A Celebration of Diversity
Stories of Faith in Action 2009
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WOODHAVEN, NEW YORK
Lutherans have a tradition of welcoming new neighbors with a covered dish and a smile.
At St. Luke Lutheran Church in Woodhaven, N.Y., Latino families moving into the neighborhood enjoy a different kind of welcome. The congregation invites them to be part of an integrated faith community that celebrates the traditions of all its members.
Members of St. Luke Lutheran Church established an integrated faith community.
Many of the new members hail from a variety of Central and South American countries and from a Roman Catholic background. With them they bring rich liturgical traditions and a wealth of ideas for education, worship and outreach.
New programs at St. Luke include a bilingual Sunday school, a bilingual newsletter, cooking classes, a popular annual Passion play, and Spanish-language worship.
St. Luke members believe the fresh infusion of ideas, traditions and enthusiasm has revitalized the congregation. They are delighted to share their traditions grounded in Lutheran theology and a strong legacy of lay leadership. Declining membership in recent years had made closing their doors a real possibility. Now St. Luke is experiencing a remarkable renewal.
All agree that a shared commitment to unity through diversity was essential to St. Luke’s rebirth. The sense of pride and accomplishment is tangible.
“We want to work together,” says Jenny La Paz. “We are one family, not two families.”
“I truly believe God didn’t want us to shut our doors,” says Roberta Detmers. “It’s exciting.”
Your financial support makes multicultural ministries such as St. Luke possible.