the stuff is donated by the members of the church," said Kathy Klein, volunteer and church member. "The money goes back to the food ministry."


Read the full article and see photos in SILive.

Harbor Country Day School Students Donate to Smithtown Emergency Food Pantry

Nov 13, 2015

On Monday, November 9, students from St. James’ Harbor Country Day School delivered and sorted more than 1,000 pounds of nonperishable food items to the Smithtown Emergency Food Pantry. The food was collected through the school’s annual food drive. "Harbor Country Day is honored to contribute to the Smithtown Emergency Food Pantry," said John Cissel, Head of School at Harbor Country Day.

In March of 1984, the members of seven church congregations within Smithtown [including MNYS congregation, St. Andrew's] saw a need to provide food to residents who could not afford to feed their families. 


Read the full article in the Long Island Exchange and at LongIsland.com.


How Churches Are Rethinking Sunday School

Nov 13, 2015

Over the summer, St. Lydia’s, a church in Brooklyn’s Gowanus section that is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, rolled out "Waffle Church," an all-ages service that has helped it attract new families and children.


Led by the Rev. Sarah McCaslin, a Presbyterian, Waffle Church is held on some Sunday mornings at St. Lydia’s storefront space. Children sit on the floor and, if needed, there are simple toys to play with and cereal for a snack.


Read the full article from The Wall Street Journal

In order to fix race relations on campus, you have to start off campus

Nov 12, 2015

imageRacism isn’t an issue confined to college campuses, but as the events of the past week at the University of Missouri have shown, the college environment can be a microcosm that highlights challenges our entire society is experiencing. The larger issue behind these protests is that higher education needs to play a more direct, hands-on role in addressing the huge inequalities that plague our country.


The old argument that educators are helping underserved communities simply by providing quality education is not supported by the evidence. Reams of data show that vision of higher education’s role is not nearly enough to create real change.


Read the full article from Dr. Richard Guarasci, president of Wagner College, in Newsday

Westminster veteran recalls role in WWII

Nov 11, 2015

cctnews-veteran-who-served-in-wwii-recalls-experiences-20151110Eckhardt had grown up in a strongly Lutheran family, and with no dedicated chaplain on board, he found himself giving small religious services on the ship. He enjoyed this role so much that after the war, he decided he wanted to go to seminary.


Returning home in July 1946, Eckhardt finished his last year of undergraduate college at Western Maryland, then attended Gettysburg Seminary in Pennsylvania. After completing his studies, he received his first assignment — Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in New York City. Eckhardt and his wife, Nancy, whom he had married while in seminary, moved to New York, where they had five children over the next 25 years.


Read more about this veteran who's first call was in MNYS in The Carroll County Times.

Salam Arabic Lutheran Church hosts dinner dance to honor and unify its community

Nov 06, 2015

DSC_4552-624x407When Salam Arabic Lutheran Church held its annual gala on Saturday, October 24, it celebrated the good of those in the community who continuously give and show their support.


The night was graced with the celebration of several distinguished honorees including Executive Director of the Lutheran Augustana Center Jeanne Lee who was named Woman of the Year, while Azzam Obeid was named Man of the Year. Marwan Atallah was presented with the Lifetime Achievement award, and Lenny Bartkus was honored as an Exemplary Disciple. Pastor Khader El-Yateem noted that the honorees were "outstanding people, who have served the community for many years."


Read the full article from The Brooklyn Home Reporter here

Woodside Youth Expand Mulching

Nov 06, 2015

mantovani_woodside_heraldAs autumn operations power along across the entire zip code, the youth, having already made significant progress in tree care determined to add to their overall number of trees mulched, with Edison Salazar, 12th year student at Youth Leadership Academy and one of the vet- erans of this enormous beautification project, asserting "As long as we have supplies available, we could potentially do all the trees in Woodside without much struggle."


Such was the mood on Saturday, October 31, as the youth gathered in the way they have over long years...From there, the youth reassembled to continue other tasks in locations that have for many years been ones of disorderly littering, returning to the north side of Queens Boulevard near Sherry Dog Park at 67th Street to weed and clean the green space where these same youth planted over 30 trees during the period of their work, and in preparation for the winter months.


Read the full article in The Woodside Herald with pictures of St. Jacobus, Woodside's pastor and youth. 


