Social Ministry
Committee Chairs

Deacon Karen Nurmi (co-chair)
Donna Vitetta (co-chair, council liaison)

Committee Members

Irene Kogelmann
Gail Gazes
Marianne Dietrich (specific programs)

June DeVaris
Beate Noack
Riitta Pollock (specific programs)

Lynne Fargo
Susan Pate

Committee Notes

We invite you join us on the committee or suggest a project. Speak to Donna Vitetta, Irene Kogelmann, or Karen Nurmi.

Social Ministry
Christ calls us to follow his example to love and serve our neighbors, whether they are around the corner or around the globe. It is the responsibility of Emanuel’s Social Ministry Committee to inform the congregation about opportunities to do this, and to invite members to participate in showing God’s love to others. In addition, the Committee also supports several social service organizations through its budget line in Emanuel’s operating budget and the Mary and Martha Fund.
Our invitation for participation includes:
Twice a year, in January and again in July, Emanuel has a blood drive.
Too many of our nation's seniors are going hungry. The National Council for Aging Care is dedicated to educating seniors and those who care for them. Our article, The Facts Behind Senior Hunger, addresses some of the causes, complications and cures for senior food insecurity.
An annual letter-writing campaign to our elected officials in Congress to support programs and policies that help alleviate global and domestic hunger and poverty.
A group of Emanuelites who prepare meals for our members in times of stress and special need.
An in-gathering of articles of clothing to be distributed by port chaplains of Seafarers International House to seafarers, a marginalized population, who are in port during the holiday season and far away from family and friends.
An annual event highlighting the talents of Emanuelites and outside vendors. Proceeds are used to help support ministries at Emanuel and community programs, such as VA in Montrose.
An appeal made twice a year for monetary gifts to support this effective Churchwide program that addresses domestic and international hunger and poverty.
An in-gathering of household items for women and children in a shelter for victims of domestic violence to help them set up new households.
As events unfold, the congregation is made aware of what the ELCA is doing to help victims of disaster rebuild their lives, and giving to the current need is encouraged.
Special appeals as needs arise in the programs run by LSS, especially Early Life—a program for young children.
An in-gathering around Mother’s Day of books and toys for children and gift cards for single mothers living in a home run by Lutheran Social Services of New York.
an on-going gathering of food items by Emanuelites and other groups who use our building to help support those coping with chronic hunger locally. We also ask for volunteers to deliver our donations and to assist with distribution to clients.
a group of knitters and crocheters who make blankets, pillows, and lap robes for those in need of comfort or to help celebrate special moments. These articles are passed around to the congregation for prayer and blessing before they are given to the recipients.
Transfiguration Lutheran Church in the Bronx runs an effective after-school program that is much needed by the community. We support them with financial gifts as needs arise for equipment, supplies, and snacks.
an in-gathering of household items for veterans who are starting to live independently.
It is all God’s work. Our hands.

As we hear of other programs requesting involvement and support, such as ELCA Advocacy, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services, Metro New York Synod Committees, or local needs, we share this information with the congregation and invite support.

The Committee also sends donations from its funds to Habitat for Humanity, Hudson Link—an education program for those incarcerated at the Ossining Correctional Facility, Lutheran Social Services—Early Life, and The Lutheran Counseling Center, among others. Through one of our members we recently heard of the needs of students in Deposit, NY, an economically depressed area, and sent a monetary gift to help purchase needed items.