Although our story as THE LIFE LUTHERAN CHURCH in Old Westbury continues to be written, we are grateful to God and so many people that we have grown from a start-up church-plant, funded by The Lutheran Church of the Resurrection in Garden City, NY to a self-sustaining congregation that continues to grow.
THE LIFE Lutheran Church was planted in the building of the former Redeemer Lutheran Church in Old Westbury. Redeemer closed in 2007, when the small group of remaining members took a leap of faith and merged with The Lutheran Church of the Resurrection in Garden City, NY. The people of Resurrection made a covenant with the closing church to merge and assume ownership over the building and property, with the promise to invest in planting a new church. In 2008, Vicar Justin Vetrano was called to be the church planter.
Part of the vision for THE LIFE is to engage the community through a variety of events, mission, and outreach initiatives. Countless people have worked tirelessly to reach out and share the Good News of God’s love in Jesus Christ, in tangible and experiential ways. As the community of THE LIFE began to form, we gathered together in worship to hear the Good News of God’s love, and to celebrate the presence of God in our community, and the relationships we form with one another. We are a sacramental and liturgical community, and we strive to communicate the true joy of God’s Good news when we worship.
In January of 2009 THE LIFE began holding services on Thursday evenings, with a small group of parishioners from Resurrection Lutheran, in Garden City and people we had met in the community.
The vision was to bring fresh and relevant life to ancient practices of the church. And for that reason, we commissioned Rev. George Baum to write some music for our liturgy. We put a lot of effort into finding songs that were singable and theologically rich. We recruited many people, including children, in important roles within the services, and assembled a band filled with talented musicians who want to lead the congregation in singing, rather than performing for attention.
We have faithfully continued those Thursday evening services and, as they grew, felt led to add Sunday morning services as well, starting Easter morning, in 2012. Sunday services continue to grow in attendance and include Sunday School for children and lots of involvement from congregational members. After church our weekly post church breakfast is a big hit and is attended by well over 100 people each week.
We continued to grow in numbers and enthusiasm, adding programs and ministries. In 2015, a small group of leaders from THE LIFE under the guidance of Pastor Vetrano began to imagine and develop a self-governance model and vision for the future. It became clear that THE LIFE was in a position to support herself, and become a self-sustaining congregation. The support we received from Resurrection was truly remarkable, with all the legal procedures and finance discussions we could not have had a smoother transition.
On September 10, 2017, with our Bishop Derek Lecakes in attendance, as well as several hundred members of THE LIFE Church, as well as Resurrection,THE LIFE Lutheran Church of Old Westbury was consecrated as a self-sustaining congregation. On that day Rev. Justin Vetrano was also officially installed as our first pastor.
If you’re looking for a church that is both ancient and modern, scriptural and liturgical, welcoming and supporting, come by and visit. Perhaps you’ll want to join in our mission:
Proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ: Reverently, Joyfully, Together.