New Paltz is home to many historic churches, most notably the Crispell Memorial French Church on Historic Huguenot Street. This Sunday, September 21, another place of worship will recognize its own noteworthy anniversary. The Redeemer Lutheran Church will hold a ceremony and community event to celebrate its 60th anniversary as a congregation.
Organized by a team of volunteers within the church, the event, with music and food, will benefit Family of New Paltz. Though Family has no specific connection with Redeemer Lutheran, said pastor Tobias Anderson, “It made total sense to support Family…[as] they are always in need of financial support.”
All funds raised will be supplemented by the local chapter of Thrivent, described by Anderson as “a Fortune 500 fraternal benefits company.” “Every dollar raised,” added the pastor of five years, “will multiply into even more money for Family.”
According to program director Kathy Cartagena, Family of New Paltz maintains a space on North Chestnut Street for various 12-step programs and mental health support groups, among others, as well as a free clothing store, adolescent and adult case management services and a food pantry. Cartagena, who has held her position at Family for 20 years, said that the money would be spent directly on the community. “One of our greatest needs is to keep the food pantry stocked,” she said, “so the money would probably go towards purchasing food.”
The festivities will begin with an organ concert at 10:15 on Sunday morning, with pieces composed by organist Norberto Guinaldo specifically for the organ at Redeemer. This will be followed by a mass at 11 a.m.
The main community event is planned between 1 and 4 p.m. that afternoon. Musicians, including “blues prodigy” Dylan Doyle and children’s performers Fuzzy Lollipop, will donate their time to perform. “I may even share a few songs,” said Anderson. La Bella Pizza Bistro has organized a menu, with other food donated by Shea O’Brien’s and Harvest Catering.
Though Redeemer’s congregation has organized other anniversary celebrations before, Pastor Anderson promises that this Sunday’s will outclass them all. He calls it “a celebration to focus on how God’s love calls us to care for those most in need.”