Progressive for Whom? A Latino Pastoral Perspective

Nov 04, 2015

Oftentimes within the Democratic Party we hear analysts and commentators enthusiastically referring to "progressive" elected officials and or candidates. As a person of color who is committed to assuring that marginalized communities have access to and receive a fair share of the bounty of the richest nation in the world, I wonder what "progressive" truly means. My speculation is not only political but theological/religious as well. Is the "progressive" ethos enough? Does "progressive" simply mean that you are not a republican? Maybe it means that the progressive being referred to wants some form of immigration reform? As a Christian Pastor, I find it increasingly difficult to accept the purported meaning of being "progressive" to satisfy any criteria of what is considered to be humane and just.


Read more of MNYS' Pr. Samuel Cruz's blog for the Huffington Post here

Polls Are Open, Turkey’s On In Kingston

Nov 03, 2015

IMG_1770Trinity Lutheran Church’s annual Election Day turkey dinner is a sort of prelude to Thanksgiving and an excuse to bring the community together after fulfilling an important civic duty.


It’s been going on for more than 100 years, according to church folk, and it still manages to draw upwards of 300 people for the sit-down dinners held throughout the day.


Whether or not politics is discussed at the long tables set up in the fellowship hall, one thing is certain: People enjoy the autumn tradition and occasion to come together while awaiting election results, according to church members.


Read the full article from The Hudson Valley News Network here


The Church of Our Saviour-Lutheran celebrates its 75th anniversary

Oct 29, 2015

563235dde0325.imageThe Church of Our Saviour-Lutheran in Manhasset celebrated its 75th anniversary Sunday with a service of celebration and a luncheon.


Nearly 200 people attended Sunday’s service of celebration, which was the fourth installment of a year-long Sunday celebration series put on by the church.


Approximately 150 people were in attendance at the luncheon that followed the service at the Port Washington Yacht Club.


"[The celebration] gave us an opportunity to thank God for God’s generosity for 75 years," said interim Pastor John Jurik. "We want to be a blessing to the community."


Read the full article from The Island Now.


Are Progressive/Liberal Theological Institutions Ready for Latina/o Christianity?

Oct 28, 2015

 Interfaith dialogue is getting people excited in progressive/liberal seminaries throughout the nation. Some view it as a revolution in theological studies, others as a new reformation. I believe that theological education is finally catching up to what millions of people of faith have been dealing with: interfaith dialogue and practices that have been occurring among many couples whose backgrounds are religiously diverse, as well as among the millions of Latina/o Christians who have multiple religious affiliations. I ask myself, "Will the nascent discipline of interfaith-dialogue include the ability to engage the rising Christianity from the South? Will theological schools be prepared to deal with "intra-faith" dialogue?"


Read more of MNYS' Pr. Samuel Cruz's blog for the Huffington Post here


Grace Lutheran’s Pastor Kennedy Says Goodbye

Oct 28, 2015

Grace Lutheran Church in Yorktown has had its fair share of pastors come through its doors in its 50-plus years of existence, but perhaps none more beloved than its current pastor Timothy Kennedy.


Beginning in 1978, Pastor Kennedy has been with his congregation every step of the way, and it is with a heart full of memories that many who belong to his church said goodbye on Sunday, Oct. 25, which was Kennedy’s final service before his retirement.


Read the full article from TAPinto here

Vigils at local precincts in memory of slain officer

Oct 27, 2015

image1Cops and community gathered in solidarity on the evening of Monday, October 26, to remember Police Officer Randolph Holder, who was shot to death on the evening of Tuesday, October 20 while pursuing a suspect across a housing project in East Harlem.


Outside the 68th Precinct stationhouse, 333 65th Street, the Reverend Khader El-Yateem led the vigil, as members of the precinct’s Explorers held tall candles that flickered in the darkness.


Read the full article from The Brooklyn Home Reporter here

National millionaire icon lived as hobo still educates homeless needs today

Oct 25, 2015


Broadway Global picks one new musical as the off Broadway must see this November. Performed by Actor/Singer/Songwriter Jara Jones on a homemade cigar-box guitar in an immersive setting, King of the Hobos examines hobo culture as well as the Depression-era hardships and social ideals which still resonate throughout our nation today.


The Upstairs Theatre at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church was newly restored and reopened in 2015.


Read the full article from the Examiner here

Halloween 2015: Teal Pumpkin Project aims to protect kids with food allergies

Oct 24, 2015


"It is so important that a child with an allergy be able to trick-or-treat to a home that supports the TPP so that they can receive a non-food treat," said Kim Luxoro, director of Zion Lutheran Preschool, Willowbrook. "I give out small water bottles on Halloween and it is always well-received by the children and their parents."


She added: "A little one who trick or treats to a home participating in the TPP (Teal Pumpkin Project) would be so happy to get a new pencil or sticker instead of a food item that could potentially put them in harm's way. I absolutely support this project and hope that it will bring even more awareness for those who have to deal with food allergies on a daily basis."


