Trinity Lutheran Church of Middle Village is celebrating its 150th Anniversary with a year full of events not only for the congregation, but the community as well.
“Middle Village is a community, a real village,” Leo Longan Jr., the pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church, said. “There really is a vibrant community of people and we just would like to get to know our people.”
Trinity Lutheran Church, located at 63-70 Dry Harbor Rd., is the oldest Lutheran congregation on Long Island. Started by German farmers, the church was formally incorporated as a congregation in 1863, at the height of the Civil War.
“If you think about it, that was a really big commitment to make in the midst of a terrible crisis,” Longan said. “New York City was a place of mayhem but these men made the commitment.”
Now that Trinity Lutheran Church has merged with Ascension Lutheran Church in Glendale, there is a $2 million gut renovation in the works.
When the project is completed, Parish Hall will sport new elevators, bathrooms, floors, walls, ceilings and wiring.
“We expected this to be finished by now, just in time for the anniversary, but things are going slower than anticipated but that is okay,” Longan said. “Next year at this time, this will be a construction site.”
The celebration will kick off on April 28th at 10:30 a.m. with a festival worship service led by the Bishop Rev. Robert Rimbo, with a gala banquet to follow.
Other events to be held throughout the year include: a revue of Broadway and Pop music presented by Beari Productions on May 1 at 3:30 p.m.; a “mystery” dinner theater performance entitled “A SÈance in Middle Village” on Sept. 21 at 7:30 p.m.; and an Octoberfest celebration that will feature Schuhplattler dancing by Original Enzian on Oct. 19.
Tickets to the events are generally a suggested donation of $12.
“What we’re trying to do is raise our profile in the community,” Longan said. “We would like to have more traffic and welcome more people through the doors. Don’t get me wrong, we do plenty of religious stuff, but when you have a party and invite friends, you don’t exclude people who haven’t accepted Jesus Christ as their lord and savior.”
Though the church would like to see more people at services, Longan said Trinity Lutheran maintains a solid congregation.
“We have been very blessed, and though we have not gotten much bigger, we have gotten younger, and there is a steady trickle of new people that have come among us. We are stable.”
Longan said maintaining a younger crowd requires involving children at an early age. Programs such as Sunday school and Boy Scout Troop 106 make it easier for kids to feel involved.
Anyone who is interested in the kickoff celebration or any other event being held can reach out to Trinity Lutheran Church by calling (718) 335-7300.
“We have been steadily and faithfully lifting our spirits after all of this time,” Longan said. “We want people to know we’re still here and we’re open for business and looking forward to our future.”