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Aug 25, 2015 4:12 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Rev. Dr. Katrina Foster To Move Her Pastoral Duties From The Hamptons To Brooklyn

Rev. Dr. Katrina Foster at Incarnation Lutheran Church on Montauk Highway in Bridgehampton. ALYSSA MELILLO
Aug 25, 2015 4:42 PM

A spontaneous trip to go camping at Hither Hills State Park is what eventually landed the Reverend Dr. Katrina D. Foster the position of pastor at two South Fork churches.Rev. Foster and her wife, Pamela, were driving out to Montauk from the Bronx when she noticed that two churches they passed on Montauk Highway did not have full-time pastors. Her wife suggested that she call the bishop for the two churches—and a short time later, they were moving east from the city with their daughter, Zoia.

“It’s just God’s sense of humor,” Rev. Foster said.

That was in 2010. Now, five years later, after serving as pastor at Incarnation Lutheran Church in Bridgehampton and St. Michael’s Lutheran Church in Amagansett, the reverend is heading back to the city to fill the same position at St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

She, her wife and their daughter will be making the move on Tuesday, which is also the reverend’s birthday. “I age, we move, and I start my new position—all in one day,” Rev. Foster said.

In an interview at the Bridgehampton house of worship last week, Rev. Foster said that while she will miss the congregants here, she believes it is time to move on.

“This is genuinely a call. Lutherans especially talk about vocation, that wherever we are, whatever we are doing, God uses us in that place to work out whatever God’s will is,” she said. “And I’m asking myself, ‘Am I at the right place doing the right thing?’ And sometimes the answer is: You need to go over there and do something over there.”

Rev. Foster helped establish a strong, solid foundation for the South Fork’s Lutheran congregation. Under her guidance, churchgoers became involved with various organizations such as the Immigration Legal Services of Long Island and Maureen’s Haven, and steadily held food pantries and Bible studies.

During her time out here Rev. Foster officiated at the marriage of a couple who went on to become plaintiffs in the Supreme Court’s recent decision affirming same-sex marriage. She also became an advocate for affordable housing. She was a member of the board that helped make a reality of the senior housing project near St. Michael’s, into which tenants moved in January 2013. She was also a supporter of an affordable housing complex on Sandy Hollow Road in North Sea, currently stalled due to a lawsuit filed against Southampton Town by neighbors who oppose that project.

The reason behind her passion for affordable housing, Rev. Foster explained, is that without it, volunteer firefighters and EMTs and police officers, as well as the population of younger adults, will not be able to find places to live out here. She herself volunteers as a chaplain with the Bridgehampton Fire Department.

“This is going to become a place where there is no more volunteer firefighters, there’s no volunteer EMTs. Where the police officers who you want to protect your property and your person can’t afford to live anywhere close by,” she said. “So, let’s say your $22 million mansion goes up in flames—they’re driving out from Patchogue to put it out.”

Rev. Foster was also a member of the Maidstone Gun Club, hosted a weekly ministry on LTV, and recorded many ads for the two churches that aired on WLNG.

Those ads are how North Sea resident Marty Moscicki and his wife, Connie, came about joining the parish. While he didn’t go to church often before 2011, Mr. Moscicki said he was inspired by Rev. Foster’s message that God loves people just the way they are. He has sometimes even filled in for her by conducting Sunday sermons at the Bridgehampton church, and he will do so one Sunday in September as part of a rotation of pastors.

“She’s made such a wonderful difference in my life. I’ve never lost my faith, but I did lose regard for most organized religion,” Mr. Moscicki said. “I think the best way for us to thank her … is to continue in the spirit that she ran the parish. I think I speak for everybody when I say that’s our intention.”

After Rev. Foster gives her final sermon here on Sunday, the Reverend Dr. Richard Hill of Selden will serve as an on-call pastor until the full-time position is filled.

“If they could find a pastor who is a professional extrovert, who likes surfing, hunting, fishing, clamming, oystering, the beach, they will be super happy, and their families will be great here,” Rev. Foster said. “I love this congregation so much, and it’s going to be really hard to say goodbye. They’re good folks, and they’re going to be fine.”

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I consider Katrina Foster to be a friend , but I have to say that last statement had me LMAO !!
By AndersEn (169), Southampton on Aug 29, 15 9:30 AM
1 member liked this comment
loved her sign in hayground. different every week. always a thought came in from that sign. miss you and hope you are happy in your new parish. off tune? don't think so.
By xtiego (698), bridgehampton on Aug 29, 15 7:52 PM
It was good to run into you on Friday, and don't forget to visit! And remember, you could always call in something lively for the marquee now and then...
By Mr. Z (11485), North Sea on Aug 29, 15 10:35 PM
The Hampton Classic, Horse Show, Bridgehampton