Read the full article from SI Live here.

Why two colleges are allowing themselves to shrink rather than ‘chase volume’

Oct 21, 2015


Five years ago Staten Island’s Wagner College was struggling to make enrollment targets.



Other colleges were growing as Wagner was shrinking. So Wagner’s administrators had to make a decision: significantly up student aid, in many cases beyond what students might need, or lose students. The college ended up taking a conservative approach, putting it squarely among the minority of its private peers, many of which place growing enrollment among their most important goals for survival and financial health.


We made "the decision to protect quality rather than chase volume," which means Wagner was ready to "get smaller if we had to," says Richard Guarasci, Wagner’s president of more than 13 years.


Read the full article from Inside Higher Ed here

Thank you, yes put it on prayer list. Monday, Nov. 16, heart surgery, specifically mitral valve rep

Oct 21, 2015


A not-for-profit organization and the New York Metropolitan Lutheran Synod are moving toward a deal whereby the shuttered Zion Lutheran Church on Fourth Avenue at 63rd Street would be torn down to be replaced by an eight-story residential building that would contain a mix of senior and affordable housing for low-income families.


Read the full article from the Home Reporter here. This is a part of how our synod aims to give back to the community and repurpose buildings after their sale.


NYU Lutheran Family Health Center is three for three

Oct 08, 2015

Fire up the presses, NYU Lutheran Family Health Center has been awarded $575,220 in Affordable Care Act funds to expand its high-quality, comprehensive care. The award came from the United States Department of Health and Human Services, and was part of an $18 million initiative provided to 57 New York State health center networks, with NYU Lutheran getting the biggest share.


"These funds will enable more people to receive the great, affordable services patients have come to expect from our health centers," said Larry McReynolds, president at NYU Lutheran Family Health Centers.


Read the full article from Courier's Life Brooklyn Daily here

Trinity Lutheran Begins 125th Anniversary Celebrations

Oct 07, 2015

TrinityAstoriaAnniversaryOn the 125th anniversary of the founding of Trinity Lutheran Church of Astoria/Long Island City in 1890, the church has started a year-long celebration with "Trinity Presents Trinity, A Musical and Visual Arts Celebration," on Saturday, October 3. The evening was a great success.


After the concert the audience went down to the church Undercroft/Fellowship Hall, to view an exhibit of the work of more than a dozen artists, all of them members and friends of Trinity.


Read the full article in the Queens Gazette.

Bay Ridge Muslims Not Happy About Carson’s Muslim Comment

Oct 05, 2015

Pastor Khader El-Yateem of Salam Arab Lutheran Church said Carson’s comments were a distasteful strategic move to boost his ratings. The Bay Ridge pastor said the entire Arab community – not just Muslims – is impacted by these discriminatory comments.


"Muslims might feel more victimized but we are all the same community. We speak the same language; we share the same traditions. It really targets all of us. All of us become demonized and victimized by these comments," El-Yateem said.


Read the full article in the NY City Lens.

Grace Lutheran Starts Inclusive Ministry for People with Disabilities

Oct 04, 2015

From the Uniondale Beacon Newspaper:


College Rankings Fail to Measure the Influence of the Institution

Oct 01, 2015

But [Jonathan Rothwell] acknowledged that liberal arts programs and programs that train students for lower-paying fields were valuable to both individuals and society. "If your only goal is to make as much money as possible, you should study engineering, computer science, biology or business," he said. "But most people are interested in more than just making money."


So, for the benefit of those people, I asked Mr. Rothwell to do a ranking that deleted the curriculum component and identified the highest "value added" colleges regardless of major. I’m calling this the Brookings-Common Sense ranking. Here’s the top 10:


1. Colgate University


2. Carleton College


3. Washington and Lee University


4. Westmont College


5. Kenyon College


6. Wagner College


Read the full article from The New York Times here

Salam Arabic Lutheran Church has high hopes for annual blood drive

Sep 29, 2015

The gift of life is alive and well at Salam Arabic Lutheran Church, where, on Sunday, October 4, Ridgeites are invited to take part in the house of worship’s annual blood drive.


"We do this every year," said Reverend Khader El-Yateem, noting that this year’s collection will take place from noon to 5 p.m. at the church, located at 414 80th Street. "We encourage members of the church and the community to come out and donate blood – to give the gift of life."


Read the full article from the Home Reporter here

Church will raise funds for Tanzanian school

Sep 20, 2015

The congregation of Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, 72 Spring St., will host "Udugu" on Sunday, Sept. 20.


