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On January 17th, Joan Duryea, a parishioner of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Hackensack called the office and said that, after their congregation had dwindled to the point they could no longer afford their building, they sold the building and were now distributing the proceeds. She reportedly had a donation for Family Promise, which she and some others from the church wanted present to us in person. We discovered that besides their church closing, their beloved pastor, Reverend Piotr had died after a long illness. This was obviously a very sad time for the people of St. Mark’s.

On January 31st, Joan and other members of her team – Jo Shelly, Rich Gasalberti, Mary Kincaide, and Scott Nierengarden – visited Family Promise and met with Kate, Paul, and other members of the Board of Trustees. They personally presented a check for $75,769.94 and read a wonderful letter sent by the Bishop Tracie L. Bartholomew of the New Jersey Synod. Everyone present was profoundly moved by the letter and by the stories each told of some of the ministries that had gone on at St. Mark’s over the past 118 years.

Truly, the ministry of St. Mark’s to the poor and homeless will continue through this legacy given to Family Promise of Bergen County. We are honored that they chose to give us this important gift.