‘We are happy to see people here’
Cady chosen as permanent pastor of St. Paul’s Luthern Church in Torrington
TORRINGTON — After serving for more than a year as interim pastor at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, the Rev. Scott Cady recently was chosen by the congregation to be its permanent minister.
Cady said his ministry at St. Paul’s represents the pinnacle of his career, which began in 1984 in Cornwall. “I can stay as long as I want to,” said the 70-year old pastor.
This fall, the 800-member congregation celebrated its 50th year at its current location at 837 Charles St. The first church building was constructed in the mid-1800s, Cady said, near what is now Coe Memorial Park.
The relocation in 1968 to the corner of Charles Street and Torringford Road was controversial, he added, because it was an undeveloped area.
“There were woods everywhere. The neighborhood grew up around us,” he said.
According to documents,
there are 430 Catholic churches in the state and 235 Congregational Churches. But there are just 170 Lutheran churches in all of New England, Cady said.
The Pew Research Center shows that the Christian faith accounts for 70 percent of church affiliation in the United States. Of that total, 25 percent are evangelical Protestants, and 20 percent are Catholic.
One of Cady’s first goals is to reach out to the area Christian churches. He wants to renew the nowdisbanded Interchurch
Council to involve members of other faiths.
“I’m eager to restart this,” he said. Cady noted that several churches in the city also have relatively new ministers, whom he plans to contact.
Cady replaces the Rev. Michael Millum, who served the church for 15 years. Millum now is interim pastor at a church in Georgia.
The histories of the Lutheran and Catholic churches in the United States are similar, Cady noted.
“We share a feature, (members) came to America without speaking English,” he said.
The early members of the two denominations
were German or Scandinavian , he said, and many Lutherans settled in Philadelphia and Delaware where they interacted with Native Americans.
“A wave of Scandinavians came and moved to Pennsylvania and the Midwest” in the early 1800s, he noted. Those regions of the country are where Lutheran membership is the highest, Cady said, along with the Carolinas.
He said the early church “at best were tolerant” of other religions. “They did not reach out.”
That has changed with the modern church, Cady said.
“We are more secular now,” he said. “We stress practical ways to show love
to our neighbors who don’t fit into the middle-class setting.”
One of the church’s most popular community outreach projects is the “Puppettude” ministry that visits nursing homes December. Coordinated by Judy Ludwig, the group of about 25 members perform a puppet show at Christmas time.
“Our members are good, honest and non-assuming people,” Cady said. “(St. Paul’s is) very open and welcoming to people with issues of disability. We have an accessible entry.”
Cady said LGBTQ individuals also are welcome. “We are happy to see people here,” Cady added.
Lutheran churches are able to make decisions independently from the hierarchy of the church, he noted. “We want to emphasize what’s available to the world. We know our neighbors have something to add.”
Rev. Scott Cady was appointed as the new pastor by the members of St. Paul's Lutheran Church in November.
St. Paul's Lutheran Church celebrates its 50th anniversary this year at its current location at 837 Charles St.