Udugu is the Swahili word for "companionship." The event celebrates the "companionship" of the Metropolitan New York Synod’s partnership with the North Western Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania, Africa. Hosting a month-long fundraising event, Trinity will raise funds for the Kibeta English Medium Primary School in Tanzania.


Church members will host guest speaker Lois Rimbo. She will share the history and stories of the "companionship" at the 10:30 a.m. worship service and during a lunch to follow that will feature Tanzanian dishes.


See the full article on The Daily Freeman here

Review: Attacca Quartet Continues Its Haydn Project

Sep 18, 2015

Beethoven’s 16 string quartets are often played in a single season; the vibrant Attacca Quartet is taking six to play Haydn’s 68. As they showed during Thursday’s self-produced, deservedly popular concert at the Holy Trinity Lutheran Church on Central Park West, you can pick any three of those 68 and get a balanced diet of formal ingenuity and musical wit. No single body of work could be a stronger education for a young quartet, and the grins that appeared on the faces of Amy Schroeder, Keiko Tokunaga, Luke Fleming and Andrew Yee while they were playing suggested, too, that there couldn’t be anything more fun. 


Read the full review from The New York Times here.

'To live not in darkness'

Sep 17, 2015

9/11 ceremony at Arboretum offers message of hope amid danger


"We must appreciate the freedoms we have," state Senator William J. Larkin Jr. told an assemblage of families, survivors and caring residents who came to the Orange County Arboretum for the Patriot’s Day ceremony on Friday, Sept. 11.


More than 200 spectators came out to remember and honor the 44 Orange County lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001, and the 11 members in the Armed Forces who gave the ultimate sacrifice in the war on terrorism.


Read the full article from The Photo News here.


Lutheran expected to merge fully with NYU by November 2016

Sep 16, 2015

DSC_7032-624x418-624x418After announcing plans to move toward a full-asset merger early last month, Lutheran Medical Center (LMC) and NYU Langone have finalized their partnership in what will culminate in LMC becoming the Brooklyn Campus of NYU as of November 1, 2016.


President and CEO of Lutheran Medical Center Wendy Goldstein took to the front of the room at a Community Board 11 meeting on Thursday, September 10, to present the hospital’s plans to community members and discuss reasons for the merger along with future plans.


"When you feel something is right, it’s just right," said Goldstein about the merger. "It is very exciting news."


Read the full article from The Brooklyn Spectator here

T City Guides: New York

Sep 11, 2015

11tmag-cityguide-slide-Z9K3-jumbo"My favorite pit stop when I find myself in midtown, the church was designed by Massimo and Lella Vignelli, the powerhouse duo responsible for the subway signs that are engraved in every New Yorker’s mind. The building carries a bold elegance by subtracting basic religious motifs and emphasizing shapes and functionality. If I’m lucky, I get to bask in the space all by myself, making it all the more special." --Sabrina De Sousa, Co-owner, Dimes


Read the full article from the New York Times here

Region honors those we lost

Sep 11, 2015

EP-150919781.jpg_MaxW_650_MaxH_650Speaking at Orange County’s Sept. 11 commemoration, County Executive Steve Neuhaus said we mourn with two groups every year – those who lost loved ones on Sept. 11, 2001, and those who lost loved ones in the war on terror that followed the attacks.


In his benediction, the Rev. Peter Rustico, pastor of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Middletown, said, "Even after 14 years, the day we call 9/11 still fills us with emotion. We resolve never to forget those who were lost."


Read the full article from Middletown Record Online here

Everett Quinton on Life, Ludlam, Lutheranism

Sep 09, 2015

QuintonGraceandstpaulsEverett Quinton, an undoubted New York theatrical treasure and character actor extraordinaire, has had quite the busy year... 


"[Charles Ludlum] died on May 28, 1987. I observe that day by praying for him in church. I’m Lutheran now, out of the fire back into the frying pan [laughs]! It just happened. The pastor of my church was a friend before I went there. One day, I just decided to go."


Read the full article as Everett Quinton, member of Grace & St. Paul's, reflects in The Villager

Altar-ed states: Greenpoint church re-brands as co-op

Sep 09, 2015

KienzleparkcoopTalk about community spirit!


A Greenpoint Lutheran church has re-branded itself as a co-op, offering membership to locals of any — or no — religious persuasion, and allowing them to add their own activities the house of worship’s services — including secular dance parties and exercise classes.


The makeover has ruffled a few feathers in the church’s small flock, but the pastor says the order came from the top.


"The vision for the co-op is to be able to serve our neighbors, which is a command that Jesus gave for the church," said Amy Kienzle, who re-named the Lutheran Church of the Messiah on Russell Street as the Park Church Co-op in June.


