Meet Calvary Lutheran’s New Pastor


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On February 10, Calvary Lutheran Church welcomed its new minister, Pastor Anthony Giordano. He’s got a new plan to serve the congregation, or should we say, a new beat. Giordano intends to add contemporary music to Sunday services at the congregation and some concerts for the whole Verona community.

“There’s a lot of good music out there,” says Giordano, who will be sitting in on percussion for some of it.

Giordano is a second-career minister with a multi-denominational background. Born in Brooklyn and raised as a Roman Catholic, he attended an Episcopal church for 18 years. He eventually found himself in a Baptist seminary and was ordained as a Lutheran minister just six years ago. He served as pastor of Calvary Lutheran Church in East Meadow, Long Island, and president of the East Meadow Clergy Association.

His Brooklyn and Long Island background have meant some adjustments in coming to Verona. Giordano loves being in a place with more open space and greenery, but admits to being baffled by the breakfast orders he overhears at Bagelwich. “What is Taylor ham?” he asks.

Pastor Giordano will serve both Calvary Lutheran in Verona and St. John’s Lutheran Church in Bloomfield, which will mean some quick transitions on Sundays. He’ll do an early morning service in Bloomfield before returning home to Verona for a 10:30 a.m. mass. For Holy Week, he’ll do Maundy Thursday at St. John’s, but Good Friday and Easter Sunday at Calvary. Next Wednesday, March 20, Calvary will hold a soup supper at 6:15 p.m., followed by a prayer service at 7:30.

Calvary Lutheran belongs to the Missouri Synod, which is the second largest of the main organizations of the Lutheran church in America. It is usually viewed as more conservative, but Giordano notes that individual churches are free to worship as they want. He feels that that is important at Calvary Lutheran, which has become a multi-ethnic, multicultural congregation. Hence his emphasis on adding contemporary music to its traditional hymns. “Contemporary music helps people to think outside the box,” he says. “I believe that church should be a happy place.”

While Giordano will bring his drumming talents to his services, he says he’s looking for musicians to “augment the music.” He’s also thinking of offering his congregation–and the larger Verona community–some concerts, outdoor movie nights, a blessing of the animals and a “Blue Christmas” service for people experiencing grief at the holidays.

Giordano lives with his wife, Edna, in Calvary’s Verona parsonage, which is across the street from the church. Now that the weather is warming up, he’s looking forward to walking his neighborhood to get to know the people in his immediate surroundings. He’s also beginning to get to know other Verona clergy members and people involved in different aspects of the community. “I want to know what Calvary Lutheran can do in Verona and how we can help,” he says. He’s paid a visit to the Claridge House, and has taken a stroll in Verona Park. (Calvary Lutheran also now has an Instagram account, in addition to its long-standing Facebook page, YouTube channel and website.)

“I have a lot of high hopes for Calvary,” Giordano says. “The bones are there.”

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