Church Closes But Gives $140,000 To The Homeless

Sam Peterson Contributor
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A New Jersey church has been forced to close its doors due to a shrinking congregation, but is giving $140,000 to an organization that helps homeless families.

The Lutheran Church of the Redeemer based in Maywood, N.J., had to shut down earlier this year after 87 years.

The church and surrounding property sold for a price of $1.2 million, according to

Of that $1.2 million the church has agreed to donate $141,700 to the organization Family Promise, which aims to help homeless families. Family Promise’s website says, “Our mission is to help homeless and low-income families achieve sustainable independence.”

Pastor Susan Nelson-Colaneri was taking the closing in stride by saying, “There’s a death, but there’s a resurrection afterward. I don’t know how else to put it.”

The closing of the Lutheran church was not an isolated incident. The amount of people who identify as Christian has been declining, according to the Pew Research Center.

A recent Pew report states, “The major new survey of more than 35,000 Americans by the Pew Research Center finds that the percentage of adults (ages 18 and older) who describe themselves as Christians has dropped by nearly eight percentage points in just seven years, from 78.4% in an equally massive Pew Research survey in 2007 to 70.6% in 2014.”

The report also shows how younger generations are becoming increasingly less religious, “Fewer than six-in-ten Millennials identify with any branch of Christianity, compared with seven-in-ten or more among older generations, including Baby Boomers and Gen-Xers.”

The check was mailed to Family Promise with a note that said, “The blessing of this congregation in Maywood after almost 87 years of ministry is now extended into God’s future through the work of Family Promise of Bergen County,” according to