Read the full story from The Brooklyn Paper here

Seaford, Wantagh to commemorate Patriot Day

Sep 09, 2015

Patriot Day services will be held in Wantagh and Seaford to honor local residents killed in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001... Honored guests will include family members of lost Seaford High School alumni as well as officers of numerous community organizations, including the Chamber of Commerce, the Seaford Fire Department, the Seaford Historical Society, the Lions and Kiwanis clubs, the Seaford Wellness Committee, members of the Seaford Public Library, Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, Seaford United Methodist Church, Maria Regina Parish and St. William the Abbot Church.


Speakers will include U.S. Rep. Peter King, a spokesperson for U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, Sweeney, Superintendent of Seaford Schools Brian Conboy, the Rev. Robert L. Hayden of St. William and the Rev. Ronald Klose of Our Redeemer. The Rev. Frank Nelson of Maria Regina Church, along with the Rev. Steven Knutsen from the Seaford Methodist Church, will ring the bell.


Read the full article from the LI Herald here

The Secret Christians of Brooklyn

Sep 08, 2015

stlydiastheatlantic"A friend of mine [had] come to worship once or twice, and somebody said to her, ‘Oh, St. Lydia’s, that’s like the hipster church,’" Pastor Emily Scott laughed. "She was like, ‘That’s not what I just went to at all.’ It really doesn’t come across as a place where cool people hang out."


You’d be forgiven for assuming that St. Lydia’s, tucked into the Gowanus neighborhood of Brooklyn, is a church for hipsters. The 1,000-square-foot congregation is a co-working space for freelancers by day. The regular Sunday and Monday night services are staged as dinner parties. By Scott’s own description, a lot of early career writers and creative types attend, and the church actively draws on the "beauty culture" of Brooklyn.


But much of what happens at dinner church is counter-cultural, Scott argued in a phone interview. For one thing, there aren’t many places in New York where people can have dinner parties—only the rich people tend to have apartments that can fit multi-leaf dining-room tables. The environment is designed to be the opposite of the typical, anonymous New York experience, full of jammed subway rides and crowded streets, she said.


Read the full article from The Atlantic here.


Pope's visit has Argentine community hoping to fight the crowds to see symbol of national pride

Sep 02, 2015

Catholic and Hispanic communities are predictably eager to welcome Pope Francis to the Big Apple later this month -- but the city's 15,000 plus Argentinos are over the moon.


While Pope Francis, who was born in Buenos Aires as Jorge Mario Bergoglio, hasn't substantially altered the dogma of the Catholic church, "he's changed the culture to one of compassion," said the Rev. Fabian Arias, an Argentine who converted from Catholicism and who is now a pastor at Saint Peter's Lutheran Church in midtown.


Arias compared Francis's change-agent powers to those of Mahatma Gandhi and the Rev. Martin Luther King and praised the pontiff's commitment to interfaith dialogue, mercy and understanding, and "love."


Read the full article from AM New York here


Repairs to Immanuel Lutheran Church's Leaky Roof Nearly Complete, Rev. Says

Aug 25, 2015

ImmanuelAt roughly 60 years olf, the Immanual Lutheran Church's roof had leaks, but none like the leak near its altar. 


When congregants came forward for communion, a bucket was put in place to catch the water, drip by drip.   "That made it kind of easy to realize something had gone wrong with the roof," said the Rev. Gregory Fryer.


"When we first started, the estimate of a new roof was $1.1 million. That's an awful lot of money for our congregation, though we had known this was on horizon."  


Read the full article from DNAinfo New York here



County to Host Patriot Day Sept 11th Remembrance Ceremony

Aug 21, 2015

Orange-County-Seal-6-2015Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus and Department of Parks, Recreation and Conservation Commissioner Richard L. Rose Jr. have invited the community to attend the September 11 Patriot Day ceremony to be held at the Orange County Arboretum at Thomas Bull Memorial Park on Friday, September 11. The procession will begin at 5:55 p.m. followed promptly by the 6 p.m.


Highlights from the ceremony will include a patriotic performance by guitarist Rich Pell. United States Military Academy Band vocalist Army Master Sergeant MaryKay Messenger will sing the National Anthem and God Bless America. Rose will lead the Pledge of Allegiance. Chaplain, Major John Torres, United States Air Force 105th Airlift Wing will offer the Invocation and Pastor Peter Rustico, St John’s Lutheran Church, Middletown will provide the Benediction.


Read the full article from the Hudson Valley News Network here

Half-Day Pre-K Gets a Lifeline in New York City

Aug 19, 2015

New York City will offer 4,500 half-day prekindergarten slots this year, addressing concerns from some parents that their young children weren’t ready for more intensive full-day classroom experiences.


