BLOG 2020

     October 23, 2020 Ebb and Flow: 
Stories of Hope and Perseverance
What a joy it was to experience our first joint Interfaith Story Circle with the Tri-city Interfaith Story Circle from the Albany area! On Tuesday, Oct. 20, thirty-four of us joined together virtually around our ‘storytelling table” to share stories. Over 17 years ago, the Dutchess Interfaith Story formed inspired by the work of the Tri-City Interfaith Story Circle under the direction of Gert Johnson. 

There was delightful chatter as people entered the virtual space, waving to old friends from their little Zoom square, happy to see each other and reconnect. Tech guru Muriel Horowitz started the evening with a virtual hug shared between participants which transformed a typical Zoom meeting into a social gathering.  Facilitators Lorraine Hartin-Gelardi from DCIC and Gert Johnson of the Tri-City Interfaith Story Circle introduced their organizations and began the storytelling. Gert chose a Chinese story about adversity and blessings that has been an inspiration to her for over 20 years. Lorraine told a personal story about her uncle who transformed grief into celebration. 

The stories flowed naturally, a combination of personal reflections, traditional tales, and historical narrative. We heard about Faatima Knight, a Muslim theology student, who started a fundraising campaign to rebuild Christian churches that had been burned down in the days following the shooting of 9 people in the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston.  A former teacher shared the story of meeting Christa McAuliffe’s mother. A member of Kagyu Thubten Choling monastery in Wappingers Falls shared a teaching tale about a monk searching for enlightenment.  There was a story about the Baal Shem Tov and a story about a painful childhood memory that later provoked feelings of compassion. A woman shared her struggles with the ebb and flow of grief while another woman related a charming reminiscence of her son and Pete Seeger. 

Gail Burger ended the evening by singing a familiar hymn which we repeated line by line.

My life flows on in endless song above earth’s lamentation.
I hear the real tho’ far off hymn that hails a new creation. 
Thru all the tumult and the strife, I hear the music ringing.
It finds an echo in my soul; How can I keep from singing.

 John McKenna, DCIC Executive Director, remarked that the story circle moved us out of the normal scattered atmosphere of Zoom meetings and offered us “an evening of grace and humanity.” 
The second Drive-Thru Food Pantry 
in the city of Poughkeepsie will take place on 
Sunday, October 25th      1:00 pm- 4:00 pm.Here’s how you can help.Donate a grocery store gift cardDonate a food box/bag with non-perishable pantry itemsFood box/bag drop off 159 Barnegat Road, PoughkeepsieDrop off dates: 10/21, 10/22, 10/23, 10/24, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm– – – – – – – Volunteer to help on day of Drive-thru Food Pantry Sunday Oct. 25 1-4PMContact Seema Rizvi, MD for more info.

Virtual CROP-A Real Success

The forty-fifth CROP Walk that DCIC participated in was like no other.  We were not able to walk together, but walk we did and raise money we did!  Some walked the Appalachian Trail, some walked the Walkway over the Hudson, some ran a 10K route, Spackenkill High School students walked 24 times around their new track.  On October 19 our treasurer reported that we had raised $30,100.36 with 28 teams registered.  That number is from online donations and we trust it will increase significantly when checks are sent in from groups and walkers by the end of the month.  We will be accepting money into November and hope to announce a final total at the DCIC Music Festival/Thanksgiving service on Sunday, November 22.  Team Moody, which is raising funds in honor of Ken and Mary Moody who were drivers of DCIC CROP walk success for so many years, has raised $8,620 of a $10,000 goal as of this writing.  You may still give online at or you may mail checks to our CROP Walk treasurer:  

Ms. Arlene Barresi, Treasurer 
    108 Turnberry Court, Poughkeepsie NY 12603
    E: Tel.:(845)473-2251 The 45,000 Quilt Project
Local immigration activists contributed to this huge, thought-provoking and beautiful quilt and it is available for viewing here for a short period of time. 

45,000 Quilt Project Locations and Dates
October 24  (10am-5pm) – October 25  (1pm-5pm)  Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, Vassar College, public entrance on Raymond Avenue through the sculpture garden gate. 
*The art center is open to the public only on weekends. (Members of the campus community Wed-Fri)
October 26-28 (9am-5pm)  Family Services – AKA Family Partnership Center, main Lobby at 29 North Hamilton Street, Poughkeepsie
October 29  Cannon St. Location TBD
October 30-31  Christ Episcopal Church Poughkeepsie
November 7 (10am-5pm) General public only, Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, Vassar College,  public entrance on Raymond Avenue through the sculpture garden gate.

