Thanks to the congregation for all your prayers. The Holy Spirit was certainly with us during the successful Ideation Session led by Pastor Tobias and Jerry Banach. Also attending were Council members and community partners Tim Rodgers, Matthew Eyler, Lyla Yastion, and Pastor Limina Grace Harmon.

The session's focus was to grow Community Partner building use at Redeemer in support of great people doing extraordinary things while generating the financial means to sustain and enhance the fantastic resource entrusted to us in the building at Redeemer, New Paltz. Ideally, we would like to see the building use go from 20% of the time to 80% with reasonable, sliding scale fees that would allow great people with great ideas to flourish in a safe, beautiful space.

After a tour of the building, participants brainstormed observations of needs in the community and ways the building could be used in fulfilling those needs.

Additionally, community partners were especially helpful in suggesting contacts and networking resources.

It is going to take some time to sift through all the ideas generated, so stay tuned as we move toward developing community partnerships.

Redeemer's Congregation Council will be having their annual retreat meeting on Tuesday, 9/20.

This year we have invited New Paltz community leaders to participate for the purposes of brainstorming ideas for increasing our Redeemer church building use that might also serve the community. Increasing the building use is both for the purposes of Sharing Christ’s Welcome and trying to increase revenue to contribute toward maintenance of the building. We invite the congregation to pray with us for a successful brainstorming session.

If you have any creative suggestions for building use or know of a need in the community, please pass these ideas on to a Council member before 9/20. You can always reach the Council President at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Redeemer has been invited to participate in the Sustainable Solutions for Sacred Sites (also called the S4 Program). This is a Lilly Foundation grant run out of Judson Memorial’s Bricks and Mortals Program which we learned about from Donna Schaper, the consultant who visited us in April after we studied her book during Lent. The purpose of the program is to “produce sustainable solutions to the persistent concerns of congregations about their buildings. We turn problems into possibility by teaching and learning with imagination and experience.” This ties in perfectly with the goal of Redeemer’s Congregation Council to increase the use of our building to expand our mission and help pay for maintenance. However, we have found that putting this into action is a challenge, and we think this program will be a great for giving us direction and motivation. The S4 program is provided by forming cohorts of churches for joint learning opportunities and through professional coaching. Redeemer will be part of a virtual cohort meaning all sessions will be online. The offered trainings are estimated at a $30,000 value for a meager congregation contribution of $500. Redeemer’s Council has approved this expenditure and the application was submitted two months ago. It is so exciting that we have now been accepted!

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Many companies and organizations use employees for their skills. Yet, many never provide employees the opportunities to develop new skills or regenerate their spirit. One-way organizations can give time for renewal is through the use of sabbaticals or paid time leave, generally for a specific purpose. Our National Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), encourages our pastors to take sabbaticals.

The past two years have been particularly stressful for many of us. Pastor Tobias has not only ministered to us during the pandemic but also ministered to our day-to-day physical and emotional needs, all while inventing new ways and implementing new technologies to bring God's word to us both in-person and remotely through the Internet.

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On Saturday, April 30, 2022, Redeemer hosted the inimitable Rev. Dr. Donna Schaper, the former head pastor at the well-known Greenwich Village church, Judson Memorial, and the founder of Bricks and Mortals. Joining Pastor Tobias and several council members were representatives from Redeemer Lutheran in Kingston, St. Andrews Episcopal in New Paltz, and others. Donna’s visit was a capstone of the Lenten book study that focused on Dr. Schaper’s book, Remove the Pews: Spiritual Possibilities for Sacred Spaces and infused energy into Redeemer’s mission-focused ambition to engage the community more fully through the intentional use of God’s house and grounds.

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