Programs were notified this week whether they were approved to offer half-day slots, leaving some parents hurrying to shift plans three weeks before school starts on Sept. 9.


"Now that we got it, a big scramble is about to get under way," said Alice Mulligan, executive director at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Preschool in Bay Ridge, which was waiting to hear whether it had been approved to offer half-day slots in addition to its full-day program. She said she received the approval Tuesday night.


"It’s definitely good news for our families—we could fill our seats this second."


Read the full article from The Wall Street Journal here.

Dance of the Conchord

Aug 19, 2015

ClementatMessiahBrooklynJemaine Clement was early for the dance in the church basement. The gap-toothed actor and mainstay of the tongue-in-cheek band Flight of the Conchords had put on a loose shirt and shorts and grown a broody, two-day beard in preparation for the unlit "No Lights, No Lycra" jam at a Lutheran church in Greenpoint.


That church is The Park Church Co-Op. Read the full article from The New Yorker here

Resurrection of Long-Absent Church Bells Gets High Praise in Park Slope

Aug 08, 2015

parsonsdnainfoarticleIn a city where residents can feel like they're under assault from the blare of sirens, the bleat of cell phones and the boom of delivery trucks, it's not often that people welcome new noises into their environment.


But that's exactly what happened recently when the St. John-St. Matthew-Emanuel Church on Prospect and Sixth avenues starting ringing its bells again after a five-year hiatus.


Pastor David Parsons was "pleasantly surprised" to get a flurry of emails from locals applauding the return of the melodious chimes, which now ring daily at noon and 6 p.m., and on Sundays 15 minutes and one minute before services.


Read the full article from DNAinfo here.

New Parsonage Delivered To White Plains' Trinity Lutheran Church

Aug 06, 2015

whiteplainsparsonageTrinity Lutheran Church of White Plains accepted delivery of a new, prefabricated parsonage on Monday.


Photos of the construction of the foundation and the hoisting of the two halves of the parsonage are available on the church's official Facebook page.


The church will hold a dedication ceremony after the landscaping is finished in early autumn.


Read the full article from The White Plains Daily Voice here.

Reverend Foster Moving On

Aug 06, 2015

fostermovingFive years after her arrival on the South Fork, the Rev. Dr. Katrina Foster, pastor of St. Michael’s Lutheran Church in Amagansett and Incarnation Lutheran Church in Bridgehampton, has heeded a call to take on a new charge.


Ms. Foster, enormously popular among her flocks and credited with revitalizing the churches she leads, has accepted a post at St. John’s Lutheran Church in the Greenpoint section of Brooklyn. She will begin her new post at the beginning of September.


"What’s important to me and to my family is that we follow wherever God is calling us," she said on Monday. "We felt called out here to be a force to help rebuild the membership at Incarnation and get it on a more solid foundation, and, especially, to come and build the housing at St. Michael’s."


She described St. John’s as "a very small congregation in a building that’s very big." Like many urban churches, "their buildings are kind of an albatross," she said. "We’ll decide what to do with the building — redevelop it, fix it, at very least paint the interior — and grow the congregation. I think Jesus has a future for that place, just as Jesus has a future for the church. My job is to go there and help them figure out what that future is, but I have no doubt that we’re going to go there and have fun, and have really good services, and be an open, inviting community for people who are looking for community and for a connection with God."


Read the full article from The East Hampton Star here

Lutherans Divesting

Jul 23, 2015


For years, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has had a social statement on environmental stewardship, "Care for Creation," calling churches to care for God’s creation and hold environmentally exploitive companies accountable. I bought into the ELCA’s social purpose investment funds, thinking there would be no companies included that had caused environmental devastation. Unfortunately, the ELCA hasn’t always put its money where its mouth is.


I’m thankful for "Divest!" (June 2015). And I’m pleased to report that at the recent assembly of the Metropolitan New York Synod of the ELCA, delegates approved resolutions calling for divestment from fossil fuel corporations and calling on the global Lutheran church to incorporate—in observance of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation—a focus on Eco-Reformation.


See the letter from Rev. Edward Schrieber in Sojourners


Together Instead of Alone: Connection, Coworking and the Congregation

Jul 01, 2015

I have this vision of a life that is woven together: of a radically interconnected pattern of living, marked by eating and working together, and intertwined with daily patterns of prayer and silence. I imagine overlapping spheres of activity taking place in our space -- the marks of our Christian life, like prayer and worship, overlapping with the life and work of our coworking community.


Read Rev. Emily MD Scott's full article on The Huffington Post here.


