Today’s news:

New director for church

Bethlehem Lutheran Church, the founder and sponsor of the Bay Ridge Center for Community Service, has hired a new executive director.

Rev. Paul H. Knudsen, pastor of Bethlehem Lutheran Church, announced that the Bay Ridge Center’s previous director of social services, Eeva-Lisa von Ancken, took the helm of the 32 year-old community program.

The Bay Ridge Center, 6935 Fourth Avenue, includes an on-site lunch program for seniors, hot meal delivery to the homebound, an emergency food pantry and related support programs for older adults and others in need.

“Eeva-Lisa has a great background for this important position,” said Rev. Knudsen. “And, it’s an added bonus that she’s a Bay Ridge native. We’re very pleased that she has accepted our offer to lead the center.”

Before joining the Center, von Ancken was a geriatric social worker at the Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Brooklyn and a case manager for a New York City community-based housing agency. She has a BA from SUNY Albany, a Master’s of Gerontological Studies from Miami University, and a Master’s of Social Work from Hunter College.

The former executive director, Ellen Lauer, left the center to relocate to her home state of Maryland.

“I look forward to working with all of our neighborhood partners to ensure that the Bay Ridge Center continues to provide high quality services that meet the needs of older adults in our growing and diverse community,” said von Ancken.

Bethlehem sponsors the Bay Ridge Center and its related programs with contracted funding through the NYC Department for the Aging, as well as other government funding and private sector donations.

Bethlehem Lutheran Church is located on the corner Fourth & Ovington avenues and is a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The Bay Ridge Center operates out of various church facilities.

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