Additional locations, dates, and hours will be added as they become available; please check back often for updated information. Please note that social distancing practices are in effect at all locations, please wear a mask.

This link will provide locations & date updates: Prayer for Dialogue with Greater ReligionsI bow to the one who signs the cross.
I bow to the one who sits with the Buddha.
I bow to the one who wails at the wall.
I bow to the OM flowing in the Ganges.
I bow to the one who faces Mecca,
whose forehead touches holy ground.
I bow to dervishes whirling in mystical wind.
I bow to the north,
to the south,
to the east,
to the west.
I bow to the God within each heart.
I bow to epiphany,
to God’s face revealed.
I bow. I bow. I bow.
— Sister Mary Lou Kownacki, OSB, Benedictine Sisters of Erie, PA  STORY CIRCLE SCHEDULE
Tuesday, Nov. 17th – 7PM Enough for All – Thanksgiving is often a celebration of abundance; a dinner table crammed with food shared with plenty of family and friends. This year celebrations will be different. Families are unable to gather. Many will suffer food insecurity.  Let us share stories – scriptural, parable, folktales and personal tales – about feeding the needy and sharing what we have.
 Tuesday, Dec. 15th – 7PM Balancing Act – Stuck inside again! Let’s encourage each other by sharing stories of small triumphs.
Tuesday, Jan. 19th – 7PM The Wisdom of Humor – Funny stories often contain deep insight into the human condition. Join us as we share stories of laughter and insight.
Tuesday, Feb. 16th – 7PM Honoring Our Ancestors and Traditions – Many of us have been unable to gather with family for traditional celebrations. Our story circle will share stories of our ancestors; members of our families, spiritual ancestors from our faith communities, and traditions that have shaped who we are today.
Tuesday, Mar. 16th – 7PM Seasons and the Rhythm of Life – Spring is often a time of new beginnings. Let us share stories of renewal from our various faith traditions.                                                                         
Congregations have an incredible opportunity to help the environment and local green innovation economy while also producing much-needed income, by participating in DCIC’s partnership with Nexamp Community Solar.    For more information CLICK HERE   DCIC’s “OPG” (Oil Purchase Group)Petro in cooperation with the DCIC offers a great deal on heating oil to Dutchess County houses of worship and 501 C-3 non-profit organizations during the heating season. The pricing structure for the 2020-2021 heating season starts September 1, 2020 and expires August 31, 2 21.       If interested in more information, CLICK HEREDUTCHESS RESPONDS
Dutchess Responds Food Connection provides assistance to Dutchess County families in need of food or other critical necessities. To sign up for the program CLICK HERE, fill out the online form or call 845-486-3555 and select Option 5.THE ROLLING GROCERThe Rolling Grover provides groceries to families in need using an income-based tiered pricing system. To learn more CLICK HERE.In memory of all those who have lost their lives due to Covid-19 . . .The number of confirmed deaths due to Covid-19 has surpassed 100,000. Those who have died were mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, friends, beloved members of their community. In remembrance of those in our communities who have passed away from the virus, Dutchess Interfaith Council has established a “In Memoriam” page on our web site listing the names, ages, and a one sentence tribute of those who have died.

CLICK HERE to leave the name, age and a one sentence tribute to be added to our websites “In Memoriam” page.Be sure to find us and Like us on Facebook!

                9 Vassar St., Poughkeepsie, NY 12601 
Visit our web site at



Thanksgiving Baskets

Thanksgiving Baskets for this Holiday Thanksgiving Baskets:Need # of people in the householdCannot be registered at any other pantry for a basketMust live in 12590Distributed ONLY on 11/21 11 AM -12 PMNo Delivery! DONATIONS will be gratefully received only for the following items:Hot chocolateCake, brownies or cookie mixInstant potatoes or boxes of scalloped potatoesTurkeys


NOVEMBER 7, 2020 Join us for a Free Community Dinner (Pick-Up Only) 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. *Please call ahead or email with a name and the number of meals you need.845-297-2800 Menu: Stuffed Shells Meatballs Steamed Broccoli Dessert