Bishop Robert Alan Rimbo Congratulates Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church

Jun 15, 2015

Bishop Robert Alan Rimbo Congratulates Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church on its $1.5 M Extension Parish Hall and Ground Breaking: Extension to Add/Replace 5,458 Sq. Ft. of Space to Better Serve Congregation and Community


Bishop Rimbo stated, "Pastor Kolbo and the congregation of Trinity Lutheran Church in Rocky Point have done an outstanding job and have made a $1.5 M vision into reality"


Added Pastor Jeffrey Kolbo, "This is an historic day in the life of Trinity Lutheran Church that will allow us to better serve our congregation and the surrounding community."


Read the full article on the Miller Place - Rocky Point Patch here.


Commemorating 300 Years of Worship with Christ Lutheran Church of Airmont

Jun 12, 2015

Former Bishop Robert Alan Rimbo Commemorates 300 Years of Worship with Christ Lutheran Church of Airmont

Church has served Rockland and Mahwah communities for three centuries.

Former Bishop states, "For three centuries this faith community has given witness to God's love, present in worship and service, and will continue to do so with faith and vitality." 

Pastor Michael A. Dickson added, "Today, as we celebrate 300 years of worship and service, we surely treasure and honor the past, but are very excited about the present and future of this ministry."



Read the full article from the Mahwah Patch here.


Service dog Figo deserves a medal, owner says

Jun 10, 2015

figobrewsterOn Monday, Stone and Figo were on their way back from their "usual daily walk" into Brewster, headed to their home across from the firehouse on North Main Street. When the pair reached Michael Neuner Drive, "I gave him the command to cross the street," Stone said.


"I said, 'Forward.' And we were in the middle of the street and it happened so quickly, but people said he just jumped at the bus," Stone said. ... 


Pastor Jennifer Boyd was visiting Stone's hospital room Tuesday, and fielding calls from well-wishers and the national media. Boyd said Stone is a member of Trinity Lutheran Church and so is Figo, who goes up at communion time but does not take Communion.


Read the full article from Lohud here.


St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church to commemorate 300th anniversary

Jun 05, 2015

"I am pleased and honored to join the people of the Lutheran Parish of Northern Dutchess in marking the 300th anniversary of St. Paul’s, Red Hook," Rimbo said in a press release. "For three centuries this faith community has given witness to God’s love present in worship and service, and will continue to do so with faith and vitality."


The church dates to the emigration of Palatine German refugees of 1710 who in 1715 established the joint-Reformed Lutheran Church that would later become St. Paul’s.


Read the full article from the Daily Freeman here


Pastor restores theater in his Williamsburg church

Jun 03, 2015

MckelahantheatreA Williamsburg pastor will reopen a long-forgotten theater inside his church to the public this weekend, after working for years to restore the abandoned performance space back to its former glory.


The churchman says he felt compelled to save the old playhouse for the sake of both his own flock and the community at large, as so many of the neighborhood’s arts venues have recently closed due to skyrocketing rents.


"Part of a church’s mission is to help people express what it means to be human, and the arts are an important part of that," said Pastor Ben McKelahan, who is the head of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church on S. Fifth Street at Rodney Street. "Also, there are so many small venues that have shut down in Williamsburg and artists need more places to show off their work."


Read the full article in The Brooklyn Paper here.


Lutheran synod votes to divest from fossil fuels

Jun 02, 2015

The Assembly of the Metropolitan New York Synod, a large division of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, voted last week to divest the church from its fossil fuel holdings, church leaders said Monday.


Only about $289,000 of the synod's $12 million portfolio will be immediately reallocated, but the church voted to refrain from any future investment in fossil fuel companies and is petitioning the national church to do the same. The divestment vote comes amid growing pressure from environmental groups to "strand" fossil-fuel assets as well as growing concern among religious organizations over the effects of global warming.


"We don't know what the national church is going to do but I think they will be paying attention to the fact that at least three synods have voted to divest," said Gerard Falco, chairman of the New York Synod's environmental stewardship committee. A synod is akin to a diocese, and the New York Metropolitan Synod encompasses roughly 200 churches in the region with about 64,000 congregants.


Synods in New England and Oregon have taken similar divestment votes. Local church leaders said they will make a push next year for the national Lutheran assembly to drop fossil fuels as well.


The trend toward environmentalism among religious groups has made news in recent months.


Pope Francis is expected to deliver an "encyclical," a papal letter sent to all bishops of the Roman Catholic church, this summer and some Catholic groups have begun mobilizing in advance.


"[Environmental stewardship] is a firm belief for Christianity and the Lutheran catechism," Falco said. "We shouldn't be profiting from something that's destroying."


