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Our Youth in St. Paul’s Ev. Lutheran Church in Coney, Island, New York

with 9 comments

I believe these photos come from the the late Eighties, 1989, perhaps 1990. We had a vibrant youth program with fourteen consecutive Vacation Church School and Vacation Day Camps, following the missional model devised by Pr. Leslie C. Schulz of Cincinnati, Ohio, my mentor. These programs flowed right into the creativity we all found so meaningful: the singing was wonderful, the dances, plays, the arts and crafts. A great deal of our creativity developed from the Family Night, when each class and sometimes the whole school performed for their parents and the congregation. Highlights were “A Mugging in Central Park”: a take off on the Good Samaritan, (thanks to Ruth Saldana Rohr); “New York City Nativity Now”: a modern play where the Christ child is born in an abandoned building, where the three kings were Reagan, Cuomo, and Koch (the president, governor, and mayor of that day), the angels were reporters, confronting them and saying they could not adore the child until they did something about the wretched conditions around us; and the “Martin Luther King, Jr. Passion Play,” where the civil rights marches took place down the different aisles of St. Paul’s, the actor playing M. L. King is assassinated, and he leads the demonstration in the white drum-major uniform up the center aisle of the church depicting the resurrection. Then once or twice a year, we all climbed into the old 1966 GMC church bus and I myself as the bus driver, would take everyone to Great Adventure. We made the sure and certain witness that Jesus gives us abundant life!

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Written by peterkrey

June 11, 2010 at 4:32 pm

9 Responses

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  1. Those are amazing pictures and a beautiful description of a great time. I’d love it if you someday write that book recounting all the memories you had from those fourteen camps. I recall so many stories you’ve told me from them. I enjoy the color photo. I can see Ashley, Josh and me and we all have our different personalities 🙂

    Mark Krey

    June 20, 2010 at 6:31 am

  2. Pastor Krey – remember not to feed the monkeys at Great Adventure they could get mad and destroy the red crown lights on the bus fun times LOL. Take Care, Greg

    Greg Emmerling

    October 22, 2016 at 6:25 pm

    • Yes, we were foolish enough to feed them Jewish rye and when it ran out they tore up all the lights and reflectors on the bus. I saw them on the roof of the bus yanking out the wires! They did not take kindly to our running out of bread!

      peterkrey

      October 23, 2016 at 4:16 pm

      • Pastor Krey – I was just thinking about the past and searched for St Paul’s Lutheran Church in Coney Island and found this on their facebook page.

        St. Paul’s survived the devastation of Hurricane Sandy in 2012, thanks to the donations of friends. Now we face another challenge. We are currently engaged in a legal battle with the metropolitan synod of the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church of America) for our very existence. We need to raise money for our legal defense fund and so, with humble hearts, we ask for contributions. Please address checks to “St. Paul’s Evangelical Church of Coney Island” with “legal defense fund” on the memo line. Our address is 2801 West 8th Street, Brooklyn, New York 11224. With love and deep gratitude.

        https://www.facebook.com/St-Pauls-Evangelical-Lutheran-Church-of-Coney-Island-114843061868995/

        I hope they survive.

        Take Care,
        Greg

        Greg Emmerling

        October 23, 2016 at 7:16 pm

      • My memory maybe failing but isn’t Mrs. Hoover your old organist in this photo.

        Greg

        Greg Emmerling

        October 23, 2016 at 7:21 pm

  3. Dear Greg,

    No, Florence Hoover died a while before the photo above. Actually it is St. Paul’s with Pr. Harvy von Harten. In the second picture, Marie Haynes is leading the singing. John Haynes recently died. I can’t quite figure out who is leading the singing in the first picture. The Vacation Church School and Day Camps were really something! We did fourteen of them in Coney Island! There are so many memories!

    peterkrey

    October 23, 2016 at 11:09 pm

    • Pastor Krey – That’s right I think I might have still been at St. Paul’s when she died can’t remember back that far. I left NY in 1991 been back a few times on short trips but never been back to St. Paul’s. I have been living in Texas since 1991. I will be 53 today can’t believe that seems so old. I don’t know anything about what is going on with St. Paul’s just saw the post on facebook. I hope you and your family are doing well. I saw the pictures of Nora and your boy’s I hope they are doing well. It doesn’t seem like you have aged at all I still remember you blowing in your trumpet before you played it.

      Take Care,
      Greg

      Greg Emmerling

      October 24, 2016 at 3:33 pm

  4. Dear Greg,

    what is the legal issue about? Do you know?

    peterkrey

    October 23, 2016 at 11:16 pm

  5. Dear Greg,

    Happy Birthday! But I have aged slightly. I’ll be 73 this year, so I’ve got you by twenty years. St. Paul’s was really a precious experience and we have lots of memories. We left in 1992 and I did graduate studies and received a doctorate in Luther studies. My son Mark and I have written and composed a Luther Musical and we are trying to get it performed next year. Our boys are all doing fine. Mark and Joshua live with us and Ashley has a vegan restaurant in Chattanooga.
    For your birthday may you have breakfast in bed and be king for the day. I always joke that way, your birthday is probably almost over. More importantly, God’s very richest blessings upon you this year and may you have many blessed returns of the day. Did you know that birthdays are healthy? The more you have the longer you live. (A joke a brother of mine tells.)

    peterkrey

    October 24, 2016 at 4:32 pm


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