Through a Lily Foundation grant, Redeemer Lutheran Church was invited to participate in a Sustainable Solutions for Sacred Sites (S4) Initiative over the course of the last school year. Rich Carroll, Julie Andrew, Gwen Feldt, and Pastor Tobias formed the S4 Team and met once a month together, with Julie and Pastor also meeting with a coach provided to us through this initiative. Though the S4 Team might have hoped to accomplish even more, it has wrapped up its work and we want to take a moment to celebrate ways that we helped nudge Christ’s ministry forward, specifically in connection to God’s House (aka the Building) at Redeemer:
- Overall, the S4 Team helped us focus and develop more robust efforts to invite Community Partner use of space hosted by Redeemer.
- Thanks to the S4 Team, we developed a Spaces Page within our website, including photos, descriptions, and suggested donations.
- Thanks to the S4 Team we invited potential partners in for tours of the building. These welcoming efforts grew beyond the S4 Team to include other Redeemer individuals (you can do this, too!) making community connections that have led to the Life-Long Learning Institute, the Margaret Wade Lewis Center for Black History and Culture, and the Bach Festival using the building, as well as to other connections and relationships that have people talking well of the facilities and people at Redeemer.
- The work of the S4 Team encouraged Erich and I as staff to prioritize this part of Redeemer’s ministry, building radical hospitality and relationship-focused interactions with current and potential community partners as well as our Congregational community.
- The work of the S4 Team, perhaps less directly but not less significantly, encouraged Council to think about building a plan whereby God’s House at Redeemer becomes a space for New Paltz and Hudson Valley folks to be nurtured as good people doing great things and to get on a path to financially paying for regular upkeep, maintenance, and improvement. Indirectly this also encouraged the Council and in turn the congregation to pursue solar as part of this plan for financial stability with regards to the building.
- Finally, the S4 Team wrestled with the idea of rebranding the church community and or the building so as to better support nurturing a community hub in this physical space. This led to a congregation wide conversation that made it clear that at least right now, we are not rebranding or renaming.
We hope that you will join us in celebrating God’s work through the S4 Team, and join us in looking for where God is calling each of us individually and all of us collectively NEXT so that we might continue to nudge Christ’s ministry through Redeemer forward, with and for the world.
Specifically, we hope that you try to develop the practice of remembering that part of Redeemer’s Ministry is hosting Community Spaces, and invite people, groups, and organizations you come across in your lives to utilize space at Redeemer for Family and Friend events, Music and Dance rehearsals and performances, regular meetings, pop up food events, and a myriad of other possible things. Together we can build a community hub where good people are nurtured in doing great things. For us as a church community we know that this will give glory to God in the highest, even as God’s people are nurtured here on earth.