Read the article from the Capital New York here


Musical Saw Festival At Trinity Lutheran Church

Jun 01, 2015

trinitylicsawfestQueens Borough President Melinda Katz opened the 11th NYC Musical Saw Festival at Trinity Lutheran Church in Long Island City, remarking how great it was, that despite repeated invitations for the festival to move to Manhattan or Brooklyn, the festival calls Queens its home, bringing visitors from all over the world, the USA and the city to Astoria.


Read the full article from the Queens Gazette here.    

Just Another Boring Married Couple

May 12, 2015

fosterboringcoupleI had no idea this wedding would change our nation.


In the summer of 2011, shortly after New York State had legalized marriage for all, I received a phone call. The man on the other end was Ijpe DeKoe. Ijpe told me he wanted to get married to the love of his life -- Thom Kostura -- the very next day and he was asking me to do it.


At some point Ijpe remarked, "We just want to be another boring married couple." And that was it. Until last week.


Now, Ijpe and Thom's marriage is being scrutinized by the highest court in the land.


Read the full article by Rev. Dr. Katrina Foster on The Huffington Post here


The Surprising Sacred Gathering Spaces That Are Moving Into Your Neighborhoods

May 11, 2015

stlydiashuffpoTwice a week, every Sunday and Monday night, around a dozen New Yorkers gather in long, candle-lit studio apartment nestled between a hair salon and some warehouses in one of Brooklyn's latest hip neighborhoods. They’re actors, singers, seminarians and new parents, and they sit in groups of six around tables in one of the simplest and most untraditional Christian worship spaces the city has to offer.


St. Lydia's Church has no pews, no altar, no vestments, no band or choir, and little formality of any kind. Instead, church means drums and chanting, with frequent references to Jesus; breaking bread and drinking communion grape juice; and a long, three-hour homemade vegetarian dinner punctuated by Bible readings, a sermon and frequent talk of what it means to be a young spiritual seeker in Brooklyn. The pastor is ordained in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, but the members themselves range from atheist and agnostic to evangelical, Catholic and Episcopalian.


Read the full article on The Huffington Post here.


Former Bishop Robert Rimbo Congratulates St. John's Lutheran Church of Mamaroneck

Apr 30, 2015

Former Bishop Robert Rimbo Congratulates St. John's Lutheran Church of Mamaroneck on its $650,000 Educational Wing Extension Ground-Breaking.


Mamaroneck's St. John's Church to Break Ground on $650K Extension with Help From Mayor Rosenblum and NYS Senator Latime.


Rimbo stated, "Pastor Marv Henk and the congregation of St. John’s Lutheran Church are to be recognized for their extraordinary work in raising $500,000 for a new educational wing."


Added Pastor Marvin Henk, "This is an historic day in the life of St. John’s Lutheran Church that will change and enhance our ministry in a powerful way. Through this renovation and extension we will be able to enlarge our outreach to the community on many levels. We eagerly await the opportunity that this new building will give us."


Read the full article from the Port Chester Patch here.


Former Lutheran Bishop Robert Alan Rimbo Is Reaching Deep

Mar 07, 2015


He's Innovative and Inclusive in Trying to Add to His Steadily Dwindling, and Aging, Congregation


Like many church leaders in the new millennium, New York City's top Lutheran bishop faces a steadily dwindling, and aging, congregation. And like others of his ilk, he is watching the tweeting, tolerance-minded new Roman Catholic pope with both interest and admiration.


But Bishop Robert Alan Rimbo may be the only spiritual leader trying to rebuild his flock with giant crossword puzzles in the subway and interactive art projects...


Read the full article from The Wall Street Journal here


Interfaith gathering in Manhattan discusses steps to stop racism

Jan 17, 2015

serviceofjusticeandreconciliationNew York City's Lutherans kick-started conversations about how to end racism in America by holding an interfaith service Saturday to find the way forward.


After the service, dozens of people gathered in small groups to discuss questions posed by the bishop, who asked them to speak of their personal experiences and consider what actions they might take to battle racism.


Read the full article from Newsday here.  

We've Seen Megachurch. But How About Micro-Church?

Jun 10, 2014

One thousand square feet. It's not much space for a church. About the same square footage as two bowling lanes, to give you an idea. "Why so small?" you might ask. The answer is both economical and theological. Economically, our church is located in Brooklyn, and 1,000 square feet is what we can afford. Theologically, we've discovered that building big community happens on a small scale: 30 people around dinner tables, sharing a meal they've made together.


Read Rev. Emily MD Scott's full article from The Huffintgon Post here


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